Why Was Germany Be Blamed For World War I

1465 Words 6 Pages
Although in some ways Germany played a minor role in causing World War I because Germany was pressured into WWI to honor its alliances, Germany should be blamed for the war to a great extent because Germany played a crucial role in establishing the alliance system, increased tensions and anticipation of war throughout Europe through its militaristic practices, and increased the size of World War I with its aggressive use of military strategy and new weapons.
While some have maintained that Germany was not at fault for World War I since Germany joined the war because of its obligation to help its allies, Germany should be blamed for World War I due to the country’s influential role in developing the alliance system in Europe. Prior to World
…show more content…
Prior to World War I, Germany attempted to gain power by exercising militarism, or the practice of encouraging military efforts and maintaining a strong military during peacetime. However, by increasing its combatant power, Germany threatened its neighboring countries. As a result, nations across Europe began an arms race in which countries contested for military power by building up their armies and developing new weapons. This spread of militarism, in turn, caused European countries to feel threatened by one another and to become distrustful of neighboring countries motives. In addition, by focusing on their militaries, European countries instilled an anticipatory attitude towards war across Europe as each country became increasingly prepared for conflict. For instance, Germany practiced militarism by keeping a peacetime army of over two million soldiers and funding an ambitious shipbuilding program. Germany’s military endeavors made other European powers, such as Great Britain and Russia feel threatened and seek to protect themselves from Germany by building up their own armies and arsenals. As militarism spread through Europe, countries like Russia and Great Britain began holding peacetime militaries of around one million men and requiring military enlistment from male citizens (Powder Keg Worksheet). By practicing militarism, Germany fostered an environment of mutual distrust and intense rivalry in Europe. Countries like Great Britain and Russia felt compelled to increase the size and training of their armies and navies so that Germany, or any other militaristic country, could not easily overpower them. In addition, German militarism led to a focus on conflict that made many Europeans anticipate war. By holding armies of a million or more men and strategizing heavily for combat, countries, such as Germany, Great

Related Documents