To what extent was Germany’s decision to go to war in 1914 the result of fears of ‘encirclement’?
No country can be considered the one responsible for the World War I but Germany is still guilty more than anyone else. It was the only country strong enough to stop the development of the conflict in July 1914. It could take back a “carte blanche” – the support of Austria during the invasion of Serbia (Ross, 2008).
Germany, as an economically developed country, sought to a military, economic and political domination on the European continent. Since the Empire needed markets and it came into the struggle for colonies only after 1871, it desired to receive the same rights in the colonial possessions of Great Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Portugal (Grant, 2011).
Speaking about a military possession– Germany considered the Entente to be the alliance against itself in order to undermine its power, so the outbreak of war was beneficial for the Empire (of course, under the condition of victory of Germany and its allies).
As we mentioned before, the German Empire sought to economic and military domination in Europe and further in the whole world. Thus, being surrounded by the enemies was simply unacceptable for the country. The tendencies of that time could lead to the situation when Germany could have only one or two allied countries near its territory. We consider fears of ‘encirclement’ as one of the main reasons why the German Empire helped Austria to begin the World War I in 1914.
The results of the World War I shows us that Germany vainly became one of the main aggressors who had started the conflict– instead of getting desired domination the country suffered catastrophic defeat and significantly worsened its position in the world’s hierarchy (Dudley, 1998).
1.Ross, S. (2008). World War I. Mankato, MN: Arcturus Pub.
2.Grant, R. G. (2011). Why did World War I happen? New York, NY: Gareth Stevens Pub.
3.Dudley, W. (1998). World War I: Opposing viewpoints. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press.
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