Significance of German Imperial Ambitions in causing war

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Significance of German Imperial Ambitions in causing war by Mind Map: Significance of German Imperial Ambitions in causing war

1. Germany wanted to avoid war

1.1. Germany was not an "Untertanengesellschaft" (society of subjects)

1.1.1. "Well into the nineteenth century there were many areas of the Prussian lands where the presence of the state was scarcely perceptible" Clark

1.2. Halt in Belgrade

1.2.1. AJP Taylor

1.2.2. "The Kaiser, though given to bouts of belligerent rhetoric, opposed preventative war, and always counseled caution when conflict loomed" Schuker The Kaiser’s projects were not ‘programmes’, he assured Holstein, but whimsical ‘marginal jottings’ of limited import for the conduct of policy

1.2.3. "The German kaiser was so pleased with the Serbian answer that he recommended Austria-Hungary to accept it" Mick

1.3. Germany was Europe's most anti-militarist country

1.3.1. Ferguson

1.3.2. "German industrialists thought that peace was better for business than war. Peace had helped Germany to become the economic powerhouse of Europe" Mick

1.4. Even though the Germans write more violently than the french, ""The difference is discursive rather than substantial". The linguistic asymmetry is by no means a "symptom of German militarism or war-lust", it merely reflects Clausewitz's impact on German political thought" Schuker

2. Other countries drove Germany to war

2.1. War forced on Germany by reckless British diplomacy

2.1.1. Grey confused Germany over the British attitude to war intervention "last-ditch efforts... to prevent an Austro-Serbian war" Mick

2.1.2. London allowed a regional European war to escalate into world war "The dominant mood amongst the British public in August 1914 was... relief that the long predicted struggle with Germany had at last begun" French England, it seemed, had ‘merely been waiting for a signal from France to fall upon Germany’. To make matters worse, the new First Sea Lord was the ‘unscrupulous, ambitious and unreliable demagogue’ Winston Churchill. Germany must therefore steel itself for the possibility of an unprovoked attack ‘Should it come to a war with Germany,’ he went on, ‘the entire English nation would be behind it, and a blockade of Hamburg and Bremen and the annihilation of German commerce on the high seas would be child’s play for the English fleet’

2.1.3. Ferguson

2.1.4. All British fears of Germany were due to irrational anti-German prejudice "Britain, financially much stronger than Germany, won this naval arms race. The British Navy defended its superiority, but the German challenge had left a bad aftertaste in London" Mick Armaments programmes usually measure themselves against the most formidable potential opponent

2.1.5. Anglo-German alliance failed to materialise due to Britain only wanting alliances with strong (threatening) countries eg Russia and France Ferguson it was not the building of German ships after 1898 which propelled Britain into closer relations with France and Russia. The decision to enter into an Entente with France and to seek an arrangement with Russia came about primarily as a consequence of pressures on the imperial periphery. British policy-makers were less obsessed with, and less alarmed by, German naval building than is often supposed

2.1.6. Tirpitz plan was not a danger to Britain and there was no reason to fear German navy "Britain fought to prevent the balance of power in Europe from tipping in Germany's favour and to prevent Germany from controlling the Channel ports" Mick "Had Britain stood idly by in August 1914 and allowed Germany to defeat France and Russia, Germany would have been able to turn the resources of the whole of Europe against Britain" French

2.1.7. "Germany found itself surrounded by jealous states, even though it had done nothing to justify formation of the hostile Entente in 1907" Schuker The Germanophobes were rarely very specific about their case against the Germans. They spoke in general tones about the vaunting ambition and bullying ‘demeanour’ of Germany, the unpredictability of the Kaiser and the threat German military prowess posed to the European balance of power, but they were coy about identifying actual German offences against good international practice

2.2. "Moltke had excellent justification for believing that Germany's future relative position woulddeteriorate" Schuker

2.3. Russia wanted to dismember the Hapsburg Empire and feed the pieces to its "hungry satellites"

2.3.1. William Fuller The Russian army was positioned for war against Asia until 1912, when it readjusted to the West to comfort France. This process wouldn't be finished until 1917, and in the meantime it would take forty days to carry out concentration. "The Tsar initially proposed partial mobilisation as a simple 'signal' to Austria, and yielded only after a showing that this move would delay full mobilization.

2.4. "[Serbian chief of military intelligence] Apis had originally approved the assassination but had later halfheartedly tried to stop it"

2.4.1. Christoph Mick

2.5. "It was up to Austria to decide whether to go to war or not"

2.5.1. Mick

3. German politicians wanted war

3.1. Bethmann

3.1.1. Regarded conflict as the "natural condition" p243 Moses

3.1.2. Had made plans in September 1914 to annex all of Belgium, part of France and part of Russia Fischer

3.1.3. "The primacy of the civilian over the military leadership remained intact"

3.1.4. "Bethmann-Hollweg pursued a policy designed to give Austria-Hungary a free hand with regard to Serbia. He even undermined the last-ditch efforts by the British foreign secretary Sir Edward Grey to prevent an Austro-Serbian war" Mick

3.1.5. Bethmann plots to keep Britain out. blame Russia and therefore attract support from German people and allies to come to war

3.1.6. "Chancellor von Bethmann Hollweg, was in deep sympathy with the general intent to fight the war in order to make Germany a ‘world power’, equal to Britain and Russia"

3.1.7. Germans encouraged the British to believe that the Berlin government was split between a dove and a hawk faction and that British concessions would strengthen Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg against belligerent elements in Berlin

3.2. German govt didn't want British war, but would pursue Mitteleuropa and Mittelafrika and risk it

3.2.1. Fischer

3.3. The leaders in World War I were made overbold by their greatly exaggerated belief in German might, and in their thirst for power and riches they began to disregard Christian and humane sentiments

3.3.1. German politicians regretted their actions Albert Ballin blames them Gottlieb von Jagow repents Prince Lichnowsky John Rohl

3.4. Imperial German state was struggling with demands for democratic reform and tried to distract these domestic issues with an aggressive foreign policy

3.4.1. Fischer Distraction of the public so they wouldn't vote for the Social Democrats, in order to save the reactionary German elite

3.5. "Prussia's calamitous legacy for the new Germany" (Clark) was its obsession with expansion

3.6. "Britain was driven into the arms of France and Russia by German Weltpolitik. Encouraged by a powerful pressure group led by the naval minister Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz, the kaiser wanted to challenge British dominance of the seas and started a gigantic naval building programme"

3.6.1. Mick

4. Germans wanted war

4.1. "glorified power and advocated the ruthless expansion of Germany at the expense of others" p246 Moses

4.1.1. the great majority of the German people, led by its ruling classes, indulged in wild dreams about the overwhelming strength that Germany had to acquire as a result of the war The superiority of the German race over the Slav and Latin races was generally declared to be a proven fact of history

4.2. Rohl "Germans had been urging the Austrians on repeated occasions in the last year and a half"

4.2.1. "Austria-Hungary would not have risked war if Germany had not promised its unconditional support" Mick

4.3. Bethmann Hollweg's September Programme

4.3.1. Fischer

4.3.2. Rohl

4.4. German empire deliberately started an aggressive war in 1914

4.4.1. Fischer Germans displayed a shocking disregard for the rights of other nations, especially of the small states

4.4.2. Hans Ulrich Wehler Clark's book's success reveals "a deep apologetic need to be freed from all blame"

4.4.3. Hans Mommsen and Wolfgang Mommsen

4.5. "The German military feared that in 2 or 3 years' time the combined French and Russian military power would be too strong for Germany"

4.5.1. Mick "The unconditional German support for Austria was meant either to provoke a war or break the alliance between Russia and France"

4.5.2. "Moltke signalled to Vienna that the German blank cheque still held good"

5. Germans were imperialist

5.1. "Pan-German Mentality" p243

5.1.1. John Moses

5.2. Chief foreign policy aim of Wilhelm II from 1897 onwards was Weltpolitiks

5.2.1. Weinberg

5.3. British deployed much of their fleet from around the world to the North Sea and spent money building warships in the Anglo-German naval arms race

5.3.1. Gerhard Weinberg

5.4. Various pressure groups in German society had ambitions for aggressive imperialist policy in Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East

5.4.1. Fischer September Programme was a compromise between the demands of the lobbying German groups for wide-ranging territorial expansion Traditional German elite held a racist, imperialist and capitalist ideology John Moses 1999 persuaded by Fischer

5.5. "The origins of National Socialism were located in the Prussian tradition" Volker Ullrich

5.5.1. "The state of Prussia, which from its earliest days has been a bearer of militarism and reaction in Germany, has de facto ceased to exist" Allied Control Council in Berlin Prussia inherited "an abiding sense of vulnerability which left a distinctive imprint on Prussia's political culture" Clark "Prussia emerges as a state that was set up for expansion" Volker Ullrich Prussia was not a state with an army but an army with a state "in which it was quartered, so to speak" George Heinrich Berenhort

5.6. "An attempt by Germany to conquer Europe as a prelude to even further global expansion" Rohl

6. General European imperialism caused war

6.1. War By Timetable

6.2. Schlieffen Plan and alliance system made war definite

6.3. Fischer admits he only examined Germany

6.4. Michael Sturmer argues it was Germany's location which caused it all

6.5. "Germanophobes in the British foreign office had an "almost comical tendency" to view British imperialism as natural and expect the Reich to punch below its weight in world affairs" Schuker

6.6. Germany was not uniquely aggressive amongst European nations of the 21st century

6.6.1. Social Darwinism views of struggle were popular in Europe's ruling classes

6.6.2. arguments for heightened military preparedness had to be admixed with other socio-political incentives in order to secure the support needed to drive these huge [war] bills through parliament [Schlieffen Plan] was not a ‘war plan’ as such but a plea for more government money

6.7. Sean McMeekin

6.8. Christopher Clark

6.8.1. French President Poincare used "nationalist, jingoistic, and chauvinist politics" France instigated both Moroccan Crises In Germany, too, the souring of the mood after Agadir encouraged Minister of War Josin von Heeringen and Chief of Staff Helmuth von Moltke to press harder for army growth. The Anglo-French Entente likewise neutralized the anti-British sentiment that before 1904 had intermittently diluted the Germanophobia of French statesmen… It is astonishing how aggressively a number of key British policy-makers responded to the German challenge to French penetration of Morocco

6.9. Christoph Mick

6.9.1. "Russia and Austria-Hungary were competing for influence in the Balkans" "The Austro-Hungarian government and military had waited a long time for a good opportunity to fight Serbia"

6.10. “‘The situation [in Europe] is extraordinary,’ Colonel Edward House reported to American President Woodrow Wilson after a trip to Europe in May 1914. ‘It is militarism run stark mad.’

6.10.1. it was not that antagonism to Germany caused its isolation, but rather that the new system itself channelled and intensified hostility towards the German Empire

7. The war was an avoidable accident

7.1. Complex mechanism of events and misjudgements led to war

7.1.1. Clark Chaos in the Balkans threatened the Habsburg Empire Russians mobilised early and ratcheted up the pace of mobilisation elsewhere

7.1.2. risks had been taken successfully before "French and Russian strategists did not "plan to launch a war of aggression", but they gave little thought to the effect of their brinkmanship on the Reich" Schuker

7.1.3. "Rapid-fire interactions between executive structures with a relatively poor understanding of each other's intentions, operating with low levels of confidence and trust"

7.2. Most Europeans were saddened by the coming of war

7.2.1. Ferguson

7.3. German war guilt is "old british propaganda"

7.3.1. Cora Stephan

7.4. The Russian army entered the war in a mood of funeral gloom, Schuker

7.5. "The reasons why the political leaders in July 1914 could not find a peaceful solution were a lack of imagination, mutual distrust and misperceptions, a narrow-minded understanding of 'national honour' and 'national interest', high-risk strategies and the irresponsible actions of some" Mick