World History Honors
February 17, 2009
Germany- The Country most Responsible for World War 1 (WWI)
WWI was a tragic event, which took millions of lives and affected nearly every person on earth. While there were many causes leading to WW1 including nationalism, alliances, militarism, and imperialism, the aggressive behavior of Germany is most responsible for the outbreak of WWI. Germany' support of Austria-Hungary against Serbia turned a minor skirmish between two smaller countries into a catalyst for a global war. Their support of Austria-Hungary forced Serbia to reach out to Russia who entered the war in support of their Slavic neighbor. Their militant behavior led to them to declare war on France without provocation and ultimately led Britain to join the conflict. Even Italy, a past ally, switched sides due to Germany's disregard for Belgium's neutrality.
Following Serbia's assassination of the Austrian Hungarian crown prince, Franz Ferdinand, Germany pledged their support to Austria-Hungary. Austria-Hungary was a nation with far more military might than Serbia and did not need assistance to destroy them. According to thefirstworldwar.com, not only did Germany support Austria-Hungary, they actually encouraged Austria-Hungary to take military action against Serbia. This gave Austria-Hungary confidence to aggressively attack Serbia, thus escalading what should have been a minor conflict between two relatively unimportant nations into World War 1.
Germany's full support of Austria-Hungary in their conflict with Serbia led Serbia to seek help. Serbia immediately turned to their Slavic neighbor, Russia, to help offset Germany's military might. Russia joined the battle because they did not want to see their ally, Serbia, be conquered and become part of Austria-Hungary. By bringing Russia into the war, Germany set the stage for a major military conflict.
In a similar manner, Germany led England into the war when they declared...