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03-Aug-2017 02:01

It was this act of British participation that truly launched the European conflicts into a fully escalated world war, as it pulled with it its colonies from Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Only a day earlier, France had mobilised its troops after the German declaration of war, two days after Germany had declared war on Russia on the 1st.

Proof of this is his announcement of Weltpolitik in 1897 and the start of the construction of the German fleet.

As head of the military, the Kaiser saw the it as a symbol of national loyalty towards him and Germany, at a time where monarchies were being jeopardized by revolutionists even well after the end of the French Revolution in 1799 and, more recently, by growing Communist ideas.

To understand the motives behind the war it is vital to know the history behind the history – to comprehend the existing tensions between countries, the mind-set of the time, and, most importantly, where the power actually lay.

The Chinese philosopher Confucius wrote “There is deceit and cunning and from these wars arise”[1], whilst the American historian Howard Zinn argues that “historically, the most terrible things – war, genocide, and slavery – have resulted not from disobedience, but from obedience”[2].

On the 30th of July, Germany had mobilised in support of Austria-Hungary, who had entered into war with Serbia on the 28th of July, supported by Russian mobilisation, exactly a month after the assassination of their Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo by the Serb nationalist Gavrilo Prinzip.

The Great War determined the outcome of our world today – obviously, the resulting Treaty of Versailles was a major factor in Hitler’s rise to power and the Second World War.

The German crisis management team was beset by doubts, fears, shifts, and incompetence.”[3]The Russian Tsar Nicholas II was under a colossal amount of pressure to prove himself to his people after Russia’s humiliating defeat in the Russo-Japanese war of 1904 – 1905.Almost all commonly mentioned causes of World War I, namely militarism, alliances and imperialism are purely autocratic decisions made by the leaders of the time.If one wanted to argue from a Marxist standpoint, you could say that the war was a prime example of the higher-classes telling workers what to do.To illustrate truly in what narrow-minded hands the fatal war decision lay, Holger H.

Herwig writes: “The 1914 decision first for mobilization and then for war was made by a small inner circle around the Kaiser: Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg, War Minister Erich von Falkenhayn, and Chief of the General Staff Helmuth von Moltke, the Younger.On a more recent note however, it would have averted the Cold War.