How the German Empire cause WWI - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

Wandering the information superhighway, he came upon the last refuge of civilization, PoFo, the only forum on the internet ...

The First World War (1914-1918).
Forum rules: No one line posts please.
#14515958
To what extent did Wilhelm II force Europe into WWI through his expansionary policies? Is Germany completely to blame?

The German Empire was an industrial, military, and technological giant which dominated central Europe from 1871-1918. With natural strengths in coal, iron, and railways, the empire’s strong industrial base made Germany an economic power. It operated as a scientific powerhouse, gaining more Nobel Prizes in science during its 47 years of existence than France, Britain, Russia, and the United States combined.

The empire’s domestic and foreign policy was increasingly determined by two men: Kaiser Wilhelm I’s careful strategist Otto von Bismarck, and the king’s son, Wilhelm II. Guided by Bismarck, the empire slowly secured its political and military influence through a complex series of alliances. Through key, strategic alliances with Russia and Austria-Hungary, Bismarck secured Germany’s eastern frontier and eliminated the possibility of a disastrous two front war. In a position of economic and military strength as a result of Bismarck’s complex diplomacy, the German Empire saw slow, but consistent growth.

However, when Kaiser Wilhelm II ascended to the throne, he fired Bismarck and pursued an aggressive, militaristic foreign policy that provoked Germany’s neighbors. As a result Russia canceled their alliance with Germany and joined France and Britain instead. Adamant that it was Germany’s right to conquer central Europe, Wilhelm II continued to antagonistically expand despite his exposed borders. In the resulting First World War, the German Empire was forced to fight a protracted, costly two front war against both France and Russia. Eventually the German army was worn down and defeated, resulting in the abdication of Wilhelm II and the dissolution of the German Empire. While Otto von Bismarck had brilliantly crafted the empire out of the divided German kingdoms and secured her borders, Wilhelm II’s reckless diplomacy led to the downfall of the nation.


http://theglobalstate.com/history/how-t ... an-empire/
#14515964
Um now I'm going to introduce a couple of advanced topics which some may find a little difficult. One's called history and the other's called maps.

1 So look at the territory of the German Confederation in 1815. Note the German nation didn't have a representative at the Congress of Vienna, so this was the minimum that they felt they could give Germany. Now compare that with the territory of Germany in 1914.

2 Look at the territory of the French empire, the British Empire, Russia and the United States in 1815. You might notice that they already ruled over massive areas of the world and massive populations of foreigners.

3 Compare that with the territory of French empire, the British Empire, Russia, United States and the Belgian Empire (that only came into existence in 1830), in 1914.

4 Now this step is a tricky one and may cause you emotional pain like a dog being separated from its master, as it involves thinking for your self. Answer the question: who was the militarist, expansionist, aggressor power in the hundred years leading up to World War I?
#14515979
4 Now this step is a tricky one and may cause you emotional pain like a dog being separated from its master, as it involves thinking for your self. Answer the question: who was the militarist, expansionist, aggressor power in the hundred years leading up to World War I?

Image

But in conclusion, yes Germany got dragged into the war due to Austria's (other Germany) ambitions in the Balkans. This lead Austria to invade Serbia, Russia a protectorate of Serbia at the time, was not willing to compromise on Serbia. Thus the ball rolled and war began.

Basically, the way I see it, the war began because of the power struggle between Austria and Russia as to who will dominate the Balkans. Russia sought for ages to liberate the Christian Orthodox people there, that is essentially one of the primary ideals Russia was founded on. Is to be the protectorate for the Orthodox people. So as the Ottomans disintegrated, I think Russia was feeling like mission was accomplished. Perhaps was getting ready to dominate the region in outright I don't know.

Austria on the other hand, actually I do not know what Austrians were thinking when they invaded Serbia. I can not really fathom what was their whole reason for getting into Balkans, knowing that Russia is there as protectorate. Not saying that there was not a chance to defeat Russia or anything, just they knew if Russia decided to defend Serbia's independence this will ultimately drag all Europe into war, which it did.
Last edited by Strata on 24 Jan 2015 21:29, edited 1 time in total.
#14515999
Conscript wrote:Yes. Germans have long been an imperialist menace to the world (except in the form of the GDR), even liberalism doesn't blunt their edge.

Uh-huh...

Image

In case you were wondering - no, it's not a map of the 22 states that Germany didn't invade.
#14516014
World War I wasn't the Germans' fault, it was the social-democrats' fault.

There were no good guys in World War One: Both the Entente and the Alliance were blocs of oppressive capitalist Empires committing all sorts of mass atrocities to get a bigger slice of the world's subaltern nations. Unfortunately the working class at the time was beholden to social-democratic parties controlled by chauvinists and class traitors: We're still haunted by their decision to reject the correct line of Revolutionary Defeatism. The only good thing to come out of that war was the Russian Revolution, and that would have come in relatively short order anyway if the workers had mutinied against their officers and marched on the class enemy... And this time the bourgeois powers couldn't have basically destroyed Soviet Democracy with their counterrevolutionary intervention 'cos there wouldn't have been any major bourgeois powers to attempt it.
#14516022
Russian revolution was a freaking disaster. I'm surprised Russian nation had survived the whole communist phase. But then again, I don't know what liberalism would have done to the Russian people.

Well actually I know, its doing its work right now in modernity.
#14516028
So, fascism didn't work, communism didn't work, liberalism isn't working, either.

What now?
#14516036
I don't know. Something that works. Definitely not an ideology.

The way I see it, good leadership come from good morals and understanding. As long as our leaders make good sound decisions for the benefit of all and work hard at their job. Things will be good in society. Regardless of societal structure. Structure of society will take shape and form from those good political decision by good people at the time. And what is needed at the time will be created and structured.

Basically we need aspire to virtue and righteousness again. Not to liberal utopia or communist or fascist one, that will never come to be in reality.
Last edited by Strata on 24 Jan 2015 22:09, edited 2 times in total.
#14516043
Ah, but there's the old problem: power corrupts, absolute power... you know. They tried to remedy that with complicated systems of checks and balances, totally underestimating human deviousness and the power of lobby groups.
#14516046
The Romans for example saw the benefits of both democratic and dictatorial system. At times of total war or disorder they would turn to dictatorship for couple of years. Once things stabilized after few years, they will return back to the republic system. They did this because the dictatorial system worked best in times of trouble, when decision had to be made quick and an iron hand was needed, also having power centralized allowed people to direct their efforts more efficiently, and so on.

Yet democratic system was returned back to, because they believed in peoples rule, and benefits of having everyone participate in leading the country, as the benefits of democracy is that you do not get power tripping people, and so on.

Now, a Roman leader, who held dictatorial power in times of trouble, will give up power willingly in times of peace, for return to republic and I believe he did it because it was best for his people. This is an example of moral virtue that Romans had in them.

If you have bad morality in the country and dushes running the government, no checks or balances will save a nation, as those checks and balances will just be simply circumvented. Not saying they should not exist. But I believe what should be concentrated on more is cultivating virtue and good moral standing in society rather then finding what can be changed in the system to prevent corruption and bad moral behaviour.
#14516056
I'd have to refresh my memory about the Roman Republic, but I do remember that it was characterized by almost constant conflict between the aristocracy and the plebeians, and that the civil wars set the stage for Cesar's usurpation. What I do approve of is the short terms of office and the prohibition to take another office for several years (ten?). Of course, today that just means that politicians switch from parliament to multinational company... so nothing would be really gained by reviving that old Roman custom.
#14516059
There is big difference between late Roman republic and early Roman republic. Indeed the Roman system later on became to be plagued by class war between plebeians and patricians. Also the most dominant issue was corruption. In the end Caesar and Augustus came into the scene. One of their main ambitions was to revitalize the early Roman virtues and good moral character. I believe August was successful as after his rule Pax Romana had followed.

Romans were not perfect, no one is. But you definitely get the sense reading their history that they aspired and revered virtue and good action of a man. Something you see in all great nation of the past. Today's age, as there is no secret, is plagued by vile appreciation of banditism and gangstarism. No wonder our nations are plague by corruption and disorder.

And there is no custom in virtue and uprightness. It has validity and power in its own right and is universal. This is something the early liberals referred to as natural law. Christians refer to it as god. Its a concept that point us, to a direction that says, there is something more then just material in this world. Something inherited in us, that makes the material function properly and in good order.

Good customs arise from virtue, so it will be pointless to bring back Roman customs as that will be doing exactly the same thing as the Communist or Liberal ideologues are doing. Although we can definitely learn from the past examples though.

All ideologues today have it the other way around, thinking that it is the material that makes us function properly not us. Thus liberals think if we shut everybody up and by law treat everyone equally, society will function properly and utopia will ensue. Commies believe if we just take away land and means of production from everybody we will succeed. And so on, each ideology carries the believe that by restructuring the society we can make a better and more good society. Where its the other way around. It's by cultivating virtue and goodness in us first, do proper order and structure ensues.

This is in the end where we come to truly soul search, and yes, delve into spirituality. As we begin to search for the answers within rather then trying to change the outside world to solve the problems inside of us. Those are greed, lust, impatience, ignorance and so on, all those things that procure a bad act.
#14536153
Even the question is implicit with prejudice and error, because it presumes that starting a war was somehow a bad thing, an immoral thing. Not every nation had conscription but every nation was thoroughly militarist. I'm British so look at Britain. Nearly all of our heroes were warriors soldiers generals and admirals. They weren't peacemakers. They weren't peace activists. In as much as there was a strong principled anti war current, it was very much associated with the left and the a labour movement. And in as much as there was a general aversion to war in Europe it was deeply racist. A prejudice that European civilians shouldn't be exposed to the horrors of wars, but it was fine for Europeans to involve themselves in endless wars amongst the Non European natives of the world.

Adolph Hitler loved his Karl May novels of cowboys and Indians. Churchill as young man got to play out these fantasies for real in his adventures in the Sudan and South Africa. I often feel people miss a key thing about World War I. The problem wasn't that WWI destroyed the peace. It was that World War I destroyed war. It totally spoilt war. Amongst the prosperous, comfortable, countries of the West: North Western Europe and the Anglo-sphere, who could look forward to war again. But war was such an essential part of a nation's identity, of a class's identity of so many men's identity's that it could not just easily be given up. Hence the need for a scape goat.

Virtually every combatant country in WWI bar Japan made the wrong call. The incredible costs of world war I could never be justified by the fruits of victory. Even America was unhappy, feeling that their blood had been sacrificed for the manipulations of the guileful Europeans. This was still hubris on their part, fundamentally the same vice as the Europeans, that they should be able to determine the outcome and arbitrate a just peace. As if even a victory could be any thing else but a shoddy, dirty compromise not only with allies, but with defeated opponents and between different factions within ones own country.
Last edited by Rich on 14 Mar 2015 18:41, edited 1 time in total.
#14536176
My history books made it very clear that every one got mad because some guy called Ferdinand was killed.
That is why every one started killing every one else. There was no other reason.
You guys are just making up the rest

Edit: Seriously, you have to remember Europeans were use to having picnics while watching battles.
I actually believe many of our problems today is because world leaders maintain this same mental attitude. They are safe. They will simply be observers of what they set in motion.
#14536185
Azons wrote:To what extent did Wilhelm II force Europe into WWI through his expansionary policies? Is Germany completely to blame?

The following powers had an expansionist/colonial policy in those days: GB, France, US, Russia, Japan, Austria-Hungaria, Italy, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Serbia and yes even, Germany.

Anyways, to put the blame on Wilhelm II is a bit silly. He was an imbecile who would hedge all kinds of weird plans. His cabinet ministers had a hard time keeping out of foreign policy.

It was the military that believed it had to strike first before the Franco/Russian alliance was getting too strong. Due to the duplicity of the UK foreign office, they didn't know whether the UK would enter the war or not. In hindsight it is easy to see that the decision to go to war was a mistake.

All powers at the time share responsibility for WWI.

The German Empire was an industrial, military, and technological giant which dominated central Europe from 1871-1918. With natural strengths in coal, iron, and railways, the empire’s strong industrial base made Germany an economic power. It operated as a scientific powerhouse, gaining more Nobel Prizes in science during its 47 years of existence than France, Britain, Russia, and the United States combined.

That is exactly why Germany didn't feel comfortable having to depend on its rivals (GB and France) for access to world markets and resources needed for German industry. German unification had arrived too late for Germany to acquire significant colonies of its own.

Strata wrote:But in conclusion, yes Germany got dragged into the war due to Austria's (other Germany) ambitions in the Balkans. This lead Austria to invade Serbia, Russia a protectorate of Serbia at the time, was not willing to compromise on Serbia. Thus the ball rolled and war began.

It has rightly been pointed out that Austria-Hungary had a much stronger case to invade Serbia than the US had to invade Afghanistan. People use double standards, condemning the former and condoning the latter.

It wasn't just the assassination of the arch-duke. There had been constants attacks by Serb terrorists who wanted to create a greater Serbia on the Balkans. Serbia had in fact been supported by Russia and France (military loans, etc.) in order to destabilize Austria-Hungaria. And any guarantees the Serb government might have given to AH were pretty meaningless since the Serb government didn't have effective control of its military or the Black Hand terrorists.

Basically, the way I see it, the war began because of the power struggle between Austria and Russia as to who will dominate the Balkans. Russia sought for ages to liberate the Christian Orthodox people there, that is essentially one of the primary ideals Russia was founded on.

Russia concentrated on expansion in the West after its expansion in the East had been checked by the Japanese.

One Degree wrote:Edit: Seriously, you have to remember Europeans were use to having picnics while watching battles.

That is a valid point. Prior to WWI, European sovereigns would fight wars as a matter of routine and in 1914 people didn't know they entered WWI. Most people believed that 1914 would be just another short and snappy war with "the boys back home for Christmas."
#14536266
" There had been constants attacks by Serb terrorists "

Really have you got a list of these constant attacks? How Many? I've heard this claim before but no one has ever brought forward anything to back these claims up.
#14595765
I'm reminded of a certain Captain E Blackadder on this one. Simply put, despite all the mutual pacts of alliance between the European powers, it was all utter bollocks and it was simply too much trouble not to go to war. Europe had been at peace (more or less) since Waterloo, an unprecedentedly long time in modern European politics, so with the arms races and mutual suspicion then a war seemed more or less probable. Had not someone shot an ostrich then it would have happened over something else eventually.
#14598827
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61532.Cataclysm

David Stephenson's book is one of the best on the subject. Wilhelm II was a martinet, and hated Bismarck out of jealousy. when Daddy died he dismissed Bismarck and proceeded to wreck everything Bismarck had built. His juvenile sabre-rattling idiocy magnified tensions for decades before 1914, and even managed to drive the Brits and French into an alliance, as well as Russia. He was entirely responsible for the war breaking out; Austria didn't drag anybody into anything at that time, and even the Wilhelm's own hand-picked diplomat sent to investigate the assassination reported back that it wasn't the Serbian government's doing, just a renegade intelligence officer acting alone. Wilhelm and Moltke were looking for an excuse, and this was it. Even with this they still had to invent a fake 'attack' by the French to justify launching their western offensive. The rest of Europe had nothing to gain by a war and bent over backwards to avoid one throughout Wilhelm II's inane and stupid foreign policy antics. They had any number of opportunities from 1894 to 1914 to launch one if that was truly what they wanted, but as usual appeasement only worsened the problem, just as it did re Hitler.
#14598901
Oberon wrote:The rest of Europe had nothing to gain by a war and bent over backwards to avoid one
That's got to be one of the most bare faced lies in history. Bismark's treaty of 1871 was incredibly generous to the French. It still left them with huge gains from their centuries of terrorist aggression since the partition of Burgundy. Germany had no interest in attacking France, while from that day France constantly conspired to attack Germany. They formed an alliance with the brutal reactionary, Tsarist terrorist regime that cruelly suppressed and exploited not only the Russian people but the Poles, Balts and Finns. They did everything possible to fan war, giving the Tsarist tyrant a blank check for any kind of aggression against Austria and Germany. Russia passed on the blank check to Serbia.

I wonder how the British would have felt if Charles and Diana had been cruelly gunned down by Serbian murderers.

It is charming to see how you still believe the d[…]

I am aware that I am repeating the obvious here, […]

Trump's Dumb Economics

Truth a fact or belief that is accepted as true[…]

They are not victims just stupid. Your socio[…]