THE LONG TERM CAUSES OF THE WAR

The Rise of Germany

The Rise of Germany

German Unification

GCSE History Revision - The Rise of Germany - PropagandaIn 1871 the German Empire was formed through the unification of Prussia and dozens of much smaller German-speaking countries.

As a united force, Germany was an incredibly powerful country. This worried France, Great Britain and Russia, the former key players in Europe, very much indeed.

France was resentful of Germany after it was defeated by Prussia and its German allies in the Franco-Prussian War of 1871.

Russia was also wary because not only did the borders of the German Empire extend all the way to the Russian border, Germany also felt it had a claim to various parts of Eastern Europe that Russia though it should own.

As the largest empire in the world, Britain began to look over its shoulder at Germany, seeing that this new country had ambitious plans to rival the British Empire in size and strength.

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Kaiser Wilhelm II and the Rise of Germany

GCSE History Revision - Kaiser Wilhelm IIThe confident and aggressive attitude that worried Britain, France and Russia was epitomised by Kaiser Wilhelm II, Germany’s King from 1888.

He, like many other German political and military leaders, viewed it as Germany’s destiny to be Europe’s dominant power. Although we cannot view Germany’s aggressive policies as the only cause of World War One, they were certainly a key cause.