Was Germany to blame for World War One?
Though Germany turned out to be the Central Power and most involved in the war, there is little or no evidence that the Germans had planned for war. There are several fundamental causes that had brought the world to the brink of war: nationalism, imperialist competition, militarism, and the build up of pre-war alliances. The growing appearance of these factors perhaps inevitably led to what was called the Great War, World War One.
Germany had a variety of reasons for being willing to be involved in World War One.
The assassination of Austrian archduke Frances Ferdinand and his wife on June 28 th 1914 by a Serbian student named Gavril o Prince, who was part of the militant group called the "Black Hand", was a result of nationalism caused by the moulding of the Yugoslavian provinces into a single state. At the same time Germany had put forward a treaty proposal to Austria stating that Germany would defend Austria if they were in trouble and the elimination was an example of the Hapsburg's loss of control. If Austria were to decline Germany's offer, Germany would be completely surrounded by enemies. The German government also knew that Russia would lose a major base in Europe if they were to lose Yugoslavia. Germany believed that Russia would back down like they had in an early war involving Austria and Serbia.
Aside from that, Germany had recently made an alliance with Turkey, which made them confident that they could defeat any European country. Another benefit that Germany had was that England would not enter the war if Russia were the aggressor. But Germany did not know that the general opinion around Europe was that even if Serbia had been involved in the assassination it was not grounds to conquer it. Austria declared that they would go to war against Yugoslavia, but they were hesitant to do so because Yugoslavia held a defensive treaty with Russia.
Germany had made a defensive treaty with Austria, so they promised that if Austria went ahead and made a move against Yugoslavia, Germany would defend them from Russia. Germany then told Austria to begin the war, and if it evolved into a larger conflict, Germany would support them. Germany had been developing plans for invasions into every European country since the time of Bismarck. One of these plans was called the Schlieffen Plan.
The plan basically called for quick, encircling movements that would surround and destroy the enemy. This plan was used for the invasion of France and also for individual conflicts like the Battle of Tannenberg. One of the key points of this plan was that it was absolutely necessary to put all possible force behind the invasion of France and not to hold any soldiers back in reserve. It was Germany's hope to end this war quickly by attacking France immediately and overrunning it before Russia had a chance to mobilize. Aside from these war plans, Germany also tried to stop countries from getting involved in the war by starting revolutions in them. It worked in Russia but no where else..