8 Bi Weekly Feedback 5th Question 2nd Period

Was WWI a necessary war in order to stop German aggressiveness or was it an avoidable and unnecessary tragedy?

Well, I suppose I will kick off this conversation. It seems to me that World War I was a necessary tragedy in order to calm down a young, reckless, and pugnacious Wilhelm II. After ousting Otto von Bismarck in 1890, it became clear to the world that Wilhelm II was ready for the role as German Emperor and eager for combat when in England he proclaimed to the English people that he could crush their militarily easily. However, the —— didn’t hit the fan until the Morocco Crisis of 1911 when Wilhelm II thought it was wise to send a gunboat, demanding compensation from the French. After this, it became very clear to the nations of Europe that Wilhelm II was a loose cannon, bound to cause destruction. World War I was a necessary measure to put down this bully of a child. [RickyG]

I would have to agree with Ricky saying that this war was a necessity in order to stop German aggression. Although the war may not have entirely succeeded with this goal, it was still and inevitable battle that would be fought for many years to come. I really like Mr. Edwards point today when he mentioned that some historians think of WWI and WW2 as two phases of the same war. I think that if we look at the goal of the war(s) to be stopping German aggression, it is absolutely justified to claim these wars as more than connected but one in the same. (Mary)

While I do think that Germany’s aggression contributed to the causes of World War I, I do not think that this war was “necessary.” Before World War I, there had not been a large-scale war in Europe for nearly a century, and so I don’t think that suddenly war became “necessary” in 1914. I do, however, think that a conflict between Austria-Hungary and Serbia was inevitable. But expanding that struggle into a world war was not inevitable – I think it could have been avoided if European countries weren’t so obsessed with competing with each other and in turn forming rivalries, grudges, and entangling alliances. Although most people are probably going to disagree with me, I think that war is never necessary and can always be avoided. I think that European nations acted rashly and brazenly before and during World War I. The increasing militarism in most countries in Europe contributed to a bellicose European mindset that encouraged aggressive expansion and contentious foreign policies. I think that as humans we are often too quick to make enemies and resort to violence and aggression. It is this impulsiveness and recklessness that leads to unnecessary wars that ultimately kill tons of people for no reason and only cause bitterness and hatred between countries in the future. Why do we solve problems by killing each other? (Mackenzie)

I have to disagree with Mackenzie that a world war was not inevitable because of the natural competition between people and the drive to outdo everyone else. I don’t think that there is any way for people to live especially in a place as crowded and diverse as Europe without conflict arising in some form. This is really exemplified by the tension during imperialism as the conflict between the major powers of Europe grew it was only a matter of time before it came to a head and although it exploded due to a conflict that could have been limited to only Austria-Hungary and Serbia, if this conflict had not developed into WWI another one would have. (Hannah)

Yes and no. Though I don’t quite remember all of the details of the lead up to WWI, I do know that it was sparked by the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a Serbian anarchist. The war began as a relatively minor conflict between two Balkan nations, and if there was to be war at all, it should have remained between those two. WWI was not necessary on the scale that was, yet something minor was willfully exacerbated by countries with an increasingly militaristic and nationalistic mindset. I think that German aggressiveness did provide fuel for the fire; in many ways I think Germany wanted a war. But even more damaging than Germany’s bellicosity were the entangling secret alliances across Europe during that time. Without these, Russia would not have netted Great Britain and France in to the conflict, countries that possibly weren’t looking for war originally but weren’t feeling ambitious enough to stop it. Without these secret alliances, a war that should not have turned global would not have. (Chuma)

I don't remember all the details of WWI, but I am going to stick with my opinion in class and say that WWI was not neccessary to stop German agression. Though the Germans definitely made agressive steps leading up to the war, all acrosss Europe there was increased militarism. I do not endorse the German's actions, but one can argue that as a new country they had more reason than others to be concerned about their apperances and proving that they were a going to be a major player. Germany at this time would not have been the easiest country to deal with diplomatically, but they also did not do much other than talk a big talk and prepare alliances. (Laura)

Thinking in terms of other nations entanglement into the war between Austria and Serbia were completely unnecessary. If my memory serves me well Austria asked that they could investigate the assassination themselves inside of Serbian borders. This seemed completely unnecessary even if they had reason to believe the Serbian Government had reasons to protect the Black Hand. The further involvement after that of other nations seemed like grabs for power under the auspices of protecting their interests or following their own treaties. As is stated above the conflict was a regional one that only escalated to a greater extent because of conditions that the other nations (GB, Germany,etc) had created/ (MDog)