Model Question and Answers for APSC | To what extent can Germany be held responsible for causing the two World Wars? Discuss critically.

To what extent can Germany be held responsible for causing the two World Wars? Discuss critically.

Model Question and Answers for APSC | To what extent can Germany be held responsible for causing the two World Wars? Discuss critically.

Ans: World War I and World War II are the most brutal and destructive wars the world has faced in all of its histories. Several countries were involved and its effects were felt throughout the world.

Although both wars were caused by many different factors, a common aspect of both was the involvement of Germany. Due to its involvement in the long-term causes of both the first and second world wars, Germany is to a great extent held responsible for causing them.

  • The main causes of World War I include the forming of alliances, imperialism, militarism, and nationalism. In each of these long-term causes, Germany played a significant role.
  • After the end of the Franco-Prussian war in 1871, Germany became a unified It quickly became the strongest industrial power in Europe, which shifted the balance of power and made many surrounding countries nervous.
  • Due to this tension, Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany decided to form alliances in order to protect Germany and avoid a two- front war. After several failing alliances, the Triple Alliance, consisting of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy, was formed in 1882.
  • In 1907, as a result of Germany challenging Britain’s naval supremacy, the Triple Entente was formed, which consisted of Britain, France, and Russia.
  • The emergence of alliances was a significant cause of World War I because it divided European powers, making them rivals, and forced countries to get involved in war if one of its allies got involved in war, which could turn a small war into a great one.
  • In 1890, Wilhelm II of Germany adopted the foreign policy of Weltpolitik in order to fulfill Germany’s colonial aspirations and create an overseas empire and strong This imperialist policy had a great impact on Germany’s relations with other countries and brought Germany into conflict with Britain because of colonial conflicts. This increased tension in Europe even more.
  • In 1897, Germany began building new boats in an attempt to challenge Britain’s naval supremacy, which led to the Naval Arms Race. This resulted in the countries following a policy of Britain and Germany both greatly increased their navies, which created even more tension between the countries.
  • Finally, nationalism in Europe also led to the war because it created competition between countries that wanted to prove they were the best and the most powerful.
  • This is especially true of Germany, which wanted to become the greatest colonial power and wanted to be better than Britain in all possible aspects.


Germany’s involvement in each of the main causes of World War I is evident and proves that Germany is to a great extent responsible for the war.

Second world war:

  • When Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933, two of his main focuses were on putting an end to the Treaty of Versailles and acquiring more territory for the German people. The pursuit of these two things could not possibly be achieved without causing conflict with other nations.
  • Germany began invading and annexing territories in Europe, such as Austria, and it also began to re-arm, which went against the Treaty of Versailles.
  • Furthermore, in 1936, it sent troops to the Rhineland, which was supposed to be a “demilitarized” zone according to the treaty.
  • Germany’s actions caused tension in Europe and made other countries very nervous. However, none dared to confront it, afraid that another great war would break out.
  • Since Germany faced no opposition, it began to demand more and more of the other European countries until they realized that Germany would never be satisfied.
  • It was Germany’s recurring demands which eventually forced Britain and France to declare war and caused the outbreak of the Second World War.

Germany’s participation in the long-term causes of World War II proves that it is to a great extent responsible for causing the war.


Other factors:

  • The main long-term cause of World War II was Germany’s resentment of the Treaty of Versailles and its desire for Lebensraum, or “living space. ”
  • The Treaty of Versailles was created after World War I and greatly affected Germany, forcing it to take full responsibility for the war, pay reparations to the Allied Powers, give up much of its territory, and limit its military. Germans regarded this treaty as too harsh and unfair, and they were determined to overthrow it.
  • However, it can also be argued that Britain and France should bear some responsibility for causing World War II, not just Germany. This is mainly because they failed to stop Germany at the beginning when they still had the chance.
  • Instead, they decided to follow a policy of appeasement and let Germany get away with everything it wanted without any kind of opposition in order to try to prevent war.
  • As a result, Germany gained confidence and dared to do things it would have otherwise not dared to do, such as remilitarizing the Rhineland.
  • Thus, other European nations should also be held responsible for causing World War II because of their inability to control Germany.
  • Both world wars were caused by several different factors and they involved the participation of many Several arguments exist about who should be held responsible for the wars.


However, the contribution of Germany to both of them serves as clear evidence that Germany should be the main country blamed for it. Germany’s prominent involvement in the long-term causes of World War I and World War II proves that Germany should, to a great extent, be held responsible for causing both conflicts.