Was the “blanque check” by Imperial Germany the main reason for the start of WWI?

Apr 2014
208
New York, U.S.
Viewpoint 1
Historian Sir Max Hastings and several other eminent historians place the blame for starting WWI squarely on the government of Imperial Germany (IG). Their reasoning is that IG gave the Austrian-Hungarian government a “blanque check” of support in the developing controversy between A-H and Serbia over the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand. This emboldened A-H to punish Serbia even though this action might involve Russia in a war.
Viewpoint 2
Many other historians believe that the blame for starting WWI should be shared by several nations. Decision making and miscalculations by leaders, ministers, ambassadors, etc. of several European countries led to the conflict. Max Hastings and his like minded ilk scoff at this interpretation.

I am interested to know which of these two viewpoints the Historum posters favor.
 
May 2019
289
Northern and Western hemispheres
Viewpoint 1
Historian Sir Max Hastings and several other eminent historians place the blame for starting WWI squarely on the government of Imperial Germany (IG). Their reasoning is that IG gave the Austrian-Hungarian government a “blanque check” of support in the developing controversy between A-H and Serbia over the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand. This emboldened A-H to punish Serbia even though this action might involve Russia in a war.
Viewpoint 2
Many other historians believe that the blame for starting WWI should be shared by several nations. Decision making and miscalculations by leaders, ministers, ambassadors, etc. of several European countries led to the conflict. Max Hastings and his like minded ilk scoff at this interpretation.

I am interested to know which of these two viewpoints the Historum posters favor.
I would have to say that I agree more with Viewpoint 2. Several European countries were to blame for the outbreak of the WWI. However if we narrow it down to a single player who Started it, Austria Hungary is the culprit. The Austro-Hungarians declared war on the Serbians a month after the assassination of the Archduke and shelled one or some of the Serbian cities.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
5,006
Dispargum
Wilhelm II probably had more power than anyone else to stop the war. Had he withheld the blank check the crisis may have diffused peacefully. Giving Austria-Hungary the blank check was a lost opportunity for peace.
 
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redcoat

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,950
Stockport Cheshire UK
The blank cheque was probably the fatal mistake, it turned what might have remained a localised affair into a world war.
 
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pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,983
Viewpoint 1
Historian Sir Max Hastings and several other eminent historians place the blame for starting WWI squarely on the government of Imperial Germany (IG). Their reasoning is that IG gave the Austrian-Hungarian government a “blanque check” of support in the developing controversy between A-H and Serbia over the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand. This emboldened A-H to punish Serbia even though this action might involve Russia in a war.
Viewpoint 2
Many other historians believe that the blame for starting WWI should be shared by several nations. Decision making and miscalculations by leaders, ministers, ambassadors, etc. of several European countries led to the conflict. Max Hastings and his like minded ilk scoff at this interpretation.

I am interested to know which of these two viewpoints the Historum posters favor.
Germany also knew that Austria-Hungary had decided on war no matter what Serbia did. The Austrian-Hungarian demands were designed to be unacceptable and no Serbian response would be enough to stop Austria-Hungary invading Serbia. That Germany knew this and still backed Austria-Hungary and concealed this from the other powers. Nothing to see here, there is no crisis. This shorten everyone trying to stop the war to a few days rather than weeks. Thus there was no time to stop the march to war. Germany opposed the usual mechanism for resolving problems, the international conference. The German responses during this time were fundamentally dishonest.

Mobilization did not mean war. Other Nations had mobilized during other Crises it was Germany that jumped in and rushed to declare war on France and Russia starting the Great War,
 
May 2019
289
Northern and Western hemispheres
Germany also knew that Austria-Hungary had decided on war no matter what Serbia did. The Austrian-Hungarian demands were designed to be unacceptable and no Serbian response would be enough to stop Austria-Hungary invading Serbia. That Germany knew this and still backed Austria-Hungary and concealed this from the other powers. Nothing to see here, there is no crisis. This shorten everyone trying to stop the war to a few days rather than weeks. Thus there was no time to stop the march to war. Germany opposed the usual mechanism for resolving problems, the international conference. The German responses during this time were fundamentally dishonest.

Mobilization did not mean war. Other Nations had mobilized during other Crises it was Germany that jumped in and rushed to declare war on France and Russia starting the Great War,
I still believe that blaming WWI solely on Germany is narrow minded.
 
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pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,983
I still believe that blaming WWI solely on Germany is narrow minded.
the Germans conspired with the Austria Hungarians who they knew would invade Serbia no matter what, they knew for a month that Austria-Hungary would declare war. They knew Austria-Hungary would not have done so without their backing. They also knew this Austria declaration of war would provoke a massive serve crsis, and the other nations would have now only a very short time to do something. That Russian choices were to back down or threaten war, The Germans knew what was coming, they knew there was a large possibility the Russians would mobilize..

I would not go so far as solely, But the with the Austrian-Hungarians they were the principal shapers on events, and the Germans could have easily stopped the war, by no backing Austria-Hungary.
 
May 2019
289
Northern and Western hemispheres
the Germans conspired with the Austria Hungarians who they knew would invade Serbia no matter what, they knew for a month that Austria-Hungary would declare war. They knew Austria-Hungary would not have done so without their backing. They also knew this Austria declaration of war would provoke a massive serve crsis, and the other nations would have now only a very short time to do something. That Russian choices were to back down or threaten war, The Germans knew what was coming, they knew there was a large possibility the Russians would mobilize..

I would not go so far as solely, But the with the Austrian-Hungarians they were the principal shapers on events, and the Germans could have easily stopped the war, by no backing Austria-Hungary.
The Germans declared war on Russia and France in the first few days of August 1914 and invaded Belgium on August 4th 1914. Would you say that Britain, France, Serbia, and Russia had any blame for the outbreak of WWI?