• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Assess Critically Three Causes of World War I.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Assess Critically Three Causes of World War I. World War I and its consequences have dominated European history since 1914. Because of the bitter controversy over the post-war peace treaties, the origins of the war continued to be an issue of utmost political importance in the years to come. The Great War had its roots in 1870 in the grand expansion and uncontrolled ambitions of Bismarck and the new Germany (Wolfson et al 1997). Imperialism, which began to emerge around the turn of the 20th century also played a decisive role. Fights over the colonies contributed to the establishment of complex set of international alliances, which helped to destabilize the European balance of power and when combined with the third factor - instability in the Balkan region - inevitably sparked off the First World War. Besides the three main causes, they were also other conditions, like the arms race between Germany and Britain, a process of social-economic modernization in Europe, the increasing importance of international prestige, the underestimation of the counterpart's power, which also contributed to the outbreak of the war. As Joll (1990) ...read more.

Middle

Germany, which had been united as recently as 1871, and within one generation had become an awesome industrial and military power, posed real danger to the British pre-eminence and mastery in Europe. However the most dangerous acceleration came in the field of naval expansion. Since Britain held her navy to be vital, any attempt to rival it by another power, particularly Germany would meet a spirited response (Wolfson et al 1997 ). Britain also feared that Germany and Russia might make common cause, for instance in the Middle East (Stone 1973). However there were many other signs that the alliance system was overheating in the years before 1914. Morocco - rich in mineral and agricultural wealth - on the northern coast of Africa had become a central feature of the world politics because it combined a variety of aims and interest (Wolfson et al 1997). It provided an opportunity for colonial expansion, and also to enhance European aims in relative safety. By 1900 several European countries were eager to exploit the resources of Morocco, particularly Germany and France coveted the place. In 1904, in the 'Entente Cordial' Britain had recognised French interest over the country. ...read more.

Conclusion

Imperialism, the system of international alliances, and the rising nationalism. However, the ambitions and strategies of the Great Powers, colonial rivalry, awakening national pride were also decisive factors. Imperialism fuelled conflicts among the Great Powers, particularly when it threatened the participants' pride, and interest. But it also led to the frustrations of ethnic minorities, which in turn sparkled violent reactions. The Morocco crisis increased the sense of international insecurity and intensified the pressure on states to rearm. The Balkan Wars strengthened the position of the Balkan powers, which challenged the plans of Russia and Austria-Hungary for domination. Each of these clashes had the potential to ignite a European war and while none solely contributed to the outbreak of war, they certainly assisted in the creation of a complex series of international alliances geared towards mutual protection against mutual enemies. B I B L I O G R A P H Y Eksteins, M. 1989. Rites of Spring. The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age. London: Bantam Press. Joll, J. 1990. Europe since 1870. London: Penguin. Gildea, R. 1996. Barricades and Borders. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Merriman, J. 1996. The History of Europe Vol 2. London: Norton. Stone, N. 1973. Europe Transformed 1878-1919. London: Fontana. Wolfson, R. Laver, J. 1997. Years of Change. Europe 1890-1945. London: Hodder and Stoughton. 1 Sylvia Palmai ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. WHAT WERE THE CAUSES OF THE YOM KIPPUR WAR OF 1973?

    However this was undermined at the time due to it was British mandate at the time. However, one knows that in the future it would come back and haunt the Jews; which is mentioned in the source "Israel and the Arabs".

  2. Why did tension increase in Europe between 1900 and 1914?

    But the tanks were too few in number, only eighteen altogether, and they broke down all too easily on the muddy battlefield. Much more successful was the use of tanks at Cambrai on 20 November 1917. 380 tanks broke completely through the German lines, but the troops were unable to follow this up.

  1. This graduation paper is about U.S. - Soviet relations in Cold War period. Our ...

    put aside because they could not be dealt with in a world controlled by Cold War alliances. In some ways, America seemed to face the greatest moment of possibility in all of postwar history as the decade of the 1990S began.

  2. Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice is a tale of love and marriage in ...

    The Guatemalan adventure can be seen as another of the factors that lead the American government to believe that it could handle Casto. Before the Second World War ended, a coup in Guatemala saw the rise to power of Juan Jose Ar�valo.

  1. Superpower Relations 1945-90

    democracy, its desire to spread Communism, and its readiness to threaten death and destruction to achieve its ambition. o After previous humiliations over the Berlin Wall and the Bay of Pigs, Kennedy was under a lot of pressure to 'score a victory' over the USSR.

  2. The Prelude to the 1975 War and the Cairo Agreement.

    Hit and run attacks by Hizballah and ambushes against the Israelis and the SLA caused high casualties and in 1999 the SLA were no longer able to maintain their positions in and around Jezzine and so in the last few days of May 1999 they withdrew.

  1. The Cold War was a big rivalry that developed after World War II.

    Each country sought to decrease the response time in their nuclear defense system. It was essential to place missiles as close to the other country as possible. The United States put missiles in Turkey and the USSR tried to place missiles in Cuba.

  2. To What extent was Germany Responsible for the outbreak of World War One?

    they could destroy the British fleet or that Britain would be inclined to avoid conflict with Germany and would open favourable negotiations. This naval strategy was totally misconceived both as an instrument for securing world power and as a weapon with which to bully Britain into diplomatic negotiations.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work