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

Evaluate Baldrick's explanation of the origins of the First World War.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"I heard that it started when a bloke called Archie Duke shot an ostrich because he was hungry." Evaluate Baldrick's explanation of the origins of the First World War. There are few historical debates that have aroused such controversy as that of the causes and origins of World War One. There is an abundance of sources, both reliable and not so, and the blame for the war has been thrown around and indeed at everybody involved. Unlike the Second World War, where Germany is generally accepted as being to blame, WW1 is steeped in disagreement even to this day. Unfortunately for the historian, the blame for the war simply depends on who you ask. Britain, Germany, France, Russia, even capitalism itself have strong arguments against them. A problem one faces when investigating the crisis is that each argument does have its strong points, and, if approached unwarily, each could be accepted as the main cause of the war. Perhaps it is not surprising, then, that Baldrick should become a little confused as to the state of affairs. ...read more.

Middle

Marxist historians state Imperial rivalry and capitalism as the underlying causes of war. I agree with the idea that Imperialism significantly contributed to the war. The fact that there was a fairly hefty rivalry between nations is clear from their aggressive actions overseas, with the major powers such as Britain and Germany scrabbling to obtain and retain significant areas around the globe. The Marxist theory, however, goes on to say that the acquisition of new territory led capitalists to look for new markets abroad, which in turn encouraged governments to obtain more and more land, adding to the tensions between states. They claim that this ultimately led to war. I disagree with this theory, one, because the hostilities in Africa and Asia never truly threatened international war, and two, because I think that business heads at the time were keen to encourage amiable relations between states, with trading between nations truly coming into is own at this time. Fritz Fischer, a prominent German historian, claimed that all of the nation's international diplomacy was ruled by domestic policy. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is an idea that if Britain had made its stance clear during the July crisis in 1914 (we must remember that the triple entente was only an informal agreement, rather than a binding alliance), then Germany would not have gone to war with France. I think that this is plausible, as Germany would certainly have been reluctant to fight such a close rival, but I retain the belief that war would have taken place, if not that month, perhaps not in 1914, but at some point in the near future. So how close was Baldrick to the truth? It could be argued that he is right in saying the war started when Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, but I think it would be wrong to say it started because of his death. The tangled web of alliances in Europe at the time ensured that if one country went down, they all went down. Because of this I believe that if Princip had not shot Ferdinand and his wife, there would have been another incident to act as a catalyst to war. Ben Taylor ...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. Why did tension increase in Europe between 1900 and 1914?

    * Further talks were held to discuss the reductions in conventional forces. But before these reached any conclusions, the Eastern Bloc disintegrated and the Soviet Union did nothing to stop it. The end of Soviet Control and its implication for world affairs * Soviet troops were withdrawn from Lithuania, Latvia

  2. Total War, Britain during the Second World War

    Evacuation had showed just what the lives of some people in Britain were like. Many evacuees were in very poor health. The reports published by the Women's Institute that described the physical state of many evacuees. It revealed that they suffered from infestations of lice and many diseases caused by malnutrition.

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

    Damour was captured, the Phalangists were executed, the civilians were lined up against the walls of their houses and shot, their houses were then dynamited. Many of the young women had been raped and babies had been shot at close range at the back of the head.

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

    Weisgall � Bikini: Underwater Nuclear Theme Park by Phil Trupp � Feature: Lost at Sea by Tad Friend; "Tragic are the people of the lovely Marshall Islands. When America exploded the A-bomb it took their homes, and when it gave comfort it took their ambition, and when it offered only craven solutions it took their hope.

  1. The Origins of the First World War - Sources Questions

    This table does support the idea of an aggressive and warlike Germany; even more so, it demonstrates an aggressive and competing Europe in the years 1880 - 1814. Source one is a speech given by Prince von Bulow, the Chancellor of Germany, in December 1899.

  2. The 'cause' of the First World War.

    These alliances seemed to do nothing but aggravate the situation as Grey noted in 1906 "It is the lees left by Bismarck that still foul the cup,". The alliance system left no freedom of choice or room for manoeuvre when a particular quarrel erupted.

  1. The origins of the 6 day war -June 1967.

    BUILD-UP TO THE 6 DAY WAR Lay in clashes between Syria & Israel from autumn of 1966-spring of 1967. Russians told Egyptians in May 1967 that Israel was preparing to attack Syria. This was false. What was Russian objective? -May have been trying to bolster Syrian government.

  2. Disadvantages of Capitalism.

    welfare system Word Count: 1078 ESSAY #2 'A Balanced Economic State' Two main economic systems have been developed since the Industrial Revolution, these are Capitalism and Socialism. Both systems have advantages and disadvantages, this essay will explain these, and also give my proposals for a mixed system for the whole society of the United Kingdom.

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