• 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. Total War, Britain during the Second World War

    US newsreels showed the people of London getting on with the job after nights of destruction. The government attempts to suppress the truth about the effects of bombing were part of a larger attempt to control the spreading of news during the war.

  2. Disadvantages of Capitalism.

    This will lead to homelessness, slums, disease, etc. Forced migration will also increase these problems in large cities and towns. The people who cannot make any money in the countryside will move to the towns and cities with the belief of finding work and making money.

  1. After the collapse of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, the world ...

    But must this anarchy be explained through environmental concerns that increase the misery of the poor part of the world and cause social unrest, eventually producing an anarchic society or can it be explained by other ideological or cultural factors.

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

    This becomes apparent when we look at the July crisis; each country involved had pressure from an ally who felt obliged to respond in whatever manner without limitation. This is apparent when the Germans offered reassurance even if it meant war with the 'blank cheque' to Austria, and the Russian

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

    -May have been trying to bolster Syrian government. -May have hoped that fears about Israeli intentions would draw Egypt & Syria into a defence pact -USSR did not believe that Israel would actually respond to Egyptian action by going to war -US would restrain her. NASSER responded by sending troops into Sinai & on 16th May demanded the withdrawal of UNEF force.

  2. The Origins of War.

    It's true that Hitler was wicked and vicious individual and that saw a war as a perfect test or trail for 'the survival of the fittest' (Darwinism) and clean Europe of the defects with 'his' Aryan Race surviving and winning the war.

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

    Meanwhile, the Israeli Air Force launched raids against the Palestinian refugee camps in retaliation for PLO terrorist attacks in Western Europe. On April 10, 1973, Israeli commandos infiltrated Beirut in a daring raid and attacked Palestinian command centres in

  2. American Capitalism.

    As the market swelled some people knew what was inevitable. Once they had told a few people, and those people had told a few more the rumour of a crash only needs a little time before it actually occurs. The stock market relies on the trust of its investors, be

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