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How far did the Anglo German Naval Race contribute to a deterioration in Anglo-German relations?

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Introduction

How far did the Anglo German Naval Race contribute to a deterioration in Anglo-German relations? Anglo-German Relations reached an all time low during the period from 1871-1914, due to the many events that occurred within that period. The main event that can be considered to have contributed to a deterioration in Anglo-German relations was the Anglo German Naval Race. Motivated by Wilhelm II's enthusiasm for an expanded German navy, Grand Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz championed four Naval Laws from 1898 to 1912 and from 1903 to 1910, the Royal Navy embarked on its own massive expansion to keep ahead of the Germans. This competition came to focus on the revolutionary new ships based on the Dreadnought, which was launched in 1906. However there were also other factors that could be considered to have contributed to a deterioration in Anglo-German relations. The Entente Cordial, the Algeciras Conference and Britain's relationship with Russia were key events during this period. The most important factor that contributed to a deterioration in Anglo-German relations was the German advances in the Anglo-German Naval Race. It originated from the Foreign Policy, Weltpolitik, implicated in Germany by Kaiser Wilhelm in 1897, that pushed for the expansion of they naval power in Europe. ...read more.

Middle

Therefore, it is evident to say that the Anglo German Naval Race was the main contribution to a deterioration in Anglo-German relations. However, there were also other factors, apart from the Anglo German Naval Race, that contributed to a deterioration in Anglo-German relations. The most important factor was the Entente Cordiale. The Entente cordiale was a series of agreements signed on the 8th April 1904 between Britain and France. Agreements such as Britain had to stay out of Egypt and France was allowed freedom in Morocco produced a closer relationship between Britain and France. However, Germany viewed the Entente Cordiale as a deliberate attack against German development and was particularly antagonised by this decision since it had been made without her consent or consultation. Britain, however, argued that the Entente with France was not made to deliberately antagonise Germany but that there were more predominant motives. Britain claimed that the alliance was to settle disputes between them and France and ultimately reduce the threat of war breaking out in Europe. It can therefore be seen that the Entente Cordiale was not a deliberate direct attack against Germany, although, despite these ulterior motives, Germany still opposed the Entente and in protest, initiated the first Moroccan Crisis in 1905 which further worsened Anglo-German relations whiles strengthening the Anglo-French Entente. ...read more.

Conclusion

All countries, with the exception of Austria-Hungary, supported France, and even Italy who were supposed to be a member of the Triple Alliance, had supported French claims in Morocco. For Germany the conference had had an adverse effect, instead of exposing a weak, non-military Entente, with the intensions of splitting it up, it had encouraged military conversations to take place between Britain and France. This ultimately provoked Germany to make a distinct change in their foreign policy; to be more aggressive against the Entente .Therefore, it is clear to say that the Anglo German Naval Race was not the main contribution to a deterioration in Anglo-German relations. From analysing the factors above, it is clear to say that the Anglo German Naval Race was the main contribution to a deterioration in Anglo-German relations. This is because Anglo-German relations began worsening before the events of the Entente Cordial and the Moroccan Crisis in 1904 and 1906. Relations began to deteriorate after Germany began the expansion of their naval strength with the key objective of increasing the size of their empire. Britain, as a consequence, felt threatened and began retaliating with the Naval Defence Act which enabled the "Two Power Standard". This was the start of the Anglo German Naval Race which would continued for many years, and ultimately deteriorated Anglo-German relations to a point where War was the only option. ...read more.

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