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How far was Britain’s declaration of war in 1914 a consequence of her Ententes with France and Russia?

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Introduction

How far was Britain's declaration of war in 1914 a consequence of her Ententes with France and Russia? Whether or not Britain's declaration of war was a consequence of her ententes with France and Russia cannot be answered easily, and other factors will be brought into the argument. The consequences of the Balkan wars during 1912 and 1913 directly led to the outbreak of war. I will be looking at Britain's ententes with France and Russia; Belgium neutrality, Germanys economic threat, Political decisions for Britain and how they contributed to the declaration of war. France and Britain reached a series of agreements in 1904: The Entente Cordial. The agreements settled their old disputes. (There were many conflicts between Britain and France in Africa, and in 1898 these conflicts nearly brought then to a war) The most important agreement was that France recognised Egypt and the Sudan as British sphere of influence and that Britain recognised Morocco as French sphere of influence, and in addition would support each other if their spheres of influence were challenged by a third power. France now had a military alliance with Russia and a friendly agreement with Britain. ...read more.

Middle

obvious from what they have said that they will have to declare war anyway, This idea of Britain obviously knowing about the Schlieffen Plan is supported by Dilke. At the beginning of 1887 Dilke, a well-informed observer of international affairs in an anonymous article pointed out that France and Germany's rivalries were so strong now that if war did break out, Germany in all probability would send troops through Belgium. On the 1 February 1887 Vivian wrote to Salisbury about raising anxiety in Belgium regarding its position to the war and that it was 'inevitable if not imminent' that Germany would send troops through Belgium. There were economic conflicts between Germany and Britain from 1890 onwards. Germany was unified in 1871 and rapidly became the strongest economic and military power in Europe, the products of her industry were competing with British manufacturers everywhere and German merchant ships threatened Britain's carrying trade, this is also looked at for a reason for Britain's declaration of war. Germany was now Britain's main rival as her main concern was to preserve her overseas empire and trade by maintaining a large army, which Germany posed a threat to. ...read more.

Conclusion

Public opinion was also in Britain's interests, which P.Hayes: Modern British Policy has looked upon as; 'the public had become imbued with social Darwinist theories...it was believed that the choice lay between third-rate obscurity and fighting Germany.' This public theory would have pushed Britain towards declaration of war as to keep the public satisfied. The assassination of Francis Ferdinal at Sarajevo in June 1914 was the final event that lead to the war. Austria was still determined to destroy Serbia, and declared July 28 1914. Russia could not be defeated again, and mobilised first, urged by France in fear of German attack, and so on July 30 ordered full mobilization. Germany feared that she would face attacks from both Russia and France. Germany declared war on Russia on August 1 and war on France on August 3. On August the 4th the German troops crossed the Belgium frontier, thus Britain declared war on Germany. Britain's given reason for declaration of war was the invasion of Belgium, thought to be a moral crime. In conclusion Britain's decision to declare war was partly because of her Ententes with France and Russia, but also a decision made upon the fear of loss of supremacy to the rest of Europe and possibly the loss of its publics trust ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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