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

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Introduction

COURSEWORK ASSIGNMENT PART B (c 1500 words) How far was Britain's declaration of war in 1914 a consequence of her ententes with Russia and France? Whether Britain's involvement in the World War I was complete consequence of her ententes with Russia and France is debateable as there were various other factors influencing the war. Diverse historians believe that it was due to the ententes that Britain declared war. In 1904, the Entente Cordial was signed between Britain and France, and shortly in 1907, the Triple Entente signed Russia, France, and Britain together uniting them in case of war. Many historians have suggested that Britain entered into the ententes due to the rising apparent 'power' of Germany. It seems to reveal that the British seemed to have forced themselves into an entente with France due to the economic and industrial pressure, which Germany had indirectly placed on her. This emphasises the fact that Britain seemed to take the Germanic threat seriously enough to push her into the ententes with France and Russia, so why then would she not fully back up her allies against her rivals, ultimately suggesting that the British where wholly prepared to attack her antagonists by signing the ententes in 1904 and 1907. ...read more.

Middle

Thus showing the vulnerability of the entente and that Britain considered herself to be aloof from Russia and France. When it seemed that the Germanic power was threatening the British dominance, the fear and insecurity seemed to be highlighted in the British people, press, and media. P. Hayes (Modern British Foreign Policy-The twentieth century 1890-1939) states 'Britain became involved because it was the consensus of opinion that her interests and the balance of power were threatened by Germany'. The introduction of the British naval rule were set to safeguard the British from any threats as a world power, but as a clear defiance to this the Germans launched the Weltpolitik in 1897, threatening Britain. It is implied that Britain joined the ententes due to her self- interests; to defend her colonies against her rival- Germany, as the alliance system between France, Russia, and Britain surrounded Germany shifting the balance of power, blurring temporarily the prospects of war. The increasing fear of Germany is illustrated in a memo by the German Ambassador in December 1904, 'up till now England has maintained no fleet in home waters equal to the German one'. Again the British fear, and anxiety is depicted by Robert Wolfson and John Laver who state that '...Britain were considerably alarmed by Germany's expansion in the late nineteenth century'... ...read more.

Conclusion

were too terrible to contemplate'. The conclusions in which various historians have concluded vary at different lengths. Particular historians will claim that France and Russia was the main reason for why Britain declared war in 1914 but certain historians will state that various other factors influenced Britain's decision for war. However, selected historians believe that other factors are equally important as the ententes in Britain's declaration of war. One can only speculate that if the ententes were not signed would there have been war in 1914 or go on further to convey that would Britain be in the war. With or without ententes the situation in Europe was reaching a breaking point, a point in which a war would perhaps have shattered the 'peace'. As numerous historians have, the balance of evidence for both aspects of an argument can be tilted. Due to this when viewing historic sources one must be sceptical of the true message of the source, as it may be concealed. To conclude, various historians believe that the declaration of war is not solely a result of her ententes as other factors influenced it. By looking at the situation in Europe whether the ententes were signed or not there would have been an outbreak of war. Therefore, war was not a complete consequence of the alliance systems. TEMITOPE FATUROTI TEMITOPE FATUROTI ...read more.

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