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

The First World War was the result of a badly mismanaged Balkan crisis in the summer of 1914 rather than the product of long standing rivalries between the great powers" Assess the truth of this opinion

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Laura Hodgson "The First World War was the result of a badly mismanaged Balkan crisis in the summer of 1914 rather than the product of long standing rivalries between the great powers" Assess the truth of this opinion on the causes of the outbreak of World War One. Previous to the Balkan Crisis in the summer of 1914 there were many incidents that could have easily lead to war. There is no doubt that the crisis in the summer of 1914 was a factor but was it completely to blame for the outbreak of the First World War? In this essay I will look at events leading up to World War One and the long standing rivalries between the main powers and decide whether the statement above has an element of truth in it or not. The visit of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife was a "catalogue of errors" in the words of Graham Darby. The day of the visit was Serbia's national day, this being significant because it would have caused immense aggravation and the Balkans were already "a seething cauldron of discontent" according to Michael Gibson. ...read more.

Middle

Ironically the French and the Germans were not close to war as France gave Germany a small strip of territory in Africa and it was yet another diplomatic defeat for Germany. Anglo-German relations were yet again worsening and the British and the French made new naval and military agreements. In both Moroccan crises the Kaiser was "pushed into confrontation reluctantly" says Graham Darby, for example in 1911 he had to be persuaded to send a gunboat to Agadir. This could be one of the reasons why the two Moroccan crises did not lead to war. However another factor is the economic side of things. The German government was did not know what the public opinion was and they feared that a British blockade would bring economic chaos. International relations changed due to alliances that were made. "All the great powers felt threatened" according to Michael Gibson, so forming an alliance would make the powers feel more secure if war did break out. The first alliance that affected relations was the Franco-Russian Alliance of 1894. This was aimed specifically at Germany as France would support Russia if it was attacked by Germany or attacked by another country supported by Germany and vica versa. ...read more.

Conclusion

That was certainly the case at the time of Versailles and there was a consensus that Germany started the war deliberately and they were made to accept the Article 231, the "war guilt clause". However the German society rejected the defeat and R.J.W Evans believes that German revisionism was "closely associated with the rejection of the so-called war guilt clause of the Peace Treaty". In conclusion, I think that the immediate cause of the outbreak of war was definitely the July crisis in the summer of 1914. However the crucial decisions made by the leading figure were in fact influenced by the rise in international tension from about 1905 which was partly generated by the German policy of Weltpolitik. It's obvious to say that between 1905 and 1913 no-one is authority actually wanted a war and Britain in the actual crisis of the summer of 1914 was neither planning a war nor even sure about what to do in the event of one whereas the Germans as early as 8th July 1912 had discussions about a possible war. The outbreak of war was not a result of a badly mismanaged Balkan crisis in the summer of 1914, it was the final straw of long-standing rivalries. Word Count: 1,971 ...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. Marked by a teacher

    How effectively had Japan modernized itself by 1914?

    4 star(s)

    After the Meiji Restoration, the oligarchs devoted the country in developing the industrialization and tax system. Japan was hesitant in building factories. They built small ones to produce military supplies and light consumer goods.

  2. Superpower Relations 1945-90

    * Khrushchev wanted to prove that the Soviet Communism was better. He wanted to compete with the USA throughout the world. o He poured money into sport in the Soviet Union to try to win as many Olympic gold medals as possible.

  1. Why did tension increase in Europe between 1900 and 1914?

    * The Austrian High Command was determined to deal with Serbia once and for all and looked for an excuse to crush it by military action. * The opportunity came in 1914, when the Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austrian throne was due to visit the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo to inspect units of the Austrian army.

  2. Why Was The Great War Not Over By Christmas 1914?

    This was due to the fact that if 90% of the troops had been sent to invade France through Holland then Paris would have been captured and then the French would have surrendered. Also, the Russians had mobilised their troops in half the expected time that the Germans thought they would.

  1. The Battle of Britain as a turning point in the Second World War.In the ...

    Isoroku Yamamoto was the man in charge of the Japanese warships in that area and knew most of the troops at Pearl Harbour would be asleep. 350 bombers were used in the attack and it took six aircraft carriers to carry them all.

  2. Account for the rise and fall of the Great powers in the 20th Century

    Russia had withdrawn into itself and had left the war early. This and its move to communism made it a pariah state as far as the other great powers were concerned and it was not invited along with the Big Four to draw up the Treaty of Versailles.

  1. The Cuban Missile Crisis and the blockade

    Turkey's defences for the safety of Americans, or to keep strong international ties but risk ruining any chance at a diplomatic solution to the crisis. The diplomatic solution was an alternative with many different advantages and disadvantages. In terms of its value, it was considered the most peaceful solution possible

  2. Why did the Central Powers lose the First World War?

    Meanwhile the British blockade another successful attempt by the British to win the war, and it had a significant effect on the Germans, which were denied from having a number of necessary recourses to fight efficiently. The battles fought by each of the great nations in the First World War

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