• 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. Superpower Relations 1945-90

    o He put the first satellite, Sputnik, into space in 1957 and the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin, in 1961. o He offered foreign aid to the new countries in Asia & Africa, e.g. Vietnam. o He began to build more and more weapons, contributing to the military arms race.

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

    It carried ten twelve-inch guns and had a top speed of twenty-one knots. The German navy replied by building 'Dreadnoughts' of its own and a Naval Arms Race began. * From 1906 to 1914 the British built twenty-nine Dreadnoughts and the Germans built seventeen.

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

    Moving on, Social and Economical pressure played a noteworthy part for the loss of the Central Powers in the First World War. An anti-war mood was increasing in each of the nations involved in the war because of different factors and mainly inflation.

  2. How Significant were the Normandy landings in Defeating Germany in World War Two?

    It tells us he is speaking personally via telegram to Churchill, from this we can infer that as he is writing in the form of a telegram he may not want to mention a few things. He obviously will not criticise Churchill's operation, as they are allies.

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

    However it was the capture of one of the enigma machines by the HMS Griffin in May 1940. Thanks to this, the newly formed, 'convoy' system of travel and the code-breakers of Bletchley park, the German U-boats were no longer as good a weapon as they were at the start of the war.

  2. The Cuban Missile Crisis and the blockade

    it had the reputation.xli This was also a major negative effect however, as the US was worried that it might be seen as weak, indecisive, and incapable of defending itself. This is because people would get the impression that the US refused to act when confronted with a threat.

  1. Total War, Britain during the Second World War

    Why did the Germans bomb British cities? The Blitz began after Hitler gave up his attempt to invade Britain in September 1940; this had been called 'Operation Sealion'. In fact it is very doubtful that the Germans ever really considered invading Britain.

  2. 'Propaganda Was an Essential Weapon In the War Against Germany’ - To ...

    The British government were actually playing the proverbial double-edged sword by not only raising morale, confidence and support for the war effort and money for the tank and the war effort on the home front, they were also giving the British public a belief, a belief that made them feel

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