• 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?

    * 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.

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

    Communication trenches connected these trenches to each other. Each trench was protected by rows of barbed wire up to 30 metres deep and each section of trench would have a fire-step from which a soldier could fire or briefly observe the enemy trenches. Trenches were usually zigzagged so that if the enemy captured one they would not be

  2. 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.

  1. How far was Germany responsible for the outbreak of war in 1914?

    The actions of the Dual Monarchy after the assassination of it's heir can also be construed as confrontational, after they had gained support from Germany they made demands on Serbia, demands that could not possibly be met. Vienna decided, with German backing, that the survival of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in

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

    Also he is speaking in the present tense so it is obvious that what he is talking about is currently going on. There are several things that it does not say in the text, perhaps because Stalin does not know this, or perhaps he is holding back.

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

    Thousands of tonnes of metal were donated. This along with the women workers helped to re-arm Briton and by September 1940 16 Divisions were based in the South East of Britain showing the rate that the re-armament took place. And since he RAF had lost half of its strength in the Battle of France in May-June 1940 they needed all the help they could get.

  2. The Cuban Missile Crisis and the blockade

    let the whole world know about the situation, therefore putting it in the public spotlight. With the whole world paying such close attention to any new developments, Khrushchev and Castro might be hesitant to take the first shot as it might lose them support if a war were to break out.

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