• 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. Rationality, Educated Opinion and Peace

    The implication of such a statement in light of guarding the peace is that insofar as the public is not in favour of war, a state and particularly a democratic state will not and cannot adopt war as a policy instrument.

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

    * In March 1905 Kaiser Wilhelm visited Morocco, which had been under French influence. The visit was arranged by the German government and Wilhelm went against his own better judgement. * At Tangier the Kaiser made a speech in which he spoke in favour of an 'open door' policy in Africa.

  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. To What extent was the German Government responsible for the outbreak of the First ...

    The result of this massive expansion to the German naval shield was that it forced a race between the two powers. As Howard points out, each time an expansion was announced, fear of an attack was heightened in the opponent causing 'mutual suspicion' which paved the way for war.

  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 First World War

    When people began volunteering in the British Isles almost 2 million men volunteered. So from the British Empire alone there were just fewer than 3 million men who had volunteered. The Americans did not arrive until May 1918. The Germans and their allies had all surrendered at the beginning of

  1. From rebellion through rivalries to reformation

    But, just as Powell himself was ostracized by "mainstream" politicians, so were Skinheads. Until the National Front, which came into existence during the Seventies to combat immigration, began to receive Skinheads and elevate them in its ranks. In fact, usually "prim and proper" party-functions began to be dotted with flight-jackets,

  2. 'No power wanted war, but all were willing to risk one.' Discuss this ...

    Whilst the intention of the decision-makers, essentially a group known as the Common Ministerial Council, was to keep the war local, all were well aware of the possibility of Russian intervention. In a meeting of the ministers on the 7th July the precise policy of the Austrian government was decided.

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