• 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. 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.

  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. Total War, Britain during the Second World War

    they were facing at all times and to do all they could to help the war effort. Posters, wireless broadcasts and films asked them to save all that they could. One piece of coal less a day, one potato less for a meal, only five inches of water in a

  2. Why was Germany Defeated in the First World War?

    Many of the German people did not realise that this was not a just war. The Schlieffen Plan had been developed some years before hand by German generals proving that this was not the last resort. War could have been avoided by diplomacy however, Germany, thinking that they were economically

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

    (About 90% of the troops were originally going to be sent to do this). This would leave only a few troops to hold the French attack on Germany in Alsace and Lorraine. However, the plan was changed in 1914 by General Moltke; he decided to only send about 60% of

  2. 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.

  1. Superpower Relations 1945-90

    * Elections were held in 1948, but the Soviets refused to accept the new Nationalist government under Syngman Ree. Instead it established a communist government in the north, led by Kim Il Sung * The communist takeover of China (Sept '49)

  2. The Prelude to the 1975 War and the Cairo Agreement.

    His men, most of them professional and well-equipped soldiers, emptied or besieged the Christian towns and villages. It cannot be told how many people they killed, only it is certain they amounted to thousands. And as thousands more fled the country, Lieutenant al-Khatib came near to satisfying his highly publicized

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