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

The political tension's in the late 1800's and early 1900's together with Germany's willingness to go to war, made a European war practically unavoidable.

Extracts from this document...


"We do not say this war is declared yet, but we believe it is inevitable," were the words of a Serbian government official during an interview in 1912. What he, however, did not know was the extent and lasting ramifications of this unavoidable war. While earlier conflicts in the Balkans had been regionally solved, the 1914 crisis was to be different. It was due to the buildup of all social, economic and political tensions between Europe's imperialistic nations and the willingness, especially that of Germany's, to engage in military conflict that the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand allowed for the conflict to escalate. While there was strong rivalry between the Imperial powers to obtain their economic interests both sides of the Alliance system saw the benefits of a war they thought they were bound to win. This combined with new nationalist ideas produced throughout the 19th centaury allowed the situation to soar into a ferocious war. The political tension's in the late 1800's and early 1900's together with Germany's willingness to go to war, made a European war practically unavoidable. With the Alliance system in place putting Germany, Italy and Austria-Hungary on one side, and France, Great Britain and Russia on the other a war between any of these nations would likely mean the others would get involved. ...read more.


The economic ambitions of Imperial Europe may also not be forgotten when analyzing the causes of World War I. France and Britain being the predominant forces in Africa left little for Germany, which created many tensions. As seem in the Morocco Crisis in 1905, there was great rivalry between the nations to keep a firm economic grip on their colonies. While in itself the Morocco conflict had little importance on the international stage, it did almost certainly affect public opinion (D. Steward) Wilhelm's militaristic and expiations Germany dating back from Bismarck and the creation of Germany in 1871 had adopted the policy of "Welt Politik", stating that Germany must move from a continental to world power through colonialism and navel expansion. Germany claiming the wanted "their place in the sun" however knew this would be very difficult to achieve without military action, "The war which could - and many say must - result from this situation of conflict would according to the general accepted opinion in our country have the aim of breaking England's world domination in order to lay free the necessary colonial possessions for the central European states who need to expand." ...read more.


The dispute over Alsace-Lorraine coming from the Franco-Prussian war was a major factor in German-French relations. Even within the population, there were conflicts on a social level which certainly added to the inevitability of the war. Strong nationalism caused ever widening social rifts and hostility among many nations which only added to a European conflict. The growing pressure of the social, economic and political issues made European conflict unavoidable. That the war would claim so many casualties and last a long four years was however foreseen by very few people. Europe's military build-up and complex alliance system made a local war almost impossible without the interference of other nations. Even if Germany didn't push and plan for war, they did certainly see the benefits and welcomed the ideas of altering the balance of imperial power in Europe. With a European war close to inevitable, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the perfect spark for a conflict that had been building up for many years. World Count: 1,190 Sources: > The Great War, Sources and Evidence - David Steward, James Frizgerald, Alf Pickard > Challenging History: Europe 1890 - 1990 - John Traynor > Mastering Modern History - Norman Lowe > Imperial Germany: The Riddle of 1914 -John C.G. R�hl > The Great Debate: The Historians' Verdict 1 ...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?

    A secret society 'Narodna Obrana' was set up, which included generals and politicians among its members. * This organisation was a front for the Black Hand, a terrorist group, which began to assassinate Austrian officials. * Austrian hostility to Serbia grew when the Serbs almost doubled the size of their country after the two Balkan wars from 1912 to 1914.

  2. Analysis of Political Cartoons

    Thus figure 1.2 is depicting an extreme geopolitical view, which is probably based on Chinese economic strength rather than overall world power. This essay also believes that as figure 1.2 is from a developing world viewpoint, it is depicting a desired hope for opposition to US hegemony rather than illustrating

  1. What were the main issues relating to Germany that caused Cold War tension?

    agriculture, Britain and America had to import food supplies from the home countries to feed previously industrialised and densely populated West Germany. The implementation of the welfare system in the United Kingdom was draining the British Treasury and this payment for food for the German people caused it to struggle further.

  2. American History.

    recognition as an independent nation and (2) firm national boundaries from the Mississippi to the Atlantic and from Canada to Florida. - Of their non-essential goals, they didn't get the one about (!) annexing Canada [you think] but did gain access to the fisheries in Newfoundland [they had requested access to all British fisheries in Canada].

  1. Japanese pre-war imperialistic activities from the late 1890s to 1945

    Under such a new policy, civilian governors of Taiwan were appointed. Since 1920, the Japanese Empire began to phase in a public policy of " Industrial Japan Proper and agricultural Taiwan" to meet the needs of the growing population in Japan.

  2. How does Ballard use the different nationalities within 'Empire of the Sun' to convey ...

    would be usually upset and more respectful towards the dead, regardless of their nationality. Jim's detachment from reality is once again demonstrated. Dr. Lockwood's party shows a strong contrast between the predominant nationalities within the novel. The British are indulging in extravagant parties, as a war is occurring.

  1. To what extent was the adoption of a scorched earth policy after 1900 by ...

    Therefore, can J.C. Fuller's analysis of the Boer War as "The Last Of The Gentlemen's Wars" with it's images that manifest an element of chivalry be accurate. It would appear that despite the evidence of destruction and suffering caused by the actions of the British, I come back to my previous point that

  2. Evaluation of key sources to address the question of increased tension

    the US for heightening the tension of the situation and telling his nation that the US are breaking international law. The issue of Gary Powers and the invasion of Soviet airspace was simply one of the factors which increased tension.

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