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Causes of World War 1.

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Introduction

Causes of World War 1 The Kruger Telegram (1896) In 1896 Cecil Rhodes in an armed attack, using British South African police tried to start an uprising in Johannesburg against the Boers. This was an illegal act against the Transvaal state because thousands of Germans were active in the commercial life of the country. This meant that the Germans were very concerned about the fate of the Boer republic. They went about showing their concern in a very clumsy way. After Berlin had been told that the raid had not been approved by the British government, the matter had should have been closed. However the German foreign minister invited Russian and French co-operation against Britain. By doing this he hoped that this pressure would provoke Britain to join the triple alliance. However France and Russia refused. The Kaiser then took policy into his own hands and sent a telegram to Kruger, the Boer president, supporting the independence of the Transvaal state. This message caused outrage in Britain because the Transvaal state was not a fully independent state. The Transvaal state had also accepted British control over its external relations in 1884. The British press as a result treated the Kaiser's action as a massive interference in British's imperial affairs. ...read more.

Middle

In the summer of 1905 Germany provoked a crisis over Morocco. Germany's main objective was to inflict a diplomatic defeat on France. The Germans didn't want France to make Morocco part of their sphere of influence because German commercial interests would suffer. The Kaiser personally went to morocco claiming that his intention was to uphold the independence of morocco. He claimed that Germany should have been consulted on such matters. Then in mid April the Germans held an international conference to review the question of morocco. Germany based this demand on an international agreement signed in 1880, guaranteeing full commercial freedom in morocco. The French foreign minister had also not tried to negotiate with Germany, as he had with other countries. The Germans thought that if they let themselves be walked all over now by France then it would give of the impression that Germany was weak. If Germany had just wanted compensation then it could have just gone through normal diplomatic channels. It was its brusque unorthodox methods that caused unease. The French and British governments were confused by Germany's behaviour. This is understandable because Germany provoked the crisis without knowing what they wanted to gain form it. Germany's hidden aim was to weaken the Anglo-French entente. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Germans were not in the wrong they argued that French officials were obstructing German economic activities in Morocco. German foreign minister grossly mishandled the situation. He attempted to impress the German public by gaining a lot of land at the same time he also tried to get French goodwill by accepting a protectorate over morocco. But the amount of land he demanded was too much. He demanded the whole of the French Congo. After he demanded too much the German foreign minister made it impossible for a quick and easy settlement to be made. In July Lloyd George made a statement saying that Britain had no intention of being ignored in any agreement over Morocco. The crisis now became a huge Anglo German confrontation. Britain over reacted by putting its fleet on alert. In the end the crisis was ended and Germany got only two meagre strips of territory on the French Congo. To conclude France and Germany got into a confrontation after France took over morocco. Germany asked for too much in compensation as a result Britain intervened turning the crisis into a confrontation between Britain and Germany the Germans got a small amount of territory in the French Congo and the crisis was over. This is a very important incident as a background cause to World War 1. William Woollett ...read more.

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