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

German Foreign Policy - To what extent was the German Foreign Policy responsible for Britain's retreat from splendid isolation? Discuss with reference to the period ending in 1907.

Extracts from this document...


German Foreign Policy To what extent was the German Foreign Policy responsible for Britain's retreat from splendid isolation? Discuss with reference to the period ending in 1907. German foreign policy in the Wilhelmine Era (1890-1914) turned away from Bismarck's cautious diplomacy of the 1871-90 period. It was also marked by a shrill aggressiveness. Abrupt, clumsy diplomacy was backed by increased weaponry production, most notably the creation of a large fleet of battleships capable of challenging the British navy. This new eagerness to fight alarmed the rest of Europe, and by about 1907 German policy makers had succeeded in creating Bismarck's nightmare: a Germany "encircled" by an alliance of hostile neighbours- in this case Russia, France, and Britain--in an alliance known as the 'Triple Entente'. This, among other reasons, affected the status of Britain in foreign affairs making them emerge from their 'splendid isolation' policy and becoming more of an active power in Europe. I will consider the factors which brought Britain out of splendid isolation and to what extent was Germany to blame for it. The first brick to fall out of Bismarck's carefully crafted structure was Germany's Reinsurance Treaty with Russia. The German Emperor, William (Wilhelm II) ...read more.


Two crises over Morocco, in 1905 and 1911 was a plan by the Germans in order to show Britain that France was the wrong country to ally with however, this solitarily drove France and Britain closer together and made for a tense international atmosphere. These actions by the Germans, for naval expansion, were immediately looked up by Britain. They now were afraid that their two power standard navy could be challenged. Britain had an excellent navy however it had a very poor army and on the contrary, German had an excellent army however a poor navy. The objectives set out by the Navy Bill would allow Germany to have a formidable navy and combined with the great army would be a super power in Europe as no country would be able to match its military supremacy. Whatever the motivation for Weltpolitik, it was inevitable that the Kaiser's plans to transform the international status of his Empire would impact heavily on the other Powers. This was particularly true for Britain. Britain had the world's largest empire which, by 1914, covered a quarter of the world's land surface area and contained a third of its population. Britain was the world's major industrial country and led the world in coal and textile production. ...read more.


In 1902, Britain signed the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, its first military alliance since the Crimean War. Both parties recognised the special interests of each other in China and Japan's interests in Korea. Each side declared that it would stay neutral if either side was involved in a war with another power, and agreed to enter a war if either side became involved in a war with more that one power. Japan signed the alliance because it feared Russian influence in Korea and north China. Britain wanted to use the Japanese fleet to protect British interests in the Far East so that the Royal Navy could be re-deployed to the North Sea to meet the German naval threat. Britain stayed neutral in the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-05 and Japan joined Britain in the First World War against Germany and Austria-Hungary. The Anglo-Russian Entente of 1907 was a colonial agreement over spheres of influence in Persia, now known as Iran. Even after the agreement, Anglo-Russian relations remained tense because of Afghanistan and the Straits. The change in the German foreign policy was partially responsible for the withdrawal of the British splendid isolation policy however, it was not the only cause. Other factors, such as Boer War, South African War, and other countries, such as France, Russia, Japan, also were liable for the departure from the British policy. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE International relations 1900-1939 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 GCSE International relations 1900-1939 essays

  1. To what extent was the Alliance System responsible for the outbreak of the First ...

    'we must be prepared to put armies of millions in the field and maintain them for several years.' In addition, politicians and the majority of the population were willing to go to war, mainly because they needed to release all the tensions that had been building in Europe.

  2. How successful was Bismarckas Chancellor in his foreign policies between 1871-1890?

    Was he successful? To a certain extent he was, as I will explain later in the essay, but not for a long time because after his dismissal in 1890 the alliance with Russia was dissolved which meant Russia had to turn to France and that would eventually split up Europe

  1. Why and to what extent did Britain abandon Splendid Isolation under the Conservatives

    In 1895 Salisbury was now getting old at 66 and was becoming under increasing pressure from his cabinet ministers in particular Chamberlain. The cabinet ministers wanted a more positive policy, but Salisbury did all he could to avoid it. 1900 was a turning point in Britain's policy of 'splendid isolation'

  2. "Castlereagh's foreign policy 1815-1822 was more successful than Canning's foreign policy 1822-1827" - Explain ...

    in congresses, so France was admitted to what became the Quintuple Alliance. The Congress of Troppau Castlereagh refused to attend the Congress of Troppau 1820 as he knew would be a response to revolts in Spain, Portugal, Piedmont and Naples.

  1. Why did Great Britain move away from Splendid Isolation?

    Challenge from France and Russia on Africa and India was beginning to come in the form of direct threats. Russian was beginning to challenge the North western frontier of India from Asia and France expansion in Indo-China was also beginning to represent a problem.

  2. War led to totalitarianism, and totalitarianism in turn led to war. Comment on the ...

    In the Ruhr the Germans resorted to passive resistance to the French, but the government had to issue more marks and print paper notes in order to pay back the workers. This resulted in rampant inflation. Inflation wiped out pensions, savings, and insurance.

  1. Who Was Responsible for The Tragedy at Gallipoli in 1915?

    As a result, he rushed into a confrontation, without considering what forces were necessary to win, and he did not look at the consequences of failure. Many critics have criticized his "strategy". With Gallipoli, he had no real strategy, and his knowledge of tactics was virtually non-existent.

  2. Explain how the failure of collective security and German foreign policy goals and achievements ...

    Failure to provide righteous political intervention sparked the war when Hitler disregarded the League?s jurisdiction and confidently invaded Poland in 1939. Thus, the failure of collective security will be discussed to investigate the outbreak of the Second Great War in addition to the correlation of Hitler?s aggressive foreign policies.

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