• 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 a result of Anglo-German rivalry. How true is this statement?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The First World War was a result of Anglo-German rivalry. How true is this statement? When Bismarck resigned in 1890, and Kaiser Wilhelm II took over, rivalry was increased between Britain and Germany. This was largely due to Wilhelm II's more aggressive foreign policy, and desire to build up the German Navy, which threatened Britain. This provided the basis for long-term problems, which led to World War 1, however there were many other causes. For example the alliances, the Schleiffen plan, The Eastern Question, German Aggression, the two Moroccan Crises and Sarajevo, which were all, factors in World War 1's outbreak in 1914. The origin of Anglo-German rivalry lies in the substantial differences in the foreign policies of Bismarck and Kaiser Wilhelm II. Between 1879 and 1890, Bismark wanted Germany to have a large empire, however he tried not to annoy Britain, as he knew that this was the only country he had to be afraid of. However when Bismarck argued with Wilhem II and resigned in 1890, this left decisions in the hands of the Kaiser, who had a far more aggressive foreign policy. ...read more.

Middle

This agreement gave Russia control of Afghanistan, on the condition that it did not interfere in India. It also split Iran between the two countries, and although there was no formal alliance, it identified Germany as the enemy. This system of Alliances and ententes is largely responsible for creating a World War from a war that may otherwise have been contained to the Balkans. It meant that when Germany declared war on Russia, France also entered the war, Austria was involved due to its alliance with Germany, and when German troops entered Belgium in accordance to the Schlieffen plan, Britain was forced to join the war as well due to it's alliance with Belgium, thus creating an actual world war. The Schlieffen Plan was another of the major causes of World War 1. It was, in theory, the perfect solution to Germany's problems, however in practise this was most certainly not the case. The Schlieffen plan theoretically meant that Germany would attack France, and defeat her, before Russia was ready for war, thus avoiding war on both countries at the same time. Unfortunately there were 3 major flaws in this plan. ...read more.

Conclusion

Wilhelm was afraid that France was going to completely take over Morocco rather than simply control it, so sent a warship to the port of Agadir. The British then believed that Germany was trying to build a naval base in Agadir and so nearly went to war. However another conference was held, where it was agreed that France would give Germany a slice of the French Congo, and Germany would allow France to do as she pleased with Morocco. Because of this crisis, the British and French increased their naval co-operation, knowing that they now had a virtual alliance against Germany. This shows that there were many other causes of World War 1 and in fact Anglo-German rivalry alone probably would not have had such a large impact. It took a combination of the alliance system, the Schlieffen plan, German Aggression and Differences over the Eastern Question, as well as the short term causes, the two Moroccan Crises and Sarajevo to finally bring about world war. It was a combination of these causes, and no single cause which was responsible for this, therefore the original statement is partially true, as Anglo-German rivalry was responsible, but vastly underestimates the many other reasons for war. ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Why Did The First World War Break Out in 1914?

    5 star(s)

    of the German army and navy, Britain's rivalry with Germany, Germany's fear of being surrounded by France and Russia, Germany's desire to dominate Europe, suspicion between the main countries and the alliance system. However, other causes were short-term like the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and the behaviour of Austria towards Serbia.

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

    The Kaiser was a very important person here because he was willing to take Germany to a war and during this planning he lost control, in other words he started to lose power and this power went to the military leaders which miscalculated certain events like the 'blank cheque'.

  1. To what extent did nationalism within the Austria-Hungarian Empire contribute to the outbreak of ...

    Other countries had long been world powers and were used to rounding off their territories in a suitable way. 3. German demands were accompanied, though, by particularly swashbuckling statements and propaganda, e.g. General Bernhardi's book 'World Power or Destruction'; and the Pan-German League, which argued that Germany would draw to

  2. German Foreign Policy - To what extent was the German Foreign Policy responsible ...

    Two years later Britain and France settled their differences over Egypt and Morocco with the 'Entente Cordiale'. Although not a formal alliance, this arrangement represented a new direction in Anglo-French relations. From 1904 rivalry between the two nations was replaced with understanding and mutual diplomatic support.

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

    Hitler's next goal was the annexation of Austria. There had already been a Nazi party in Austria, demanding union with Germany for some time. Hitler threatened to use force against Austria. Failing to find any support for his government, Chancellor Schuschnigg of Austria announced, as a last desperate attempt to save Austria, that a plebiscite would be held on the question of Anschluss (union of Germany and Austria).

  2. Questions on World War One.

    Thus imperial rivalries were beginning to color relationship within Europe. After imperialistic game, new appetites had been whetted. Germany no longer talked like a satiated power, while Italy and Russia longed to compensate for their failures in the imperialist game.

  1. Dear Diary, It was the start of the Christmas month and I was ready ...

    In some parts the water reached waist height. This is what people were seeing and thinking and now I also fear. Day 3 - 25/12/1914 Dear Diary, Today was Christmas day and all soldiers received a Christmas gift box and it was contributed by the 'Sailors and Soldiers Christmas Fund' set up by Princess Mary.

  2. The Alliance System and the Causes of the First World War

    Sources D and F clearly indicate that Germany regarded France as its greatest enemy. Source D explains part of the Schlieffen Plan. According to this plan the main German army was to attack 'the strongest, most powerful enemy' which was France.

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