• 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)

    I think that all the reasons together started off the First World War because many of them were linked together such as the

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

    At the same year, German annexed Sudetenland, which was part of Czechoslovakia. In March 1939, Hitler summoned President Hacha of Czechoslovakia, threatened to destroy Prague by bombardment. German troops entered Prague and Hitler's annexation of the whole Czechoslovakia was completed.

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

    Mobilization or 'war by timetable' as A.J.P Taylor called it, was a short-term factor, which only provoked war after the Austrians, had declared war on Serbia on the 28th July 1914. The next events that came were chains of events due to the mobilization of countries.

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

    used grenades to cave in the miners and soldiers of the enemy and so they would die and the tunnel wouldn't be a tunnel any more because all he mud and soil fell all the way down to there trench.

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

    It also gives the impression that Britain accepted this simply because the British government felt that they cannot back down, which would upset the British and French people creating a negative atmosphere for the British government. However, the British government viewed a European war as 'horrible', which suggests that the Anglo-French entente was not aggressive towards Germany.

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

    For example the West Africa Act, 1885 was signed to divide up Africa into separate spheres of influence amongst European nations. The main reasons at that time why Britain wanted to maintain the splendid isolation policy was because Britain's main interests in the world were outside Europe and its major European interest was maintaining the 'balance of power'.

  1. "The outbreak of the First World War in 1914 grew out of a short ...

    calls of democracy and socialism by uniting them in a single cause. All it accomplished in the end though, was to further alarm the other European powers, and again created a heightened sense of tension between them. Thus another long-standing that lead to war was the Kaiser's policy for Weltpolitik.

  2. Explain how the Schlieffen Plan was meant to work?

    The offensive was a tactical victory but one that could not be upheld, and so led to a failure. But were any of these reasons more important than the other - was it solely the war at sea that led to an allied win or was it US entry that helped to defeat the Axis powers.

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