• 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 the result of a badly mis-managed Balkan crisis in the summer of 1914 rather than the product of long standing rivalries between the great powers. Assess the truth of this opinion in the causes of the outbreak of World War One.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The First World War was the result of a badly mis-managed Balkan crisis in the summer of 1914 rather than the product of long standing rivalries between the great powers. Assess the truth of this opinion in the causes of the outbreak of World War One. The reasons for the Great War 1914-1918 can be seen in terms of long term causes and short term causes. Historians must seek to establish whether the Balkan crisis and the assassination of Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand were more of a detrmining factor to going to war than long standing rivalries between the Great powers. The war should have been more localized between Austria-Hungary and Serbia but became a European war as predicted by Bismarck in 1880. The Bismarckian alliance system created by Otto von Bismarck the German chancellor sought to keep the peace in Europe. Bismarck kept his friends close and his enemies even closer, he courted Russia into the Dreikaiserbund (three emperors treaty) with Austria-Hungary in 1881. This move succeeded in isolating France, However this alliance was very short lived and only lasted five years. After the collapse of the Dreikaiserbund Germany felt threatened by Russia who were not happy about how things were going in the Balkans due to the second Balkan crisis. ...read more.

Middle

This was a bad move as Russia began to draw closer to France, by borrowing money and buying guns from France. The Kaiser started his foreign policy of Welpolitik (world policy) which aimed to make Germany a strong colonial power. Germany started flexing her muscles in world affairs by sending the Kruger Telegram to the Boers in South Africa, congratulating them after they defeated the British in the Jameson raids. This was to turn out to be a badly mis managed descision, as Germany made enemies of the British, which led to the British signing the Entente Cordiale with France in 1906. This in time became known as the triple entente when Russia joined. Kaiser Wilhelm II had succeeded in undoing all Bismarcks hard work, as by 1907 Germany was surrounded by Britain, France and Russia who became allies. The alliance between France and Russia opened the opportunity for Russia to be attacked from two fronts. This influenced Germanys war strategy and led their military generals to develop the Schleffen Plan which aimed to defeat France in six weeks. Germany would then move her troops in order to defeat Russia. The Anglo-German naval race started in 1906 when Britain launched their greatest warship ever, the Dreadnought. ...read more.

Conclusion

By 1914 Europe had maintained a fragile peace, however the events of June 28th were about to send Europe into a Great War. Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand the heir to the Austrian Hungarian throne was assassinated in Sarajevo by the Black hand a Serbian nationalist group. This caused outrage from the Austrian government who accused the Serbs of assisting in the assassination. Austria Hungary asked for the assassin to be brought to justice or there would be war. Austria-Hungary was feeling quite confident because the Kaiser who had pledged his support had given them a blank cheque. War was declared on Serbia a month after the assassination, Russia mobilized the next day, Germany put their Schlieffen plan into action which brought France and Britain into the war. By August 6th this mis-managed Balkan crisis had turned into a fully blown World War. Historian Fritz Fischer argued that this was a result Germany trying to become a world power plus Germany encouraged Austria Hungary to start a war with Serbia. Moreover Germany had clear aims which had already been planned before to gain large territorial gains in Europe. The first world war was a result of long standing rivalries between the great powers. Germany and Austria-Hungary were always natural allies as were Britain, France and Russia during the period 1878 and 1914. ...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)

    incase of an attack so they could turn to another country for help. With the support of Russia, some areas of the Empire were trying to become independent causing the immense Austrian Empire to be in jeopardy of decaying. To prevent this from happening Austria needed a powerful ally.

  2. What where the causes of WW1

    After sinking Lusitania a letter was sent to the German Government by President Wilson to warn the German government against killing Americans citizens. In October 1915 Ottoman Turkish Empire enters war on German side. Turkish army began invasion of Russia and was very successful until Great Britain attacked Turkey.

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

    However the major race was the naval race between Germany and Britain. Germany increased enormously her navy with both Navy Laws while Britain was constructing her first Dreadnoughts. Apart from dreadnoughts, battle cruisers, torpedoes and submarines were also built. This naval race had serious consequences mainly because of the increasing

  2. Free essay

    What were the causes of World War One?

    By 1914 they had 29 Dread Noughts, while Germany had just 17. As well as all of these an important short term cause was the assassination Franz Ferdinand. Serbs in Bosnia wanted Austria-Hungary to have the same rules as Serbia.

  1. World War 1 - long and short term causes of the war.

    > Germany & The Arms Race- Germany proved to take a great part in the Arms Race. In fact, there were really only two competing countries - England and Germany, in which Germany played a great part. > Nationalism & The New Kaiser- The New Kaiser believed that he was

  2. Why was the Abyssinian crisis a death blow to the league when the Manchurian ...

    However, in the Abyssinian crisis they didn't condemn Italy in fact they came to an agreement with them that basically gave them what they wanted.

  1. Causes of the First World War revision notes.

    But the expansion of the kingdom of Serbia as a nation and wish all those involved in the issue at stake and both Turkey and Austria, Germany, brought into conflict helped triple its partners in the coalition. � Russian help with its major population was Slavic soon whether or triple concert with the Austrians against the Turks at these people.

  2. Why did the First World War break out in August 1914?

    I think that this had a small effect at the start however would have a massive effect on militarism as countries would now have more power and would then want to use this to express their feeling of pride they held for their countries.

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