• 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 mismanaged Balkan Crisis in the summer of 1914, rather than the product of long standing rivalries between the Great Powers" - Discuss.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"The First World War was the result of a badly mismanaged Balkan Crisis in the summer of 1914, rather than the product of long standing rivalries between the Great Powers." The main thesis of Joachim Remak was that the First World War was due to the management of a badly mishandled Balkan Crisis. He often referred to WW1 as the third Balkan war. The Balkans was where the interests of the Great Powers clashed. Throughout the 19th century the Balkans had been a major source of tension between Austria and Russia. The Balkans were made increasingly important to Austria after their expulsion from Italy and Germany. Austria-Hungary needed to increase her influence in the Balkans to survive. Also, Austria, as a multi-national Empire threatened with disintegration, needed to restrict the influence of Russia and the growth of Balkan nationalism, particularly that of Serbia. Austria-Hungary was not interested in territorial expansion. Serbia was an aggressive expansionist power, which wanted to recreate the large medieval Kingdom of Serbia destroyed by the Turks in 1459. The greater Serbia was to be achieved by uniting the 7.5 million Serbs in Austria-Hungary with the 3.5 million in Serbia. ...read more.

Middle

Serbia replied favourably and accepted nine of the ten points, however, the Austrians were not satisfied and declared war on 28th July, 1914. The Serb reply to the Austrian ultimatum indicated that they did not want a war, but they couldn't agree to one of the points as it involved delegates from Austria-Hungary taking part in the assassination enquiry. Serbian courts would be influenced by a foreign country and this would be a threat to Serbian independence. The Austrian declaration of war on Serbia was the first step towards general war in 1914. After the Bosnian Crisis of 1908, Russia felt it had let down its Slav allies in the Balkans, so was determined to go ahead. On July 30th Russia mobilised their army and prepared for war without first consulting France or Britain. Germany declared war on Russia and stayed true to its alliance with Austria-Hungary. Germany went to war with France on August 3rd. However, Britain did not get involved until the launch of the Schleiffen Plan. In August 1914 all members of the rival alliance systems, except Italy, declared war on each other. The outbreak of war was a result of a series of crises and mistakes. ...read more.

Conclusion

Some historians blame Britain as Britain was determined to stop Germany achieving world power status and it was later admitted that the policy in 1914 was that of encirclement. Some other possible explanations are that war arose as a desire to divert attention from domestic dangers by engaging in war abroad. A radical, young German historian Eckhardt Heir put forward the idea that 'Crisis, even war would come to be seen by those making decisions to be a more attractive alternative than domestic reform.' This could be true for many of the countries involved in the war. Austria for example was faced with the collapse of the parliamentary system and insoluble national divisions and therefore it could be argued that she most appreciated the value of a good, short war as the Great war was expected to be. Fischer corroborates this view as he referred to a serious domestic crisis in Germany in 1914. He concluded that the German ruling classes deliberately sought war to preserve their domination of German society. Both are examples of the role of INNENPOLITIK. Each differing view of an historian offers a different aspect as to why war actually broke out. The Balkan crisis could be viewed as a catalyst as all Powers involved had personal, or interests of their allies which lay in the Balkans thus providing enough discrepancies to provoke 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)

    in formation for thirty-two years since the Triple Alliance had been formed. I also think that the alliance system led to the suspicion between the main countries because Germany were sure that they were being surrounded by the Triple Entente ready for an attack therefore they drew up the Schlieffen Plan.

  2. The Long Fuse by Laurence Lafore - Chapter Three: The Europe of the Armed ...

    The Austrians feared all of their neighbors, including Germany, but this alliance reduced the threat. The treaty signed was a defense treaty. This was nearly the first time that a treaty was signed during peacetime between major powers. The terms of the treaty were secret and it foreshadowed other secret treaties that were to come later.

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

    There was no question of who was going to win. One of the main reasons for this was that the league was at least seen to do the right thing in the Manchurian crisis as they condemned Japan for invading and although they didn't do anything about it they did, in the end, came to the right decision.

  2. Explain why events in the Balkans contributed to the growth of international tension in ...

    Great Britain's advantage increased with the introduction of the Dreadnought rendering all other German and British ships obsolete. And Britain managed to maintain the lead the whole way through nearly a decade and a half of ship building, all that resulted from this German endeavor was the decline in relations

  1. 'The rise and decline of the great powers can be explained by their relative ...

    In Russia this was leading to support for Lenin and Communism to improve the standard of living. Lack of money in both countries reduced the amount of influence they could have abroad as they could not afford trade of consumer goods, or to maintain empires, which are expensive.

  2. Why did World War I start in 1914 and not earlier?

    out before 1914 if the assassination of Franz Ferdinand would have happened at these points of time. Another reason why WWI didn't erupt before 1900 was that the alliances hadn't really solidified and European statesmen, as for example Bismarck, were concerned to preserve the balance of power in Europe as it still consisted of a muli-polar system.

  1. "Tension between the countries of Europe increased in year before 1914 due to the ...

    Before this, however, Germany had tried to get France and Russia to take action against the British after they had attacked the Transvval State in South Africa. This was to try and break the "Entente Cordial", but it didn't work so Wilhelm decided to send "The Kruger Telegram".

  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