• 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)

    the other as long as the two alliances were equal in power. This did not work mainly because the suspicion between the two alliances grew deeper. In 1905, German army generals drew up the Schlieffen Plan because they were positive that they were been surrounded ready for an attack.

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

    It infuriated the Russians to be judged by other European nations but they withdrew from the territories. Great Bulgaria was reduced to a smaller state and Romania, Serbia then joined Greece and Montenegro as independent states. Cyprus was annexed to Britain, Bosnia, Hercegovina, and Novibazar were put under Austrian control.

  1. Causes of World War 2

    It was certain by this time that Hitler was going to take over Czechoslovakia, and nobody was willing to do anything about it. When Hitler clearly was going to use force to take over Czechoslovakia, France and Britain pressurized Czechoslovakia to appease to Hitler and hand over its land.

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

    Another reason why the Abyssinian crisis was a death blow to the league and the Manchurian crisis was not is because France and Britain could have at least done something to stop the Abyssinian crisis by closing the Suez Canal, they couldn't have done much to stop the Manchurian crisis

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

    Although Russia promised Austria not to create a large Bulgarian state, they ignored it and went ahead with the creation f one. This enraged Austria who felt they had been lie to by Russia. Resulting from this Britain and Austria threatened war on Russia.

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

    She wanted a "place in the sun', to be a world power like Britain. It had three main goals: To build a superior navy to establish it's status; To make Germany a world power - this would mean territorial expansion outside of Europe; To distract the people back home from

  1. 'The First World War was the result of a badly mismanaged Balkan Crisis in ...

    This could be seen as a deliberately calculated risk, they may have been willing to take it because they hoped that France and Britain would not come to Russia's aid, and therefore the Triple Entente would break down, hence the events that ensued were not their intention, but the cost of a mismanaged decision based on longer term factors.

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

    I think that this supports the view that there was no one country to blame as if one country?s allies became involved in war they were expected to support them. The Balkans was an area in south-east of Europe. It included countries such as Bosnia and Serbia, small countries who were fighting in order to achieve independence.

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