• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"The FirstWorld War was the result of a Badly Mismanaged Balkan Crisis In The Summer of1914 rather than the product of Long-Standing

Extracts from this document...


"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" To be able to understand why the events of summer 1914 took place we have to look back at situation in Europe before 1914. The situation consisted of long term (long standing rivalries) and short- term (badly mismanaged crisis) factors. From the 19th century to the early 20th century Britain was the greatest power in the world, France and Russia were also strong except the once formidable power, Austria- Hungary were declining in strength. But then a new power, 'United Germany' was created which in the future could rival that of any other. This struck fear into Britain, as it would upset their philosophy: 'balance of power'. I am of the opinion put forward by such historians as Geiss who believe that WW1 was the result of long standing rivalries and the Balkan crisis was just the trigger point of an inevitable war. I feel that the war was foreseeable and even if the Balkans dispute did not take place, another dispute later on would have caused a war. Leading up to war the alliances brought about tension, causing hostility and uncertainty making war a certain possibility. ...read more.


Turkey was getting weak and was losing land in the Balkans now being rivals Austria and Russia would compete for land in the territory. Russia being Slavic was now in league with Serbia and would stand up together when against Austria. Pre- summer of 1914, tensions were high as both were pushing for land in south- east Europe. This Long- standing rivalry caused Russia to become involved in the July crisis to help its pan Slav ally: Serbia. It can be seen that Russia may have taken this opportunity to seek revenge over Austria's betrayal in 1854. In general it can be seen that this rivalry helped cause an outbreak of war in 1914 because these two countries differed in opinion of what they wanted to achieve making impossible for them to be allies. In the years leading up to the Great War the rivalry between Britain and Germany was fairly relaxed. Neither had been in any major conflict apart from the arms race, which was very serious. Germany had always admired Britain's empire and navy but not only that it had ambitions to become like Britain. Germany developed a policy called 'weltpolitik'; the word had no precise meaning but was just a term to sum up the expansionist phase of German policy. ...read more.


Austria had to act quickly or it would seem like they were not avenging the death but instead playing around. They instead sent an ultimatum 20 days later. This made Austria look as if they were not serious. Anyhow Serbia did not accept all the terms and Russia outlined that Austria were deliberately provoking war (Remak said that the document was designed to be rejected). Austria then began to bomb Belgrade. They attack would not have gone ahead without Germany's full support. Russia being Serbia's ally joined in and refused to be humiliated after the Bosnian crisis of 1908. So for Russia this was about regaining their dignity. Germany then attacked France because the Schleiffen Plan said so. France attacked back looking for revenge and to get back Alsace- Lorraine. Britain then declared war on Germany after feeling threatened when Germany invaded Belgium. Overall war could have been avoided, but a lack of communication between the alliances made the crisis of July 1914 'mismanaged' meaning that the crisis was dealt with incompetently instead of with competence and composure like it previous conflicts had been resolved though conferences and meetings. It can also be determined that long standing rivalries were the cause because even though relations were improved they did not forget their past (alliances were not dissolved even when tensions were at heir peak low); hence the alliances were around for nearly 50 years. ...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 Kaiser recognised HMS Dreadnought as the 'armament of the future' and the German navy joined Britain in the race to create a new navy organised around this powerful new type of battleship. In one year, 1914, Britain built twenty-nine dreadnoughts and Germany built seventeen, which shows that Britain were

  2. What where the causes of WW1

    At 10:10 am, Franz Ferdinand's car approached and Cabrinovic threw his bomb. The bomb bounced off the folded convertible cover into the street. The bomb exploded under the next car, Wounding over 20 people. After this failed attempt he swallowed a cyanide pill and jumped into the nearby river Miljacka

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

    He fell in love with a woman named Sophie. However, many objected to this and saw this in a wrong way. Nevertheless, Franz married Sophie and they were in such a bonded love relationship, they even vowed that they wouldn't allow their children to be heir to the throne.

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

    of events, setting in concrete perhaps the cementation of the two major alliances. The naval race began. Both countries competed to see who could build the largest army - Germany with the motive of overtaking Britain and forcing them into an alliance, and Britain with the aim of keeping their lead according to their two power standard.

  1. 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

  2. World War I Coursework

    America joining the war not only gave the Allies precious extra resources such as men and food, but also boosted their troops' morale. The US army helped the Allies to push back the German army and force it to surrender.

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

    There was agreement on the other Great Powers that Germany was the nation most likely to upset the balance of powers in Europe. In 1862 King Wilhelm I of Prussia was determined that Prussia would take from Austria as the main German Power.

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

    "It was seen as a race for wealth, growth, power and survival." Another example was when Germany annexed a part of France (Alsace Lorraine), leading to fear of revenge by Germany from France, who in turn was afraid of another attack by Germany.

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