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To what extent do the sources support the view that German attitudes and policies were responsible for a steady decline in Anglo German relations between 1890 and 1914?

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Introduction

COURSEWORK ASSIGNMENT PART A (c 500 words) To what extent do the sources support the view that German attitudes and policies were responsible for a steady decline in Anglo German relations between 1890 and 1914? Diverse historians conceive various ideas about Anglo-Germanic relations between 1890 and 1914 and who accounts for it. However, one can receive understanding and knowledge from historical sources written by various individuals. It is arguable that Germanic attitudes and policies were responsible for the steady decline of Anglo-Germanic relations. Evidently in Source 3: Joseph Chamberlain seems enthusiastic in bringing Britain together with '...the great German Empire' despite previous 'quarrels and misunderstandings'. This creates perceptions that Britain was willing to acknowledge Germany in an 'alliance', trying to reconcile relations, even after learning about the Kruger Telegram in 1896. Numerous of historians could imply that Germany were jealous of Britain's' naval strength, which perhaps is true because of the Weltpolitik policy which when established, became a clear defiance of the British naval rule. ...read more.

Middle

Germany felt according to Source 4 ' in a dangerous situation in Europe. Contradictory to previous arguments, historians have suggested that British insecurity and other factors could have contributed to the decline in relations. For example, Source 7 shows the British appearing to be apprehensive about the increasing German navy. However, a German artist painted the source, which makes it questionable because soon after the Entente Cordial in 1904 tensions were high between the Germans and British. Due to anxiety, that Britain felt towards Germany, the press, and the media constantly criticised Germany e.g. in Source 1, a journalist writes pessimistically about Germany. This source is debatable since the journalist's perspective could have influenced the validity, however, it reveals the negative attitudes, which existed amongst the British people towards Germany. After the Kruger telegram in 1896 the national feeling was that of anger which contradicted Source 3 where Chamberlain implied that Britain still wanted an 'alliance' with '...the great German Empire'. ...read more.

Conclusion

These sentiments is observed in Source 5, which states 'Along with the deterioration between two countries the feeling of insecurity and fear of Germany had grown', and 'German fleet could be used as means of diplomatic pressure'. As Roderick McLean has questioned, 'How could she (Germany) assert her right to a place in the carve-up of the world unless she had a formidable fleet?' This causes one to think about the situation before making a judgement about Germany's role in decline of relations. Historians believe that the extent in which decline was due to Germany solely is minimal. Most of the sources examined were based on personal perspectives, but one can derive from this that nobody was clear about the decline in relations, and who was responsible, so there will be no apparent answer. To conclude the decline of relations is not blameable on one party as both parties had parts to play. ...read more.

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