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

To what extent was Europe, 1890, an area of growing tension sowing the seeds of its own destruction

Extracts from this document...


To what extent was Europe, 1890, an area of growing tension sowing the seeds of its own destruction? Around 1890 it was apparent that conflict in Europe was almost inevitable, due to many factors to sides (armed camps) had aroused these were; The Triple Entente and The Triple Alliance, through wars and turbulence in Europe the eventual outcome was the outbreak of the first world war. The western powers expanded colonies. However, national rivalries gradually grew and alliance camps emerged. Economic competition and arms race also became intense. The Balkans became a hotpot of western intervention, as the Ottoman Empire declined. Finally war broke out in 1914, a war which was unexpectedly disastrous and destructive in scale. The war was caused by a number of interwoven factors. The first of these factors being nationalism.In 19th Century Europe the desire of subject peoples for independence (This led to a series of national struggles for independence among the Balkan peoples. Other powers got involved and caused much instability.). The desire of independent nations for dominance and prestige. As the powers try to dominate each other in Europe, their rivalries may be regarded as one of the causes of the First World War. ...read more.


the three Emperors agreed to preserve benevolent neutrality if any one of them found himself at war with a fourth power. The League could not last long because Austria and Russia would soon rival over the Balkan Peninsula again. The triple alliance 1882, Bismarck had tactfully encouraged France to expand overseas in the hope of diverting her attention away from Alsace-Lorraine. French annexation of Tunis in northern Africa in 1881 alienated Italy, which was ambitious to build up an Italian empire in Africa. Italy was thus driven into Bismarck's camp in anger. Consequences of this was the emergence of the first alliance camp, a powerful bloc had been formed in central Europe. Germany was now guaranteed against Russia by Austria, and against France by Italy. Bismarck had successfully kept the friendship of both Russia, Austria and Italy and kept France completely isolated. He was indeed a skilful diplomat who was able to handle the European powers for Germany's advantage. Around 1890 there was a change of policy in Germany due to a change in the power this was in the form of Kaiser William the second. Bismarck was a skilful diplomat. For twenty years, he made Germany the centre of the diplomatic stage. ...read more.


The trade rivalry between Britain and Germany had also eased off in the ten years before the war because they developed their markets in different parts of the world -- Britain within her own Empire, and Germany on the continent of Europe. Thus economic rivalries played a minor part in causing the First World War. One other minor factor, which led to growing tension, was colonial rivalries. After 1870, the European nations began to acquire colonies in Asia, Africa and the Pacific. Their imperialistic activities accelerated from 1880 onwards. Colonial rivalries were a cause of the First World War for two main reasons; firstly, colonial rivalries led to strained relations among the European powers. In Africa, all the European powers except Austria and Russia had colonies there. Thus there were many clashes among France, Britain, Germany and Italy. Secondly, colonial rivalry led to indirectly to the formation and strengthening of alliances and ententes. So when all these smaller rivalries, alliances and other European matters are put together they put together a complicated yet understandable web of reasons why that in 1890 Europe was an area of growing tension, sowing the seeds of its own destruction, which in 1914 was proven with the outbreak of the First World War which had seemed inevitable for forty years previous to it! ...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. The Long Fuse by Laurence Lafore - Chapter Three: The Europe of the Armed ...

    With this, it would gain a massive chunk of the Balkan Peninsula and it would extend its influence across Constantinople and to the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus so that they could accomplish their age-old conquest of warm-water ports Two things drove the Russians: The first was the fact that Constantinople

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

    France were given control of the Moroccan State Bank and police and the Entente Cordiale strengthened even more - Britain and France were now making joint military plans together. The reason why war was avoided was Britain, Germany, France and Morocco discussed the Moroccan crisis in the Algeciras conference.

  1. To what extent was there stability in Europe in the 1920's

    Austen Chamberlain, British Foreign secretary, gives his judgement on the Locarno Treaties in 1925. 'A great work of peace has been done...It would not have been done unless all the governments had felt the need to start a new and better chapter of international relations.'

  2. The Rise of Nation States in Europe

    * Uprisings in France during 1830s * Finally, the revolutionaries succeeded to overthrow the king and they chose Philippe to be the leader. b. In the United Netherlands * After the Congress of Vienna, Belgium combined with Holland. However Belgians did not like this arrangement because: * I.

  1. Origins of World War One Alliances and Ententes

    However, it is very difficult to conclusively establish a cause, and therefore, we must consider other causes. Another reason is Political systems and economic developments. For example, Germany during the nineteenth century was renowned for successful economy and the advances in technology she had made in industries such as textiles, coal and iron, etc.

  2. Questions on World War One.

    He had little sympathy with Pan-German ambitions and, for most of his term of office, was markedly unenthusiastic about colonies. Under William II the role of dominant continental Power was no longer enough for Germany. She aspired to the "place in the sun" of world politics.

  1. In 1914 Europe plunged in to the abyss of total war due to the ...

    Bismarck then decided to play 'honest broker' in the crisis and proposed an international congress in Berlin where Bosnia Herzegovina was placed under the exclusive administration of Austria Hungary. The Dual Alliance, a secret treaty in 1879 between and Austria and Hungary, confirmed German support of Austrian ambitions and cemented

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

    America, for example, had no formal empire, but instead had 'virtual colonies' such as Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Panama and Cuba, in addition to a group of countries that it effectively 'babysat', such as Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.

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