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Why did Britain go to war with Germany in 1914

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Introduction

Why did Britain go to war with Germany in 1914? On the 4th of august 1914, Britain delivered an ultimatum to Germany to respect Belgian neutrality, which effectively was a declaration of war, but what events led to the war? In relation to the given article from the modern history review, it is argued that the liberal government went to war to "defend British interests". Historian J.M.Bourne wrote "Failure to defend these interests would result in shattering consequences for national morale and British prestige and for the safety and prosperity of the Empire..." However, what led Britain to feel it needed to defend itself; here are some key events in the lead up to the declaration of war upon Germany. 1871 18 January -William I of Prussia becomes emperor of united Germany. 10 may-Peace of Frankfurt ends Franco-Prussian War; France loses eastern provinces of Alsace and Lorraine to Germany. 1872 Germany, Austria, and Russia form "League of Three Emperors" against France. ...read more.

Middle

Germany begins naval construction programme; start of naval arms race. Attempts to establish Anglo-German alliance fail. 1899 May- First Hague Conference convened; establishes international arbitration forum and limits on warfare. Renewal of Franco-Russian Dual Alliance. 1900 Secret Franco-Italian agreement over African interests; Triple Alliance undermined, especially Austro-Hungarian Empire; Italy free to pursue Balkan goals. 1902 Great Britain forms alliance with Japan. 1904 February- Russo-Japanese War begins. April France and Britain conclude "Entente Cordiale", partly to avoid involvement in Russo-Japanese War. 1905 March- First Moroccan Crisis: William II backs Morocco against French. September Treaty of Portsmouth ends Russo-Japanese War; arrival of Japan as world power; humiliated Russia turns back to Eastern Question. German General Staff finalize Schlieffen Plan for war on France and Russia. 1906 January-April- Algeciras conference averts war over Morocco. Britain launches Dreadnought battleship. 1907 June- Second Hague Conference convened, expands and clarifies rules of war; Germany rejects disarmament proposals, exacerbating mistrust. Triple Entente of France, Great Britain, and Russia; Anglo-Russian agreement removes British restraint on Russia's Balkan ambitions. ...read more.

Conclusion

6 July- Germany assures Austro-Hungarian Empire of complete fidelity to alliance. 20 July- French president visits Russia, assures Russia of complete fidelity. 23 July- Austrian ultimatum to Serbia demanding prosecution of culprits. 25 July- Serbia accepts most ultimatum terms and partially mobilizes. Russia decides to support Serbia; British and German mediation offers rejected. 28 July- Austro-Hungarian Empire declares war on Serbia (to curb Serb/Slav threat). 29 July- Russia partially mobilizes. 30th July- Full Russian mobilization. 31 July- Full Austro-Hungarian mobilization; Germany issues ultimatums to Russia (suspension of mobilization) and France (neutrality)-no response. 1 August- Germany mobilizes and declares war on Russia; Great Britain mobilizes fleet. 2 August - Belgium refuses German demand to permit passage of troops to attack France; Britain guarantees French coastal security. 3 August - Germany declares war on France and invades Belgium; Italy declares neutrality. As aforementioned Britain effectively declares war on the 4th of August 6 August- Serbia declares war on Germany; Austro-Hungarian Empire declares war on Russia. 11 August- France declares war on Austro-Hungarian Empire. 12 August- Great Britain declares war on Austro-Hungarian Empire. 23 .August -Japan declares war on Germany. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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