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Why did the main sources of tension between 1905 and 1913 not lead to war?

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Introduction

Why did the main sources of tension between 1905 and 1913 not lead to war? In the late 1800's guns and other military weapons were becoming more and more destructive and effective. This resulted in countries, mainly in Europe, building up their armaments and the size of their armed forces. This created rivalries and threats between various European states, such as Britain, France, Germany, Russia and Austria-Hungary. Also in Europe at this time Germany was starting to emerge as a very powerful nation with a strong army and an increasingly growing navy, which upset the balance of power and caused Britain to feel threatened because they were the leading naval power in Europe. This caused a naval race between the two countries. Due to Germany's increase in power it meant that she would require colonies outside of Europe in places like Africa, where Britain and France had the monopoly and had no interests in sharing it with Germany, this lead to the Moroccan crises in 1905 and 1911. Nationalism in the Balkans was also proving to be causing problems towards Austria-Hungary as Serbia were twice victorious in the Balkan wars and the hope for a united Slav state intensified. There were many tensions between the major powers due to the arms race. One tension which was intense was that between Germany and France. ...read more.

Middle

This was a chance for Germany to gain permanent influence in Europe and according to historian Imanuel Geiss. However the German foreign minister acted once again foolishly and clumsily by sending a German gunboat to the Moroccan port of Agadir to supposedly protect German interests there. This of course immediately caused Britain to feel threatened by this sudden presence of German ships in the Mediterranean, which was British controlled. It also saw this presence as a threat to British ruled Gibraltar. This meant that Britain once again supported France in order to stop German expansion and British aims were made clear by Lloyd George's mansion house speech. Britain were therefore very keen to make a settlement in order to get rid of German naval vessels in the Mediterranean and a compromise settlement was made in November which gave Germany rights to parts of the French Congo. However, the maintenance of French influence in Morocco, culminating in the establishment of a formal protectorate, clearly demonstrated that German aims in the crises had once again failed. As mentioned before Germany was increasingly becoming one of the top major powers in Europe. She had an extremely strong economy and a large land army. In Germanys quest to expand into Africa it was essential that she had a powerful naval to acquire and then protect colonies. ...read more.

Conclusion

She felt that her army was no where near as powerful as Austria's and Germany's so she didn't want to risk getting into a war with them. Russia still felt humiliated however by the Balkan situation and was determined that this must not come again. Immediately after the crisis, the Russian government intensified her armaments programme and sent Izvolski as ambassador in Paris in order to get more support from the French. In 1912/1913 when the Ottoman Empire collapsed many of the major powers interest were at state. For example Britain, France and Russia didn't want German influence in the area, but Britain also hoped to keep Russia out of the area because she feared Russian expansion into the Dardanelles In conclusion it is clear why the tensions between 1905 and 1913 didn't lead to war. Firstly most of the countries involved in the crises didn't actually think that they were militarily ready for war, especially the Russians and the Austrians. Secondly one of the major powers in Europe, Italy, was not involved in any of the crises. Therefore Germany, who were the most willing to go to war, felt that she didn't have enough support to enter a war against Britain, France and Russia at the same time with only Austria-Hungary as an ally. This shows that none of the powers involved in the crises were prepared to go to war during these years of conflict, but it added to the tension which was to come in the year ahead. Daniel Bradley ...read more.

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