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

It was the alliance system in Europe that led to the outbreak of war in 1914

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

It was the alliance system in Europe that led to the outbreak of war in 1914 Introduction In 1914, most of the major powers in the world were European powers. However during that period of time, there were many causes of friction that threatened to upset the peace of Europe. The major causes of friction were colonial rivalry, the arms race and the alliance system. Britain at that time was the richest and most powerful nation on Earth. The British Empire covered about a quarter of the world's population and she was a wealthy trading nation. The British navy was the most powerful in the world and although, the army was small, it was extremely efficient. Germany was politically ambitious and aggressive. They felt that they should have a greater part as a world leader and wanted more colonies, this threatened Britain's position as the largest colonial power. Germany had a large and efficient army and she also had a productive agriculture and her manufacturing industries were second only to the USA. France was an industralised country, but not as much as Germany or Britain. She had a fair amount of colonies in Africa and the Far East. France had a large army and navy however one reason why they were less productive than Germany was because of the lack of natural resources and a smaller population compared to the other great powers at that time. ...read more.

Middle

The general idea was to gain more land to have new markets and resources. The European powers were interested in taking over China too. Some examples of colonial rivalry were the Moroccan Crisis in 1905. Germany attempted to expand her empire in Africa and Morocco was one of the few areas that were not controlled by a European power. However France was interested in taking over Morocco. The Germans demanded an international conference to determine the independence of Morocco. Germany was diplomatically outmanoeuvred at the conference and France was assured of her rights in Morocco. Another example would be the Agadir Crisis in 1911. The French government had sent troops to Morocco to put down a rebellion against the Sultan. Germany sent a gunboat to the Moroccan port, as she believed that France wanted to take over Morocco. Germany demanded compensation and was given some parts of French Congo. After that, the Germans agreed to the French control in Morocco. Causes (2) Another cause of war was the Arms Race. It started in 1896, when Germany started on her policy of Weltpolitik she aimed to expand her navy so that if there was a war, Britain dared not attack her. There was intense competition of building ships between Britain and Germany. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although there has been disputes with France over Morocco, both crisis has been solved without the means of force, therefore it is highly unlikely that imperial rivalry was the reason why the war begun. The arms race between European powers although increased a lot of tension between the two camps in Europe, was still not a strong enough reason to suggest that it caused the war, however even if the Germans had intended to start a war with the British through its navy, naval rivalry was definitely not a reason to become a cause of friction between both countries as it was evident from the fact that the British navy far outstripped those of the Germans. I believe that the Alliance system was the most important factor as this alliance was extremely dangerous, this is because if a dispute broke out between a member of each of the alliance and this may lead to one attacking the other, then members if the alliance would be dragged into the war because they pledged to assist on another if a war occurred and this would lead to a full-scale war across Europe. Both Germany and France created alliances so as to prevent war by making the cost of the war to high, ironically, the alliance system itself led to the war. http://www.thecorner.org/hist/wwi/alliance.htm Alliance System / System of alliances The First World War 1914-1918 Vyuyen Brendon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_I World War I ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History 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 International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    To what extent was the alliance system responsible for the outbreak of World War ...

    There was the Dual Alliance of 1879 between Germany and Austria-Hungary, the Triple Alliance between Germany and Austria-Hungary and Italy of 1882, the Franco-Russian alliance of 1891-4, the Entente Cordiale between France and Britain of 1904 and the Triple Entente between France, Britain and Russia of 1907.

  2. How valid is to claim that "Europe stumbled into a war in 1914"?

    This ultimatum can be considered as an excuse for the invasion of Serbia, as Austria's Berchtold presumed the Serbs would refuse to accept it and it would seem he was determined to destroy the Serbian threat by direct military action.

  1. "To what extent can it be said that the First World War was caused ...

    Nationalism posed a problem for Austria-Hungary and the Balkans as a large number of Ethnic groups such as the Serbs and the Hungarians lived under the Austro-Hungarian Empire and wished to gain independence. This also created tension between Austria-Hungary and Russia, who were allies with Serbia.

  2. Nazi Germany

    - They persecuted members of other races and minorities (gypsies/inferior race, homosexuals/threat to the Nazi idea about family life, mentally handicapped people/threat to the idea of Germans being master race,...) - 'euthanasia programme' in 1939, sterilisation to avoid hereditary illnesses, gassing mentally ill patients, ...

  1. The cold war - the conferences and the start of the cCold War

    Plan was above all aimed at defending the Free World and opposing Communism in Europe. Political and foreign policy aims predominated. The economic aspects, although very important, were secondary - It was believed that without financial assistance provided by the United States, Europe would fall into Communism; the idea that "Communism thrives on economic difficulties and poverty".

  2. Lions Led By Donkeys

    He thought that by bringing together a large armed force on the Somme, the Germans would divert troops from Verdun, where he believed he was destroying the Germans. The British army had lost a massive amount of soldiers on the first day of the Battle; Britain's army had suffered the

  1. Scramble for africa

    Why does China ally itself with Sudan, and what should China do to satisfy its energy needs? What effect does this competition for natural resources amongst major powers in Africa have upon the local populations of those countries, as well as on the world as a whole? TEACHING IDEAS 1)

  2. To what extent was Germany responsible for the outbreak of war in Europe in ...

    The aim of autarky (self sufficiency) suggests that Hitler was preparing for a long term war and against sanctions that would affect Germany?s chances of victory. In addition to this Hitler?s military plans, for example, the naval Z plan to increase naval numbers, plans for fortification, like the remilitarisation of the Rhineland, strongly suggest Hitler was preparing for war.

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