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GCSE: International relations 1900-1939

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    Why Did The First World War Break Out in 1914?

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    Germans argued that 'an overseas empire was needed not only for prestige but because the German economy would atrophy if it did not acquire colonies that could provide raw materials and markets for finished products'. This all caused competition between the European powers to grow extreme in the years up to 1900. In Africa there was a scramble for territory between the European forces. In 1900, nearly everyone agreed that 'a large empire was important not only for trade but also for prestige', which was a statement made by a French politician.

    • Word count: 4337
  2. What where the causes of WW1

    And how militarism contributed to the commencement of world war one. Furthermore how alliances caused Europe to be divided into two dangerous sides and how this meant that if country wages war on another all the allying countries are forced to join in. lastly I will explain the final steps to the war that killed millions. World War One, otherwise known as "The Great War, or "The War to End All Wars" was a conflict so traumatic and so ghastly, that when it finally ended, not only had the map of the world changed beyond all recognition, but the world itself would never again be the same.

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  3. Causes of World War 2

    Secondly, the effects of World War one left Europe and other countries in a very vulnerable state. The shift from a wartime economy to a peacetime economy caused further problems. Italy and Japan (allies of Germany in World War One) suffered from too many people and too few resources after World War I. They eventually tried to solve their problems by territorial expansion. In Germany, runaway inflation destroyed the value of money and wiped out the savings of millions of people.

    • Word count: 3414
  4. Field Marshall Haig: 'The Butcher of the Somme'?

    Haig may have seen the only way of achieving victory and stopping the continuous slaughter of men would be by using the 'war of attrition' tactic. His aim may therefore have been to prevent even greater loss of life, even though large amounts of deaths would occur in the Battle of the Somme. This shows that he did care about the lives of his men - he was losing some lives in this battle, to shorten the war and to eventually save more lives than was lost during the battle, with the ends justifying the means (with the ends here being the overall saving of lives, rather than the victory of the battle).

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  5. Explain how the Schlieffen Plan was meant to work?

    to mobilise troops; giving Germany a small window to annihilate France with. This assumption of Russia was the key element of the Schlieffen Plan that enabled Germany to fight the wars separately. If France backed out or was forced out of the war, the remaining powers would probably not be able to cope: Russia's army was not trained well enough to cope with the full force of Germany and Britain's role in the war was merely a supporting one. Britain only sent a small number of troops to the frontline as she only had a small army but her extensive navy would provide full backup to the allied troops on the ground.

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    Athens decided which of the allied states would contribute ships and which would contribute money. This was an early stage in the Athens' leadership, yet although there are no signs of change in her treatment towards the allies, there is distant indication of inequality. As well as organising funds, Athens also appointed Hellenic Treasurers who would collect the contributions from each of the money-paying states. However, these treasurers were Athenian (known as hellenotamiae). It would be considered fairer to have appointed treasurers from different members of the alliance for a stronger sense of equality.

    • Word count: 5159
  7. The failure of the League of Nations

    Others thought that joining the league would be as if the USA were signing a blank cheque. The league was also linked to the treaty of Versailles and many Americans hated the treaty. Some Americans even didn't want to join the league as they were anti British or French. They thought that the League would be under the control of France or Britain and why should they fight for them. America not joining the league was the first major blow to the league.

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  8. To what extent was the Alliance System responsible for the outbreak of the First World War?

    The main aim of these alliances was to aid each country's allies in case they were attacked by another country but later they became instruments of national aggression because allies were willing to support each other even if it was not their problem and this made the chances increase, as the tensions between each countries allies increased. However the alliances had many weaknesses. All the alliances were made in secret and this created suspicion and distrust between the European Powers.

    • Word count: 3021
  9. Why has Prussia replaced Austria as the leading Germanic power by 1870?

    When fighting a real army, like Prussia in 1866, we can see that they crumbled, and were easily defeated. The Crimean War, in 1856, is an example of their lack of commitment; they readied the army, to great expense, but never left Austria, as the government did not want to intervene at all. The Prussian army was in arguably a worse state than the Austrian army in 1815; it was a very clumsy army that relied heavily on tactical war, which was not usually effective. Unlike the Austrian government, the Prussian government wanted reform, and in 1857, a humane patriot, Moltke was made Chief of Staff.

    • Word count: 3169
  10. "The breakdown of the Concert of Europe was mainly caused by disagreements amongst the Powers over the issue of intervention." Discuss the validity of this statement.

    That was, the Powers were to meet regularly to discuss over problems which affected their mutual interest. However, they had a major difference in dealing with revolution. The leaders of the conservative and absolutist monarchies (be more specific. Which countries are you talking about?) argued that peace between state and social and political order within the states could not be separated. They believed that they had the right to interfere in the revolutionaries of any states to preserved European peace. Britain, however, clearly states in Castlereagh's state paper of May 1820 that there should be no general right of interfering in the affairs of other states.

    • Word count: 3244
  11. How successful was Bismarckas Chancellor in his foreign policies between 1871-1890?

    AJP Taylor, on the other hand, considers that Bismarck firstly wanted to guarantee Germany's security and if war had to break out, he preferred it to be the farthest possible from German territory. Furthermore, there is also one important aspect that was always present in the decisions he took concerning foreign affairs: his desire to keep France isolated. How can we describe Bismarck's policy then? What were his actual aims and what did he do to achieve them? As it has been said above, Bismarck was victorious in his Franco-Prussian war: not only did he win, but the outcome of

    • Word count: 3461
  12. The Rise of Nation States in Europe

    - All these encouraged the nationalistic movements. - The ideas had led to revolutions in 1830, 1848 and the unification of Italy and Germany. Background - During the American and French Revolution, people believed people were the basis of the society. - People respected the leader only because they were the representatives of the state. - They had liberty and natural rights to overthrow the king if they were tyranny. - Napoleon also aroused the sentiment of national identity. - The own language and way of life of the people were the basis of the state.

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  13. The Long Fuse by Laurence Lafore - Chapter Three: The Europe of the Armed Camps.

    87). It emphasized the role of emperors to keep Alexander II aware of the dangers of republicanism. Nevertheless, it was meant merely as a communication connection between the three empires, albeit it aided the strengthening of relations between Austria and Germany. Two crises, however, destroyed it. The first, in 1875, was that is appeared that Bismarck, having defeated France five years before, was scared by the resurgence of French strength and vengeful malevolence and was planning a war against them to suppress the threat of France once and for all. He might not have been, as there is no evidence that proves this, but it appeared to the French useful to say so to the other powers.

    • Word count: 3195
  14. To what extent was the Treaty of Versailles justifiable?

    Lloyd George the British prime minister accepted the terms of the treaty and even argued for the reparations payments which was a enormous issue that many people felt that could not be justified. But Lloyd George was under pressure from the British public opinion and felt that he had to comply with the public opinion and it was necessary if he wanted to win the next election. The general feeling in the British public opinion was that German deserved the harsh treaty as the casualties in Britain were also very high.

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  15. The Battle of Verdun.

    This was on a government bonds poster and would have been designed to alter people's opinion on the subject. As a result this is likely to be a view held up by many of the French civilians, and as a result Source A is very useful for Historians studying the French attitude as the poster was designed to alter the attitude of these people. Many of the Civilians who would have been subject to this kind of propaganda or who would hold this view would not have fought in the war, due to government media control they would not have seen the horrific damage done at Verdun and they definitely would not have the same catastrophic casualty lists that we have today, so it would have been a lot easier for them to hold this patriotic 'We will win!'

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  16. Dear Diary, It was the start of the Christmas month and I was ready to battle it out in the war.

    I wore a steel helmet, carried plenty of hand grenades and a gas mask. So my 5 mates and me were together and we were told to gather our equipment and set foot in the trenches. We were in no-mans land and we had to set of to the trenches, big huge holes that were dug up to 7 feet deep and 6 feet wide. They were laid out in a zigzag shape and could carry on for many of miles.

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  17. Describe the conditions that soldiers experienced on the Western Front in the years 1915-1917.

    To get to each trench (e.g. from front-line to support trench) there were communication trenches. These trenches allowed for soldiers to move between trenches without being seen by the enemy. Messages, orders etc were sent through these trenches. The place in between the two enemies trenches was called No Man's Land. In No Man's Land there were many shell holes and abandoned equipment, unexploded shells and many rotting bodies. Soldiers were supposed to stay in the front-line trenches for four days, then they would have to spend four days in the support trenches, eight days in the reserve trenches and then finally they got fourteen days of resting.

    • Word count: 4188
  18. 'The rise and decline of the great powers can be explained by their relative economic performance' To what extent do you agree?

    In 1900 the Ottoman & Russian empires, Germany, France and Britain were the great powers but by 1919 this had changed significantly, as the USA and Japan had emerged as world powers, the Ottoman empire had completely collapsed, Russia and Germany had temporarily declined while France and Britain had both declined in empire but were strengthened economically. The early 1900's saw large economic change in many of the Great Powers. The most significant of these was Germany, whose pre-war economy was flourishing, far stronger than Britain's, however descended into chaos following World War 1.

    • Word count: 3844
  19. "Tension between the countries of Europe increased in year before 1914 due to the arms race but war was always avoided because the great powers acted together to keep the peace". How far do you agree with this statement?

    Austria was also upset because they felt that they had been lied to. Britain and Austria threatened war, so the German Chancellor, Otto Van Bismarck invited the Great Powers to a Berlin Conference to solve the problem. The Treaty of Berlin dismantled the big Bulgarian state. In this case, it was the Great Powers working together that prevented a war breaking out. The second Bulgarian crisis came about in 1885. By the mid 1880's, the Great Powers position of 1878 had been completely reversed. As the Bulgarians had proved themselves to be anything but Russian puppets, Austria and Britain now favored a large Bulgarian state, the Russians did not.

    • Word count: 3107
  20. Why was the Abyssinian crisis a death blow to the league when the Manchurian crisis was not?

    However, in the Abyssinian crisis they didn't condemn Italy in fact they came to an agreement with them that basically gave them what they wanted. So they were seen to be giving into the demands of the aggressor. Not only did they give into Italy but the two main powers left in the league were seen to have secret meetings with Italy. This greatly undermined the belief in the league. Also, people in Europe thought that Japan was so far away from them that they didn't need to worry too much about what occurred somewhere on the other side of the world.

    • Word count: 3221
  21. Why was the Abyssinian crisis a death blow to the league when the Manchurian crisis was not?

    However, in the Abyssinian crisis they didn't condemn Italy in fact they came to an agreement with them that basically gave them what they wanted. So they were seen to be giving into the demands of the aggressor. Not only did they give into Italy but the two main powers left in the league were seen to have secret meetings with Italy. This greatly undermined the belief in the league. Also, people in Europe thought that Japan was so far away from them that they didn't need to worry too much about what occurred somewhere on the other side of the world.

    • Word count: 6425
  22. The Resurrecting U.N.B.A

    "Colonel sectors C and D are secure and I'm awaiting reports from sectors A and B. The troops are on board the Xenya and are ready for take off." "Thank you Lieutenant are the Ph.D.s awake still?" "That's a negative sir they are in cryogenic sleep ready for the long journey. If that's all sir I would like to request a few minutes to say goodbye to my family". Lieutenant Harper adores his Colonel, but finds him too brave false even, but he respects his authority. Harper wanted the place of take off to be in America because it is closer to the equator.

    • Word count: 3260
  23. Versailles and Hyperinflation, Germany 1919-28.

    The President of America, Woodrow Wilson, felt that Germany should not be treated too harshly. He wanted World peace and proposed that Germany would take revenge. To help preserve world peace, Wilson made "fourteen points" which would hopefully reserve the peace which was lost during the Great War. America's views were not appreciated by the French and the British public. They believed that America should not have a very strong say in the peace treaty, as they were hardly effected by the War. America did not join the War until April 1917. The War ended on the 11th of November 1918.

    • Word count: 3072
  24. Was Field Marshall Douglas Haig more important that the allied blockade of German naval ports in bringing about the victory on the western front in 1918?

    The techniques and weapons used at the time were better suited to defence, rather than attack. It was much easier to defend a position, than to attack one. This was due to barbed wire, trenches and mud rendering cavalry charges ineffective. This was a blow to the British as Haig rather favoured cavalry and believed them to be very effective, despite the evidence before him. Machine guns could mow down charging infantry, meaning any attacks made by troops would be completely ineffective. Especially as Haig insisted that his troops should walk across no man?s land in columns.

    • Word count: 3844
  25. The League of Nations: Its achievements and its failures

    So in the end the League did nothing and the Poles got to keep Vilna. The next major dispute was the Aaland Islands dispute, in between Finland and Sweden in 1921. Both countries threatened to fight for the islands, and they appealed to the League before fighting would break out. The League studied the matter closely, and in the end granted the islands to Finland, and Sweden accepted the verdict. War had been avoided.Then there was the Corfu incident: a dispute in between Greece and Italy. The Conference of Ambassadors had been in charge of sorting out borders, and one of the borders was the Greek and Albanian one.

    • Word count: 3475

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