The First World War was a result of Anglo-German rivalry. How true is this statement?

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The First World War was a result of Anglo-German rivalry. How true is this statement?

        When Bismarck resigned in 1890, and Kaiser Wilhelm II took over, rivalry was increased between Britain and Germany. This was largely due to Wilhelm II’s more aggressive foreign policy, and desire to build up the German Navy, which threatened Britain.  This provided the basis for long-term problems, which led to World War 1, however there were many other causes. For example the alliances, the Schleiffen plan, The Eastern Question, German Aggression, the two Moroccan Crises and Sarajevo, which were all, factors in World War 1’s outbreak in 1914.

        The origin of Anglo-German rivalry lies in the substantial differences in the foreign policies of Bismarck and Kaiser Wilhelm II. Between 1879 and 1890, Bismark wanted Germany to have a large empire, however he tried not to annoy Britain, as he knew that this was the only country he had to be afraid of. However when Bismarck argued with Wilhem II and resigned in 1890, this left decisions in the hands of the Kaiser, who had a far more aggressive foreign policy. Despite being the grandson of Queen Victoria and Edward VII’s nephew, he was jealous of the British Empire. Britain therefore began to fear Germany’s search for colonies as she was then seen as more of a threat than Russia and France.

        The other threat to Britain was Kaiser Wilhelm’s ambition to build up the German navy. This therefore led to rivalry between the two countries, especially when the dreadnought was built in 1908 in Britain. This was a new type of battleship, which was faster and stronger than any other. Britain and Germany both began to build these battleships, with a popular cry in Britain being ‘We want eight and we wont wait!’ Britain eventually built 18, and Germany built 9. The Kiel Canal was widened in preparation for the new ships, and was ready just 6 weeks before war broke out.

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        Rivalry was also exacerbated by Germany’s increasing world power. By 1900, Germany had replaced Russia as the most threatening country due to its influence in the Balkans. The building of the Berlin-Baghdad railway allowed Germany easy access to the Arab oilfields, and German offers to train the Turkish army gave them even more influence in this area. German increase in trade also angered Britain, as German imports led to a decrease in demand for British goods, therefore causing British unemployment to rise. Lastly, propaganda on both sides created a war-like feeling, as in Britain the press reported on Germany’s anti-British ...

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