The main cause for WW1 was naval Rivalry. To what extent do you agree with this viewpoint?

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The main cause for WW1 was naval Rivalry. To what extent do you agree with this viewpoint?


It has been argued that Naval rivalry was the main cause of World War One, this is because in 1898 Kaiser Wilhelm II wanted to have the most powerful and strongest navy in the world as he was extremely militaristic which worried Britain and consequently caused tension between the two countries. I believe that to a certain extent that Naval Rivalry did contribute to the war but in my opinion there were other factors that triggered off the war. My essay will include all of these different factors, which are: The Moroccan Crisis', the Balkans crisis, The Alliance Systems and the Assassination of Franz Ferdinand. I will also conclude which I feel is the most important and why.

One of the most significant causes of tension in Europe was the naval rivalry witch developed after 1990. Britain had the most powerful navy in the world, this situation began to change when in 1898, and Kaiser Wilhelm II announced his intention to build a strong and powerful navy. Kaiser Wilhelm had British blood running in him, as his grandmother was Queen Victoria who wanted to build a fleet to commensurate with Germany's status so Wilhelm felt that he needed to prove himself to his family and also have a strong navy. He wanted to project power overseas and to protect Germany's trade. He believed that only a fleet could accord Germany her proper 'place in the sun', besides that a fleet could protect Germany's interests in any future confrontations with Britain or the US.

The tension rose between the two countries, as Britain felt threatened. In 1906 the 'HMS Dreadnought', the first super battleship was commissioned. Germany decided to pick up the gauntlet that Britain had thrown to them and decided to build their own Dreadnoughts. By 1914, Britain had built 29 Dreadnoughts whereas Germany had only built 17.

This naval race consequented in the First World War, as the growing tension between Germany and Britain was very high, there was an increase in Anglo-German mistrust and Europe was divided into two armed camps.
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In 1905-06 and 1911 there were two crises in Morocco caused by Germany's attempt to block Frances control of the country and to restrict French power.

While visiting Tangier in 1905 Kaiser Wilhelm II issued a statement of support for Moroccan independence as the French had plans to control the country, which caused international panic. The crisis was resolved at the Algeciras conference in 1906 where Europeanan countries all voted against Germany and recognised Frances special political interests in Morocco, which resulted in Germany Humiliated. He had wanted to be seen as a major power in Africa, ...

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