What Caused World War One? It has been suggested that naval rivalry was the main cause of World War One

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Jordan Coughlin 10E

What Caused World War One?

It has been suggested that naval rivalry was the main cause of World War One because, this was one  of the most significant causes of tension between some of the most powerful countries in Europe. I strongly agree that this contributed to World War One but there are also several other factors that have to be considered such as the Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the First Moroccan Crisis, the Second Moroccan Crisis, the Balkan Wars and the Arms Race.

Naval Rivalry

When Kaiser Wilhelm announced that he intended to build a powerful navy in 1898.Britains natural reaction was to feel very threatened and intimidated, especially since Britain had been the unchallenged  rulers of the sea ever since the battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Britain had a vast and powerful navy, which was used to protect its large empire that was located all over the world. Germany had no real need for a navy which made Britain extremely suspicious; they suspected Germany may want control of Britain’s empire. To try and prevent this from happening Britain launched the new state of the art battleship, the ‘Dreadnought’ in 1906. In response to this Germany built their own dreadnoughts and widened the Kiel Canal to enable its navy to enter the north and Baltic sea. This sparked off a race between Germany and Britain; build as many ships as quickly as possible, which became particularly vicious during 1911-1914. In total Britain produced 18 Dreadnoughts which were constructed in Scotland. This whole ordeal contributed to World War One because it caused great tension between two of the most powerful countries in Europe.

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The Assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand

On the morning of June 28, 1914 Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his Wife Sophie von Chotkovato were assassinated by a Serbian nationalist while travelling through a motorcade in Sarajevo. Franz Ferdinand was killed because Serbians feared that after his ascension to the throne, he would continue and even heighten the persecution of  Serbs living within the Austro-Hungarian Empire. A member of the Black Hand organisation, Nedjelko Cabrinovic attempt to kill Ferdinand by throwing a bomb into the car but was unsuccessful when Franz deflected the bomb with his arm. Theb Archduke later ...

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