Why did war break out in 1914?

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Sam Tappenden, 3L                                                                                           8th October

Why did war break out in 1914?


There were many rivalries between countries around the time of 1914 and before. These made strained relations between countries. One of the rivalries was to do with The Navies of Germany and England. Even before the twentieth century, Britain Navy was established as the most powerful navy. No two navies put together would be the size of it. Because of the geographical position of Britain, with a large navy she would rule the seas and would not worry about invasion. This meant they would not have to have a very big army. This is why the navy was a big priority to Britain. At this stage, Germany had only been in existence for eighteen years and was not likely to compete with Britain, because they had no navy. But then a new Secretary of State for Germany’s admiralty was elected- Tirpitz. The next year after this – 1898, the first naval law was passed. The law stated that nineteen battleships should be built in the next seven years. The plans for the fleet were increased to an even larger extent in 1900, which included twenty-four battleships by 1920. Britain was in panic, but in 1906 Britain was still further ahead when they launched the new Dreadnought Battleships, which were quicker, heavier and thicker-armoured than any other earlier battleship. These ships were so superior to any others, that it made any other worthless. But if the Kaiser could match Britain in launching such ships, they would be on nearly equal terms with Britain’s Navy. In the years before the war, each country would try to out build each other in a sort of race – The Naval Race                                                                                       

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All the European colonies except for Austria and Russia had colonies in Africa. As a result, there were many clashes among France, Britain, Germany and Italy. For instance, France rivalled with Italy over Tunis and with Germany over Morocco. Another example of the colonial rivalries was The Kaiser envying France and Britain over their huge empires. He thought it was time for Germany to have its “place in the sun”. Britain did not like this because if Germany made any advances, it would not be good for Britain. Germany was very greedy for an empire, and there was some propaganda ...

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