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To what extent did Britain deserve the blame for WWI
Transcript of To what extent did Britain deserve the blame for WWI
Britain may be blamed for causing World War I because had it not been for its declaration of war to Germany what started as a local dispute involving Austria-Hungary and Serbia could have remained local as instead of involving war between all major powers.
Imperialism, nationalism, secret alliances and the way foreign affairs were conducted may be some of the causes to explain World War I. Military decisions are based on economic and political objectives.
In 1879 Austria-Hungary entered into an alliance with Germany guaranteeing mutual support in case of a Russian attack.
Italy joined this alliance in 1882 creating the Triple Alliance.
The economic situation in Germany was not a good one and therefore Germany launched an aggressive foreign policy to try to protect the interests of its industry (creating more markets) and to reduce the importance of domestic issues. Britain caused WWI Militarism was another cause of the war as both Germany and Britain had been arming themselves before the war.
Britain had the world’s greatest navy which allowed it to extend its empire.
Germany grew its own navy and by doing so challenged Britain’s naval supremacy.
Britain was the world’s industrial leader. Free trade guaranteed Britain’s access to world markets.
However, Germany was becoming a closer competitor. Militarism Russia had reached an alliance with France as it required French loans. Through their alliance each agreed to defend each other in the event of a German attack or if Germany supported an Austro-Hungarian attack.
Germany threatened the balance of power in Europe.
France, Britain and Russian entered into a Triple Alliance to defend themselves from Germany.
The German’s miscalculated Britain’s position and believed that Britain would remain neutral.
Britain instead honored its alliance with Russia and France and entered the war transforming a domestic conflict into a broad war.
Britain which felt that its naval power was being challenged by Germany was not willing to give up part of such power and that worked against neutrality. Alliances Anglo-German Naval Arms Race Imperialism Britain was the supreme naval power and was not willing to see that power challenged.
Britain in order to protect its imperial expansion plans entered into alliances with France and Russia.
Britain armed itself to become the most powerful navy in the world and its admirals wanted no rivals.
Britain needed free trade to protect the interests of its growing industrialism.
The Royal Navy and its importance for imperialism and trade.
Britain wanted to preserve the balance of power and Europe and for no state to grow its power.
For Germany to control Belgian ports meant an imminent threat to Britain’s naval interests.
Germany could invade France and become the sole power in continental Europe.
The war was caused by the treaty alliance system. Under the 1839 Treaty of London Britain agreed to defend the neutrality of Belgium. Therefore when Germany attacked Belgium Britain went to war against Germany. One of the causes of WWI was Imperialism. Countries such as Britain and France gained great wealth in the late 19th century through their control of trade in foreign resources, markets, territories, and people.
Other empires such as Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy, and Russia all hoped to also gain economic advantage. However, British policies of exclusion created tensions.
In addition, the limits of natural resources in many European nations began to alter trade balance, and make national industries seek new territories rich in natural resources.
Commercial interests contributed substantially to Anglo-German rivalry during the scramble for tropical Africa. Sharpest conflict arose between German and British commercial interests. Treaty of Berlin/ San Stefano The Suspects Britain Declared Guilty for Causing WWI First Moroccan Crisis Evidence Evidence A. Treaty of Berlin/ San Stefano 1878
B. Anglo-German Naval Arms Race (1902-1910)
C. Moroccan Crisis 1906
D. Edward Grey
E. John Fisher
F. King Edward VII
G. Lord Lansdowne
J. Imperialism Bibliography
Anglo-American. "King Edward VII." The North American Review 191, no. 655 (June 1910): 721-28.
Binder, David. "A Clash of Empires." The Wilson Quarterly (1976-) 8, no. 1 (January 1, 1984): 129-36.
Duffy, Michael, ed. "The Causes of World War One." First World War. Accessed 2010.
Ekstein, Michael. "Sir Edward Grey and Imperial Germany in 1914." Journal of Contemporary History 6, no. 3 (1971): 121-31.
Nicolson, Harold. "The Origins and Development of the Anglo-French Entente." International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1944-) 30, no. 4 (October 1954): 407-16. Opening Statements Britain deserves the most blame for the start of World War I. Anglo-German Naval Arms Race Moroccan Crisis Increased Conflicts within Great Powers, directly leading to WWI 5 Reasons Why
Britain Is To Blame 1. Britain was the supreme naval power and was not willing to see that power challenged. 2. Britain entered alliances with France and Russia in order to protect its imperial expansion plans. 5. The war was caused by the Treaty Alliance system. Under the 1839 Treaty of London, Britain agreed to defend neutrality of Belgium. Therefore when Germany invaded Belgium, Britain declared war on Germany. Japan also joined war due to Treaty with Britain. 3. Britain needed free trade to protect the interests of its growing industrialism. It wanted to preserve balance of power in Europe because if Germany controlled Belgian ports, it would become threat to Britain's naval interests. Sir Edward Grey John Fisher King Edward VII Lord Lansdowne British Foreign Secretary 1905-1916
Sent ultimatum to Germany demanding their withdrawal from the neutral Belgium
After Germany didn't withdraw, Britain declared war on Germany
If he stayed out of it, there wouldn't have been such a large scale war, he didn't need to make an ultimatum to Germany
Since Britain declared war on Germany, Japan also joined due to Treaty with Britain... Making War even greater One of the long term causes of WWI
Caused rising tensions between the Great Powers, led to breakdown of trust
Anglo-French Entente was formed 1904
Germany tried to prevent France from occupying Morocco
As a result of the crisis, the Anglo-French bond was even stronger and led to informal military alliance
Britain and France even held secret talks about suspicions against Germany
For Germany, their plan backfired
Already alliances and tensions are being formed
Many of these growing disputes and tensions could have been avoided if Britain stayed out of it, and wasn't so greedy for influence in North Africa 4. Britain may be blamed for causing WWI because had it not been for its declaration of war to Germany, what started as a local dispute involving Austria-Hungary and Serbia could have remained local. Instead it became a war between all of the major powers. King of Britain 1901-1910
Under King Edward VII, many alliances were made between Britain and the other Great Powers
These alliances were what shaped up alliances in World War I (Anglo-French, Anglo-Russian, Anglo-Japanese)
Made Germany grow resentful and isolated
Eventually tension led to all of the Great Powers joining in British Foreign Secretary 1900-1905
Signed 1902 Anglo-Japanese Alliance
Negotiated 1904 Anglo-French Entente Cordiale withe French foreign minister, Theophile Delcasse
Helped with formation of alliances that will cause greater tensions leading to WWI First Sea Lord 1904-1910, 1914-1915
Heavily involved in Naval reform
Introduced the worlds first all big-gun battleship, Dreadnought
Promoted the Baltic Project
Responsible for the victory at the Battle of Falkland Islands on December 8, 1914 Signed on 3 March 1878, this treaty concluded the Russo-Turkish wars (1877–1878).
Countries such as
Serbia, Montenegro, Romania, Bulgaria and especially Russia gained from this treaty.
Britain was the main one who opposed this treaty and pushed for the Congress of Berlin in 1878.
Britain was the beneficiary of the Congress of Berlin Treaty of Berlin/ San Stefano This was a naval build up and conflict between Britain and Germany who were rivals at sea.
Britain created her first Dreadnought which were large fast and heavy battleships with 12in guns. This increase in military and naval rivalry led to the belief that war was coming.