The First World War As The Result of Anglo-German Rivalry Essay

The First World War As The Result of Anglo-German Rivalry Essay

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The First World War As The Result of Anglo-German Rivalry

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

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

... middle of paper ...

...any would allow
France to do as she pleased with Morocco. Because of this crisis, the
British and French increased their naval co-operation, knowing that
they now had a virtual alliance against Germany.

This shows that there were many other causes of World War 1 and in
fact Anglo-German rivalry alone probably would not have had such a
large impact. It took a combination of the alliance system, the
Schlieffen plan, German Aggression and Differences over the Eastern
Question, as well as the short term causes, the two Moroccan Crises
and Sarajevo to finally bring about world war. It was a combination of
these causes, and no single cause which was responsible for this,
therefore the original statement is partially true, as Anglo-German
rivalry was responsible, but vastly underestimates the many other
reasons for war.

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