top-rated free essay

Why did tension increase in Europe from 1900 to 1014?

By T.M Nov 02, 2008 1023 Words
Why did tension increase in Europe from 1900 to 1014?There are various factors that amplified the tensions in Europe from 1900 to 1914. A few of the major factors were International rivalry, the arms race, colonialism and the Crisis's of Morocco and Bosnia. These factors, alongside numerous others contributed to fuelling the First World War.

International rivalry was, debatably, the biggest factor that caused the First World War. As the European powers such as Britain, France and Russia had been competing with each other in might, prominence and colonial expansion. Furthermore, Britain and France had been rivals for an incredibly lengthy period of time and had a bitter relationship with each other. Europe was already unstable, with the hostility between Britain and France and with Austria-Hungary at the brink of war with the Serbs and the Slavs; the appearance of Germany and Italy in 1871 posed a serious threat of shifting the balance of power in Europe.

The two alliances that separated Europe into two camps also played a major role in causing tensions between European powers. The alliances were formed following a series of agreements that were made by the majority of European powers that committed them to fight if their ally were to ever be threatened. An example of one of these agreements was the Entente Cordialle. Shortly after these treaties were signed, it was clear that Europe had been divided into two sides; namely, the Triple Entente and the Triple Alliance. Moreover, smaller, newly formed countries such as Serbia would ask for the support of their allies if they were ever threatened, this meant that what would have been a little dispute between two countries would turn out to be a full blown war between all the major powers of Europe.

Another very important source of the tensions in Europe was the race for military power. There was competition over both the army and the navy. The arms race involved most of the countries in Europe, it meant that all the major powers were building up their military and anticipating the outbreak of war. France and Germany also built up their defences as Germany had humiliated France in 1870-71 by taking Alsace-Lorraine. This meant that France despised Germany and would employ any excuse to start a war with her and take back Alsace-Lorraine, their honour and Germany's pride. Even the notion of war caused discomfort in many countries and consequently increased the tensions between the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente. The naval race was primarily between Britain and Germany. Britain did not have a large army; they relied on their navy for protection and support. Because of this, Britain made sure it had the largest navy in the world. So when the Germany started building their navy Britain felt threatened and started to rapidly expand her navy as well.

Although Germany was had both a strong economy and military, it had not been given any chance to demonstrate this strength. At the time, the best method to demonstrate strength was in the acquirement of colonies. However, Germany could not get any good colonies as they had begun the race for colonies a lot later than the rest of Europe; this meant that they only got the worst bits of land.

In 1905, the German Kaiser visited Morocco, which was presently going to be under French control, in an attempt to break up the Triple Entente, he stated his desire to protect German trading interests there. A diplomatic row soon followed and war almost broke out. A conference was held and no one supported the Germans except for a half-hearted Austria. Morocco was now under French control. This infuriated the Kaiser, as he had not got what he wished or destabilized the Triple Entente. However, the crisis of Morocco was not over. In 1911 a rebellion in Morocco forced the Sultan to ask for French assistance, Germany could not allow this to happen, she demanded that the French troops withdraw from Morocco and sent a gunboat to Agadir. Another conference was held, and after much diplomatic activity, Germany, again, was forced to back down. The Kaiser had been humiliated for the last time, he would not lose a diplomatic clash again, and the next time would mean war.

The constant disputes in the Balkans between Austria-Hungary and Serbia also caused a large amount of tension in Europe. Although Austria-Hungary was corrupt and feeble, it still had the capacity to cause the outbreak of war. Because of their constant disputes with Serbia and the other Balkan countries, Serbia could set off a war with Russia and thereby cause the rest of the countries to join in. Furthermore, Austria-Hungary was concerned about the Serbian motive to unite all the Slavs. Their concern was so great that in 1908 they mobilised their troops and occupied Bosnia; this action made Serbia ask their ally, Russia, for assistance. Nonetheless, the Tsar had to back down when Germany threatened to support Austria. Soon after this incident, in 1912, Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia fought a join war against Turkey and pushed them out of Europe; this was the First Balkan War. The Austrians could not let the Serbs have control over the cost, so they called together a peace conference and created Albania; this stopped the Serbs expanding to the coast.

In the end, it was the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand that lit the powder keg of Europe. This was the excuse Austria was waiting for, it threatened Serbia and gave them a Ultimatum, however, Serbia could not accept the terms and war broke out, the carefully knit network of alliances soon started to get dragged in to the war. Soon, all of Europe was involved in the war. The First World War had begun.

Overall, the tensions in Europe were steadily increasing and it can be said that after 1912, the outbreak of war was almost certain and it would have taken a miracle to stop it. There was six countries all intertwined in alliances and treaties and six countries all building up their military power; it was the perfect recipe of war.

BibliographyAll information was gathered from the following internet sites:

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Why Did International Tension Increase in Europe in the Period 1912 to the Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in June 1914

    ...1. Why Did International Tension Increase In Europe In The Period 1912 To The Assassination Of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in June 1914? One of the reasons why international tension increased in Europe in the period 1912 to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in June 1912 was because the Balkan States were fed up of being owned by the Ot...

    Read More
  • Why There Were Tensions Between Countries in Europe in 1914

    ...I’m going to explain why there were tensions between countries in Europe and why they led to war in 1914. For years before 1914, tension had been building in Europe. One cause of tension was overseas colonies. For example Germany and France clashed over in Morocco, between 1905 and 1911. This started by France who wanted to have more colonies...

    Read More
  • Why Did Germany Loose Ww1?

    ...Why did Germany loose the WW1? Why did Germany loose The First World War? On 28 June 1914 a bullet change the tension in Europe for years and a World war broke out. Germany in the losing side together with especially Austria-Hungary but also Ottoman empire and Bulgaria against in the start the Triple Entente which included Russia, Britain and ...

    Read More
  • Why did war break out in 1914

    ...Why Did War Break Out In 1914? There are several reasons why war broke out in 1914. Reasons such as revenge and jealousy influenced the outbreak of war majorly and in the important events leading up to the war such as the Moroccan crises, the Bosnian crisis and the Balkan Wars, the concepts Nationalism, Militarism, Imperialism and Alliance...

    Read More
  • Why did Germany Lose WW1

    ...Why did Germany lose World War One? World War One was a war between several countries in Europe. It is called a world war because it was the first war which affected so many countries all over the world. It took place from July 1914 to November 1918. The war was mainly fought between two alliances, the Triple Entente (Britain, France and Rus...

    Read More
  • Analyse the Role of Nationalism in the Escalation of Tensions in Europe from 1870-1909

    ...countries. Nationalism in Europe rose by several folds after the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71. France was not only defeated, but also humiliated by the well-equipped Prussian Army. France was made to surrender 80,000 men, pay 5,000 million marks and had been further humiliated by the Prussian victory march through Paris. There was a strong fee...

    Read More
  • Why did Germany lose WW1

    ...World War I (WWI or WW1), also known as the First World War, was a global war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918. From the time of its occurrence until the approach of World War II, it was called simply the World War or the Great War, and thereafter the First World War or World War I. This war The war ...

    Read More
  • Why Did Stalin Take Control of Eastern Europe?

    ...Model Essay Why did Stalin take control of Eastern Europe? Plan Introduction Explain Stalin’s need for internal security in its historical context Block 1 Discuss Stalin’s tactic for gaining Eastern Europe and the wartime agreements that carved Europe up into ‘spheres of influence’, e.g. Tehran, 1943, Percentages Agreement, 1...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.