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International Relations since 1914 - Literature review Example

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International Relations Since 1914 Many a historian has argued about the causes and impacts of the First World War. Many analysts categorize the causes of the war into two; short and long-term causes. One of the common features amongst the various theories postulated in relation to the major cause of the war regards the fight for superiority or control…
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International Relations since 1914
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International Relations since 1914

Download file to see previous pages... The following sections of the paper will be dedicated to analyzing the views of four authors, Fergusson, Williamson, Howard and Schroeder, as regards the causes of the war. Fergusson, in The Pity of War, talks about how the arms race between different countries in Europe contributed to tensions that eventually led to the war. At the beginning of the century, Britain had a well established naval force which was deemed to be the strongest in the world. Germany was quickly catching up and France’s military was known to be one of the strongest at the time. Both Britain and France were weary of Germany’s rapid military and arms expansion. Britain saw Germany as a threat to its monopoly in naval power. However, according to Fergusson, the Germans never did catch up with Britain. Thus according to Fergusson, the main cause of the First World War was the race to control the seas. The tensions continued to escalate until the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo finally lit the fire that led to the beginning of the World War 1. In his article The Origins of World War I , Williamson looks at the long term and short causes of the war. ...
Williams also talks of alliances which created heightened suspicions particularly between Britain and France on one hand and Germany on the other. He also talks of nationalism and imperialism as some of the long term causes of the tensions that led to the war. These tensions according to the author were consolidated by events in Morocco, the Balkans and Bosnia. The Sarajevo assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie was the final event that finally gave way to war. In The Coming of War, Michael Howard talks about the Balkan crisis, the military situation in European nations and the arms race as the main causes of the war. He talks about Germany’s growing confidence and ambition to overtake Britain as the greatest power in Europe at the time. On the other hand, Schroeder starts his article World War I as Galloping Gertie: A Reply to Joachim Remak by highlighting what other author think to have been the causes of the war, he then goes ahead to argue why he thinks that these reasons are not true and gives his own argument of what he thinks led to the war. He considers the events that were happening at the time: the arms race, crisis in the Balkans and Germany’s ambitions and states that the war was “a normal development in international relations” (322). Fergusson’s argument is that Germany’s military ambition and Britain’s plans to retain her monopoly on the seas cased much tension between these two competing countries. Alliances were formed to strengthen the countries’ chances of winning at war. Fergusson’s argument about arms race being the cause of the First World War is clearly articulated throughout the article. On the other hand, Williamson explores both the long term and short term causes of the war and gives solid ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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