“Britain Went to War with German as a Result of Long Term Factors Rather Than a Defence of Belgium in 1914”. Explain Why You Agree or Disagree with This View. Essay

1136 WordsMay 8, 20125 Pages
On August 4th 1914 Britain declared war on Germany as a result of Germany’s unprovoked invasion of Belgium. The foreign secretary of Britain at this time was Edward Grey, of the Liberal party, under the leadership of the Prime Minister, Henry Campbell Bannerman. The leadership of Germany at this time consisted of the almost absolute monarch – Kaiser Wilhelm II and Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg. The first proclamation of war by the British upon Germany led in turn to the empires and allies of both respective states becoming involved in the conflict, resulting in total war – The Great War or World War I. Although the war was a direct result of the short term conflict between Germany and Belgium there were numerous other longer-term reasons which contributed to Britain going to war with Germany, such as the deterioration of Anglo-German relations. A major contributing long-term factor, to Britain going to war with Germany was the continued deterioration of Anglo-German relations, due to improved Anglo-French relations. Germany had traditionally always had very good relations with Britain, whereas France had usually had bad relations with Britain – France traditionally had been Britain’s enemy, and Germany it’s ally but this situation was reversed in the years leading up to the declaration of war. Anglo-French relations improved due to the 1904 Anglo-French entente (Entente Cordiale), up to the point where Britain instituted the British Expeditionary Force for the express reason of providing naval support to France, along with partaking in Military and Naval talks with France. Although the initial diplomatic agreement made by Britain was an entente with strictly no military commitments to France, in the resulting years after the Entente the Anglo-French Entente was an alliance in all but name. It could be argued that Britain’s increasing diplomatic

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