Why Did Britain Go To War In 1914?

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Why did Britain go to war in 1914? Whereas world war two the cause was straightforward, the causes of the Great War have been debatable, but a general consensus amongst historians has been agreed. It is said that the assassination on Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the catalysts of series of event that led up to full-scale war. The Great War essentially started on the 28th July 1914, with Austria declaring war on Serbia, but it was not until the 1st August (Historyonthenet, 2008) where the war escalated with the German declaration of war on Russia. It was not until the 4th August, where the British declaration of war was announced. Why Britain joined the Great War is debatable and historians have come up with numerous reasons such as the threat of Germany, due to public opinion and was it over the invasion of Belgium? Each of these reasons and more I will discuss in the following paragraphs. Furthermore the impending threat of Germany was seen to be a reason for Britain going to war. According to Ferro in his book 'The Great War' he suggests that England felt threatened by Germany due to the unprecedented economic strides the country made between 1880 and 1914, although Germany did not have a financial base on the same scale as Britain's economic power. In addition Germany's rising industrial base had overtaken Britain's, although Germany did have trading routes and links around the world as Britain had. Ferro goes on and talks about the rising force of the German naval force with the building of their version of the super-ship the Dreadnoughts. Furthermore Anglo-German rivalry became a public matter, orchestrated and fomented by press and cinema (Ferro, 1969). Critics agree that an arms race especially between Britain and Germany was created with the cost affecting both countries, the buildings of their naval fleet between the two countries is an example of
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