Essay about Europe and World War I

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Europe and World War I

Although this is a period of history of which there is as much controversy as there are resources, it is difficult to determine the beginning of the causes for war, or the motives of the Powers. Some historians would date the beginning of the amenity and discord between the European Powers that eventually led to "the Great War" from as early as the end of the Franco- Prussian war and the unification of Germany in 1871. Since then, there followed a period of peace, but during this period, tensions continued, sometimes even threatening to "boil over" into war.

The start of the tensions, or the "long-term" causes of the First World War is in debate, but most historians
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Despite the Crimean War of the 1850's, there was still considerable concern for the Balkans in the light of the continuing decline of the Ottoman Empire. The Russo- Turkish War of 1878, which Russia won and gained control of the Straits showed that it was a considerable military power, while it showed the opposite about Turkey.

Despite all the tension that was mounting, between 1870 and 1890, European foreign affairs managed to not reach any climax or anywhere near a breaking point. Although it can be said that there was an industrial competition between Germany and Britain, it was not aimed intentionally to cause panic in Britain. Germany's industrial emphasis can be seen as heightening in this period as a result of their unification; now they had the means of exploiting materials as well as manufacturing it. Part of the reason that during this period, Germany was not seen as an aggressor is due to its Chancellor, Bismarck, who was conscious of the importance of pursuing a peaceful foreign policy and abstained form excessive Imperialism. Berlin, in 1894-95, was the centre for the diplomatic partition of Africa, with Bismarck heading up the talks between the powers. Germany's approach to other countries, and its foreign policy underwent a dramatic change in 1890, when Bismarck was dismissed from office and Caprivi was instated to the position. In
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