To Fight or Not to Fight: Britains Dilemma and the Great War

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Like any issue in World history, Britain's entrance into World War I has many causes, all as valid as each other. The land scramble following the Balkan Wars, a sense of and simultaneous need for nationalism, British hubris, and Germany's inability to remain content with their minor role on the European playing field all contributed to Britain's necessity to entering World War I.


If Britain wanted to remain a major world player, she had no choice but to participate in the largest and most major conflict the world had ever seen.
Britain's navel supremacy had firmly placed her among the superpowers of Europe, but by 1905, Germany's naval superiority over France and Russia gave Britain reason to distrust her continental neighbour1. After Germany's unification, Kaiser Wilhelm sought to make Germany's navy join its army as the best in the world. "[Kaiser] Wilhelm undertook the creation of a German navy capable of threatening Britain's century-old naval mastery"2. While Germany presented a competitor for the British fleet, but Britain did not fear the German fleet expansion. Though these two formidable fleets stood together in the Crisis of 1914, the knowledge that Germany had
such impressive sea power must have had a psychological effect, no matter how small, on the British pride who had dominated the naval world for so long. Germany planted the seed of distrust, however, three years earlier in Morocco. After the French sent troops into Morocco without the consent of its allies, Germany sent in a naval ship, the Panther to Agadir3. The sending of naval ships served as an insult to Britain, who felt she supplied the alliance with naval might. ...
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