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Britain and the Origins of the First World War by Zara Steiner, Keith Neilson

By Zara Steiner, Keith Neilson

How and why did Britain get involved within the First international warfare? considering the scholarship of the final twenty-five years, this moment variation of Zara S. Steiner's vintage research, completely revised with Keith Neilson, explores an issue that is as hugely contentious as ever.

While protecting the elemental argument that Britain went to battle in 1914 no longer due to inner pressures yet as a reaction to exterior occasions, Steiner and Neilson reject fresh arguments that Britain grew to become concerned due to fears of an 'invented' German threat, or to protect her Empire. as an alternative, putting better emphasis than sooner than at the function of Russia, the authors convincingly argue that Britain entered the struggle on the way to guard the eu stability of energy and the nation's beneficial place inside of it.

Lucid and complete, Britain and the Origins of the 1st global War brings jointly the bureaucratic, diplomatic, financial, strategical and ideological components that resulted in Britain's access into the good battle, and continues to be the main whole survey of the pre-war state of affairs.

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Extra resources for Britain and the Origins of the First World War

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There seems little point in building a bridge where there is no river to ford. Worse still, the failure of the talks created a fund ofill will which affected both official and popular feeling. Salisbury found the conduct of the Kaiser 'very mysterious and difficult to explain - there are dangers of his going off his head'. The Foreign Office became convinced that the Germans would extract their pound of flesh whenever the opportunity occurred. tts leading officials lost confidence in German gestures of good will.

The navalists had succeeded in convincing successive governments that the best way to protect Britain and her Empire was to maintain a two-power naval standard. Even in the nineties, the strain of maintaining a margin of superiority over France and Russia and keeping pace with the dizzying speed of technological change proved a costly, if not impossible, goal. The astronomical rise in defence budgets, particularly during the Boer War, as well as increased social spending, placed an almost intolerable burden on the Gladstonian Chancellor of the Exchequer, Hicks Beach, and on a government relying on traditional forms of revenue.

There was a final block, however, to an agreement which no amount of good will (and there was little of that after the Kruger telegram) could overcome. Germany was a European power embarking on a world stage; Britain was an imperial power with few European interests. Germany's geographic position made her 'Weltpolitik' a luxury which could only be indulged while her borders were secure. German interests in the Far East were never important enough to risk incurring the enmity of Russia particularly when British diplomacy was weakened by her South African involvement and overseas conflicts.

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