Tag Archives: Kaiser Wilhelm II

The breakdown of the International System from 1890

In this revision podcast we see how the ascension of Wilhelm II to the throne of Germany in 1890 led to the breakdown of the Alliance System created by Bismarck.  It explores how a number of factors led to increased European tensions through reference to key issues including Weltpolitik, the arms race, and nationalism.  These factors are assessed in order to explain the changing relationships between the European powers during the period.

          

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The Second Moroccan Crisis

Why was there a Second Moroccan Crisis in 1911?

The German gunboat SMS Panther was sent to the Moroccan port of Agadir, sparking the Second Moroccan Crisis.

France had emerged from the First Moroccan Crisis of 1906 in a much stronger position than neighbouring Germany, whose Kaiser Wilhelm II sought to develop economic and commercial interests in the country. The two countries formalised their positions in an agreement two years later but, by 1911, the domestic situation in Morocco had declined. In early 1911 the Sultan, Abdelhafid, faced an uprising by native tribes who also attacked French forces stationed in the country.

In response 20,000 French and colonial troops were sent to the city of Fez under the pretext of protecting European residents and their property. This was interpreted by some in Germany as an attempt to extend French control over Morocco, and in response the gunboat SMS Panther was dispatched to the port of Agadir.

While France was unwilling to take military action, the arrival of the German navy raised some concerns in Britain that Germany might seek to establish a naval base. An article in “The Times” newspaper on 20 July further raised public tensions, while David Lloyd George’s Mansion House speech the following day stated that Britain would not tolerate German aggression in Africa.

In the midst of such a hostile atmosphere the situation was eventually resolved through negotiations between the German and French governments. In return for recognising France’s position in Morocco, Germany received territory in the Congo. However, the damage that the naval dimension of the crisis caused to German relations with Britain was irreparable and only deepened the mistrust that was to contribute to the outbreak of the First World War.

The July Crisis and the outbreak of World War One

This revision podcast provides an overview of the July Crisis of 1914 that acted as the spark to World War One.  The episode begins with the events of 28th June when Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was assassinated by the Black Hand Gang.  It then goes on to explore the impact of the assassination on the diplomatic actions of Germany and Austria-Hungary, including the ‘blank cheque’.  Finally, the podcast describes the actions of Russia, France and Britain as the major nation states of Europe fell in to war.

          

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The outbreak of the First World War