Economic Compettion

Economic backgroung to WW1

Importance of Industrialisation

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  • Created by: Hannah
  • Created on: 05-06-12 15:25

Key Facts

  • At the beginning of 20th century Britain was the most powerful country with the biggest empire and richest trade.
  • Germany was becomming increasingly powerful and rich
  • In 1913 Britain made £1.2 million in trade just above Germany who made £1 million but by 1914 Germany was producing more iron, steel and cars than Britain.
  • This economic rivalry caused tension.
  • With more money and resources like iron and steel Germany would have an advantage if the countries ever went to war.
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Explain why competition between the Germany and Br

Competition caused rivalry between Britain and Germany for various reasons but they are all linked beacuse they all stem from each country's aim to become more powerful and richer and to prevent the other country doing the same.

1. Colonial competition caused rivalry because at the beggining of the 20th century Britain had the largest empire and its many colonies meant it could earn lots of money, for example it earne £1000 million in tax and goods from just one colony (India) in the period 1750-1900. Germany was jealous and too wanted colonies so it could become richer. This menat that Germany tried to prevent France from colonising Morocco which caused the Morocan and Agadir crisis, however, Britain did not want Germany to increase in overseas power and it was concerned Germany were trying to set up a port in Morocco, so in both cases stood by France. This caused rivalry as it meant Germany was forced to back down firstly, beacuse Britain had agreed that France should have special rights in Morocco, and then in 1911 because Britain threatened war, and so Germany was determined to win the next contest.

2. Then on top of colonies Britain was also earning money through manufacture, and at the beginning of the 20th century had the richest trade. However, Germany was starting to become increasingly powerful econmoically and by 1914 had over taken Britain in terms of money generated through trade and was producing more iron, steel and cars than Britain. This economic competition increased rivalry because the richer the country the more powerful it would be and the more advantageous in war.

3. Perhaps the main reason why competiton led to rivalry between Britain and Germany was militray compettiton and the battle for naval supremacy. When the Kaiser announced in 1898 that he would build 41 battleships Britain thought this was a challenge to British naval superiority and so responded by launching the new powerful Dreadnought in 1906. From then on both countries competed for the most dreadnoughts  and so perhaps this was the main reason why competition caused tension beacise not only would a more powerful navy mean that the enemy would be able to become more powerful but it meany they could perhaps declare war which made each country anxious.

So overall, compettion increased tension because each country wanted to be the most powerful so it could earn the most money and be the most likely to win war.

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