Why did Britain go to War in 1914?


Why did Britain go to War in 1914? 

Strategy and Security

The Royal Navy needed to be in control of the approaches to Britain e.g. the 'Low countries' and Ireland) to ensure its safety. Britain also needed to be able to protect its empire and interests abroad. Failure to intervene in a large scale war in Europe could leave Britain isolated and its empire threatened by another nation's expansion. 

Alliances and Agreements

In 1904, Britain and France agreed to the 'Entente Cordiale', which became the 'Triple Entente' when Russia joined the agreement in 1907. When Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife were assassinated in Sarajevo the alliance system kicked in, with a chain of war declarations from rival members of the two alliances. Where Britain is concerned the most important was the German declaration of war against France, Britain could try to stay out of Russian…


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