The Panther's Leap
The desire for land, power and expanded influence can be cited as the motivation behind any number of historical events and, many times, have far reaching consequences. The event that took place on July 1st, 1911 is no exception. This event, which came to be known as The Panther's Leap stemmed from the ambitions of the German government to gain land and power and to widen their sphere of influence, and ultimately resulted in the Second Moroccan Crisis. It can even be cited as a stepping stone into World War I. This diplomatic error made by the German government, stirred up an unrest in a seemingly stable Europe that would continue to grow unchecked until it came to a head with the outbreak of World War I
When 1911 began, Europe was living under a very comfortable illusion of peace. The conflicts of the past few years, including the First Moroccan Crisis, had been decided and the countries of Europe appeared to be content if not completely satisfied and wanting peace.
"Something like a balance of powers seemed achieved. Sir Edward Grey, surveying Europe, thought 'there was nothing to bring the two groups of European Powers into conflict; and it could therefore be said at any time, though there were two separate groups of Powers, these groups were not necessarily hostile'" (Sontag, 153). However, though subdued, the underlying tensions from earlier conflicts were still present. It was in April that the illusion of peace began to fall apart.
In March of 1911, a Moroccan revolt began. As the country progressed toward anarchy, France took action. Troops were dispatched in early April and occupied Fez, the Moroccan capital, on May 21. While France proclaimed their actions were purely to protect French interests in Morocco, Europe, seeing it...