Britain and the origins of WWI

Essay by nfennemaUniversity, Bachelor'sA, February 2004

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When faced with the question of what roles Britain played in the onset of the First World War, one may immediately say that Britain didn't play a part in the causal events that led to the Great War, and that the only reason she joined was to come to the aid of Belgium, whose neutrality had been broken by the Germans. The following essay disproves that popular theory held by many people still to this day, as it focuses only on Britain and her role in the origins of World War One. Even though Britain did not ultimately cause the war, the country played a huge role in the events that led up to its outbreak in 1914.

Britain was involved in many conflicts within the twenty years before the great war broke out in 1914, conflicts which brought the country to the brink of war and others that ended in large scale blood shed.

It is these conflicts that truly show Britain's imperialistic nature and her perseverance in never backing down or away from what she felt rightfully belonged to her, as well as her pronounced lack of sympathy for any similar ambitions on the part of other nations .

Although Britain had been involved in years of territorial disputes in Africa against France, dating back to the seventeenth century, one of the most climatic events of those years took place in 1898, known as the Fashoda Crisis. In this conflict the French had occupied the territory of Fashoda, which the British felt belonged to them since they were the ones who had conquered the Mahdists at the battle of Omderman, thus opening up the Sudan. British troops marched to Fashoda and demanded the French to leave. When the French refused the British raised the Egyptian flag alongside...