¨Naval rivalry was the main cause of WW1.¨ How far do you agree with this statement? Explain
I partially agree with this statement because although naval rivalry was a very important cause for the war there were other fundamental events that contributed to the development of WWI. In the following essay I am going to explore the main reasons why the war in Europe began.
To begin with, naval rivalry was crucial to the outbreak of the war due to the fact that controlling the seas could give extreme power to the different nations. Great Britain had the most powerful navy because it is an island and it was the way to defend themselves and get more territories. Other countries, such as Germany also wanted to have that kind of power. This is when the rivalry started and so tension began among the nations. However, this was not the only problem that Europe was going through at that time, there were other facts that played an important role for the war to begin.
One of the most important facts that contributed to the development of the war was the alliances among the European countries. The Triple Entente consisted of Russia, France and Great Britain, while the Triple Alliance was formed by Germany, Italy and Austria-Hungary.These two groups created strong tension in the continent because they were all extremely powerful countries or empires and so arguments, disagreements and fights were common.
Furthermore, another essential cause of the war was the arms race. All the most powerful countries in Europe wanted to improve their weapons and increase their armies in case of possible attacks and in order to frighten the enemy and make him think twice before starting a war.
Finally, it could be said that the murder at Sarajevo was the last key event that contributed to the war and that it was the spark that lit the bonfire. The previous facts were already causing tension and preparing Europe for war but the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria Hungary, made decisions happen fast. War was an imminent fact in the history of Europe.
To sum up, I consider that the naval race was a fundamental element in the development of war because it caused tension between Great Britain and Germany and it brought changes to the navy. However, it was not the only fact that contributed, the alliances, the arms race and the murder at Sarajevo also played an important role in the history of WWI.