Germany foreign policy 1900 1914
In each case the British and Russians stood firm, and, even though Germany gained concessionsthe Triple Entente remained solid.
German foreign policy summary
In , Germany had gained the island of Heligoland in the North Sea from Britain in exchange for the eastern African island of Zanzibar , and proceeded to construct a great naval base there. However, peaceful relations with France became impossible in when Germany annexed the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine. Eastern Europe and the Balkans were now considered the most likely areas for German economic and political penetration. The following year, a conference was held in which all of the European powers except Austria-Hungary by now little more than a German satellite sided with France. The British found this threatening and negotiated an alliance with Japan in and another one with France in This is entirely possible, though it seems unlikely that Germany would have gone to the lengths that it did--namely, World War I--for political reasons alone. Down to , the Chancellor typically dominated foreign policy decisions, supported by his Foreign Minister. With Russia rapidly recovering from its defeat by Japan in and Austria-Hungary increasingly threatened by the national aspirations of its minorities, time appeared to be on the side of the Triple Entente. Russia turned its attention eastward to Asia and remained largely inactive in European politics for the next 25 years. Italy wanted to defend its interests in North Africa against France's colonial policy. Germany's reliance time and again on sheer power, while Britain increasingly appealed to moral sensibilities, played a role, especially in seeing the invasion of Belgium as a profound moral and diplomatic crime. Germany hosted the Congress of Berlin , whereby a more moderate peace settlement was agreed to. In each case the British and Russians stood firm, and, even though Germany gained concessions , the Triple Entente remained solid. Germany came on the imperial scene late, when the choicest territories had already been occupied. Germany was the leader of the Central Powers, which included Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and later Bulgaria; arrayed against them were the Allies, consisting chiefly of Russia, France, Britain, and in Italy.
If this was all true, what was Germany's problem? Germany hosted the Congress of Berlinwhereby a more moderate peace settlement was agreed to.
It became increasingly difficult to govern with a democratically elected Reichstag and a Prussian parliament that represented a conservative plutocracy. Germany's reliance time and again on sheer power, while Britain increasingly appealed to moral sensibilities, played a role, especially in seeing the invasion of Belgium as a profound moral and diplomatic crime.
Bismarck's attack on the Church was not altogether successful, since it inspired widespread concern over the social fabric of the new state, allowing the Catholic Center party to rally the Catholic vote and other supporters to oppose Bismarck's policies.
Germany foreign policy 1900 1914
Nor did Germany build a navy simply to defend its coastline; rather, the new battleships were capable of challenging the other naval powers on the oceans. Thus, if war was inevitable, the sooner it came, the better. Known as the Kulturkampf, or "struggle for civilization", the anti-Church campaign aimed to eliminate Catholics who, Bismarck thought, could never maintain true loyalty to the state because of their higher loyalty to Rome. Load Next Page. Weber admonished his audience that Germany had to follow suit or become another Switzerland. Though Germany maintained universal manhood suffrage, the Reichstag, the house of Parliament in the German Empire, held only very restricted powers of legislation. However they do indicate that if Germany had won it would have taken a very aggressive dominant position in Europe. Berlin's analysis proved mistaken on every point, leading to Germany's increasing isolation and its dependence on the Triple Alliance , which brought together Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. In the chancellor, Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg , and his ministers reassessed the decade and a half of efforts to achieve global power and judged them a failure. Germany now found itself surrounded by three major powers allied against it. In Bismarck gave way, and a number of colonies were established overseas. The ideas sketched by Riezler were not fully formulated, were not endorsed by Bethmann-Hollweg, and were not presented to or approved by any official body. In fact, it was Bismarck himself who helped initiate the Berlin Conference of Furthermore, Anglo—German relations cooled as Germany aggressively tried to build a new empire and engaged in a naval race with Britain; London refused to agree to the formal alliance that Germany sought.
Germany, still smarting from the previous quarrel, agreed to a settlement whereby the French ceded some territory in central Africa in exchange for Germany's renouncing any right to intervene in Moroccan affairs.
Put less colloquially, why was Germany itching to prosecute a dangerously aggressive foreign policy when its domestic situation was strong and its position in Europe was unrivaled?
When a Russian delegation came to Berlin in to renew the mutual defense treaty, the German side showed them the German-Austrian mutual defense treaty, pointed out that the German-Austrian and German-Russian treaties contradicted themselves and that the new German administration would stick to it's Austrian ally.
Berlin's analysis proved mistaken on every point, leading to Germany's increasing isolation and its dependence on the Triple Alliancewhich brought together Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy.
In Britain settled its differences with Russia, and the Triple Entente including France was established.
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