Date of Award

12-31-2014

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

History

First Advisor

Paul Bookbinder

Second Advisor

Vincent Cannato

Third Advisor

Spencer Di Scala

Abstract

A centennial calls for reflection and reinterpretation. In the 100th year since the tragedy that was World War I, the event continues to reveal itself one worthy of new angles and elucidation. Indeed, that is the aim of this work. Although much has been written on the legion of causes and conflicts that led up to the war, little attention has been paid to the equally as vital Agadir Crisis. Several years of research with a focus on the initial reactions and subsequent interactions between key figures during the crisis work to highlight the lasting inheritance of the Agadir Crisis in pushing Europe towards war. This work does not seek to discredit or disprove other works on the subject, but it instead aims to further discourse on the chief causes of the war by introducing the importance of a new area of focus. It is not meant to be an in-depth analysis of the various causes or the many countries involved in the war. Instead, the focus remains squarely on Agadir and its devastating impact on the Anglo-German relationship. Agadir was in many ways born of Kaiser Wilhelm's imperialistic policy of Weltpolitik, which resulted in a naval race with Great Britain. Although each side hoped for peace, tensions tore Britain from its policy of Splendid Isolation and furthered the gap between the two sides. Germany's aggressive posturing during the First Moroccan Crisis set the stage for the central Second Moroccan Crisis in Agadir. This conflict resulted in a hardening of British resolve against and Germany and the end of any serious attempts at peace on both sides. In addition to this, Britain fully embraced its Entente Cordiale ally France, and the Anglo-German rivalry began to produce military buildup on both sides. Overall, the tangible impact of Agadir on world leaders and their decisions leading up to the war proves both its legacy in the causes of WWI and its merit as an area of study.

Comments

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