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Description

There was intense rivalry between nations over the strength of their armies and navies leading up to World War I.

The German Kaiser wanted his forces to match the armies of France and Russia, and his navy to rival Britain. The growing potential of threat from Germany, as well as Germany's alliance with Austria-Hungary and Italy, brought Britain, France and Russia into alliance. The rivalries between the countries were also stoked by competition over the size and extent of their empires. In particular, many European powers were competing for land and wealth in Africa.

Finally, the potential for conflict was growing between smaller European countries, such as those of the Balkans, which sought self rule, and the larger nations that wished to continue governing them.
This clip is from:
First broadcast:
16 March 2007

Classroom Ideas

Students could create a chat show, in which the leaders of Britain, Germany, France and Austria-Hungary meet to discuss their aims for their countries and concerns about the actions of the others.

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