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Imperial Rivalries and European Diplomacy, 1890–1907

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Part of the European History in Perspective book series (EUROHIP)

Abstract

The years between 1890 and 1907 do not provide a neat progression to the more obvious and immediate origins of the First World War. It is true that France and Russia concluded a military convention against Germany in 1894, but in practice each found itself mainly preoccupied with imperial rivalries with Britain. This distraction in the case of Russia even facilitated a significant improvement in relations with Germany and Austria-Hungary during the second half of the 1890s. Most surprising and therefore revealing was the fact that yet another Near Eastern crisis reinforced rather than weakened these trends. Consequently for some years (and in striking contrast to the late 1880s), it seemed quite possible that the next great war would see Britain ranged against either Russia or France — or both of those powers — and with Germany and Austria (at least in the opening phase) in the role of interested by-standers.

‘The partition of the greater part of the globe among such powers is … now only a question of time.’ (George Bernard Shaw)

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Notes and References

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© 1996 C. J. Bartlett

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Bartlett, C.J. (1996). Imperial Rivalries and European Diplomacy, 1890–1907. In: Peace, War and the European Powers, 1814–1914. European History in Perspective. Palgrave, London. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-24958-9_6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-24958-9_6

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