reasons great britain joined the allied forces?



3 years ago Comment

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Britain was often described as being in 'Splendid Isolation' from the rest of Europe. Britain had a huge empire and ruling this empire was its priority. The key to Britain's power was India with its vast resources of manpower. Britain relied heavily on Indian troops to control the empire. The highest priority for Britain was protecting the trade routes between Britain and India. Britain's large navy protected trade links with India and with the rest of the world. Despite this focus on the empire, Britain was interested in events in Europe. To start with, other European countries had rival empires. Belgium and France both had large empires in Africa. There was strong rivalry between Britain and France over possessions in North Africa. By the early 1900s, Germany also had colonies in Africa and was beginning to show an interest in North Africa. Another concern was Russia. For much of the 19th century, Russia wanted to take control of the Dardanelles, the area where the Black Sea opened out into the Mediterranean Sea. This would allow Russian warships and trading ships to sail easily around Europe. Russia had other ports in the north, but these tended to freeze over in winter. The problem was that the Dardanelles were owned by Turkey. Turkey and Russia had long been enemies. Britain supported Turkey against Russia. This was because Britain did not want Russian ships in the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean was part of Britain's most important trade route to India.Within a few more days, Britain, France and Russia (the Allies) were all officially at war with Germany and Austria-Hungary (the Central Powers). What had started as a small, local problem in the Balkans was turning into the biggest and most brutal war the world had ever seen.