Agadir Crisis
(1911)
   A Great Power crisis aggravating the tense atmosphere of European diplomacy leading to World War I. In the early part of the twentieth century, German’s leaders viewed their country as increasingly “encircled” following a number of international crises. These fears increased following the Agadir, or Second Moroccan, Crisis of 1911. Specifically, Berlin resented French military intervention in Morocco in 1911, a move that amounted in effect to the establishment of a French protectorate in Morocco and ran counter to the Algeciras Conference of 1906 and to the Franco- German agreement on Morocco of 1909. In response to the French “dash for Fez” in the spring of 1911, Germany wanted to assert its status as a Great Power, achieve compensation for France’s territorial gains, and possibly weaken the Entente Cordiale in the process. State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Alfred von Kiderlen-Wächter acted forcefully and was rewarded with an enthusiastic response in Germany. Germany’s military leaders advocated a war, but Berlin instead dispatched the gun-boat Panther to the Moroccan port of Agadir to intimidate the French, an event that marked the beginning of the crisis. Berlin demanded the French Congo as compensation for the extension of French influence in Morocco, but France received diplomatic support from Britain so their Germany’s action only strengthened rather weakened the links between the Entente partners. This was demonstrated by British Chancellor of the Exchequer, David Lloyd George, in his famous “Mansion House Speech” of July 21, 1911 in which he threatened to fight on France’s side against Germany if necessary.
   Thus, the crisis produced another German diplomatic defeat despite the fact that Berlin secured a small part of the French Congo as compensation. In Berlin, the defeat resulted in a bellicose anti-French and a particularly anti-British mood. Kiderlen-Wächter did not seek war in 1911, but he was willing to threaten it for diplomatic gains. But in the aftermath of the crisis, demands for a preventive war became widespread. Public enthusiasm for the army became more pronounced, especially as a result of the propaganda work of the German Army League, founded in January 1912. Agadir also had serious international consequences. In France, public mood turned distinctly anti-German. Because Britain and Germany were compensated for French gains in Morocco, Italy decided to annex Libya and Tripolitania in November 1911. Thereafter, enfeebled Turkey became an easy target for the Balkan League during the Balkan Wars of 1912/13. Italy became a less reliable alliance partner for Germany and Austria-Hungary, while the newly strengthened Serbia and Montenegro posed a more serious threat to the Dual Monarchy. The crisis gave rise to the Anglo-French naval agreement, discussed against the backdrop of the events of 1911 and signed in February 1913. Germany’s “encirclement” was fast becoming reality.
   See also <>; <>; <>; <>.
   FURTHER READING:
    Barraclough, Geoffrey. From Agadir to Armageddon: Anatomy of a Crisis. London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1982;
    Joll, James, and Martel, Gordon. The Origins of the First World War , 3rd ed. London: Longman, 2006;
    Rich, Norman. Friedrich von Holstein. Policy and Diplomacy in the Era of Bismarck and Wilhelm II . 2 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1964.
   ANNIKA MOMBAUER

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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