How did Imperialism increase tensions among the Great Powers?

Tensions amongst the Great Powers in the early twentieth century evolved from a collection of issues that had existed for many years. One of the most significant of these issues was imperialism, which had existed since the sixteenth century when empires first decided to colonise countries for raw materials and cheap labour. By analysing the Moroccan Crisis, Balkan Wars and Naval Arms Race it is evident that imperialism was definitely one of the most influential causes of tension in Europe.

An early example of imperialism creating tension in Europe is in the Moroccan Crises of 1905 and 1911. The debate over Morocco was initially solved with the Entente Cordinale signed by Britain and France in 1904. Signing this treaty was supposed to ensure there would be no disputes over who colonised Morocco. However Germany never signed this treaty, and saw Morocco as an opportunity to test the Entente Cordinale. In addition control over Morocco would bring Germany closer to Weltpolitik, as it provided naval ports. On the 31st of March 1905, the Kaiser visited Tangier and declared that he would support Moroccan Independence. As hoped, this outraged France and all was to be discussed in the 1906 International Conference. This conference proved that the Entente Cordinale had strengthened and Germany found itself lacking support from any other nations. In 1911 Germany decided cause more conflict, placing the ‘Panther’ their gunboat into the Moroccan port, claiming it would protect German citizens of Morocco. As Germany became more of a threat, Britain and France grew closer and closer. This alliance, forced Germany to settle for two pieces of land in the French Congo, and left them defeated. Leaving Germany defeated, and the Entente Cordinal stronger than ever before, it is clear how the Moroccan Crises became an imperialist cause of European tension in the early twentieth century.

Similarly the Balkan Wars,...