Causes of the First World War

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  • Causes of the First World War
    • The Alliance System
      • The Triple Alliance
        • The Triple Alliance was a secret agreement between Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy in 1882.The members of the alliance promised that each country would support one another if attacked by France.These agreements were all part of Bismarck’s oiverall goals of keeping peace in Europe and isolating France.
      • The Threat of Germany
        • Balance of power: Germany was a threat to the balance of power in Europe for a number of reasons. Germany had undergone rapid industrialisation and was seeing very quick economic growth.Germany had an experienced and strong military following the series of wars building up to unification in 1871.
        • Otto von Bismarck's aims: Otto von Bismarck wanted to consolidate Germany, not cause difficulties by challenging other nations. To achieve this aim, Bismarck needed peace in Europe.To make sure that there was peace in Europe, Bismarck began a series of alliances with European powers. Bismarck’s priorit
      • The Franco-Russian Alliance
        • Bismarck's successor did not want to continue the Reinsurance treaty with Russia as a result Russia became closer to France. Changes after Bismarck led to the Franco-Russian alliance in 1892This threatened Germany as it meant that if there was a war, Germany could be attacked from both West and East.
      • The Triple Entente
        • The Triple EntenteThe 'Entente Cordiale' led to the Triple Entente, which allied Great Britain, France and Russia together.This showed that Bismarck’s efforts in the 1880s had not succeeded. Europe was now divided into two separate groups.
        • The 'Entente Cordiale'In April 1904, the ‘Entente Cordiale’ was signed by Great Britain and France.An entente is a friendly understanding or informal alliance. An alliance is a more formal agreement between countries that benefits them both. In the 1904 entente, the two countries agreed not to argue over colonies. Military discussions began in 1906
    • The cricis in Morocco and the Balkans
      • The Moroccan cricis
        • The first Moroccan crisis of 1905:             It was sparked by Kaiser Wilhelm ll's visit to Morocco in 1905. He suggested to declare       independence from France The First  Moroccan Crisis was solved by the Algeciras Conference. Britain and other countries stood by France. The result was that the French and British moved closer together, whereas the Kaiser had hoped to split them up.
        • The second Moroccan crisis 1911:  The second Moroccan crisis was caused by France sending troops to put down a rebellion against the ruler. The Kaiser sent a gunboat called the panther to the Moroccan port of Agadir, but Britain stood by France showing the strength of the Entente. Result: France and Germny agreed that France would seise Morocco and Germany would be given land in the Congo as compensationhowever it was worthless
      • Cricis in the Balkans 1908-1909
        • Austria-Hungary and Russia agreed to support each other’s claims on Balkan areas. But Austria-Hungary entered Bosnia-Herzegovina without Russian approval. Serbia and Montenegro reacted by preparing for war against Austria-Hungary.
          • In support of the Slavs, Russia supported the actions of Serbia and Montenegro. Austria-Hungary annexed (stole) Bosnia and Herzegovina, sparking outrage from the Slav peoples. Serbia wanted to go to war with Austria-Hungary, but it needed Russia’s support. Russia would not go to war because Germany said it would support Austria-Hungary.
            • Conclusion:  Austria-Hungary paid compensationto the Ottomans for taking Bosnia-Herzegovina and that seemed to be the end of the matter. However both Serbia and Russia were determined to win the next dispute.
    • The Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand
      • Events
        • Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. On 28 June 1914, the Archduke and his wife were in Bosnia. During the visit, the Archduke and his wife were shot by a Bosnian Serb called Gavrilo Princip.
      • Consequences
        • Austria-Hungary wanted to use the assassination to attack Serbia because it believed that their government had secretly helped the assassins. Austria-Hungary asked for the help of Germany. On 5 July 1914, Austria-Hungary received full German support in the ‘blank cheque’ Serbia asked for support from Russia against Austria-Hungary and Germany
    • Militarism    Alliances     Imperialis Nationalism
    • Militarism
      • The  late nineteenth century was an era of military competition, particularly between the major European powers. The policy of building a stronger military was judged relative to neighbours, creating a culture of paranoia that heightened the search for alliances. It was fed by the cultural belief that war is good for nations.
    • Imperialism
      • Imperial competition also pushed the countries towards adopting alliances. Colonies were units of exchange that could be bargained without significantly affecting the metro-pole. They also brought nations who would otherwise not interact into conflict and agreement
    • Nationalism
      • Nationalism was also a new and powerful source of tension in Europe. It was tied to militarism, and clashed with the interests of the imperial powers in Europe. Nationalism created new areas of interest over which nations could compete
    • The Schlieffen Plan
      • Germany prepared the Schlieffen Plan at the beginning of the 1900s.The plan focused on how Germany could fight a war against France and Russia at the same time.Germany thought it could win a quick victory against France whilst an inefficient Russia was still mobilising. Then Germany could fight Russia.
      • 3 August 1914: To catch France by surprise, Germany decided to enter through Belgium (a neutral country).But, the German invasion gave Britain an excuse to enter the war. Britain had previously signed the Pact of London guaranteeing support for Belgium (signed 1839).As a result, Great Britain declared war on Germany on 4 August 19
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