Causes of tension in Europe 1905-09

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  • Crises and Tension 1905-1909
    • Overview
      • Japan's defeat of Russia led to a temporary eclipse of Russia as a Great Power
        • Germany saw this as an opportunity to break free from the 'encirclement' which had been created by the Franco-Russian Alliance (1894)
      • In this period, Germany challenged Britain and France
        • Led Russia to improve relations with Britain and other powers due to weakness
    • The First Moroccan Crisis - 1905
      • Causes/Origin
        • Both France and Spain had influence in Morocco. Spain in North and South and France in the rest
        • Recognition of France's influence by Britain in 1904 led to a strong reaction from Germany
          • Germany felt that Frances control of Morocco would damage their commercial interests in that area
      • Actions
        • Fearing that French intended to make Morocco a French protectorate, the Kaiser landed in Moroccan port of Tangier in 1905 to declare upholding Moroccan independence
          • This was a direct challenge to France
        • Germany's policy appeared to be demanding fair share for all and the right to be consulted about Morocco
          • Their hidden aim was to destroy/damage the Entente Cordiale
            • Aimed to do this by demonstrating that Britain was not a reliable ally
            • They assumed that other countries would vote against French occupation of Morocco
        • Germany effectively kept pressure on France in 1905 and created panic. Russia was weakened by defeat by Japanese and France would ot survive a surprise attack.
          • French foreign minister was sacked and a conference was called in Algeciras (Spain) to decide Morocco's future
      • Result
        • Germany demonstrated it was a world power who could not be  ignored
        • Germany failed to capitalise on the crisis. Sir Edward Grey insisted on total support for France at the conference. Germany had too few supporters and ended up only gaining 'commercial freedoms' in Morocco.
        • It exposed the weakness of Weltpolitik
        • Strengthened the Anglo-French Entente. Germany now seen as a threat to the Balance of Power
    • The Anglo-Russian Entente
      • Wished to come to an agreement over Persia, Tibet and Afghanistan
      • An agreement was not made previously because there was not seen to be an advantage to doing so
        • Russia's weakness in 1905 meant she wanted to improve relations with Great Powers
      • Agreement was made on main issues
        • Persia was divided into 3, British, Russian and Neutral
        • Tibet and Afghanistan were left to be 'buffer states'
      • This infers that Europe was the focal point of British policy, not the empire
        • Also that Germany was their potential enemy, not Russia
      • Allowed Russian warships to pass from Black Sea to Med
    • The Bosnian Crisis 1908
      • Background
        • Had been controlled by Austria since 1878 but new foreign minister wished to formally annex it
          • Serbia was angered but this and looked to Russia for support
        • Treaty of Berlin
          • Formally the Treaty of San Stefano which ended Turkish Russian War
          • Indeoendence of Serbia, Montenegro and Romania
          • Bosnia placed under Austro-Hungarian occupation
      • Action
        • A/H decided to annex Bosnia as the 'Young Turks' had come into power in Ottoman Empire and restoring Bosnia to Turkish rule was an objective
        • This angered Serbia as she regarded Bosnian Serbs as part of future 'Greater Serbia'.
        • Expected response from Russia would be to support Serbia
          • Russia did not want to get involved, foreign minster agreed to the annexation in return for Austria's acceptance of Russian control of parts of Turkey
        • Germany saw this as a good time for Austria to attack Serbia
          • As Russia was still weak
      • Result
        • Mad Balkan problems worse
        • Russia felt humiliated
        • Showed Austro-German alliance to be much stronger than Triple Entente
    • Germany
      • Provoked 1st Moroccan Crisis
      • Backed Austria in Bosnian crisis
      • Use of Weltpolitik
    • The Agadir Crisis 1911 (Second Moroccan Crisis)
      • Causes
        • French troops occupying Fez (capital of Morocco) at request of Sultan
        • Seen as first steps of a French takeover which would break terms of Algeciras Conference (1906).
      • Actions
        • Germany sent Gunboat (Panther) to Agadir to intimidate French into paying compensation
        • German foreign minister, Kiderlen, aimed to extract territorial compensation (whole of french congo), attempted to impress the German Public by victory and win French goodwill by accepting French protectorate
        • British became uneasy when Panther was used and were alarmed when enquires to Berlin were met with silence.
          • Fleet put on alert
      • Result
        • Resolved by Franco-German agreement
          • Germany obtained two strips of land in French Congo.
            • Kinderlen humiliated

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