AQA GCSE History B: unit 1 - Origins of the first world war

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Preview of AQA GCSE History B: unit 1 - Origins of the first world war

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1. The Origins of the First World War
Why were there two armed camps in Europe in 1914?
Alliance systems
Alliance Date Details
Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy
Organised by Bismarck, chancellor of Germany
Made to stop France getting revenge and to isolate France
The triple
All 3 powers promised to fight if they were attacked by any 2 other powers
Britain and France
Created because Britain put its navy on the `three power standard' and
Germany's fleet was expanding and Germany did not want to ally with
cordiale 1903-
(friendly 1904 France or Britain
agreement) Allowed Britain to reform in Egypt
Britain promised not to oppose any French action in Morocco
Britain and Japan
Promised to help if either was attacked by more than one power
1902 `Splendid isolation'
Alliance Helped prevent Russian expansion so Britain needed no allies in Europe
Tsar (absolute power) of Russia and the people's republic of France,
reluctant allies (talks for 2 years before), Russia would have rather allied
with Germany, who was not interested
Franco-Russ 1893
ian Alliance Both agreed to join in war if they were attacked by Germany or
France felt protected from future German attack
The Russia and Britain
Anglo-Russi Created because Russia and Britain had supported France ay the capital
an of Morocco (Algeciras) and this had made them closer.
Agreement Triple Entente but there was no such alliance.
(Triple Not military alliances, but Germany saw it as a way to surround them
If the treaties were defensive, why is the alliance system seen as a cause to WW1?
As each military force expanded, countries would look for alliances to help them if
they were attacked
The military forces were growing stronger
The treaties were secret, so the other countries feared the worst for what they
were planning,

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The rivalry between the alliances led countries to increase their armed forced to
develop their plans.
The tensions caused by these alliances and crises resulted in the assassination of
the Archduke Franz Ferdinand which triggered off the war plans.
Three power standard navy has to be as large as the next three largest fleets in the
world combined
Splendid isolation Britain played little part in events in Europe and was quite happy not to
join any alliances so long as no power gained complete control.…read more

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Britain felt the need to have a powerful navy because it had a large overseas
empire and it is an island. Also the British army was very small. Germany started to
build up its navy in 1898 (Weltpolitik), Britain thought this was an attempt to
challenge Britain and its colonies.
The German navy became a real threat to Britain after 1906, when both sides
began building Dreadnoughts, a new kind of battleship that could destroy any old
types of battleship.…read more

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Help France BEF (British Expeditionary Force) 150,000 highly
trained and well equipped professional soldiers. Can fight in France
at short notice.
Rivalry Increases
The First Moroccan Crisis (1905-06)
Germany promise to support Morocco's independence
France are upset because they wanted Morocco as a colony.
Britain and Russia stood by France in Algeciras
Germany should have no say in Morocco and sensed they were being surrounded
(triple entente) became even more resentful.…read more

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Why did war break out in 1914?
Assassination at Sarajevo ­ June 28th 1914
On 28th June Franz Ferdinand, the archduke of Austria visited Bosnia (part of the
empire) with his pregnant wife, Sophie.
Some nationalists from Serbia wanted Bosnia to be independent, so they planned
to assassinate Franz Ferdinand and his wife to make a point to try to get
Austria-Hungary to give Bosnia back.
Crowds lined the streets to see the procession of cars.…read more

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July Germany promises to support Austria-Hungary
23 July Austro-Hungarian ultimatum to Serbia
24 July Russia offers support to Serbia
28 July Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia
30 July Russia begins to mobilise its forces
1 August Germany declares war on Russia
3 August Germany declares war on France, German troops enter Belgium
4 August Germany declares war on Belgium, Britain declares war on Germany
5 August France declares war on Germany
6 August Austria-Hungary declares war on Russia
8.…read more

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As France was anticipating a German invasion and had fortified the border
between Germany and France, the Schlieffen plan involved a German invasion of
France from the north through the neutral country of Belgium.
The Germans felt they would not have to fight Russia straight away because
Russia was w large country with a backward transport system. They thought it
would take months to have its forces ready.
Two potential problems:
1. They guessed that Russia would take 6 weeks to prepare
2.…read more

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Responsibility for the outbreak of war…read more


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