Cause of WWI: Operation Earl Grey

Causes of the First World War: How the assassination of Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand was not the cause of WWI but simply a final nail in the coffin, tipping the balance of an increasingly unstable Europe.

Operation Earl Grey attempts to explain this point of view.

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Slide 1

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What was t
significant f he most
actor leadin
The First W g to
orld War?
Operation E
Michael Ell arl Grey; devised by G
ery and Da lenn Smith,
n ie l F a rr to be
the 20 th of S
eptember 2 opened on
011…read more

Slide 2

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Operation earl grey:
0 To correctly identify the most influential factor within
Germany leading to the outbreak of The Great War.
0 To analyse the contributions of significant leaders.
0 To analyse foreign events which shaped domestic policy
within the `Deutschland'.
0 Undertake this operation with all due seriousness. God
save the Queen.
Signed:…read more

Slide 3

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Cause and Immediate
Cause: a distinction
0 Most people would assume that the assassination of
Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand (in Sarajevo) was the
main cause of the outbreak of The Great War,
however this is simply the immediate cause (the
Final Straw, if you will) and does not take into
consideration long term historical events
responsible for the assassination and the outbreak
of The Great War.…read more

Slide 4

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Sarajevo: A final nail in the
0 The reason as to why the occurrences in Sarajevo,
Bosnia, were able to have such dramatic
consequences is due to the very structure, that
European statesmen (Bismarck, among others) of
the time had constructed, by alliances and
agreements which was fundamentally flawed in that
it placed Europe pivoting on a pin head with only a
relatively minor incident to tip the balance.…read more

Slide 5

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Bismarck's Legacy: a fragile
0 Despite Bismarck's attempts to control political relations in
Europe through various Alliances (The Triple Alliance) and
Agreements he made fundamental mistakes.
0 Firstly, his `spider-web' of Alliances was critically
contradictory. For example, making pacts between Austria-
Hungary and Russia despite frayed relations between the
0 Secondly, He gravely underestimated the repercussions of
diplomatically isolating France, which manifested, eventually,
in a growing French revanchist movement and a hostile
Triple Entente.…read more

Slide 6

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The true extent of power
0 Besides the great naval powers of Spain and Great Britain,
there was little expansion or colonisation of Africa on the
behalf of other European powers.
0 Central Europe was tense due to a dense collection of super
powers and military and industrial strength.
0 After conflicts, such as the Crimean and Prussian wars, the
military power of nations, such as Russia, France and Austria
were exposed as little to be afraid of.
0 Furthermore, the collapse of The Ottoman Empire, left
another power vacuum in eastern Europe.…read more

Slide 7

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