Causes of WW1

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  • Created by: Sophia
  • Created on: 11-05-13 19:01

Long term Causes

  • Rivalry between powerful nations eg. France&Germany (after 1870 war)
  • Empires-greed
  • Nationalism eg. Serbia
  • Alliances eg.Triple Alliance and Triple Entente
  • Enthusiasm for military- mentality
  • Absense of international bodies eg. UN
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Short Term Causes

  • Assassination of Franz Ferdinand
  • German Agression
  • Schlieffen Plan*
  • Chain of Events
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Schlieffen Plan

The Schlieffen Plan was Germany's mobilisation in case war broke out with France.

Germany knew that Russia would help France

This would mean that Germany would have to fight a wra on two fronts which is what they wanted to avoid

Germany's plan was to knock France out quickly in a 'lightening war' (blitzkreig) by attacking through Belgium. Then they could turn around and face Russia

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Why the Schlieffen Plan failed

The Schlieffen Plan failed for a number of reasons:

  • Belgium didn't let Germany go through her so Germany declared war on Belgium
  • Britain came to hel Belgium and it took Germany longer to defeat Belgium
  • This gave France time to prepare.
  • Therefore Germany couldn't defeat France quickly
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Germany was feeling threatened by:

  • Russia & France's new friendship - felt surrounded
  • Russia build up its armies - attack from Russia?
  • Britain's Navy - stronger than German navy
  • Britain & France's bigger empire - stronger world powers
  • France - want revenge after 1870 war
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Austria-Hungary was feeling threatened by:

  • Czechs wanted independance - loss of power
  • Slavs in the south-west want to split - loss of power
  • Serbs wanted to be independant - loss of power and stromger Serbia
  • Serbia becoming very powerful - might overpower Austrian's
  • Russians support Serbs- Russia is very powerful
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Italy  was feeling threatened by:

  • the idea of not having an established government
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Britain was feeling threatened by:

  • Germany- very powerful- industry was booming
  • At first Russia and France - early 1900s things started to change
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France was feeling threatened by:

  • Germany - scared of another attack like in 1870
  • The fact that it didnt have Alsace-Lorraine - Germany had taken it in the war (1870)
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Russia was feeling threatened by:

  • Growing power of Germany - loss in power for Russia?
  • Austria-Hungary - long-term rivalry- reason why Russians backed Serbs
  • Japaneese - already lost a war to them- not again
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