The Alliance System, 1900-1914
Triple Alliance: Austria-Hungary,Germany,Italy
Triple Entente: France, Russia, Great Britian
both treaties were defensive. however both treaties were secret so each side feared the others Alliance was directed against them.
This had the effect of increasing the tension between the main powers and creating a situation that could,potentially, lead to war.
Events in Morocco, 1905-6
Kaiser Wilhelm visits Morocco and promises to support Morocco's independence.
This upset the French who were keen to colonize this area.
Wilhelm was also testing the relationshio between France and Britain.
In a conference at Algecira in 1906 Britain, France + Russia agree Germany should have no say in Morocco's future.
Strengthend relationships between Britain and France, led to Britain allying with France.
The Germans sensed that they were becoming surronded and became resentful.
The Bosnian Crisis, 1908-9
Bosnia - slav state - annexed by Austria-Hungary.
opposed by Serbia who wanted to include all Slav states within it.
Serbia too small to do anything by itself - looked to Russia for help.
Russia initially supported but backed down when Germany made it clear that if Russia declared war on Austria, Germany would declare war on Russia.
Austria-Hungary now felt that it could rely on Germany for support.
Russia built up its army and was determined not to back down when the next crisis came.
Showed the Strength of the relationship between Austria-Hungary and Germany.(Italy was alarmed by the agressive actions of Austria-Hungary and Germany, so from this point was less active in the Triple Alliance).
The Agadir Crisis - 1911
Rebellion against Sultan of Morocco put down with French help.
Oppurtunity for France to take Morocco - France prepared to pay compensation to countries who were concerned by French action(Germany & Spain).
Germans send gunboat to Agadir - challenge French.
British alarmed that germany was setting up a naval base - challenge british supremacy.
Germany attempting to dominate Europe - British response support France
The French took over Morocco as protectorate.
Germany was given 100,000 square miles of the French Congo in compensation - however this was mostly swamp and jungle.
Clear victory for the Entente.
Kaiser determined not to lose next time...
The Naval Race, 1906-14
Britain needed a powerful navy seeing as it had a large overseas empire - in 1900 the british army was the biggest in the world.
When Germany began to build up a navy the british thought it was an attempt to destable British colonies.
The naval threat became real in 1906 when both sides began building dreadnoughts - a new type of battle ship that could easily destroy any older type.
As Britain's navy was primarily older ships - the race was on to build the most dreadnoughts.
The naval race did much to make the British resent the Germans and lead Britain to better relations with France.
However this was not a main cause of Britain going to war in 1914 as by then it had far more dreadnoughts than Germany..
The Build-Up of Armies, 1900-14
the existence of large armies in europe was a threat to peace.
Military leaders argued that the only way to maintain peace was to have a strong enough army to prevent invasion.
This view was supported by arms manufacturers who made vast profits from the arms race.
Apart from Britain all the major powers increased the size of their armies between 1900-14.
In 1913 france raise compulsory service - 3 years. Russia to 3.5 years.
By 1913 the German army was very powerful and only Russia had more men.
The arms race was key to tensions rising as Germany could now back up its foreign ambitions with strong military power.