Unit 1 History

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The Triple Alliance

  • The alliance between Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy was signed in 1882.
  • It was organised by Bismarck, the chancellor of Germany, Germany had defeated France in the Franco-Prussian war andd taken the provinces of Alasace and Lorraine from the French. This victory led to the unification of German states as one country, the King of Prussia becoming Kaiser
  • Realised France would want revenge, so made a series of alliances to isolate France
  • Central block of countries
  • Defensive alliance - all three powers promised to fight if attacked by any other power
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The Franco-Russian Alliance

  • France was forced to sign the Treaty of Frankfurt in 1871 after its defeat
  • Wanted revenge which dominated their foreign policy
  • Signed an agreement with Russia in 1893, could not get revence on their own
  • Alliance between the autocratic Tsar of Russia and the people's Republic of France
  • Russia would have preferred to ally with Germany but kaiser not interested
  • Alliance became firmer when French loaned money to Russia for the development of railways
  • Defensive - both powers agreed to join the other in war if attacked by Germany or Austria-Hungary
  • Germany would have to fight on two fronts if war broke out
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Splendid Isolation

  • Britain played little part in events that happened in Europe
  • Remained out of European politics as long as no single power gained complete control
  • Splendid isolation depended on the power of their navy.
  • Before 1900, Germany was Britain's most likely ally - not a colonial power so was not seen as a rival to Britain, royal families related
  • But in 1898 Germany began to build a navy - Germany had no empire and strongest army in the world - challenging Britain's supremacy at sea
  • Anglo-Japanese alliance - in 1902, Britain signed an alliance with Japan, help eachother if attacked by a power, splendid isolation more splendid that ever
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Entente Cordiale

  • Britain was becoming worried at the size of Germany's navy
  • In 1902, Britain put its navy on the three-power standard. This meant that it had to be largest than the next three most powerful fleets combined
  • In 1904, Britain and France signed the Entente Cordiale (friendly agreement)
  • France allowed Britain to go ahead with reforms in Egypt and Britain promised not to oppose France in Morocco
  • It was an agreement although Germany didn't see it this way - though Britain had abandoned isolation and joined France
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Kaiser Wilhelm II's aims in Foreign Policy

  • Saw himself as the heroic leader of Germany's army and the founder of a great navy
  • His wish was to ake Germany the greatest leader in the world (Weltpolitik)
  • Weltpolitik - means world policy. Describe Kaiser's desire to be a major player in world affairs
  • Jealous of the British empire he set out to give himself "a place in the sun"
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Crisis in Morocco

  • Morocco was one of the few areas of Africa not controlled by a world power
  • Germany decided it would oppose the French attempt to gain Morocco
  • In 1905, the Kaiser visited Tangier in Morocco, overplaying his part. He rode through the streets on a white horse accompanied by a military band and Moroccan troops
  • Announced that Germany supported ann independant Morocco open to the peaceful competition of all nations for trade
  • Called for an international conference to discuss the future of Morocco
  • Dramatic gesture aimed at preventing France from occupying Morocco and testing the strength of the Entente Cordiale
  • Held in 1906 at Algeciras in southern Spain
  • Only Austria-Hungary supported Germany, Britain and Russia supported France
  • France had to recognise the independance of Morocco but was given joint control with Spain of the Moroccan police
  • Germany had failed to prevent France from getting a foothold in Morocco and the Entente Cordiale was strengthened
  • Britain was concerned with Germany's actions and started secret military talks with France
  • Britain taking more interest in European matters and France had more support from Britain
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Anglo-Russian Agreement

  • Russia and Britain both supported France at Algeciras and France used its influence to iprove relations between them
  • Led to the signing of the Anglo-Russian Agreenment in 1907
  • Solution to several overseas problems for Britain and Russia, especially in Persia and Tibet
  • Now Britain had agreements with Russia and France, often referred to as the Triple Entente although no such agreement existed
  • Not military alliance but colonial
  • Germany saw it as part of a policy of encirclement
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The Bosnian Crisis

  • Balkans in South-Eastern Europe consisting of many small countries in the process of becoming independant fro the Turkish empire
  • Austria-Hungary was made up of many different races and AH was worried that the Slavs would want to unite with other Slavs in the Balkans under Serbia's rule
  • If this happenedd, other races would want independance and AH would break-up
  • In 1908 there was a revolution in Turkey, Austria-Hungary took advantage and annexed Bosnia
  • This annoyed Serbia so it appealed to Russia for help
  • Russia had been a supporter of the slavs so it backed Serbia's demands for an international conference
  • Wilhelm II was annoyed with AH for not consulting him first but still promised to give full support as he was now aware that AH was his only ally after the Moroccan Crisis
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Bosnian Crisis Effects

  • Austria-Hungary now felt it had full support from Germany, which affected how it acted in 1914
  • Italy did not like AH expanding to the Balkans so was less keen on the Triple Alliance
  • Russia had been humiliated by Germany and determined for it not to happen again, led to military improvements
  • Britain, France and Russia closer - all had a reason for disliking Germany
  • Serbia had been forced to accept the annexation but was now more determined to oppose Austria-Hungary and looked to Russia for further support
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Agadir: Second Moroccan Crisis

  • In 1911 a rebellion against the ruling sultan broke out in Fez, the capital of Morocco, the Sultan appealed to the French for help and a French army went to Morocco to put down the rebellion
  • Germany opposed the French action and didn't want another defeat over Morocco
  • The Germans reacted by sending a gunboat, the Panther, to the port of Agadir to protect German interests in Morocco, now German had shown interest, it expected France to negotiate and Germany would gain something from the talks
  • The use of a gunboat was seen as a warlike action by other countries, especially Britain as it occured during the naval race
  • The British thought that the Germans were planning to build an Atlantic naval base and use it to challenge Britain's in Gibraltar. The naval action led to Britain supporting France
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Agadir effects

  • Preperations for war were made in Germany, Britain and France in 1911, but in the end Germaby backed down and accepted compensation in the shape of two marshy strips of land in the French Congo in return for French control over Morocco
  • Germany felt humiliated and if there were any future crisis in which German interests were involved, it was unlikely to back down
  • The German people felt more annoyed with Britain and France and German public opinion was beginning to support the idea of war
  • Britain became more convinced that Germany wanted to dominate Europe
  • Britain reached a secret naval agreement with France. Britain promised to defend the north coast of France if it was attacked by sea; France promised to defend the Mediterranean
  • Italy opposed Germany over Agadir, which weakened Triple Alliance and meant Germany relied more on Austria-Hungary
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Lloyd George's Mansion House Speech

  • Lloyd George said that "Peace at any price" was not going to happen if Britain was humiliated
  • Wanted to keep Britain's position as one of the Great powers
  • He realised Germany was becoming a threat and crossing the line (the speech was after the Agadir crisis)
  • "But if a situation were to be forced upon us in which peace could only be preserved by the surrender of the great position Britain has won by centuries of heroism and achievement, by allowing Britain to be treated where her interests were vitally affected as if she were of no account inn the Cabinet of nations, then i say emphatically that peace at any price would be a humiliation intolerable for a great country like ours to endure"
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Anglo-German Naval Rivalry

  • The Dreadnought was launched in 1906 by Britain and changed the balance of navies
  • The new battleship was faster had longer range guns. 
  • The older ships were now referred as funf Minuten ships by the Germans as it is thought they wouldn't last five minutes if faced by a Dreadnought
  • The power of navies were now measured by how many Dreadnoughts a country had
  • Germany felt it could challenge Britain at sea if it had enough Dreadnoughts. This led to the naval race between Britain and Germany
  • Britain's navy played a vital part in Britain being a great power
  • In 1909 the Germans were believed to be speeding up their production of Dreadnoughts. Public opinion in Britain was becoming alarmed
  • Britain was planning to build 4 Dreadnoughts but groups wanted it to be doubled chanting "we want eight and we won't wait"
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The arms race

  • By 1907, Europe was divided into two armed camps
  • All alliances were defensive but as the terms were secret each country thought the alliance was dirceted at them
  • The fears and crises that the alliances caused led to a huge build of arms
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The Assassination of Franz Ferdinand

  • Franz Ferdinand visited Sarajevo in Bosnia on the 28th of June 1914. This was a national festival day for the Sebs, so feelings against the visit was high
  • There were only 120 people police to cover a journey of 6km and they were supposed to face the crowd but as they got overexcited, most faced the parade instead
  • Crowds lined the streets but hidden among the crowd were six terrorists from the Black hand campaign for independance sworn to kill the Archduke
  • They were stationed at intervals along the riverside route to the Town Hall. They all had bombs and pistols in their pockets and phials of poison which they promised to swallow if they were caught to not give the others away
  • The Archduke was in an open-topped car and as the car passed Cumurja Bridge, Cabrinovic threw his bomb, took the poison and jumped off the bridge. The bomb bounced off the car and went under the car behind before exploding
  • After the town hall, the Archduke demanded to see the bomb victims
  • The driver got lost and was ordered to stop, The car came to a halt in front of Gavrilo Princip
  • Princip pulled out his pistol - one bullet his the Archduke's neck the other got Sophie, the Archduke's wife, in her stomach. They both died
  • Princip died in prison in 1918
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Assassination Impact

  • Most countries thought the assassination was a local matter and would be sorted between Austria-Hungary and Serbia
  • Serbia had been involved in the Balkan wars and needed time to recover before even considering a war against Austria-Hungary
  • The leader of the Austrian army, Conrad von Hotzendorf was a close friend of the Archduke. Between 1913 and 1914 he had proposed a war against Serbia 25 times and felt their future depended on crushing Serbia's.
  • The assassination was the perfect excuse for starting a war with Serbia
  • Austria-Hungary sent a 10-point Ultimatum to Serbia, Serbia accepted all but one. Point 6 involved the Austrians influencing the justice system in Serbia so they couldn't accept, they were prepared to refer the matter to the International court though
  • The Austrians recieved a "Blank cheque" from Germany, they felt a lot more confident
  • They declared war on Serbia on 28th July. Russia had let down Serbia over Bosnia in 1908 and was determined not to let it happen again, they mobilised their troops
  • This worried the Germans as the Schlieffen Plan would not work if Russia had time to organise their army
  • They declared war on Russia and the Schlieffen plan was put into action
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The Schlieffen Plan

  • This was Germany's plan for war by 1905, named after von Schlieffen, head of the army
  • Was planned so they wouldn't have to fight on 2 fronts
  • Attack the French first and defeat them within 6 weeks,
  • French would be expecting an attack in Alsace-Lorraine where they shared a border with Germany and would not be expecting in the North where they shared a border with neutral Belgium, the French would be taken by surprise and the speed of the attack would lead them to surrender
  • They thought Russia would take a long time to prepare army because they are so big and the backwardness of the country, so they could use the same army to defeat Russia afterwards
  • Schlieffen died in 1912 but the plan was still brought into action - they wouldn't go through Holland as well only Belgium though
  • The Kaiser was so confident he is thought to have said "Lunch in Paris, Dinner in St Petersbug"
  • Britain had no intention of joining and Germany thought it wouldnt get involved too
  • Belgium had been declared neutral by the Treaty of London in 1839 so when German troops entered Belgium, Britain declared war on Germany to "protect the sancity of treaties"
  • The Kaiser was surprised saying Britain went to war over "a scrap of paper"
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What went wrong in the Schlieffen Plan

  • Things that went wrong in the schlieffen plan were:
  • Belgium resisted (Germany thought they would just let troops march through) so this slowed them down
  • Britain sent an army and declared war on Germany too
  • Russia mobilised quickly - Because of this Germany had to send some men to the west so less to fight on the east
  • Germany was running out of supplies
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