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  • 1900 - Second German Naval law passed which provides plans for German naval expansion over the following 20 years. 
  • 1902 - British alliance with Japan. 
  • 1904 - British Entente agreement with France.
  • 1905/06 - The First Moroccan Crisis 
  • 1906 - Britain launched the HMS Dreadnought. 
  • 1907 - British Entente agreement with Russia
  • 1911 - Second Moroccan crisis
  • 1912 - The First Balkans War 
  • 1912 - March - Naval Bill - proposing further naval expansion. 
  • 1912 - December - 'War Council'
  • 1913 - Treaty of London - ends the first Balkans War. 
  • 1913 - Second Balkans war breaks out. 
  • 1914 - 28 June - Heir to the Austrian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand assassinated by a Serbian terrorist from the group called the Black Hand. 
  • 1914 - 18 July - Austria declared war on Serbia (war begins...) 


Otto Von Bismarck created a system of alliances to protect the new German empire - established in 1870 following the Franco-Prussian war. 

  • At the heart of this was the aim to isolate France who wanted revanche for the loss of Alsace-Lorraine. 
  • the DREIKAISERBUND of 1882 - was an understanding of how the peace could be maintained between Austria-Hungary, Russia and Germany. 
  • 1882 - The Triple Alliance between Austria-Hungary, Italy, Germany which was a defensive alliance between the three. 

HOWEVER - The assession of WIlhelm II to the throne and Bismarck's departure marked a change in foreign policy. Wilhelm embarked on his 'new course'

  • He refused to renew the Reassurance Treaty between Germany and Russia which guaranteed each country that they would not attack each other. 
  • Field Marshall Sclieffen began to work on a plan in which Germany could fight a war on two fronts (Russia and France) during his time in office 1891-1905. 
  • This plan consisted of Germany knocking out France first then focusing on Russia - however, it relied on very slow mobilisation on the part of Russia and France and unrealistically estimated this war to take only 6 weeks. 


Kaiser Wilhelm's relationship with Britain was complex - He was the grandson of Queen Victoria - However, on many occassions he challenged Britain. 

  • FLOTTENPOLITIK - a series of Navy laws were a direct challenge to Britain. Their impact was to create a naval race between the two nations. in 1906 - Britain launched the HMS Dreadnought which prompted Germany into massive naval expenditure. 
  • Britain made attempts to form a Anglo-German alliance - however the German foreign office decalred britain would have to commit to the Triple Alliance - Bulow calculated that Britain would not find allies elsewhere
  • HOWEVER - Britain ended its isolation by forming allies
  • 1902 - Japan
  • 1904 - Anglo-French entente agreement
  • 1907 - Anglo-Russian entente agreement.
  • This left Germany over reliant on Austria-Hungary. 


1.What was Weltpolitik? - (world politics) - 

  • building up of German armed forces 
  • global expansion. 

However, by 1900 the opportunities for Weltpolitik were minimal because most of the territory had been seized by other European powers. 

Thus Germany…


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