Modern World History: Causes of World War One

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  • Created by: Chloe :)
  • Created on: 17-05-13 17:18

What the countries wanted:


  • Britain: ‘Splendid Isolation’, Best Navy.
  • France:  Overseas empire, wanted Alsace Lorraine back.
  • Russia: Poor but big country. Ruled by Tsar Nicholas II. Wanted land in Europe and Asia with access to sea.
  • Austria Hungary: Made up of 10 nationalities that wanted Independence. Ruled by Emperor Franz Joseph 1
  • Germany: Small empire ruled by Kaiser Wilhelm II. Jelous of Britain’s navy & wanted to increase German influence and wealth abroad. ‘Place in the sun’ - German empire.



CAUSE 1- The alliance system:


1870-71: The Franco- Prussian War between France and Germany where Germany took Alsace Lorraine and  £200 million in war debts leaving France wanting revenge


1979:  Duel alliance between Germany and Austria Hungary.


1882: Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy formed the Triple Alliance to prevent France from getting revenge


1892: Franco- Russian Alliance promising to help each other if Germany attacked. 


1899- 1902: Boer War where the Boer population of Britain’s south colonies rebelled against the British.


1902: Britain made a navel alliance with Japan in order to free the navy from responsibilities in the east. Also Britain felt threatened by the Duel Alliance because they didn’t want one country to become too strong.


1903-04: Britain declared the ‘Two Power Standard’ (Its navy should be as large as the next two largest fleets in the world combined) 


1903-04: France and Britain formed the Entante Cordiale- They didn’t promise to fight for each other but to hinder the other one. 


1905: First Morrocan Crisis & Schlieffen plan devised


1907: Britain and Russia formed a similar agreement creating the Triple Entante


1908: Bosnian Crisis


1911: Seccond Morrocan Crisis


1912-13: Bosnian Wars


How this increased chances of war: 

Aliance system: Created pressure between the two alliance systems. A war on two fronts for Triple Alliance.

Russia worried about Austria’s intentions towards Balkans. Britain and Germany want best navy.


 Summary :

1879: Duel Alliance- Germany & Austria Hungary

1882: Triple Alliance- Italy joins dual alliance

1892: Franco-Russian Alliance 

1907: Anglo-Russian Entante= Triple Entante


















CAUSE 2- Kaiser Wilhelm II                       NATIONALISM 


  • German emperor for 30 years


  • Nationalism: Weltpolitik- Wanted Germany to be the greatest power in the world. 

    Countries that believed themselves to be better than others leading to rivalery and hatred.


  • Imperialism: Wanted to dominate Europe by building their empire.


  • Militarism: The building up of a military eg. The Arms Race




How this increased chances of war: 

Kaiser Wilhelm was a nationalist which meant he may be seen as a threat to other countries because he wants to build up his country and this may be seen as a


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