Origins of the First World War

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What what the name of Bismarck's foreign policy?
Realpolitik
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What does realpolitik mean?
Realistic politics
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What was the main aim of Bismarck's foreign policy?
To avoid French 'revanche'
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What was Revanche?
French desire to get revenge for its 1871 defeat against Germany
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What did Realpolitik do?
Created realistic alliances to protect Germany's dominant position after 1871
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When was the Triple Alliance created?
1882
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Who was in the Triple Alliance?
Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy
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What role did Realpolitik play?
It acted as a deterrent and avoided conflict between the Great Powers
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What happened in 1890?
Bismarck resigned sue to disagreements with Kaiser Wilhelm II
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How did Kaiser Wilhelm II regard Realpolitik?
As humiliating, cowardly and un-nationalistic
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What was Weltpolitik?
The foreign policy that replaced Realpolitik for a policy based on expansionism, imperialism and nationalism designed to strengthen Germany
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What was the translation of Weltpolitik?
World politics
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What was the population of Germany in 1914?
67m
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What was the population of Britain in 1914?
46m
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What was Germany's steel production in 1914?
17.6m
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Who was the leading steel manufacturer in 1914?
Germany
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What was Germany's peacetime army in 1914?
0.9m, the same as France
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What was Germany's position in army reserves in 1914?
It had the second largest at 3m, 2.1m behind Russia
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How many dreadnoughts did Germany have in 1914?
Thirteen
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How many dreadnoughts did Britain have in 1914?
Nineteen
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What originally was the largest Great Power?
Russia
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What factors of power became more important in 1914?
Having a modern economy and military
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What country had the most modern industrial economy?
Germany
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Give an example of large industry in Germany?
The gigantic Krupps munitions complex
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Where was the Krupps munitions complex based?
In the Ruhr
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Was Germany's industrial growth steady or quick?
Explosive rise within only 30 years
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What issues were created by the rise of Germany's industry?
It created worries and concern among its neighbours
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What did every country refer to the problem of Germany's growth as?
The German question
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What is an interpretation of a source?
Whether the source agrees or disagrees with the question
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What is the claim of a source?
Specific argument or point made by the source to back up its answer
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What type of an empire did the Kaiser want?
A colonial empire
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Who's empire did the Kaiser want to rival?
Britain's
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Was Weltpolitik a clearly defined foreign policy?
No, it was only an aspiration
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What evidence is there to show that the German people supported Weltpolitik?
The hottentot election where elites voted for the imperialist parties
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What did the elites believe about Germany's status?
That it should be recognised by other Great Powers
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Who's loyalty did empire building gain the Kaiserreich?
The mittelstad
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Who was the mittelstad?
Business owners
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What political benefit in Germany did Weltpolitik gain?
It cast the SPD as unpatriotic
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Which right wing pressure groups supported Weltpolitik?
The Navy League and Colonial Society
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Why did the success of Weltpolitik rely on a large navy?
To create an empire you need ships to take over countries and then to defend those countries
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What was the German navy like before 1900?
Small with no warships
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What does Flottenpolitik mean?
Fleet politics
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Who introduced flotenpolitik?
Bulow when he was foreign minister
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When was flottenpolitik introduced?
1897
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Which military man supported flottenpolitik?
Admiral Von Turpitz
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What pressure group supported flottenpolitik?
The Navy League
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How many members did the Navy League have?
One million
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When was the first navy law introduced?
1898
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What did the first navy law do?
Created a programme of battleship building
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When was the second navy law introduced?
1900
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What did the second navy law do?
Created the aim to build 38 battleships in 20 years
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When was the third navy law introduced?
1906
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What did the third navy law do?
Increase battleship production to 44 battleships and widen the Kiel Canal to allow their navy to move closer to home
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Was Weltpolitik very successful?
No
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Why was Weltpolitik unsuccessful?
By 1890 most of the world was already colonised
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What were the German gains as a result of weltpolitik?
Island of Heligoland in Europe, trading base in Kiachow China, a string of Pacific islands and part of Central Africa
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What were the significances of weltpolitik?
Hostility towards Germany from the rest of Europe and made Germany appear aggressive and dangerous
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Into who's arms did flottenpolitik push Britain?
France and Russia
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By 1914, what was the main accepted German foreign policy?
Weltpolitik
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What was the prime cause of crises in 1904-14
German foreign policy
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Why did Germany not worry about other powers feeling threatened by her?
Believed that they were too divided to unite against her
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When did the Fashoda incident occur?
1898
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What was the result of the Fashoda incident?
Britain and France were on the brink of war
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What was the Fashoda incident?
A series of territorial conflicts between Britain and France over territories in Central Africa
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What did the Kaiser do with the Reinsurance Treaty with Russia in 1890?
Allowed it to lapse
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Why did the Kaiser allow the Reinsurance treaty with Russia to lapse?
Because of the Fashoda incident he believed that there was no threat of an alliance against him
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What did Bulow do in regards to Britain in 1901?
Allow negotiations for stronger ties to be abandoned
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What did Bulow fatally underestimate?
The impact that Flottenpolitik had on Britain
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What did Britain perceive as the greatest threat to their nation?
Germany's attempt to rival the royal navy
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When was the anglo-Japanese alliance created?
1902
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What did the Anglo-Japanese alliance do?
Freed Britain to redeploy ships from the pacific to Europe
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When was the Entente Cordiale formed?
1902
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What did the Entente Cordiale do?
Resolved colonial rivalry with France
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What did Britain do to its fleet in 1905?
Re-deployed 3/4 of its fleet to European waters
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What happened in 1906?
Britain launched the first ever Dreadnought
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What was the press campaign launched in Britain regarding dreadnoughts?
We want eight and we won't wait
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When was the we want eight and we won't wait press campaign launched?
1909
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What were the negotiations between Britain and Germany trying to do?
End the naval arms race
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When was the Anglo-French Naval agreement formed?
1912
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What did the Anglo-French naval agreement do?
Guaranteed naval cooperation in the event of war
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What was the dual alliance?
An alliance of Austria-Hungary and Germany
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Why did Austria need Germany?
It was a weak empire that needed German support in the Balkans
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Why did Germany need Austria?
Germany was afraid that an Austrian collapse would allow Russia to grow expand into the Balkans and become powerful
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What was the Triple Entente?
An alliance of France, Britain and Russia
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Why did France seek an alliance with Russia?
They were a powerful ally against Germany after 1871
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Why did Russia agree to ally with France?
They had a weak economy and a backward army so they needed French investment to modernise the economy and build railways
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What did the Franco Russian alliance of 1894 specify?
That each must come to the other's aid in the event of a German attack
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Why did Britain join the Triple Entente?
They needed continental allies to counteract Germany's naval expansion
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What alliances formed the basis of the Triple Entente?
The Franco-Russian alliance, agreements with Britain and France and Germany and the Anglo-French naval agreement in 1912
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Before the Moroccan crisis what was the governance of Morocco?
An independent country under French influence
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What did the great powers recognise with regards to France and Morocco?
The French right to colonise Morocco if they wanted to in the future
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Who visited Morocco in 1905?
The Kaiser
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What did the Kaiser promise on his visit to Morocco in 1905?
To support Moroccan independence from French expansion
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What was France's reaction to the Kaiser's promise?
They were outraged and threatened war
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Did Germany back down after France threatened war in the First Moroccan crisis?
No, they refused
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What resolved the Firs Moroccan Crisis?
The Algeciras conference of 1906
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Who did Britain and Russia support at the Algeciras conference of 1096?
France
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What did Germany promise at the Algeciras conference of 1906?
Not to interfere in Morocco in the future
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When did the First Moroccan Crisis occur?
1905-1906
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When did the Second Moroccan Crisis occur?
1911
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Why did French troops supposedly enter Morocco in 1911?
To assist the Sultan in defeating a rebellion against him
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What was the issue with French troops entering Morocco in 1911?
It was in violation of the 1906 Algeciras agreement
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What was Germany's response to the entrance of French troops to Morocco?
They sent a warship to Agadir
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Why did the Kaiser send a warship to Agadir?
To demonstrate his willingness to go to war
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What did Germany demand as compensation to the French violation of the Algeciras agreement?
For the French to give Germany a large colony in the Congo
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What was France's response to the demands for compensation of Germany in the Second Moroccan Crisis?
They rejected them
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Who supported France in rejecting the compensation demands of Germany in the Second Moroccan crisis?
Britain
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What did Britain do in response to the Second Moroccan crisis?
Fully mobilised the Royal Navy
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What did Germany do in response to Britain mobilising the Royal Navy?
Backed down and accepted a small colony
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What was the result of the Second Moroccan Crisis for Germany?
The Kaiser was greatly humiliated
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When was the Bosnian Crisis?
1908
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Why were the Balkans so unstable in the early 20th century?
They were newly independent states of the Ottoman Empire, they were nationalistic and expansionist, a mixture of religion and culture and large empires wanted to annex them
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Which great power sought to expand its empire in the Balkans?
Austria-Hungary
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Who opposed Austrian expansion in the Balkans?
Serbia and Russia
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What did Austria do in 1908?
Occupied Bosnia
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Who mainly opposed the Austrian occupation of Bosnia?
Serbia
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Who did Serbia look to for support in opposing the annexation of Bosnia?
Russia
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What did Russia demand after Austria occupied Serbia?
That Austria withdraw
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What did Germany do in the Bosnian crisis?
Intervened and made it clear that if Russia declared war on Austria, Germany would retaliate
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What was the result of the Bosnian Crisis?
Russia backed down and Austria annexed Bosnia to its empire
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When did the Balkan Wars take place?
1912-13
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What did certain Baltic states do in 1912?
Created the Balkan League
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Who belonged to the Balkan League?
Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria and Greece
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Why was the Balkan League a threat to Austria?
It was a powerful coalition which prevented Austrian expansion in the Balkans
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Who led the Balkan League?
Serbia
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What country supported the Balkan League?
Russia
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Where did the Balkan League first invade?
The Muslim Ottoman Empire
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Who did the Balkan League force out of the Ottoman Empire?
The Ottoman Turks
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What did Austria protest against in the Balkan War?
The scale of Serbian gains
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Who restrained Russia in the Balkan War?
Britain
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Who restrained Austria in the Balkan War?
Germany
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What event led to peace in the Balkan War?
The London Conference
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When did the London Conference take place?
1913
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Was the peace following the London Conference a balanced one?
Yes
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When did the Second Balkan War take place?
1913
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By how much did Serbia grow after defeating the Balkan League States?
Double
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Where did Serbia invade after it turned on the Balkan League?
Albania
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Who was Albania's ally?
Austria
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What happened after Serbia invaded Albania?
Germany threatened war and Serbia withdrew
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What was Germany's greatest fear?
Encirclement
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Why did Germany fear encirclement?
It could not fight a war on two fronts
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What does Zweifrontkenkrief mean?
A war on two fronts
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How may German leaders have gained from propagating the belief that Germany was being encircled by hostile powers?
Propaganda value, unite the country and use it to justify war
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Who was assassinated which kickstarted the July Crisis?
Archduke Franz Ferdinand
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Where was Archduke Franz Ferdinand assassinated?
Sarajevo in Serbia
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Who was Archduke Franz Ferdinand?
The heir to the Austrian Hungarian throne
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Who was Archduke Franz Ferdinand assassinated by?
Gavrilo Princip
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What were the ideologies of Gavrilo Princip?
He was a Serbian nationalist and member of the Black Hand
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Who was the foreign minister to Austria Hungary at the time of Franz Ferdinand's assassination?
Leopold Von Berchtold
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Who was the chief of general staff in Austria-Hungary at the time of Franz Ferdinand's assassination?
Conrad Von Hotzendorf
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What was the immediate reaction of Conrad Von Hotzendorf after the assassination of Franz Ferdinand?
He pressed foreign minister Leopold von Berchtold to declare war on Serbia
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Who was the prime minister at the time of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand?
Istvan Tisza
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What was the reaction of Tisza to the possible declaration of war on Serbia following the assassination of Ferdinand?
He resisted it and sought retribution through diplomatic channels
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What was the assumption of Austria-Hungary on Russia following the assassination of Franz Fedinand?
That Russia would resist mobilisation, limiting itself to diplomatic manoeuvres
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What did Germany do on the 6th of July 1914?
Offered a blank cheque of support to Austria
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What did a blank cheque signify?
Unconditional support in all circumstances
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What happened on the 23rd of July 1914?
Austria-Hungary offered an ultimatum to Serbia
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What was the response of Serbia to Austria-Hungary's ultimatum?
It accepted most of the terms accept for Austrian intervention in their judicial system
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What happened on the 28th of July 1914?
Austria Hungary declares war on Serbia
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What was Russia's immediate response to Austria declaring war on Serbia
Partial mobilisation
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What was Germany's response to Russia's partial mobilisation?
Germany issues an ultimatum for the Tsar to cancel the order
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What happened on the 30th of July 1914?
Russia and Austria-Hungary both fully mobilise
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Who was emperor of Russia at the time of the July Crisis?
Tsar Nicholas II
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What happened on the 1st of August 1914?
Germany declares war on Russia
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What was the Schleiffen Plan?
The German War plan
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What was the aim of the German Schleiffen Plan?
To avoid a war on two fronts
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What did the German Schleiffen Plan outline?
That Germnay needed to defeat France first in six weeks and then move to Russia
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What did Germany, due to the Schleiffen Plan, do after declaring war on Russia?
Prepared to attack France
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What happens on the 2nd of August 1914?
Germany delivers and ultimatum to Belgium demanding that she remain neutral whilst German troops pass into France
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Who was the British Foreign Secretary at the time of the July Crisis?
Sir Edward Grey
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What treaty did the British have with Belgium?
The Treaty of London
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When was the Treaty of London created?
In 1839
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What was Britain's reaction to Germany's ultimatum to Belgium?
Sir Edward Grey announced to Parliament on August 3rd that Britain would defend Belgian neutrality due to the Treaty of London
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Who was the King of Belgium at the time of the July Crisis?
King Albert I
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What was Belgium's reaction to the German ultimatum?
They rejected it
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What happened on the 3rd of August 1914?
Germany declares war on France
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What was Britain's primary reaction to Germany declaring war on France?
It called for a satisfactory explanation
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Did Britain find a satisfactory explanation for Germany declaring war on France?
No
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What was Britain's final response to Germany declaring war on France?
She declared war on Germany
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What did Kaiser Wilhelm think when Serbia responded to the Austrian ultimatum/
He thought that "all cause for war has been averted"
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Where was the Kaiser during much of the July Crisis?
On a cruise in Norway
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What did the Kaiser do to try and calm tensions between Germany and Russia?
Wrote to his cousin "Nicky" and told him that he hoped nothing would come of it
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What did the Kaiser do on the 28th of July 1914?
Urged Austria to back down
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Did the Kaiser agree to issue the blank cheque to Austria?
Yes
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Who was the German Chancellor at the time of the July Crisis?
Bethmann Hollwegg
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What did Bethmann do after issuing the blank cheque to Austria?
Urged Austria to prosecute the war quickly and decisively with Serbia to avoid conflict and dragging in Russia
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What did Bethmann do on the 29th of July?
Urged Austria not to fully mobilise
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What was Bethmann's reaction to British Foreign Secretary Grey's warning Germany on the 29th of July?
He urged Austria to back down
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Was Bethmann aware of the need to launch a pre-emptive attack on Belgium due to the Schlieffen Plan?
No, not until the 31st of July
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What is the evidence that Bethmann contributed to the outbreak of war?
He dismissed British peace initiatives between Austria, Serbia and Russia after the assassination of Franz Ferdinand
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Who was the British Prime Minister at the time of the July Crisis?
Asquith
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What was Asquith's observation of the Kaiser in the July Crisis?
That he had very few powers
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Who were the German decisions in the July Crisis made by?
The German High Command
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Who was the Chief of German Staff at the time of the July Crisis?
Von Molkte
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Who were the two major German generals in the war?
Ludendorff and Hindenburg
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Was the decision to issue the blank cheque a decision made solely by the Kaiser and Bethmann?
No, the German High Command pressured them into doing so
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What was Von Molkte's view on Austrian mobilisation?
He urged them to do so
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Who made the final decision to launch the Schlieffen Plan?
The German High Command
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What was the Kaiser's reaction to the launch of the Schlieffen Plan?
He told the German High Command to put it on hold
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What was Von Molkte's response to the Kaiser's request to put the Schlieffen Plan on hold?
He refused
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When was the Schlieffen plan drafted?
1905
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When was the Schlieffen plan finalised?
1911
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Once launched, could the Schlieffen plan be stopped?
No
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According to the Schlieffen plan, how would Germany invade France?
Through Belgium
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According to the Schlieffen plan, how long would it take for Germany to capture France?
6 weeks
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Give evidence for the fact that Germany planned war
The Schlieffen plan was formulated in 1905
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What was clause 231?
The clause that placed full blame for the war on Germany
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Who came up with the "slithered into war theory"?
David Lloyd George
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When was the slithered into war theory created?`
1930s
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What was the slithered into war argument?
That all European countries were to blame for slithering into war
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When was the Franco German Historians' Commission?
The commission that officialised the slithered into war theory
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What did the Franco German historians commission argue?
That mutual distrust, aggressive alliances and arms races amongst countries led to the outbreak of war
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Give an example of arms race
Navy Laws, flottenpolitik, dreadnought,
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In 1904 how many men did the Triple Entente outnumber the Dual Alliance by?
250,000 men
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In 1914 how many men did the Triple Entente dominate by?
More than one million
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What did Russia announce in 1913?
Programme of army reorganisation which added 500,000 more men by 1916
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What bills did Germany pass in 1912 and 1913?
Army Bills to increase army by 20%
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What did France do in response to the German Army Bills?
Announced conscription extension from 2 to 3 years
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What was Fischer's first book?
Germany's aims in the First World War
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When was Fischer's first book published?
1961
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What were Fishcer's arguments in his first book?
That WW1 was caused by a desire for German Hegemony, that Germany was aggressive and expansionist and had a clear plan to create a European war
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Where did Fischer look for evidence to back up his theories?
In archives
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What was Fischer's main evidence to back up his first theory?
The September Programme
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What was the September Programme?
A document written by Bethmann's secretary which outlined Germany's aims in peace negotiations
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Who was Bethmann's secretary?
Kurt Riezler
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When was the September Programme written?
9 September 1914
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What foreign policy did Fischer believe the September Programme was based upon?
Weltpolitik
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According to the September Programme, how many countries did Germany want to annex?
Two
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Name one of the countries, according to the September Programme, that Germany wanted to annex
Some of Poland
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According to the September Programme, what did Germany want to do with France?
Eliminate it as a great power
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What are the criticisms of the September Programme?
It was written by Bethmann's secretary not himself, July Crisis showed that Bethmann had little influence as overpowered by the army, the programme was written after the war had begun so no pre-existing plan and Germany was winning so optimistic idea
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What was the name of Fischer's second book?
War of Illusions
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What were the arguments made by Fischer in War of Illusions?
That German government used war as solution to internal problems, the July Crisis was used as an opportunity to unify the country by establishing German Dominance and Germany's ruling elite responsible for aggressive decision making
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What German term can be applied to the War of Illusions theory?
Flucht nach vorn
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What does flucht nach vorn mean?
Flight or push forward
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What evidence did Fischer find to support his theory in War of Illusions?
The Imperial War Council
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When did the Imperial War Council take place?
8 December 1912
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Who's diaries revealed the Imperial War Council?
Admiral Muller
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Who had attended the Imperial War Council?
Kaiser, Bethmann and the military high command
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What was agreed at the Imperial War Council?
Insisted Austria should be supported against Serbia and a planned war strategy
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What did Von Moltke argue at the Imperial War Council?
That war against Russia was inevitable and the sooner the better
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What did Tirpitz inform the others of in the Imperial War Council?
That the navy needed another 18 months to prepare
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What was the war strategy agreed at the Imperial War Council?
If Russia attacked Austria it would have the support of Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania leaving Germany to deal with France and Britain
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What happened 18 months after the Imperial War Council?
WW1
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What did the elites know would happen if they went to war?
That demands for social, economic and political reforms would die down
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What happened once war was declared in the Reichstag?
They handed all powers to the elites
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What does Burgfrieden mean?
Where you willingly give away powers to the elites
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How did Fischer describe Germany's way of escaping political deadlock?
Escape forward
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Which historian developed Fischer's thesis further?
Wehler
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When did Wehler begin further developing Fischer's thesis?
1970s
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How did Wehler describe esacpe forward?
Primat der innenpolitik
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What does primat der innenpolitik mean?
The supremacy of domestic politics
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What did Wehler mean by primat der innenpoilitik?
That domestic issues shaped foreign policy
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Is there any evidence that foreign policy was formed directly in response to domestic issues?
No
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What possible evidence of internal problems could you use?
Daily Telegraph Affair 1908, The Imperial Insurance Code 1911 and SPD election victory in 1912
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Who argued against war to their emperor Franz Josef?
Franz Ferdinand
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Did the Kaiser believe that there was a real prospect of war in the July Days?
No, as Russia wasn't ready
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