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Causes of World War 1


Causes of World War 1 silly generals and pedantic diplomats A J P Taylor – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Causes of World War 1

Causes of World War 1
  • silly generals and pedantic diplomats
  • A J P Taylor

1879The Dual Alliance                                        Germany and Austria-Hungary made an alliance to protect themselves from Russia 1881Austro-Serbian Alliance                                     Austria-Hungary made an alliance with Serbia to stop Russia gaining control of Serbia 1882The Triple Alliance                                         Germany and Austria- Hungary made an alliance with Italy to stop Italy from taking sides with Russia
1914Triple Entente (no separate peace)                                     Britain, Russia and France agreed not to sign for peace separately.                                                                                        1894Franco-Russian Alliance                                      Russia formed an alliance with France to protect herself against Germany and Austria-Hungary
1907Triple Entente                                         This was made between Russia, France and Britain to counter the increasing threat from Germany. 1907Anglo-Russian Entente                                        This was an agreement between Britain and Russia 1904Entente Cordiale                                        This was an agreement, but not a formal alliance, between France and Britain.
An Historians View- Robert Wolfsen
  • Countries sought and made allies for defensive
    purposes and the settlement of outstanding
    disputes between them..they were not , openly
    formed for offensive purposes to harm or attack
    other countries. Years of Change

Alliance System
The Tangled Web- Identify the countries/personalit
ies depicted?
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  • Lenin famously asserted that the worldwide system
    of imperialism was responsible for the war

Imperialism  Imperialism is when a country takes
over new lands or countries and makes them
subject to their rule. By 1900 the British Empire
extended over five continents and France had
control of large areas of Africa. With the rise
of industrialism countries needed new markets.
The amount of lands 'owned' by Britain and France
increased the rivalry with Germany who had
entered the scramble to acquire colonies late and
only had small areas of Africa
A Slice of the African Cake
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  • Militarism means that the army and military
    forces are given a high profile by the
    government. The growing European divide had led
    to an arms race between the main countries. The
    armies of both France and Germany had more than
    doubled between 1870 and 1914 and there was
    fierce competition between Britain and Germany
    for mastery of the seas. The British had
    introduced the 'Dreadnought', an effective
    battleship, in 1906. The Germans soon followed
    suit introducing their own battleships. The
    German, Von Schlieffen also drew up a plan of
    action that involved attacking France through
    Belgium if Russia made an attack on Germany. The
    map below shows how the plan was to work.

Comparative figures on army increase, 1870-1914
1914 Russia 700,000
1,300,000 France 380,000
846,000 Germany 403,000
812,000 Austria-Hungary 247,000
424,000 Britain 302,000
381,000 Italy 334,000
305,000 Japan 70,000
250,000 U.S.A.
37,000 98,000
The naval strength of the powers in 1914

Country Personnel Large Naval Vessels Tonnage
Russia 54,000 4 328,000
France 68,000 10 731,000
Britain 209,000 29 2,205,000
TOTAL 331,000 43 3,264,000
Germany 79,000 17 1,019,000
Austria-Hungary 16,000 3 249,000
TOTAL 95,000 20 1,268,000
Source Ferguson 1999 p 85 Source Ferguson 1999 p 85 Source Ferguson 1999 p 85 Source Ferguson 1999 p 85
Schlieffen Plan
Arms Race
  •  Nationalism means being a strong supporter of
    the rights and interests of one's country. The
    Congress of Vienna, held after Napoleon's exile
    to Elba, aimed to sort out problems in Europe.
    Delegates from Britain, Austria, Prussia and
    Russia (the winning allies) decided upon a new
    Europe that left both Germany and Italy as
    divided states. Strong nationalist elements led
    to the re-unification of Italy in 1861 and
    Germany in 1871. The settlement at the end of the
    Franco-Prussian war left France angry at the loss
    of Alsace-Lorraine to Germany and keen to regain
    their lost territory. Large areas of both
    Austria-Hungary and Serbia were home to differing
    nationalist groups, all of whom wanted freedom
    from the states in which they lived.

  • Moroccan Crisis
  •  In 1904 Morocco had been given to France by
    Britain, but the Moroccans wanted their
    independence. In 1905, Germany announced her
    support for Moroccan independence. War was
    narrowly avoided by a conference which allowed
    France to retain possession of Morocco. However,
    in 1911, the Germans were again protesting
    against French possession of Morocco. Britain
    supported France and Germany was persuaded to
    back down for part of French Congo.

  • Bosnian Crisis
  •  In 1908, Austria-Hungary took over the former
    Turkish province of Bosnia. This angered Serbians
    who felt the province should be theirs. Serbia
    threatened Austria-Hungary with war, Russia,
    allied to Serbia, mobilised its forces. Germany,
    allied to Austria-Hungary mobilised its forces
    and prepared to threaten Russia. War was avoided
    when Russia backed down. There was, however, war
    in the Balkans between 1911 and 1912 when the
    Balkan states drove Turkey out of the area. The
    states then fought each other over which area
    should belong to which state. Austria-Hungary
    then intervened and forced Serbia to give up some
    of its acquisitions. Tension between Serbia and
    Austria-Hungary was high.

Political Tensions
  • There is no single explanation for the apparent
    willingness of the nations of Europe to go to war
    in 1914. The political tensions that preceded the
    war, however is often said to be caused by the
    following factors
  • Colonial rivalry
  • Economic rivalry
  • The arms race
  • French and German hostilities
  • European military alliances
  • Nationalism

The Black Hand
  • In May 1911, ten men in Serbia formed the Black
    Hand Secret Society. Early members included
    Colonel Dragutin Dimitrijevic, the chief of the
    Intelligence Department of the Serbian General
    Staff, Major Voja Tankosic and Milan Ciganovic.
  • The main objective of the Black Hand was the
    creation, by means of violence, of a Greater
    Serbia. Its stated aim was "To realize the
    national ideal, the unification of all Serbs.
    This organisation prefers terrorist action to
    cultural activities it will therefore remain

  • By 1914 there were around 2,500 members of the
    Black Hand. The group was mainly made up of
    junior army officers but also included lawyers,
    journalists and university professors.
  • Three senior members of the Black Hand group,
    Dragutin Dimitrijevic, Milan Ciganovic, and Major
    Voja Tankosic, decided that Archduke Franz
    Ferdinand should be assassinated. Dimitrijevic
    was concerned about the heir to the
    Austro-Hungarian throne, Ferdinand's plans to
    grant concessions to the South Slavs.
  • Dimitrijevic feared that if this happened, an
    independent Serbian state would be more difficult
    to achieve.

Critical Flashpoint
Archduke Franz Ferdinand's
Assassination, 28 June 1914Updated - Sunday, 3
November, 2002 The assassination of Archduke
Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian
throne, on 28 June 1914, set in train a series of
diplomatic events that led inexorably to the
outbreak of war in Europe at the end of July
1914. Ferdinand - and his wife Sophie - were
killed by Serb nationalist Gavrilo Princip while
on a formal visit to Sarajevo.  Princip shot
Ferdinand at point blank range while the latter
was travelling in his car from a town hall
reception, having earlier that day already
survived one assassination attempt
Allies Britain ( and its Empire
) France Russia Belgium Italy USA( JOINED IN
1917) Serbia, Portugal Japan and other minor
Central Powers Germany Austria Hungary Ottoman-Tur
key Bulgaria
Countdown to World War
  • June 1914 Franz Duke Ferdinand, heir to the
    Austrian throne assassinated
  • 28th July Austria Hungary declare war on Serbia.
    France and Russia back Serbia
  • 30th July Britain and Russia mobilize forces
  • 1st August Germany declares war on Russia
  • 2nd August Germany invades Belgium, declares war
    on France
  • 4th August Britain declares war on Germany
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