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What was the impact of Weltpolitik on international relations? PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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What was the impact of Weltpolitik on international relations?. Recap quiz. What was Weltpolitik ? Whose idea was it? What were the aims? What effect did it have inside Germany? What response did it provoke from other countries? . Drift towards alliances.

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What was the impact of Weltpolitik on international relations?

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What was the impact of weltpolitik on international relations l.jpg

What was the impact of Weltpolitik on international relations?


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Recap quiz

  • What was Weltpolitik?

  • Whose idea was it?

  • What were the aims?

  • What effect did it have inside Germany?

  • What response did it provoke from other countries?


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Drift towards alliances

  • 1879 Dual Alliance (Germany and Austro-Hungary)

  • 1882 Triple Alliance (Germany, Austro-Hungary, Italy)

  • 1894 Franco-Russian Alliance

  • 1902 Anglo-Japanese Alliance

  • 1904 Entente Cordiale (Britain and France)

  • 1907 Triple Entente (France, Russia, Britain)


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The Alliances in 1914


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What problems will Germany have in the event of a war?


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A British comment in 1904 on the newly-formed Entente Cordiale


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Germany’s General Moltke, 1911

“It may safely be assumed that the next war will be a war on two fronts. Of our two enemies, France is the most dangerous and can prepare the most quickly….”


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  • This is General Von Schlieffen


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The Schlieffen Plan

  • In 1914 Germany was worried that war with France was extremely likely. If war broke out Russia would aid her ally.

  • Germany wanted to avoid a war on 2 fronts!


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  • Your task: to advise the general on a military plan for how the German army can fight Russia and France and beat them BOTH


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  • what action should Germany take?

  • IDEAS:

  • Split army? Why? Why not?

  • Attack one country first? Why? Why not?


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Things to Consider

  • Germany shares a border with France and Russia

  • You are worried about fighting both at the same time

  • Russia has a large army but may take a long time to mobilise (get her army ready)

  • The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland are neutral (not on either side)

  • Great Britain has promised to defend Belgium if attacked

  • Switzerland is very mountainous but Belgium is flat

  • France has built fortifications along the border with you.


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The Plan

  • Germany would act first and attack France quickly, defeat her and then turn to attack Russia.

  • Von Schlieffen believed that if France was attacked quickly they would surrender before Russia had had a chance to attack Germany.

  • The plan was to attack France through Belgium with 90% of Germany’s army would be used to defeat France while the remaining 10% would defend against Russian attack


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Problems with the Schlieffen Plan

  • No plan to fight a war against Russia only. Germany had to attack France first

  • It was assumed Belgium would not resist

  • It was assumed Britain would remain neutral

  • It was assumed Russia would take 6 weeks to organise itself

  • It was assumed France would be easily defeated.


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What was France’s plan?

What was Britain’s plan?


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Did war plans make war more likely?

  • “The war came about mainly because of railway timetables”

    A.J.P. Taylor


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