Preview starting points map european alliances and military forces main idea reading focus
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Preview Starting Points Map: European Alliances and Military Forces Main Idea / Reading Focus Europe on the Brink of War Quick Facts: Causes of World War I War Breaks Out Fighting in 1914 Faces of History: Kaiser Wilhelm II Map: World War I Battles, 1914. The Great War Begins.

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Preview starting points map european alliances and military forces main idea reading focus

Preview

Starting Points Map: European Alliances and Military Forces

Main Idea / Reading Focus

Europe on the Brink of War

Quick Facts: Causes of World War I

War Breaks Out

Fighting in 1914

Faces of History: Kaiser Wilhelm II

Map: World War I Battles, 1914

The Great War Begins


Preview starting points map european alliances and military forces main idea reading focus

Click the icon to play Listen to History audio.

Click the icon below to connect to the Interactive Maps.


Preview starting points map european alliances and military forces main idea reading focus

The Great War Begins

Main Idea

Europe in 1914 was on the brink of war. After an assassination, the nations of Europe were drawn one by one into what would be called the Great War, or World War I.

  • Reading Focus

  • Why was Europe on the brink of war in 1914?

  • Why did war break out?

  • What were the results of the fighting in 1914?


Preview starting points map european alliances and military forces main idea reading focus

Rising tensions in Europe, 1914

Tensions result of four factors

Militarism

Alliances

Imperialism

Nationalism

Europe on the Brink of War


Preview starting points map european alliances and military forces main idea reading focus

Alliances

Militarism

  • Nations formed partnerships to protect against opposing forces

  • Triple Alliance united Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy

  • Great Britain joined France, Russia in Triple Entente

  • Believed no one nation would attack another, because allies would join fight

  • Massive military buildup in European countries, late 1800s and early 1900s

  • Wanted to protect overseas colonies from other nations

  • Growing power of armed forces left all sides ready to act at first sign of trouble

  • Minor disagreements had potential to turn to armed conflict

Europe on the Brink of War


Preview starting points map european alliances and military forces main idea reading focus

Nationalism

Imperialism

  • Strong devotion to one’s national group or culture, increased in late 1800s

  • Led to formation of new countries, struggles for power

  • Most visible in Balkan Peninsula, southeastern Europe

  • Home to many ethnic groups trying to break free from Ottoman Empire

  • Late 1800s and early 1900s saw quest to build empires

  • Created rivalry, ill will among European nations

  • Germany, France, Russia, Great Britain vied to become great imperial nations

  • Each did not want others to gain power

Europe on the Brink of War


Preview starting points map european alliances and military forces main idea reading focus

Some of strongest nationalist tensions in Balkans in Serbia, independent nation

Serbian leaders wanted to expand borders, unite people in “greater Serbia”

Austria-Hungary, powerful empire to north, opposed expansion

Feared growth might encourage ethnic groups there to rebel

Tensions continued to rise in early 1900s

Europe on the Brink of War


Preview starting points map european alliances and military forces main idea reading focus

Summarize

Why was Europe on the brink of war in 1914?

Answer(s): rising tensions as result of militarism, alliances, imperialism, and nationalism


Preview starting points map european alliances and military forces main idea reading focus

The Impact

Fighting Begins

  • Serbian Gavrilo Princip assassinated archduke, wife

  • Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia

  • Russia prepared to support Serbia

  • Austria-Hungary ally Germany saw Russia as threat

  • Germany declared war on Russia, ally France

  • Germany faced war on two fronts: Russia to east, France to west

  • Decided to strike France quickly then move to Russia

  • Began with quick strike into neutral Belgium

  • Attack on neutral country led Great Britain to declare war on Germany

War Breaks Out

In the midst of the tensions with Serbia, archduke Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary decided to visit the Bosnian city of Sarajevo.


Preview starting points map european alliances and military forces main idea reading focus

Main players in World War I in place

Central Powers

Germany

Austria-Hungary

Allied Powers

Great Britain

France

Russia

Serbia

War Breaks Out


Preview starting points map european alliances and military forces main idea reading focus

Sequence

What events led to the outbreak of World War I?

Answer(s): Serbian Gavrilo Princip killed Austrian Archduke Ferdinand and his wife; Germany (an ally of Austria-Hungary) declared war on Russia (an ally of Serbia); Germany attacked Belgium; Great Britain declared war on Germany


Preview starting points map european alliances and military forces main idea reading focus

Fighting in 1914

  • Germany’s plan

  • Germany wanted to quickly defeat France, move east to fight Russia

  • Great Britain’s declaration of war on Germany doomed its plan

  • The Great War became bloody stalemate

  • Early battles

  • Battle of the Frontiers pitted German troops against both French and British

  • Both sides suffered heavy losses

  • Germany victorious

  • Russia enters fighting

  • Russia attacked German territory from the east

  • Russians defeated in Battle of Tannenberg

  • Germany distracted from France, Allies turned on German invaders


Preview starting points map european alliances and military forces main idea reading focus

Trench warfare begins

Allied troops drove Germans back, Battle of the Marne, September 1914

Retreating Germans dug series of trenches along Aisne River

Waited in trenches for Allied attack

Trenches elaborately constructed, cleverly concealed

Allies dug trenches of their own

Major battles for months with little change in positions

Deadlocked region became known as Western Front

Fighting in 1914


Preview starting points map european alliances and military forces main idea reading focus

Summarize

What were the major events of the fighting in 1914?

Answer(s): Germany advanced through Belgium to attack France; Russia attacked East Prussia; Russians crushed in Battle of Tannenberg; British and French forces regrouped; millions died or were wounded; trench warfare resulted in a stalemate


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