Why did the first world war start
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Year Nine History. Why did the First World War start?. Nmg 06. The Great Powers in 1914. Europe dominated the political world in 1914 Key countries were: Great Britain Germany Austria-Hungary France Russia. Great Britain. Great Britain. Britain’s Empire was huge!. The German Empire.

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Why did the first world war start

Year Nine History

Why did the First World War start?

Nmg 06

The great powers in 1914
The Great Powers in 1914

  • Europe dominated the political world in 1914

  • Key countries were:

  • Great Britain

  • Germany

  • Austria-Hungary

  • France

  • Russia

Great britain
Great Britain

Great Britain

Britain’s Empire was huge!

The german empire
The German Empire

  • Created in 1870 after a victory over France

  • Germany was the most powerful country in Europe

  • Her ruler, Kaiser William II wanted her to be a world power

The austro hungarian empire
The Austro-Hungarian Empire

  • Dominated southern central Europe

  • Made up of 14 separate ethnic groups

  • Faced serious problems with groups wanting independence

  • On collision course with Serbia


  • Had been major force in Europe for many years

  • Controlled overseas Empire

  • Many French people resented and feared the new German Empire

The russian empire
The Russian Empire

However Russia

was perhaps the

most backward

of the main


Russia was the largest

of the Great Powers,

stretching across 2


Russians wanted access to the Med – wanted control of the Straits

International tensions 1
International tensions (1)

Russia (over India)

Britain had problems with

France (over colonies)

By 1914 Britain had sorted these problems out.

All three countries were members of the

TRIPLE ENTENTE although only France and Russia

were real allies

International tensions 2
International Tensions (2)

William’s ambitions alarmed the British

Britain and Germany found themselves in an arms race to build the new super weapon – the Dreadnought

International tensions 3

Bosnia-Herzegovina was to be the key territory

International Tensions (3)

Austria-Hungary aimed to

dominate this area

Serbia was ambitious

and wanted more


The alliance system
The Alliance System

Triple Entente

Triple Alliance

Consequences of the alliance system
Consequences of the Alliance System

  • The alliance system brought the threat of war closer

  • Any conflict between say France and Germany might also involve Russia and Austria

  • There were a number of conflicts in waiting!

  • Tensions over colonies, the naval race, Austria & Serbia were all potential problems