Causes of World War I. The Great War. Causes of World War I. In your notebook, write today’s date and the lesson title: Causes of WWI. The Causes - Overview. Historians usually cite the following as causes of the war: Rivalries among the great powers and other European countries caused by
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The Great War
In your notebook, write today’s date and the lesson title: Causes of WWI
Historians usually cite the following as causes of the war:
Rivalries among the great powers and other European countries caused by
History (Resentment and Hatred)
Alliances brought about by the rivalries
A spark (the assassination of the heir to the Austrian throne)
We will focus on the following major rivalries:
Germany and France
Austria and Russia
Great Britain and Germany
Serbia and Austria
Let’s learn about what caused them
From the section of the text entitled “Rising Tensions in Europe” (pp. 841-842) answer the following questions :
What led to the rivalry between France and Germany?
What led to the rivalry between Austria and Russia?
How did imperialism contribute to the tensions between the European countries?
What is “militarism”?
How did militarism contribute to the tensions between European countries?
Read the two primary source handouts:
Kaiser Wilhelm’s “A Place in the Sun”
Bernard von Bulow’s “Hammer and Anvil”
Answer the following questions in writing:
What is each man calling for in his speech?
What might a non-German European be afraid of listening to the two speeches?
At the beginning of the 20th Century, Kaiser Wilhelm “began a tremendous shipbuilding program in an effort to make the German navy equal to the mighty British fleet” (text 843)
Does this come as a surprise after your last reading? (it shouldn’t)
Read the primary source handout “Sir Edward Grey’s Speech to Parliament” and answer the following questions in writing:
What was his reaction to the German shipbuilding program?
What does he call for in his speech?
Why do you think naval superiority was important to Britain?
Based on the three sources you’ve read, what is the nature of the rivalry between Germany and Great Britain?
In 1871 Prussia (the most powerful German state) soundly defeated France in a war
During the war Prussian forces captured the king of France, Napoleon III
At the end of the war Prussian forces took Paris and Versailles, the symbol of the French monarchy, where they made France sign an unfavorable peace treaty
The war resulted in the unification of Germany and the crowning of Kaiser Wilhelm which took place at Versailles
The terms of the treaty made France give up two provinces – Alsace and Lorraine – whose population was largely German but which were important economically to France
How do you think the French people felt about these events? How do you think they felt about Germany? What do you think they wanted in the future?
What is the nature of the rivalry between Germany and France?
Ethnically, Austria is German
Ethnically, Russia is Slavic
Ethnically, the people living in the Balkan peninsula are Slavic
Ethnically, many people living under control of the Austro-Hungarian empire were Slavic
Russia has no open warm water western ports
For the Russian fleet to have open access to the west, it had to exit the Black Sea through the narrow passages of the Bosporus and Dardanelles
The Balkan peninsula controls these narrow waterways
What do you think these facts have to do with the Russian-Austrian rivalry?
Read “The Crisis in the Balkans – A Restless Region” on p. 843 of the text and answer the following questions in writing:
Describe the factors that created the “crisis in the Balkans”
How was the crisis related to nationalism.
Then read the primary source handout “The Narodna Obrana” and answer the following questions in writing:
Who did the Serbs see as their old enemy?
Who do they see as their new enemy?
What is the goal of the organization?
Consider both sources and answer the following question:
What was the nature of the Serbian-Austrian rivalry?
Review all group members’ answers to the questions from the 3 reading assignments.
Clear up all questions (get help from Mr. Austin if you need it)
Then discuss each rivalry (French-German, Austrian-Russian, Austrian-Serbian, German-British) in light of the six social studies perspectives:
How might each rivalry be seen from each of the social studies perspectives (economic, political, cultural, sociological, psychological, geographic)
In light of the rivalries we have just read about, what would you have sought to do if you were the leader of each country?
In fact, the countries sought defensive alliances (was that what you would have done?)
Read about them (Tangled Alliances pp. 842-843) and in writing:
Describe the alliances that existed between European countries during the period before the First World War. (you can do this individually or as a group)
January, 1871 Prussia and the German kingdoms are united into a single nation.
May, 1871 France is forced to sign a humiliating treaty with Germany that ends the 1870-71 Franco Prussian war
1873- Germany, A-H, and Russia form an alliance called the Three Emperors League
1878- Russia leaves the alliance, leaving Germany and A-H in the Duel Alliance.
1881- Italy joins to form the triple alliance the Duel Alliance.
Italy forms a secret alliance with France the Duel Alliance.
1892 France and Russia form an alliance the Duel Alliance. aimed specifically at counteracting the potential threat posed by the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy
1902 Great Britain, seeing Germany’s military gains, forms a military alliance with Japan, aimed squarely at limiting German colonial gains in the east
1907 – Great Britain and Russia agree to alliance, forming the Triple Entente
1908 Austria-Hungary Annexes Bosnia the Triple Entente
1912 Italy defeats Ottoman Empire, Ottoman Empire cedes territories in Africa
1912 Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria fight off advances from Ottoman Empire
1913 Bulgaria becomes aggressor. Bulgaria’s former allies fight Bulgaria off.
The Spark that Caused the War
Read “A Shot Rings Throughout Europe” (p.844) and “The Great War Begins” (p.845) and answer the following questions in writing:
Who was Gavrilo Princip, what did he do?
Describe how his act led to war between Serbia and Austria-Hungary.
How did the war between Serbia and Austria-Hungary lead to World War I?
In June of 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand traveled to Sarajevo for an official visit.
Ferdinand was shot by Serbian terrorist Sarajevo for an official visit. Gavrilo Princip immediately following a reception for the Archduke at Sarajevo's Town Hall, setting off the chain of events that led to the outbreak of war in late July 1914. (FirstWorldWar.com)
June, 1914: Sarajevo for an official visit.