Background . The world an unstable place by 1914 Britain had been the world’s richest and most powerful nation – industrialisation, colonies By 1914 balance of power beginning to shift in the world order. Background.
Background • The world an unstable place by 1914 • Britain had been the world’s richest and most powerful nation – industrialisation, colonies • By 1914 balance of power beginning to shift in the world order
Background • Germany , USA overtaking Britain as industrial power – car and steel manufacturing • Germany wanted to further expand around the globe with more colonies • Many European countries saw Germany a potential aggressor • Made the situation by 1914 in Europe very unsettled
Major Causes of WW1 • Militarism • Alliances • Imperialism • Nationalism
Militarism • Led to an arms race between the main Countries • Germany was competing with the UK to build battleships.
Militarism • Germany was competing with Russia and France to expand its Army • Britain had the smallest Army of all the major powers
Germany is a young and growing empire. She takes part in trade that is rapidly expanding. Germany must have a powerful fleet to protect that trade. She must be able to fight for her interests in any part of the world. Only those powers with great navies will be listened to with respect. Kaiser Wilhelm II in an interview published in the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph, November 1908
The arms race in which all the major powers were involved contributed to the sense that war was bound to come, and soon…. Although publicly the arms race was justified to prevent war, no government had in fact been deterred from arming by the programmes of their rivals, but rather increased the pace of their own armament production. James Joll, Origins of the First World War, 1992
Homework • Read Ben Walsh pp. 4-7 The Alliances • Answer question 1 on P.5 • Answer questions 1-5 pp. 6-7
Alliances • When two or more countries agree to help out each other • Countries signing these agreements are known as allies • 1882 – Austria-Hungary, Germany and Italy sign the Triple Alliance become know as the Central Powers • 1907 – Britain, France and Russia sign the Triple Entente become known as the Allied Powers
Nature of Alliances • Traditionally Britain had tried not to get involved in European affairs – “Splendid Isolation” • Britain worried about German plans for expansion – begins co-operating with France further • France and Russia both concerned about German threat • Germany worried about being “encircled” by France and Russia – further concerned when they become allies with Britain • Austria has internal problem with a fragmented empire. Germany provided security • Italy ambitious to expand
Balance of Power • By 1914 all the major powers were linked by a system of alliances. • The theory was power was evenly spread between the Alliances and would be a deterrent to war – which would be drawn out and hard to win • HOWEVER this plan didn’t work in practise: remember the Blackadder clip • Once started, the Alliances made war escalate and spread faster across Europe
One Thing Leads to Another • Austria-Hungary declare war on Serbia • Russia comes to Serbia’s defence • Germany allied to Austria-Hungary declares war on Russia • France, bound by treaty to Russia, finds itself at war with Germany & Austria-Hungary • Britain enters the war due to the German invasion of BELGIUM (75 yr old treaty)
Nationalism • A feeling of pride in one’s country, and a desire for it to be strong and powerful • Shared culture and rulers with the same culture • Can be an aspiration to be independent if ruled by another country • By 1914 Nationalism causing problems: i/ Nations starting to demand independence ii/ Caused intense rivalry over colonies, trade and power
Land of Hope and Glory, mother of the free... God who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet. The words of Land of Hope and Glory, written by the English composer Elgar Germany, Germany above all, over everything in the world, When it steadfastly holds together, offensively and defensively. The words of the German national anthem, Deutschland uber Alles
The Balkans • Very unstable area where different nationalities mixed together • Both Austria and Russia wanted more power and influence here • 1908 – Austria takes over Bosnia and Herzegovina with the backing of Germany • Serbia emerges as a force in the area which concerns Austria. Eventually leads to war after assassination of Archduke • Nationalism a major factor in the region’s problems
Imperialism • Imperialism occurs when a strong nation takes over a weaker nation or region and dominates its economic, political, or cultural life.
Morocco Crisis • 1905 - Kaiser supports independence for Morocco to side against the French • Germany keen to be seen as a major power in Nth Africa • 1911 – Conference gives France control of Morocco after another stand off with Germany • Germany awarded land in central Africa as compensation • Britain and France agree to patrol waters around France • Imperialism creates crisis
Summary • Important to distinguish short term causes eg the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and long term causes such as imperialism, nationalism etc • The longer term factors are all inextricably linked eg nationalism can lead to imperialism which in turn created further tension for an arms race between countries. Alliances were then formed for security due to these threats • The situation had been very tense for some time in Europe and it was only a matter of time before this tension boiled over