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World War I Section #1—The Seeds of War. Chris Anderson Randolph-Henry High School. The Congress of Vienna had created a relative peace in Europe that lasted almost 100 years Many in Europe believed that a major war would never occur in Europe again

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world war i section 1 the seeds of war

World War ISection #1—The Seeds of War

Chris Anderson

Randolph-Henry High School

The Congress of Vienna had created a relative peace in Europe that lasted almost 100 years
  • Many in Europe believed that a major war would never occur in Europe again
  • Social reforms and new scientific advances made many people believe that Europeans had outgrown war
By the late 1800s, this European peace began to show signs of strain
  • Four (4) main characteristics started to develop in many of the European nations
    • 1.) Nationalism
    • 2.) Imperialism
    • 3.) Militarism
    • 4.) Alliances
  • By 1914, Europe was a “tinderbox waiting for the spark to make it explode”
  • This created many tensions between European nations
  • People were willing to sacrifice anything for their homeland, even their own lives
  • This nationalism would lead many people to fight for very vague objectives
  • Nationalism also divided many nations, especially those nations with a diverse ethnic make-up
  • Different European nations attempted to create overseas empires
  • The major nations scrambling for land:
    • Germany
    • Belgium
    • Italy
    • France
    • Great Britain
Nationalism motivated European nations to compete for colonial possessions
  • European economic, military, and political power forced colonized countries to trade on European terms
  • Industrially produced goods flooded colonial markets and displaced their traditional industries
  • Colonized peoples resisted European domination and responded in diverse ways to Western influences
Forms of imperialism
    • Colonies
    • Protectorates
      • Independent area (usually) under the protection of another nation
    • Spheres of influence
      • An area that is under the influence of another nation
Imperialism in Africa and Asia
    • European domination
    • European conflicts carried to the colonies
    • Christian missionary efforts
    • Spheres of influence in China
    • Suez Canal—controlled by Great Britain
    • East India Company’s (GB) domination of Indian states
    • America’s opening of Japan to trade
Responses of colonized peoples
  • Armed conflicts (e.g., events leading to the Boxer Rebellion in China)
  • Rise of nationalism (e.g., first Indian nationalist party founded in the mid-1800s)
1905: a problem arose over a little area called Morocco
    • France began taking steps to add Morocco to its list of possessions
    • Germany also had interests in Morocco and opposed France’s actions
    • Germany asked for a conference on the issue
    • Great Britain acted as mediator
    • The final result: Morocco would stay independent but have French influence
  • In order to back up their imperialistic goals, many nations believed they needed a strong military presence
  • Militaries began actually having political influence over many nations
  • The most evident example of militarism can be seen in Germany
    • by 1900, Germany had the most powerful weapons and the best military in Europe
    • Germany had already created a very strong navy in the 1890s; an attempt to outdo Great Britain
Great Britain attempted to match Germany’s naval buildup in the 1890s and 1900s, causing more tensions to grow between the 2 nations
  • More and more nations began joining in on the arms race between Germany and Great Britain
  • France began to develop a strong military
  • Russia began to increase the size of its military
  • European nations began creating alliances in an attempt to protect themselves
  • 1879: Bismarck created the Dual Alliance
    • A pact between Germany and Austria-Hungary
  • 1882: Italy was added as a member of the alliance to create the Triple Alliance
    • Italy
    • Germany
    • Austria-Hungary
Bismarck created the alliances for 2 main reasons
    • 1.) To avoid a 2-front war
    • 2.) To keep France weak and unable to revenge its loss in the Franco-Prussian War
France wanted to make alliances against Bismarck
  • 1894: France made an alliance with Russia, both agreeing to help each other if either were attacked by the Triple Alliance
  • 1904: France and Great Britain make an agreement to end hostilities against each other (entente)
  • 1907: Great Britain and Russia sign an entente
  • By 1907, Great Britain, France, and Russia were together in an alliance called the Triple Entente—designed to counterbalance the Triple Alliance
By 1907, two very distinct sides were emerging in Europe
  • These alliances would prove to be very dangerous for both sides