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start of world war 1

By jesspeterson1 Mar 10, 2014 883 Words
The Great War Begins

Otto von Bismarck

The Triple Alliance = Italy, Germany, Austria-Hungary

Central Powers = Germany and Austria-Hungary

The Triple Entente = France, Russia, Britain


Alsace and Lorraine

“Powder keg”

Start of Great War: conflict between Serbia & Austria-Hungary

Archduke Francis Ferdinand



General Alfred von Schlieffen


By 1914, Europe had been relatively peaceful, but not everyone was hopeful that the peace would last •German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck knew that there would be a Great War Alliances Draw Lines

Because they distrusted one another, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy, Britain, France, and Russia, signed treaties pledging to defend one another •By forming these alliances, they hoped to promote peace by creating powerful combinations that no one would dare to attack – but the opposite occurred: two huge alliances The Triple Alliance

Bismarck knew that France wanted revenge on Germany for defeating them in the Franco-Prussian War and that they would not attack them unless they had help, so Bismarck, who is on Germany’s side, signed treaties with other powers •He formed the Triple Alliance with Italy and Austria-Hungary •When the war started, Italy backed out (joined the war on the Allied Forces' side because it felt the treaty terms didn't apply and knew Austria was after their northern states) and Germany and Austria-Hungary became known as the Central Powers The Triple Entente

France and Russia formed an alliance
Later, France and Britain signed an entente, a nonbinding agreement to follow common policies •Later, Britain signed a similar agreement with Russia
When the war began they became known as the Allies
Germany signed a treaty with the Ottoman empire
Rivalries and Nationalism Increase Tension
European powers competed to protect their status
Germany was rapidly becoming an economic and military powerhouse; Britain felt threatened •Germany thought the other great powers did not give enough respect and feared that when Russia caught up, because of their huge population and large supply of natural resources, they would become an unbeatable competitor •Overseas rivalries also divided European nations, as they fought for new colonies in Africa and elsewhere •The great powers began to build up their armies and navies •The rise of militarism (the glorification of the military) helped to feed the arms race and sensational journalism stirred the public against rival nations Nationalism

Nationalism increased tensions
Germans were proud of their military and economic might
The French yearned for the return of Alsace and Lorraine – provinces on the border of Germany and France, lost by France to Germany in 1871 •Russia sponsored a powerful form of nationalism called Pan-Slavism which held that all Slavic peoples shared a common nationality •Russia felt that it had the duty to lead and defend all Slavs, this led Russia to support nationalists in Serbia •Austria-Hungary worried that nationalism might lead to rebellions within its empire, while Ottoman Turkey felt threatened by nearby new nations in the Balkans, such as Serbia and Greece •Serbia’s dreams of a South Slav state could take land away from both Austria-Hungary and Turkey •In 1912, several Balkan states attacked Turkey, and soon, unrest made the Balkans a “powder keg” – barrel of gunpowder that a tiny spark might cause to explode The Powder Keg Ignites

The Great War began in E. Europe – sparked by a regional conflict between Serbia and Austria-Hungary which grew rapidly into a general war Assassination in Sarajevo
The crisis began when Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary said that he would visit Sarajevo. The news made many Serbian nationalists angry (viewed them as foreign oppressors.) When he arrived with his wife, a conspirator named Gavrilo Princip fired twice into the car and killed them Austria Strikes Back

Some Austrian leaders saw this as an opportunity to crush Serbian nationalism •They sent Serbia an ultimatum (final set of demands) – to avoid war, Serbia must end all anti-Austrian agitation and punish any Serbian official involved in the murder plot and let Austria join in the investigation – which Serbia refused to meet completely •Austria, with the full support of Germany, declared war on Serbia in July 1914 Alliance Kick In

Soon the network of alliances drew other powers into the conflict Russia and France Back Serbia
Russia, in support of Serbia, began to mobilize its army; in response Germany declared war on Russia •France claimed it would honor its treaty with Russia, so Germany declared war on France too Germany Invades Belgium

Italy and Britain were still uncommitted – Italy neutral •General Alfred von Schlieffen of Germany had a plan to avoid a two-front war – against France in the west and Russia to the east: Germany should move against France first because Russia’s military would be slow to mobilize, but they had to do it quickly so that its armies could then turn around and fight Russia. They started by invading Belgium •When the Germans violated Belgian neutrality (a policy of supporting neither side in a war) to reach France, Britain declared war on Germany •World War I had begun

Reaction to the War
The outbreak of war brought temporary relief from internal divisions: - Britain struggled with labor unrest and the issue of home rule in Ireland, - Russia with problems by the Revolution of 1905 •A renewed sense of patriotism united countries

Governments on both sides emphasized that their countries were fighting for justice and a better world

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