Causes of World War 1The Alliance System

Purpose of Alliances

Balance of power through alliances
Bismarck created these alliances in an attempt to isolate France


Dreikaiserbund (League of the Three Emperors)- Treaty founded by
Bismarck in 1873 between the leaders of Russia, Austria-Hungary-Hungary
and Germany. Governments were to communicate with each other and
maintain neutrality if any single one of them was attacked by another
power. Used to keep Germany’s eastern borders secure. Issues in the
Balkans caused the league to collapse in 1878. It was renewed again by
Bismarck in 1881, however it was now an alliance. It pledged neutrality if
any of the three powers was attacked by a fourth. Helped appease the
Austro-Hungarians and Russians due to provisions in the Balkans.
Renewed in 1884 but collapsed again in 1887 due to issue in the Balkans.
Dual Alliance- Founded in 1879 between Austria-Hungary-Hungary and
Germany. Neutrality if attacked by any other power other than Russia.
Triple Alliance- Italy joined the Dual Alliance in 1882 turning it into a Triple
Alliance due to issues with France in North Africa
Reinsurance Treaty- Founded in 1887. A separate alliance between Russia
and Germany separate to Austria-Hungary-Hungary. Neutrality pact.
First Treaty of London- Founded in 1839. Between Britain and Belgium. If
Belgium were invaded by any foreign power, Britain would declare war
against that power.
Dual Entente- Between France and Russia signed in 1894 between Russia
and France. After the Kaiser failed to renew the reinsurance treaty, the
French saw an opportunity for an alliance with Russia. France was able to
influence the signing of the alliance through offering loans to the Russians
to begin rapid industrialisation of Russia to prepare it for war.
Anglo-Japanese Naval Treaty- British saw the formation of the Dual Entente
as a pressure to find an ally. Britain thus needed an ally. They attempted to
create one with Germany, however Germany was suspicious of British
ulterior motive. Thus they allied with the Japanese.
Entente Cordiale- Colonial differences between Britain and France were
resolved and in 1904, an entente between the British and French was
signed. This was a friendly understanding. Germany saw this as a threat
and decided to provoke quarrel with France. Germany’s quarrel only
strengthened the Entente Cordiale after the Algeciras Conference in 1906.
Italy backed out of the Triple Alliance and allied with France.
Triple Entente- Germany’s attempt to split the Entente Cordiale backfired.
Russia and Britain were forced to cooperate with each other to drive away
Germany, causing them to resolve issues in Tibet, Afghanistan and Persia.
Anglo-Russian Entente was formed in 1907. Britain was allied with Russia,
Russia was allied with France and Britain was allied with France, forming
the Triple Entente.

The Arms Race Germany’s Naval Laws        14 first class battleships in 1900 1896. Navy Laws of 1898 and 1890 turned the navy into a powerful battle fleet to protect the North Sea.000 troops in peacetime 1874 o 800. In fact. How Bismarck’s Diplomacy Influenced Future Conflict  Shrewd tactics creating serious long term problems for future European diplomacy. Growing Militarism in Europe              Germany began acting more aggressive as they felt threatened that they were being surrounded In 1912.Formed on August 2nd 1914.” Kaiser Wilhelm II Admiral von Tirpitz elected as Secretary of the Navy. Britain and France agreed that Britain would patrol the North Sea while the French would patrol the Meditteranean Military spending by European powers multiplied by 300% between 1870 and 1914 Conscription was adopted by all Continental powers after 1870 Germany o 400.“The future of Germany was on the sea.6 million troops in wartime o 8. the Germans created the Big Bertha. Navy League to encourage public interest 41 battleships and 60 cruisers by 1916 Naval laws in 1908 and 1911 intensified the building program.000 troops by 1914 o 5. a huge rail gun that was designed to bomb Paris from long distances away and their shells were the first man-made object to hit the stratosphere Creation of repeating rifle and machinegun Military spending increased by 20% between 1900 and 1910 Russia’s spending increased by 65% Germany and Austria-Hungary-Hungary’s spending on armaments doubled Neither Hague convention reached a conclusion on armaments production Rivalry Between Britain and Germany . Ottoman-German Alliance. Designed to modernise and reinforce the Ottoman army. Also allowed the Germans free passage into neighbouring British colonies.43 million troops in peacetime o 5 million troops in wartime Creation of more powerful artillery pieces and high explosive shells Germany and Austria-Hungary-Hungary began secretly producing enormous howitzers and mortars.5 million troops in an emergency France o 1.

the Colonial League    Germany sent a gunboat called the Panther to Agadir to demand for compensation for French gains in Morocco Germany asked for the entire French Congo in exchange for Morocco Germany only received two small strips of territory however Nationalism Great Power nationalism        Major cause of the war Many people were willing to help their own nation regardless of the effects on other nations Inspired Bismarck’s wars of unification French lost Alsace-Lorraine after the Franco-Prussian war and many French nationalists wanted a war of revenge to regain the provinces as they could not stand to see French people ruled by Germans Led to rivalries in the Balkans Russia stirred up Slavs to extend her influence Russia supported Serbia’s claims of uniting all Southern Slavic states under her rule .       Germany wanted to challenge Britain’s naval power. the act stated that Britain’s navy must remain more powerful than the combined power of any two other countries’ navies.Formation of a North Sea Fleet for Britain.Creation of the HMS Dreadnought Germany responded to the creation of the Dreadnought with the Rheinland Britain won the Naval race with 29 Dreadnought class ships by 1914 while Germany had 17 Colonial Rivalry Increase in Colonial Activity. effect on the balance of power      Germany’s desire for the Congo alarmed the British The British said that they would declare war on anyone who tried to suppress them or push any of their allies out of the way This was wrongly presumed by the British as the Germans had no intention of doing so British were now more powerful than ever Germany’s continuous pushes to increase military and naval power turned the Anglo-French entente into a military alliance Moroccan Crises   Instability in Morocco after the Algeciras Conference in 1906 The Sultan of Morocco called the French to crush a rebellion by tribesmen who were concerned with European influence over the country German Weltpolitik.Keep the British fleet in port rather than risk being badly damaged in battle Naval Defence Act. 1906. 1903. Risk theory.Founded in 1889.

5 million Poles 4 million Ruthenians 5. as they had learned after the Franco-Prussian war that the side that struck first and struck the hardest would win Ethnic minorities in the Balkans           Austro-Hungarians under pressure due to the different racial groups in its empire Less than half the population were Austria-Hungaryns and Hungarians 8 million Czechs and Slovaks 5. The plan was drawn up in the event of a two front war.France’s revanche     French did not forget their humiliating defeat in the Franco-Prussian war and loss of Alsace-Lorraine Desire for revenge remained alive until WW1 France wanted Alsace-Lorraine back and were willing to make large sacrifices to take it back Encouraged Joseph Joffre’s Plan 17. The Germans had calculated that Russia would take six weeks to mobilise.5 million Serbs. The original plan was to encircle Paris and invade through Holland but was adapted by . Strike the Germans first.000 trains to enact her mobilisation plans Between 1900 and 1914. In that time. The plan was to have quick movement if war was declared against both Russia and France. the empire would slowly disintegrate like the Ottoman empire was currently doing Austria-Hungary-Hungary now had a vested interest in the Balkan situation Mobilisation How did mobilisation plans make war inevitable?         All European powers had military plans if war broke out Partial or complete mobilisation Whichever country mobilised and struck first had a huge advantage French had a huge advantage due to a sophisticated rail network to transport troops French needed 4. Germany planned to knock France out of the war and focus the rest of its attention against Russia. Croats and Slovenes 0.75 million Italians South-western Slavs wanted to break away from the Austria-Hungaryns and form a South Slav Kingdom with Serbia This threatened the Austro-Hungarian empire as if these groups left. The plan was to keep the French at bay long enough in Alsace-Lorraine for the majority of the German army to flank around through Belgium and take the French by surprise. a plan to quickly control AlsaceLorraine in the event of a war against Germany. Germany began creating a large number of railway lines to her borders with France and Belgium in the event of war Russia needed huge planning to defend her huge wester borders Schlieffen plan created by Field Marshall Count Alfred von Schlieffen.

Austria-Hungary-Hungary saw the Serbians as a threat and wanted to crush them once and for all However the Austria-Hungaryns had to be careful. France would declare war against Germany. The second flaw was that the Germans would go through Belgium.    Helmuth von Moltke in 1911 to go through less neutral land. the Bulgarians attacked their former allies sparking the Second Balkan War Turkey declared war with the remainder of the Balkan League in an attempt to regain lost territory Bulgaria was defeated and all its territories were given to the Serbs and Greeks Serbia. the only variation being the number of troops deployed against each nation Issues with the plan was that the allies of each country were not aware of the details of the plans of the other countries which created confusion Balkan Crisis Balkan Wars        Powder keg of Europe War was declared by the Balkan League against a weakened Turkey in 1912 Turkish were kicked out of Europe in seven weeks Bulgaria was displeased with its outcome after the First Balkan War and quarrelled with the Serbs and Greeks In 1913. as if Austria-Hungary declared war against Serbia. which would violate its neutrality and bring Britain into the war. the Germans would bring Britain into the war Peace was formed at a peace conference in London Serbia’s plans to have a coastline was foiled through the creation of Albania placed between Serbia and the Adriatic Sea. the Germans had not planned for a war against Russia only. There were two main flaws. Germany would declare war against Germany and AustriaHungary.Austria-Hungary-Hungary relations     After the outcome of the First Balkan War. and then after the Germans invaded Belgium according to the Schlieffen plan. causing more bitterness between the countries Was the assassination in Sarajevo the cause of the war or an excuse for war? . more weaknesses were exposed as Russia was able to mobilise in a mere 10 days and underestimated Britain’s effectiveness to support France. Britain’s plan was to send an expeditionary force in the event of war backed by a territorial volunteer army at home Russia planned to attack Austria-Hungary-Hungary and Germany simultaneously Austria-Hungary-Hungary had Plan R and Plan B against Serbia and Germany. this time largely avoiding Holland. Russia would declare war against AustriaHungary. In its enactment in 1914.

after offering an ultimatum Belgium refused Britain asked Germany to call off her invasion in 5 hours or have war declared upon her. the French were given 18 hours to declare neutrality if a Russo-German war occurred Germans invaded through Belgium. the Austria-Hungaryns now justified themselves in declaring war Russia mobilised against Austria-Hungary as they were not to be humiliated again as they were in 1908-09 Though the Kaiser and the Tsar tried to ease tensions between the nations.   Nationalism running high in Sarajevo as the Battle of Kosovo was being celebrated Black Hand. war novels were best sellers War was treated as normal and romantic All wars were decisive and ended in happiness and prosperity Anthony Hope’s The Prisoner of Zenda began a trend in novels based on war Non-fiction books about the history of nations became popular reading. and the movement towards war was already unpreventable Germany declared war against Russia. Germany let it expire and as a result Britain declared war against Germany Psychology of War Literature       In pre-war literature. These books too inspired nationalism Attitude against war was considered immoral and inhuman The Press . the Kaiser also did not expect the Russians to back the Serbs Austria-Hungaryns offered a harsh ultimatum to the Serbians. all power was vested in the generals. a Serbian ultranationalist group responsible for the assassination Used as an excuse to declare a war against Serbia as Austria-Hungary set to prove that Serbia was indeed behind the assassination Why did the Balkan crisis not remain a local conflict?               Serbia felt cheated after being cut off from having a coastline Serbian press supported anti-Austria-Hungaryn terrorist attacks Serbia’s military power had doubled and now seriously challenged AustriaHungary’s and they felt something had to be done soon Turkey gained some prestige and now looked to regain more Balkan territories back Bulgarians resented the Serbs and Greeks Austria-Hungaryns asked Germany for full support to investigate Serbia and were given that support Germans had to back the Austria-Hungaryns or risk losing her only ally. Serbians accepted all the demands except one. France declaring war against Germany and now a full-scale war was occurring in Europe Russia was given an ultimatum and 12 hours to demobilise. As a result.

decisive war Patriotism reflected through countries’ propaganda machines Jingoism. Lord Kitchener for example Pan-German league promoted a worldwide German state Pan-Slav movement in Russia Liberal ideas replaced with militant nationalism People believed that their country was fighting a defensive war and was in the right Role of Germany Deterioration of Russo-German Relations    Russians began massive rearmament program in 1913 Von Moltke believed that if Germany waited. Germany believed they were obligated to back AustriaHungary Wilhelm replied to a letter by Franz Joseph with a blank cheque He would be willing to declare war against Russia and even France if it had to happen as a result Bethmann-Hollweg Plan     Back Austria-Hungary financially and encourage them to finish Serbia off quickly Do it quickly enough so Russia would not intervene While the other Entente powers were discussing what to do. the use of songs to promote patriotism Defenders of Britain became national heroes. Germany would reach a peace settlement with them Germany and Austria-Hungary would benefit at the behest of the Slavs .    Newspapers realised that bad news sold better than good news Sensationalism ensued Newspapers enflamed nationalist hatred by blowing up stories Press helped prepare a mood for war Patriotic Education      Education taught about a country’s past French children at a young age were taught how the murdering Germans stole Alsace and Lorraine German kids were taught how they were surrounded by enemies Hymn of Hate Russians learnt of their many attempted invasions of their countries War and Society         Propaganda predicting a short. thus when they still had a chance now. its enemies would overpower them in war. they should declare war Wage a preventive war Sarajevo Crisis    After Sarajevo.

 Plan failed as the Austria-Hungaryns delayed the war against Serbia. Germans were concerned whether their plans would run on time. The ultimatum was offered three weeks after the Germans’ promised support and four weeks after the assassination. Wilhelm and BethmannHollweg believed supporting Austria-Hungary against Serbia would lead to a decisive victory and Russian neutrality . Frantic telegrams between Nicholas and Wilhelm to prevent war. Perspective 3.Germany deliberately provoked war so she could dominate Europe and have a world role Perspective 2. as well as being encircled by enemies. Preventive war to ensure later survival.Germany declared war as she was threatened by the British naval power and Russian military power. War was declared between Russia and Germany leading to a European war Responsibility    Perspective 1. The plan was going to fail.Germany did not want war at all.