Nation states and international tensions

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Nationalism+ loyalty to country. People of the same race and culture in the same country. Pride.

1871 Europe dominated by Empires but nation states emerging.

1871-1920 very unstable time. Borders changing. International rivalry. Arms race. All leading to war.


GERMANY 1870 TO 1890


39 in German Confederation.

Dominated by Prussia (industrialised, protestant, mono-cultural, Hohenzollern) and Austria (Catholic, empire, Hapsburg)


Conservative Junker monarchist.

Wanted a Prussian dominated Germany.

Wanted to exclude Austria.

Came to notice for skills as ambassador in Frankfurt, St. Petersburg and Paris.

Before unification, believed in ‘blood and iron’.

Unification of Germany

1864 with Austria defeated Denmark over Schleswig-Holstein.

1866 7 weeks war defeated Austria

Formed North German Confederation. 4 southern Catholic states did not trust him.

1870 the 4 states helped him against the common enemy, France.

1871 after Franco-Prussian war, Germany united.

The Second Reich

Prussia 2/3rds of the empire.

75 year old William I left affairs of state to Bismarck.


  • Gave control of the army and the power to declare war to the Emperor.

  • Bundesrat handled federal issues common to the states.

  • Reichstag was elected by all men over 25, but was only a discussion chamber.

Bismarck’s policy of ‘Germanisation’ alienated minorities, including Catholics, whom he regarded as disloyal (Pope).

Bismarck’s Foreign Policy

After 1871 Realpolitik and diplomacy replaced ‘blood and iron’.

His aim: A powerful Germany in a peaceful Europe.

Needed to isolate France after the Treaty of Frankfurt:

  • Alsace-Lorraine (coal and iron)

  • Occupation until 5 billion francs was paid.

  • Insult of Hall of Mirrors (German Empire)

Balance of Power+

B wanted a system of alliances to control the balance and keep France isolated.

Britain was in ‘splendid isolation’, so B did not chase colonies.

He hoped colonies would keep the French busy.

B became the ‘honest broker’ of Europe.

Alliances were needed with A-H and Russia.

1872 Dreikaiserbund


  • Germany, A-H and Russia would consult each other on international matters.

  • Respect their existing borders.

  • Crush socialism

Dreikaiserbund suspended:

A ‘big Bulgaria’ created at the Treaty of San Stefano after Russia helped the Balkan state defeat the Turks.

Britain and A-H threatened war.

B acted the ‘honest broker’ at the First Congress of Berlin 1878.

Russia annoyed at the reduced Bulgaria contained in The Treaty of Berlin.

War avoided but the Dreikaiserbund ended until 1881.

1879 The Dual Alliance

Germany and A-H agreed to help each other if attacked by Russia and to stay neutral if attacked by another power (France). Secret. It would last until WW1

1881 Dreikaiserbund Renewed

New Tsar Alexander III impressed by B’s anti-socialist measures.

The countries agreed that if one of the 3 countries got into war with a fourth, the other 2 would stay neutral.

To be renewed every 3 years.

1882 The Triple Alliance

Italy joined the other 2 after a colonial dispute with France. Lasted until 1915.
1887 Dreikaiserbund Ends.

Russians did not like the new king of Bulgaria, who was a German raised in Vienna.

When Russia threatened to invade, B published the terms of the Dual Alliance. Russia backed down but the Dreikaiserbund was over.

1887 Reinsurance Treaty

B afraid Russia would make an alliance with France.

He made a secret treaty with Russia. Each would remain neutral if the other went to war except if Germany attacked France or Russia attacked A-H.

1884-5 The Second Congress of Berlin

Pressure from industrialist and nationalist groups at home forced B to pursue a limited colonial policy.

He called the Second Congress to divide Africa into ‘spheres of influence’.

He left the German sphere to private companies.

The Fall of Bismarck

99 day reign of Frederick II and then 28 year old William II* took over.

He was ambitious but weak, indecisive and prone to making wild statements.

He wanted to be an absolute ruler.

He wanted to actively pursue colonies.

He wanted an alliance with Britain instead of Russia.

He wanted to relax anti-socialist laws

1890 B resigned.




Wanted to expand the Empire with little regard for the balance of power in Europe.
Failure to renew the Reinsurance Treaty.

He believed it was not necessary as he was friendly with Nicholas II.

1894 Franco-Russian alliance (Russia did not like being isolated)

France gave loans to Russia to build projects like the Trans-Siberian railway.

Anglo-German Relations

William’s mother was Queen Victoria’s daughter. He admired Britain but wanted to compete with it.
The Kruger Telegram.

Cecil Rhodes ordered the Jameson raid on the Transvaal and was defeated.

The British government was embarrassed. William sent a telegram to Paul Kruger (President of the Transvaal) congratulating him on defeating ‘armed hordes’.

Anti-German feeling exploded in Britain and he had to apologise to Granny.

The Boer War

German volunteers joined the Boers.

Colonial Rivalry

Germany was colonising in China and Africa and setting up bases in the Pacific.

1898 The Berlin-Baghdad railway seemed to threaten Suez.

The Daily Telegraph Interview

Foolish comments claiming peaceful approaches rejected.

Case Study: The Naval Policy of William II

Reasons for a large Navy

Admiral Von Tirpitz’ Risk Theory was that the German navy should be strong enough to discourage a British attack.

William believed he needed a navy to protect the Empire’s interests and that it might make Germany a more attractive ally to Britain.

The German Navy League, supported by industrialists like Krupp, was very popular.

Navy Laws

5 Navy Laws, starting in 1898, increased direct taxes on consumer goods.

Britain worried. Land army poor.

Naval Race

1904-10 Admiral John Fisher built the Dreadnought. 10 big guns (305mm)

Germany responded.

British adopted the ‘two power principle’ (navy bigger than the next 2 together).

Attempts by the British to stop the race in The Hague in 1899 and 1907 failed when von Tirpitz refused to compromise.

Effects of the Naval Race

Forced Britain out of ‘splendid isolation’

1902 The Anglo-Japanese Alliance. Japan agreed to look after Britain’s interests in the Pacific in times of war in return for a free hand in Korea.

1904 Entente Cordiale ended colonial tensions.

1907 Anglo-Russian Entente ended colonial tensions in Afghanistan and Persia.

By 1907 there was a Triple Entente and a Triple Alliance and plans for war were being drawn up.

The Kiel Canal was widened to take German Dreadnoughts.

Britain built naval bases as far north as Scapa Flow (Orkneys)

1912 Britain secretly agreed to defend the North Sea and English Channel if France looked after the Mediterranean.

By the start of WW1 Britain had 29 Dreadnoughts and Germany 17.

Franco-German Tensions

The First Moroccan Crisis 1905-6

William promised the Sultan that Germany would protect Morocco from France.

He followed this by calling an international Conference at Algeceris in Spain.

Russia, Britain, USA and Italy backed France.

This strengthened the Entente and showed how unreliable an ally Italy was.

The Second Moroccan Crisis 1911

France occupied the Moroccan capital Fez.

William sent the Panther to Agadir.

Britain threatened to send its navy to Agadir.

William backed down and recognised Morocco as a French Protectorate.

Also strengthened the Entente and humiliated Germany.

The Bosnian Crisis 1908

When A-H annexed Bosnia in 1908, William encouraged them.

Russia, isolated, could do nothing.

A short-term victory, but Russia would not be isolated or humiliated again.

Assessment of William II

5 powers. France was allied with 2 either side of Germany.

Bismarck’s constitution had allowed absolute monarchy.

William’s actions were popular until WW1.



How the Balkans became ‘the powder-keg of Europe’

Turkey the ‘sick man of Europe’

By 1870 Greece had independence and Serbia and Romania had self-government.

Other Balkan states like Bulgaria wanted the same.

A-H, Russia and GB ‘hovered like vultures over the sick man’

Slavs in A-H and Turkey looked to Serbia to create a Yugo (south) slav state.

Great Power Rivalry in the Balkans


A-H was afraid that Slav nationalism+ would break up its empire.

It wanted more land to make up for land lost in Germany in 1866.


A Slav nation and Orthodox religion so it championed Slav nationalism.

It also wanted access to the Mediterranean from the Black sea through the Straits of the Dardanelles.


If Russia got the Balkans it might threaten Britain’s interests in the Middle East.


Under Bismarck it did not want war in Europe.

The Creation of Big Bulgaria and the Treaty of Berlin

Bad government and bad harvest led to a revolt in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The rebellion spread to Bulgaria. Turkey crushed this killing 12,000.

Tsar Alexander II defeated the Turks at Pleven in Bulgaria.

A-H prepared to mobilise and Britain sent ships to the Dardanelles.

Russia got the Turks to sign a treaty before the others could intervene.

The Treaty of San Stefano

A Big Bulgaria to be administered by Russia for a few years. A puppet state.

A-H and Britain incensed.

Bismarck called the First Congress of Berlin to prevent war in Europe.

The Treaty of Berlin 1878

  • Big Bulgaria split into 3. Russia would protect one part. Macedonia and Eastern Rumelia given back to Turkey.

  • The Sultan promised reforms

  • B-H to be administered by A-H

  • Britain got Cyprus.

It stopped war but Russia gained little. Serbia wanted B-H for a route to the sea.

The Bulgarian Crisis 1885-88

Bulgaria began to resent Russian interference.

A-H supported the new Bulgarian king, Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg, who had been educated in Vienna. Russia rejected him.

Again war looked likely and Bismarck published the terms of the Dual Alliance. This stated that if Russia attacked A-H, Germany would back A-H. However if A-H attacked Russia, Germany would stay neutral.

War was prevented but tension remained.

The Palace Coup 1903

1903 the king and queen of Serbia were assassinated in the Palace Coup.

King Peter I took over and his new parliament was dominated by Nikola Pasic who wanted a bigger Serbia.

The Bosnian Crisis 1908

The liberal ‘Young Turks’ seized power in Turkey. Both Russia and A-H were worried that Turkey would try to strengthen its grip on the Balkans.

A-H annexed B-H. Russia was furious but could do nothing as William II made it clear that Germany would side with A-H.

Serbia too upset as its route to the sea was gone.

Neither Serbia nor Russia would be humiliated again.

The First Balkan War 1912

Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia and Montenegro formed the Balkan League and drove the Turks out of Macedonia.

When they were almost at Constantinople, the 5 powers intervened, alarmed at the growing power of the League

The Treaty of London

  • Turkey gave up Macedonia except the part near the Dardanelles.

  • A-H insisted that Albania be created to stop Serbia getting access to the sea.

No Balkan state happy.

The Second Balkan War 1913

Bulgaria had done most in the war and got little.

1913 Bulgaria attacked Serbia to take central Macedonia.

Greece, Romania and Turkey helped Serbia.

The Treaty of Bucharest

Bulgaria lost the territory it had won in the First Balkan War.

Bulgaria now turned to A-H and Germany for help in the future.

Results of Troubles in the Balkans

  • A bigger Serbia worried A-H

  • Serbia determined to take B-H

  • Tension between A-H and Russia multiplied through alliances.

  • One more crisis was all that was needed.




.Imperialism = one powerful state imposes control on a weaker state.

The old imperialism was dominated by Spain and Portugal

The New Imperialism+ was dominated by Britain and France with Germany and Italy joining the race later.


  • A colony (annexed)

  • Protectorate (puppet)

  • Sphere of influence (special economic and political privileges)

Reasons for Imperialism

  • Raw Materials

  • Markets. Protectionism popular after 1870

  • Make up for lost land (Alsace-Lorraine)

  • Divert attention from problems at home

  • Pressure groups

  • Recruits for army

  • Strategic. Britain took Egypt to protect its interests in Suez.

  • White right to rule

  • Explorers and missionaries showed potential of Africa

  • Steam trains and boats and telegraph made conquest easier

  • Better weapons made conquest easier.

  • Better medicine made it possible for whites to live there.

Colonial Rivalries

Scramble for colonies.

In 1870 only 10% of Africa colonised. 1900 all but Liberia and Abyssinia.

Disputes in West Africa

1876 Stanley made agreements with local chiefs that they would be under the protection of King Leopold of Belgium.

1880 Savorgnan de Brazza did the same north of the Congo for France.

1884 Germany made nearby Cameroon a protectorate.

1884-5 Bismarck called the Second Congress of Berlin to diffuse the situation. Africa was divided into Spheres of Influence. Scramble continued.

1898 The Fashoda Crisis

British had lost interest in Sudan after Gordon of Khartoum.

French moved troops in.

Generals Kitchener and Marchand had a 6 month stand-off at Fashoda.

The French, who were not ready for war, left.

The Boer War

Gold and diamonds in the Boer Republic of Transvaal.

Vote denied to the increasing number of Uitlanders.

The PM of the British Cape Colony Cecil Rhodes and Dr Starr Jameson planned and Uitlander rebellion.

Called off at the last minute but no one told Jameson whose ‘raid’ ended in his capture.

William II congratulated Paul Kruger (PM of Transvaal) for fighting off the British ‘without appealing to a friendly power’

Uitlanders petitioned queen Victoria for help after a Boer policeman was acquitted of killing a British worker.

Chamberlain sent troops to the Cape.

The Boers invaded the Cape.

After some early successes the Boer army was defeated and resorted to guerrilla war.

20,000 died in British concentration camps. Boer farms destroyed.

Great sympathy in Europe for the Dutch settlers, particularly in Germany.

In the Treaty of Vereeniging, Britain annexed Transvaal and the Orange Free State.

The First Moroccan Crisis 1905-6

1904 Anglo-French Entente

Kaiser tested this by stepping off his yacht in Tangiers and declaring that Germany would protect Moroccan independence from the French. The French had been insisting that the Sultan introduce reform.

Germany called the Algeciras Conference to discuss the matter.

All, including Italy (a Triple Ally), except A-H and Morocco opposed Germany.

Morocco would by under the shared control of France and Spain.

Entente strengthened and Germany embarrassed.

The Second Moroccan Crisis 1911

Moroccan capital, Fez, under attack from other tribes. The French moved in.

Germany sent the ‘Panther’.

British demanded the Germans leave and they did.

France given a ‘free hand’ in Morocco and Germany given a tract of land in the Congo that gave the Cameroon a link to the Congo river.

Entente strengthened and William II seen as a ‘warmonger’.

The Russo-Japanese War 1904-5

Russia expanded into Manchuria

Japan feared the Russians would move into there ‘sphere of influence’ in Korea.

1904 surprise attack on the Russian fleet at Port Arthur.

1905 Russian navy wiped out at the Straits of Tsushima

This humiliation helped cause the 1905 revolution that almost toppled the Tsar.

Russia now turned its ambitions to the Balkans.




Factors of Production controlled by the state. No profit.

Marx and Engels (German) believed that a revolution of the proletariat would replace capitalism with socialism.


Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (French) believed agricultural and industrial co-ops would replace central government.


Mikhail Bakunin wanted to end capitalism with assassinations and terror.

The Second International

Internal disputes caused the First International to fizzle out.

It was an attempt at co-operation between Europe’s socialist organisations.

1889 French Marxists called a meeting to celebrate 1789 centenary.

Leading socialist from all over Europe attended. Marx was dead.

4 resolutions:

  • 8 hour day

  • National armies condemned. Defence by ‘people in arms’.

  • Universal suffrage

  • May 1 to demonstrate worker solidarity.

Conferences were to be organised every few years in different cities.

Early conferences banned anarchism.

Revisionists V Revolutionaries.

Second International dominated by German SPD.

In that party, revisionists, led by Edward Bernstein believed that Marx was wrong.

Capitalism was thriving and there would be no worldwide revolution. Reform should be within the existing political system.

Outnumbered by revolutionaries they were expelled from the party.
French socialism too was divided.

Jules Guesde led the revolutionaries and Jean Jaurés led the revisionists.

French revisionists in government had achieved reforms (10hour day, factory inspectors and a ministry for Labour).

1900 Paris Conference

Jaurés appealed for unity.

Guesde wanted involvement in middle-class government banned.

In the end it was decided that in exceptional circumstances, socialists could enter government on a temporary basis.

1904 Amsterdam Conference

The SPD’s ‘Dresden Motion’ was accepted. This stated that participation in government was not a socialist aim.

It seemed to reverse the Paris decision.

Socialism and War

Marx believed workers should not fight each other. There should be no countries.

1907 Stuttgart Conference stated that working classes should do all they can to prevent war

Some, like Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg believed war would weaken capitalism and would make revolution easier.

1914 patriotism became more important than socialist ideals.

Pacifists were seen as traitors. Jaurés assassinated by a nationalist.

Socialist groups all over Europe backed their governments.

The second international was over.





Bismarck created alliances to keep peace but less skilful diplomacy could turn them into world war.

Failure to renew the Reinsurance treaty in 1890 meant Germany had to side with A-H.

1882 Triple Alliance
How the Triple Entente came about.

1894 Franco-Russian alliance.

1904 Entente Cordiale

1907 Anglo-Russian entente.


Arms Race.

Military leaders pressed for war before the enemy got too strong.

Arms manufacturers and industrialists benefited from arms race.

Books glorified war and noble death and honour.

People saw war as inevitable and short.


Tension in the Balkans

Serbia and Russia would take no more.
Tension over Colonies.

June 1914 Sarajevo

Archduke Franz-Ferdinand and Sophie

Grenade failed. Gavrilo Princip of the Black Hand succeeded.

Serbian PM Pasic knew of the plans but did nothing to stop it.
A-H reaction.

Had the excuse it wanted.

Asked for and got Germany’s support

48 hour Ultimatum.

  • All anti-Austrian publications and propaganda banned

  • Black Hand to be banned

  • A-H officials to have a role in suppressing subversive groups.

Serbia could not accept the last one but offered to go to the International Court.

28th July A-H declared war

Russia mobilised.

1st August Germany declared war on Russia.

2nd Germany declared war on France

5th Britain declared war on Germany when they refused to leave Belgium.

In the end 30 countries were involved.



World War+

30 countries; many fronts; total war; ‘over by Christmas’

War in the West

Count Alfred von Schlieffen.

Defeat France in six weeks before Russians mobilise. Railways important.

William II ‘lunch in Paris, dinner in St. Petersburg’

Brave Belgian resistance swept aside by Von Molkte.

Under strength French, who thought it was a decoy attack, and the BEF pushed back.

Paris in danger.

September 1914 Battle of the Marne.

General Joffre used all types of transport to stop the Germans.

Counter-attack at the Marne pushed von Kluck and Bulow back to the river Aisne.

Von Molkte lost it and was replaced by Falkenhayn.

Germans dug in and it was trenches for 4 years.

War of Attrition+ wearing out the enemy. High casualties.

Trench Warfare

  • 3 lines in zigzag pattern (shells). Duckboards for floor. Barbed wire.

  • Mud, smell, rats, lice, bully beef, gas.

  • ‘no man’s land’, ‘over the top’, ‘shot at dawn’

  • Christmas day 1914 not repeated. Bad for morlale.

War in the East

Russians quicker than expected and into East Prussia.

Von Hindenburg and Ludendorff put in charge.

Defeated the Russians at Tannenberg and Masurian Lakes.


Stalemate on the Western Front.

Sir Douglas Haig*

Became commander-in-chief of the BEF.

Believed in massive frontal assault to break the deadlock.

400,000 dead at the Somme and the same again at Passchendaele.

Successful at the end of the war and a hero after it.

Helped ex-servicemen through the British Legion.

Died in 1928 but his name was ruined in 1938, when DLG’s memoirs were published.

Gallipoli Peninsula

Churchill’s plan to break the deadlock and open supply routes to the Russians through the Dardanelles.

It might also open a back door through the Balkans into A-H and Germany.

April 1915 and eight month assault started.

Anzacs given the job.

Cliffs a death trap.

Defeat. Churchill resigned.

Italy Enters the War

Under the Triple Alliance, Italy’s obligations were only defensive so Italy waited.

1915 Bulgaria replaced them.

1915 secret Treaty of London, Italy joined the allies. It was promised land in Austria and Croatia.

Did badly. Defeat at Caporetto by A-H.

Won at Vittorio Veneto in 1918.



Falkenhayn knew the French would defend Verdun to the last man.

‘They shall not pass’

He hoped to suck the French into Verdun and defeat them.

From February to December, under Marshall Petain, the French held on at huge cost.

The Germans lost even more.

The Somme

The French at Verdun appealed for a diversion.

Haig responded at the Somme (river).

Haig relied on heavy shelling but the Germans were well dug in.

‘Over the top’ and 60,000 British died the first day.

By the end 650,000 from each side were dead.

The Eastern Front

Russia launched the ‘Brusilov Offensive’ and pushed A-H back.

However with 500,000 dead and poor supplies of food and ammunition the Russian army began to desert.

They were no longer effective in the war.

The War at Sea

1916 Admirals Sheer and von Hipper won the Battle of Jutland against Admiral Jellicoe.

However the royal navy was much bigger and the German navy never left port again.

The Germans resorted to u-boats.

British responded successfully with convoys and depth-charges.


US Joins the War

1915 Lusitania. Over 100 Americans dead.

1917 German foreign minister Zimmerman sent a telegram to their ambassador in Mexico instructing him to offer Texas in return for help against the US if they joined.

British intercepted the telegram.

April the US joined the war and by June were landing in France.

Russia leaves

Bolshevik revolution


  • 1/3 of agricultural land and industry

  • ¾ of coal and iron ore.

  • 60 million people

The Western Front

French mutiny.

Petain executed 55 but improved pay and food. Gave more leave.

British took the pressure off at Yprés and Passchendaele.


The Ludendorff Offensive

With the Russians out of the war, Ludendorff planned to defeat the enemy before too many US troops arrived.

Made great progress. Paris again in danger.

French General Foch counter-attacked with British and US help.

Germany defeated.

William II abdicated and fled to Holland

11.00 on the 11th of November the armistice signed in a railway carriage in the Compiegne Forest.

Effects of War

14 million dead, 20 million wounded.

Not ‘the war to end all wars’.




Weaknesses and Opposition

Nicholas II weak and indecisive.

Failure to bring in effective reform and defeat in Russo-Japanese led to 1905 Revolution.

3 main groups wanted reform:

  • Social Democrats. Split into Mensheviks (wanted widely based party) and Bolsheviks (educated elite0

  • Social Revolutionaries. Led by Alexander Kerensky, it wanted a socialist society based on common ownership of land.

  • Constitutional Democratio Party (Kadets) supported by middle-class democrats.

Russia and the War

After Tannenberg and Masurian Lakes the Tsar took command so his regime got the blame for poor supplies that led to desertions.


Mad monk that could help Alexis’ haemophilia.

Nicholas at war so Rasputin had a huge influence on Alexandra (German, unpopular).

A group of nobles managed to kill him.

February Revolution 1917

Food shortages, high prices. War going badly.

Strikes and Petrograd soviet took control of the city (renamed).

Duma suggested reforms so Nicholas dissolved it.

Troops sent to crush demonstrators joined them.

Nicholas abdicated.

A provisional government set up under Prince Lvov but the pace of reform was slow.

The Germans arranged for Lenin’s return from Switzerland.

Lenin and Trotsky planned a revolution.

Lenin promised ‘peace, land and bread’

Kerensky, who replaced Lvov, banned the Bolsheviks and Lenin fled to Finland.

October Revolution 1917

Trotsky trained skilled ex-soldiers called the Red Guard.

They took over key locations in Petrograd including the Winter Palace.

By the end of the month, most Russian cities were in Bolshevik hands.

Very little bloodshed.

People desperate.

Navy Mutiny

Admirals Sheer and von Hipper wanted to go out in a blaze of glory.

Sailors, first at Kiel and then at the other ports refused.

Taking the sailors lead, soldiers and workers formed councils throughout Germany.

Like the Soviets in Russia, there was a strong socialist element.

Provisional Government

Kaiser William II abdicated and went to live in Holland until his death in 1940.

Friedrich Ebert of the SPD became Chancellor of the Provisional Gov.

Strikes and riots all over Germany.

Ebert agreed with General Groener that the army and the government help each other.

Soldier,s and Worker’s Councils banned.

Spartacist Revolt

The more radical councils joined the Spartacus League.

Spartacists wanted a socialist revolution. They were led by Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg.

Rosa |Luxemburg*

Russian born, emigrated to Germany.

Brilliant socialist writer. Criticised the Provisional Government in ‘Red Flag’

Outspoken against the war and spent most of it in jail.

Spartacist revolt was for 10 days in January 1919.

Demobilised soldiers formed Freikorps and crushed the revolt.

Luxemburg and Liebknecht executed.


Also strikes and riots in 1918.

Emperor Charles I recalled troops from the front to suppress the strikers.

After Vittorio Veneto, Czechs and Slavs declared their independence.

Charles abdicated in pencil, hoping to restore the Empire but he died in 1922.



Woodrow Wilson*

Democrat. President 1913-21.

U-boats ended his neutral stance.

Favoured a ‘just peace’.

1919 Nobel peace prize.

Senate would not let him join the League of Nations.

14 Point Plan

  • Free Trade

  • Inhabitants decide colonial claims

  • Independence for states owned by A-H

  • Route to sea for Serbia

  • A League of Nations

Paris Peace Conference 1919

Orlando walked out when the Treaty of London 1915 not honoured.

Wilson wanted a ‘just peace’

Clemenceau wanted to make Germany pay, Alsace-Lorraine returned and to make Germany incapable of attack.

DLG publicly wanted Germany to pay but privately wanted a just peace.
Self-determination+ allows a nation to have independence.

Treaty of Versailles


  1. Lost A-L and East Prussia.

  2. Danzig a free city under control of League of Nations.

  3. Colonies divided out amongst allies

  4. Anchluss forbidden.


  1. 100,000

  2. 6 ships, no U-boats

  3. No air force, tanks or heavy artillery.

  4. Rhineland demilitarised


  1. 231 War Guilt Clause

  2. Reparations Commission came up with £6,600 million.

  3. French could take coal from Saar for 15 years

Germany reluctantly signed in the Hall of Mirrors.

Treaty of Saint-Germaine (A-H)

Austria small and land-locked.

Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia created out of its empire.

Army limited.

Reparations due but not collected as the country was too small to pay.

Treaty of Trianon (Hungary)

Lost land to Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Romania

Army limited.
Treaty of Neuilly (Bulgaria)

Lost land to Romania and Greece

Army limited
Treaty of Sevres (Turkey)

Lost land to Greece.

Saudi Arabia created.

Army limited and had to pay reparations.

Assessment of the Peace Settlement

Resentment at 231

Reparations collapsed economy and currency.

One tenth of the population were now minorities elsewhere (Sudetenland)

Unable to defend itself

Made Nazism possible?
Russia not invited. Relations not good.
Italians had lost 600,000. Not happy. Made Mussolini possible?
The League of Nations had weaknesses.

  • US not involved

  • Germany, Russia and defeated states refused entry at first

  • No army

  • Decisions unanimous.

Versailles was a poor venue. France vengeful.

Retreating German army had caused destruction (flooding mines etc.)

DL George had a shaky government and a lasting peace did not go down well.



Russia in 1871

Medieval up to 1861 when serfs were freed.

Autocracy. One man ruled 180 million.

‘Committee of Ministers’, the army, the hierarchy and the Courts were dominated by aristocrats.


Alexander III appointed Sergei Witte to Ministry of Finance.

Witte believed in ‘State Capitalism’ = government borrowed to spend on industry.

Tariffs to encourage self-sufficiency.

Heavy taxes to repay loans.

Industrial planning experts from abroad.

Very large factories in 8 designated regions.

Railways between cities and ports. Trans-Siberian railway finished in 1907.

7th to 4th in industrial production.

Little was done for agriculture.

Social Problems

Overcrowding in cities

16-18 hour day.

Child labour.

Trade Unions and strikes illegal so ‘Soviets’ (workers councils) demanded reform.

1905 Revolution

Bloody Sunday. Father Gapon at Winter Palace to demonstrate peacefully against food shortages. Hundreds killed.

Strikes and peasant revolts followed.

Witte recommended more democracy.

Tsar promised a Duma and free speech and the revolution petered out.

Duma was appointed by the Tsar and the Nobility. Witte resigned in protest.

The hard-line Stolypin took over.

By 1914 Russia was ripe for Socialist Revolution.



Reasons for Industrial Development

  • Population growth

  • Plenty of coal in the Ruhr and Saar. Iron and textiles in Alsace-Lorraine.

  • Emphasis on Sciece and Technology in schools

  • Concentrated on electricity. Krupps and Siemens.

  • German banks willing to invest.

  • Good roads and canals. The Rhine. Good railways (built for war)

  • Bismarck introduced protective tariffs

  • Strong weapons industry

The Krupp Family*

Alfred Krupp ‘The Canon King’ built up the family business using Bessemer Converter.

After 1870 Krupps dominated arms manufacturing.

Friedrich Alfred Krupp took over in 1887 and expansion continued.

Gustav Krupp von Bohlen (married in) was boss until 1950.

Gustav pressed for aggressive foreign policy and supported Hitler. Too ill to stand trial.

Social Tensions

Massive movement to cities = tenements.

Working conditions poor.

1875 SPD formed. Supposed to be Marxist but adopted a gradualist approach.

They worried Bismarck who adopted a ‘carrot and stick’ approach.


  • Sickness Insurance Act

  • Compensation for accidents at work acts.



Exceptional Laws outlawed socialists after assassination attempt on William I.

SPD survived by going underground.
Bismarck’s efforts failed and by 1890 the SPD was the largest party.

Social Policy under William II

Repealed the Exceptional Laws but banned them again when the French President was assassinated by an anarchist.

He introduced pensions for widows and orphans.

He introduced stricter control of child labour.


By 1914 Germany was the leading industrial power in Europe.

It also had the best social insurance system.




Cost of the War


  • Huge foreign debt, mainly to US

  • Lost 40% of merchant navy.

  • Lost markets

  • Heavy taxes

Germany: Had financed the war using war bonds rather than borrowing but defeat meant economic disaster.

Food Supply


U-Boats = high prices

Lord Rhondda rationing.

Women and POW did the farming.


British naval blockade created shortages.

Turnip winter 1916-17 (main food)

750,000 died of malnutrition.



Steel, arms, shipbuilding etc. did well.

Arbitration replaced strike until the war was over.

The shop steward emerged.


Blockade created shortages of copper, nickel, rubber and petrol.

Sometimes invented alternatives.

Polish and Belgians as well as POWs and criminals forced to work.


The class system undermined. All had to make sacrifices.

1918 vote for all men over 21 and women over 30.

Pensions for disabled introduced. 2.7 million in Germany.

France had lost a generation of men. More than ½ of all men aged 20-30 in 1914 were killed.


Military service was the norm on the continent before the war but not in the UK.

January 1916 conscription for single men over 18. By May it was all men up to 41.

Those in essential services and conscientious objectors excluded but humiliated.

Case Study: Women in the Workforce during World War I


1915 Treasury Agreement Act allowed the unskilled to do skilled jobs.

The number of women working rose from 3 million before the war to 5 during it.

Factories, farms, police, buses, gravediggers etc.

Pankhurst encouraged them to work.

Many left domestic service and never returned.


At first women were not encouraged to work but later were needed.

Munitions Factories

Greatest source of employment for women.

69 women died in a TNT factory in London.

‘Canaries’ chemical poisoning. Sterile.

Women in the Army

First time in uniform in UK.

Could not become officers.

Worked as cook, clerks and gas mask instructors.

Britain had 23,000 nurses working in Military and Field (horrific) hospital.

Russia. Maria Bochkareva’s ‘Women’s Battalion of Death’ did fight but perhaps all of them did not fight too well.


More practical clothes needed.

Corsets gone.

Shorter skirts and hair. Trousers.


1918 over 30

1928 over 21

Germany, Canada and US all gave the vote.

Women in France and Italy not until after WWII

Discrimination Continues

White collar women workers (clerks) held on to jobs after the war.

Blue collar had to give up jobs to returning soldiers.

Paid 2/3 of man’s wage.


An important step but still a long way to go (promotion, wages, certain jobs).


Catholic hierarchy regarded liberalism, nationalism, socialism and modern science as threats.


Pope lost Papal States.

Southern German states in a minority when Austria was left out of united Germany.


Liberals wanted to separate church and state.

The papacy at times did not want freedom of the press and worship.


Darwin seemed to contradict the Bible.

Some claimed that science could explain life’s problems and religion not needed.


1870 declared by Vatican Council.

Cannot be wrong on faith and morals.

German and Italian governments saw the potential to influence political decisions.


Pius IX

His ‘Syllabus of Errors’ rejected nationalism and liberalism.

He refused to recognise the new state because of the Papal States.

The government passed the Law of Guarantees compensating the Pope and guaranteeing Vatican independence but he rejected it.

Pius IX ordered Catholics not to vote or stand in elections. They ignored him.

Pope Leo XIII*

1878 elected.

More tolerant.

Shared Pius XI’s views on nationalism and liberalism but was more PC about it.

Believed that Italian Catholics should ignore the elections

Encyclical ‘Rerum Novarum’ called for fair wages.

Encouraged French Catholics to support the Republican government.

Played a part in getting Bismarck to end the Kulturkamph.


Early 1900s the rise of Socialism in Italy led to the government and church needing allies.

A divorce bill was dropped.

Pius X said it was OK to stand for election.

Not until Mussolini’s Lateran Treaty in 1929 that full relations were restored.


Most German Catholics supported Papal Infallibility and formed the Catholic Centre Party. Some, called Old Catholics, did not.

Bismarck felt the anti-nationalist Centre Party might threaten German unity.


1872 Jesuits expelled
1872 Minister Adalbert Falk of Prussia passed the May Laws:

1874 Civil marriage compulsory

1875 Priests not allowed discuss politics in sermons (Pulpit law)
Half of Germanys bishops were sacked and one third of priests.

Catholics did not back down.

Even conservative Protestants saw it as an attack on Christianity.

The Centre Party grew.

Germany more divided than ever.

Bismarck needed support against the SPD and he had a row with the Liberals.

1879 Falk was dismissed and the laws relaxed.

Rapprochement happened in Germany also.



Anti-Semitism+ responsible for crucifixion. Blamed for everything from the Plague to the Wall Street Crash. Jealousy at economic success.

Anti-Semitism in France

Started with the collapse of a bank in 1882.

Edourard Drumont wrote best sellers blaming Jews for destroying traditional values.

The Panama Scandal 1889-1906

1889 De Lessep’s Panama Canal company went bankrupt.

French politicians bribed to keep the collapse quiet. 2 Jewish bankers did the bribing.

Drumont exploited the scandal.

The Dreyfus Affair

1894 Military secrets sold to Germany. Life on Devil’s island.

A document called the ‘bordereau’, found in the German Embassy, was supposed to be written by Dreyfus. Colonel Piquart that Major Esterhazy had written it.

A secret court martial excused Esterhazy and sacked Piquart.

Emile Zola wrote ‘J’Accuse pointing to an army cover up.

A retrial still found Dreyfus guilty even though Colonel Henry confessed.

Dreyfus released but not pardoned until1906.

French society divided along anti-Semitic lines. Dreyfussards V anti-Dreyfussards.
Jews continued to prosper.

Leon Blum became leader of the Socialist Party during the 1890s and PM in the 1930s.

Anti-Semitism in Russia

Very strong

5 million Jews forced to live in restricted area called ‘Pale of Settlement’.

Pobedonostev (chief lay officer of the Russian Orthodox Church) advised Alexander III to ‘kill 1/3, banish 1/3 and assimilate the rest.
1881-92 Anti-Jewish laws:

  • Forbidden to live in rural areas

  • Only a small quota allowed into university.

  • No Jewish lawyers

  • No vote in local elections

To whip up anti-Semitism, police in St Petersburg forged the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ that called for a Jewish worldwide state to control Christians.

The Beiliss Affair 1911-13

Mendel Beiliss accused of the ritual murder of a young Christian boy.

Acquitted in spite of fabricated evidence and bribed witnesses.


Seen as acts of patriotism, often instigated by the police.

Started after the assassination of Alexander II (Jewish girl one of those convicted)

Terror, rape and death. 800 killed in one in Odessa.

The Black Hundreds

These were right wing anti-Semitic groups that attacked Jews and socialists.

Jewish Reaction

Many emigrated to Western Europe and the US.

Theodore Herzl proposed that Jews return to Palestine (Zion) in his book ‘The Jewish State’. Eventually this would happen.



Expressing National Identity

Art and literature reflected the short and glorious war that was expected.

War song like ‘Send out the Army and the Navy’.

Governments paid for war posters.

Advertising agencies used posters with a war theme to sell.

Rupert Brooke

A poet who died, aged 28, at Gallipoli from blood poisoning.

His was a romantic view of the war.

Wilfred Owen*

‘The Chances’ deals with the horror of trench warfare.

His letters to his mother show how bad war was.

He met Sassoon at a hospital for shell-shocked officers

With Sassoon’s encouragement, he wrote ‘Dulce et decorum est’, one of the most powerful war poems.

Killed in Belgium. His parents got the letter on armistice day. Military cross.

Siegfried Sassoon

Military cross winner also. Became cynical.

‘The General’ criticised incompetent senior officers.

Badly injured, he left the army and spoke out against the war.

Erich Remarque (German)

‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ 1929 horror of war.

Henri Barbusse (French)

‘Le Feu’ attacked propaganda and was a vivid account of the horror of war.


Art and literature contributed to appeasement (to avoid further horrors)

WWII was not greeted with enthusiasm.




The Germ Theory of Disease

Developed by Louis Pasteur and the German Robert Koch.

Between them they isolated the germ and developed the vaccine for anthrax and rabies.

Koch isolated the germ for TB.

Later others developed vaccines for typhus, cholera, diphtheria and yellow fever.

1918 The Spanish Flu

A virus that killed 200,000 in GB and 2 million worldwide.

16 million of those were in India.

X Ray

1885 William Roentgen (German)

Marie Curie*


Studied in the Sorbonne. Best in class.

Married Pierre.

Studied radioactivity in uranium. Found the ore was more radioactive so other radioactive elements must exist. Radium and Polonium.

2 Nobel Prizes.

Took now precautions and died of overexposure in 1934.

Even today her notebooks cannot be handled.

Their discoveries led to radiotherapy for cancer.

Medical Advances during World War I

Blood transfusions using stored blood.

Valuable experience in trauma and wounds.

Use of x-ray to locate bullets and shrapnel.

Science and Technology

Nuclear Physics

1899 Earnest Rutherford discovered Alpha, Beta and Gamma rays.

1903 he proved that radioactivity is caused by the breakdown of atoms.

1905 Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity E=MC squared showed that a small amount of mass can create massive energy.

His work would be used to make the atom bomb.

The Electric Revolution

1879Thomas Edison (American) invented the light bulb.

After this electricity spread.

Werner von Siemens invented the dynamo.

Advances in Science and Technology during World War I

Chlorine and Phosgene used first by the Germans. Gas masks and changes in wind direction helped stop its use.

Lieutenant-Colonel Ernest Swinton invented the tank.

Early tanks got stuck in the mud and broke down.

Much improved later on in the war.

At first Zeppelins were used for bombing and spying by the Germans but they were too easily shot down.

Later planes with machine-guns and bombs developed.

Case Study: The Invention and Early History of the Motor Car

1876 Nikolaus August Otto. First petrol 4 stroke engine.

1885 Gottlieb Daimler. First motorbike.

1885 Karl Benz*.

First car. 3 wheeled converted carriage. All Benz’s cars were converted carriages.

1891 4 wheel car.

1893 First mass produced car.

Wife Bertha was the business brain.

1903 Karl retired.

1926 Merger with Daimler. Daimler and his partner Maybach built purpose-built cars.
1897 Rudolf Diesel. Better for pulling loads.

Assembly-line Production

Henry Ford in Detroit.

Specialisation and division of labour.

Model T.


Even his workers could afford them
Louis Renault reduced the production time of a car from 12 hours to 1 and ½ .

The Effects of the Motor Car

1896 Red Flag act repealed and speed limit increased to 14 mph.

Roads improved.

Ribbon development increased.

Spin-off industries.

Saved Paris. Brought troops to the Marne.

War led to more durable car design.


Started out as a toy for the rich.

Became a mode of transport for ordinary people.

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