Paper One Causes of World War One

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Paper One

Causes of World War One

  1. After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815 the British had a policy of ‘Splendid Isolation’

  1. ‘Splendid Isolation’ meant Britain keeping out of Europe’s affairs

  1. At the end of the 1800s Britain ended ‘Splendid Isolation’ and started to look towards Europe again

  1. The British ended their policy of Splendid Isolation’ because they felt threatened by the rising power of Germany

  1. The Franco-Prussian war of 1870 resulted in a Prussian win. The new nation of Germany formed as a result.

  1. In 1879 Germany and Austria-Hungary signed the Dual Alliance (Agreed to help each other if attacked)

  1. In 1882 Italy joined the Dual Alliance, in doing so making it the ‘Triple Alliance’

  1. In 1894 France and Russia signed the ‘Franco-Russian Alliance’ they agreed to help each other if attacked by Germany

  1. In 1904 Britain and France entered into an alliance called the ‘Entente Cordiale’ (Friendly Agreement)

  1. The British and French agreed not to be rivals over empires and to be more ‘friendly’

  1. In 1907 the British and Russians signed a friendly agreement (Thus completing the Triple Entente)

  1. Britain had an agreement to protect Belgium. The Kaiser called this a, ‘scrap of paper’

  1. The combination of alliances is known as the Alliance System

  1. Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany wanted to build an empire. This policy was called Weltpolitik.

  1. Trying to build an empire is called Imperialism

  1. France wanted to expand the French empire into Northern Africa (specifically Morocco)

  1. In 1905 Britain, France and Germany quarrelled over Morocco

  1. The Kaiser said that he would support Moroccan independence against the French

  1. The British, French, Russians and the Germans and Austrians met at Algeciras to discuss the issue

  1. The Kaiser tested the resolve of the Entente Cordiale and found it surprisingly strong

  1. The Kaiser backed down and left feeling humiliated, the Austrians had been the only country to back him

  1. In 1908 Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia (The Balkan Crisis)

  1. Many Serbians (including the future Black Hand Gang) thought that Serbia should own Bosnia

  1. The Russians were angered by Austrian aggression in the Balkans and prepared to act

  1. The Germans made it clear that they would back the Austrians

  1. The Russians backed down, felt humiliated and vowed not to be the loser next time

  1. The Austrians felt more confident of German support

  1. In 1911 the French helped put down a rebellion in Morocco, they then went about taking over

  1. The Germans sent a gunboat (the Panther) to Agadir and demanded to be given the port

  1. The British were not willing to allow the German to have an Atlantic naval base

  1. The British and French again pulled together and made the Germans back down

  1. The Germans felt more humiliated and blamed the British in particular

  1. In the years prior to 1914 the major European powers built up their armies. This is known as the arms race.

  1. Britain and Germany competed with one another to build Dreadnought battleships. This is known as the naval race

  1. On the 28th June 1914 Franz-Ferdinand, the heir to the Austrian throne was assassinated by a Serb, Gavrilo Princip.

  1. Following the assassination of Franz-Ferdinand, Austria-Hungary were offered what historians call the ‘blank cheque’ by Germany

  1. The ‘blank cheque’ meant that the Germans would back up the Austrians, whatever the consequences

  1. Following the assassination of Franz-Ferdinand, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia who had the support of Russia

  1. The Germans told the Russians to stop mobilisation, the Russians did not stop.

  1. The Germans declared war on Russia and France

  1. Germany tried to invade France by going through Belgium. This was called the Schlieffen Plan

  1. The British had an agreement with Belgium which the Germans called the ‘Scrap of paper’

  1. The Germans thought that the British wouldn’t go to war over the ‘Scrap of Paper’

  1. Britain declared war on Germany when they invaded Belgium

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