The Road to World War I Daniel W. Blackmon AP European History Coral Gables Sr. High The Era of Bismarck Priorto German unification, Bismarck’s foreign policies are extremely aggressive. Following German unification, Bismarck’s policies are aimed at maintaining the peace. The Concert of Europe The Great Powers (Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and Austria- Hungary) act together to settle any dispute without a major war. They will tolerate local wars, but wish to avoid a Napoleonic conflagration. The Balance of Power Thetraditional balance of power had been held by Great Britain, Austria, Russia, Prussia, and France. The Balance of Power TheThirty Years’ War (1618-1648) can be seen in part as a struggle by France to prevent the inordinate growth of Hapsburg power (Spain and Austria). The Balance of Power Thewars of the late 17th and early 18th century were aimed at preventing France under Louis XIV from achieving dominance in Europe. The Balance of Power Thewars of the French Revolution and of Napoleon may be seen as a continuation of that struggle. Balance of Power Bismarck must work within this system. In the first half of his career, he manipulates it in order to create a united Germany despite the certain opposition of France and Austria and the fears of Russia and Great Britain. In the second half, he strives to maintain the balance. Balance of Power Hisprinciple is “In a world of five great powers, always remain à trois.” Realpolitik Bismarck created and tries to maintain his empire by use of Realpolitik, which emphasizes power and the cynical calculation of national interest. Morality and statesmanship are antithetical terms. The only thing that counts is the reality of power. Realpolitik Realpolitik is very Machiavellian Bismarck’s Goal Toisolate France and protect his new nation. League of the Three Emperors: 1872 Between Russia, Austria-Hungary, and Germany. This was not a true alliance, but a statement of mutual solidarity between the three autocratic empires. The League fell apart as a result of the Eastern Crisis of 1875-78. Russo-Turkish War : 1877-78 "TheEastern Question":: Whether the various nationalities of Eastern Europe and the Balkans should obtain their independence and/or autonomy, and if so, under what conditions, or, if not, under whose rule should they remain? Russo-Turkish War : 1877-78 In1875, rebellions broke out in Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Bulgaria (then Turkish), assisted by the Serbs, who aspired to be the catalyst for a Southern Slavic state (Yugoslavia). Russo-Turkish War : 1877-78 1877, Russia intervened, declaring In war on Turkey and threatening to capture Istanbul until warnings from Austria and Great Britain led to a negotiated peace. Treaty of San Stefano: 1878 IndependentSerbia, Montenegro and Romania, with an autonomous, Russian dominated Bulgaria (including Macedonia) with access to the Aegean. Batum and Kars in Caucasus to Russia Congress of Berlin: 1878 Austriaand Britain object to the Treaty of San Stefano. Invoke the Concert of Europe. Bismarck offers himself as the “honest broker” Congress of Berlin: 1878 Treatyof Berlin reduced size of Bulgaria, and reduces the autonomy of Southern Bulgaria (Eastern Rumelia). Turks keep Macedonia. Congress of Berlin: 1878 Britaingained Cyprus. Austria- Hungary gained control of Bosnia- Herzegovina (technically, still part of the Ottoman Empire, and Austrian control was nominally “temporary.” Dual Alliance: 1879 Between Germany and Austria- Hungary, which pledged mutual support in the event Russia attacked either. Bismarck once remarked that every alliance has a horse and a rider, and “I intend to be the rider.” League of Three Emperors (part 2): 1881 New Dreikaiserbund committed all three to friendly neutrality in the event of war with a fourth power (ie France vs. Germany) and additionally committed to consultation in the event of a change in the status quo in the Balkans or Ottoman Empire. League of Three Emperors (part 2): 1881 End of the Dreikaiserbund as a result of Austro-Russian rivalry in the Balkans, using smaller nations as surrogates. League of Three Emperors (part 2): 1881 Bulgaria in 1885 expels Russian officers and annexes Eastern Rumelia. Russia objects, but Austria backs Bulgaria. The incident wrecks the Dreikaiserbund. Triple Alliance: 1887 Between Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Italy. The treaty provided for mutual support in a war against France (ie. Germany vs France or Italy vs. France) and Italian neutrality in an Austrian-Russian war. Russo-German Reinsurance Treaty: 1887 Provided for mutual neutrality in the event of war with a third party except for an aggressive war by Russia against Austria or an aggressive war by Germany against France (ie. if France attacks Germany or Austria attacks Russia, the treaty is in force) Dismissal of Bismarck: 1890 The accession to the throne of the young Wilhelm II (r. 1888-1918) spells disaster not only for Germany but for all Europe. Dismissal of Bismarck: 1890 The grandson of Queen Victoria, he is intelligent, but weak, headstrong, vacillating, arrogant, shallow, neurotic and suffered from an inferiority complex (the result of a withered right arm). Dismissal of Bismarck: 1890 Unfortunately,Bismarck's constitution allowed the Chancellor to govern without parliamentary support, but not without the Kaiser's. Dismissal of Bismarck: 1890 Constitutionally,the Kaiser ruled. The system worked under Wilhelm I, who understood his limitations and allowed better men to govern. Under Wilhelm II, the system leads to disaster. Dismissal of Bismarck: 1890 “Dropping the Pilot” Punch (a British magazine) Germany refuses to renew the Reinsurance Treaty when it came up for renewal in 1890 just 5 days after Bismarck's dismissal. Dismissal of Bismarck: 1890 No satisfactory reason for the refusal was ever given to the Russians. This was a hideous diplomatic error on the part of the Germans!!! Anglo-German Naval Race: 1898 Germany starts the arms race with the Navy Law of 1898, beginning the construction of a large, modern fleet. The architect of this navy is Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz. Anglo-German Naval Race: 1898 1. He espouses a "risk fleet": "in order to protect German trade and commerce under existing conditions, only one thing will suffice, namely, Anglo-German Naval Race: 1898 Germany must possess a battle fleet of such a strength that even for the most powerful naval adversary, a war would involve such risks as to make that Power's own supremacy doubtful." (Turner 2) Anglo-German Naval Race: 1898 Britain had already adopted the Two Power Standard, ie the Royal Navy must be strong enough to defeat any two other navies. England revolutionizes naval warfare by laying down Dreadnought, the first modern battleship, in 1905. Anglo-German Naval Race: 1898 In1909, the shipbuilding reached a peak. Churchill wrote, “The Admiralty had demanded six ships, the economists offered four; and we finally compromised on eight.” (Qtd in Kagan 156) Anglo-German Naval Race: 1898 By1912, England has 18 dreadnoughts, Germany 9 Franco-Russian Alliance: 1894 If France is attacked by Germany or Italy supported by Germany, or Russia attacked by Germany or by Austria supported by Germany, then the other will go to war to assist its ally. Franco-Russian Alliance: 1894 Massive French loans go to assist Russia in improving its defenses and war-making capacity. Russian military strength, always potentially huge, was steadily increasing, in spite of Tsarist inefficiency. Entente Cordiale: 1904 Anglo-Frenchcolonial agreement 1904 resolves numerous points of friction. England recognizes French dominance in Morocco, France recognizes English dominance in Egypt First Moroccan Crisis: 1905 Morocco had boundaries with France along Algeria and also French West Africa. Frequent tribal revolts in Morocco spilled over into French territory. First Moroccan Crisis: 1905 France had a legitimate interest in Morocco. France takes steps to establish a protectorate over Morocco. First Moroccan Crisis: 1905 The Kaiser, visiting Tangier, supported Moroccan independence, creating a diplomatic uproar. He seems to have thought that he could break up the Entente Cordiale. Algeciras Conference: 1906 England, Italy, Russia, Spain, the U.S. all join France against Germany. Only Austria supports Germany. Algeciras Conference: 1906 Technically, Moroccan independence is preserved, but the police was placed under French and Spanish control and a French controlled state bank established. Anglo-Russian Entente: 1907 Franco-Russian Treaty, Entente Cordiale, and Anglo-Russian Entente together create a de facto Triple Entente against the Triple Alliance Bosnian Crisis: 1908-9 The Young Turk rebellion breaks out in the Ottoman Empire, which causes temporary confusion but also promises a revival of Turkish power, a prospect displeasing to both Austria and Russia. Bosnian Crisis: 1908-9 The Austrian Foreign Minister Count Alois Aerenthal and Russian Foreign Minister Alexander Izvolsky meet and agree that Austria should annex Bosnia-Herzegovina (a Turkish province) and Russia should open the Straits for warships. No date, however, was set. Bosnian Crisis: 1908-9 Austria-Hungary then unilaterally annexes Bosnia-Herzegovina, taking everyone by surprise. Britain coldly refuses to allow Russian warships the freedom of the Straits. Russia thus is denied its portion of the agreement. Bosnian Crisis: 1908-9 Russia, weakened by the Russo- Japanese War, has no choice but to give in, but feels humiliated and will be less willing to back down in future. Second Moroccan Crisis (Agadir Crisis): 1911 French control of Morocco led to a serious revolt in Fez. The French respond by moving in troops. Second Moroccan Crisis (Agadir Crisis): 1911 The Kaiser dispatches the gunboat Panther to the port of Agadir on the Atlantic in order to "protect German lives" although there were no Germans within 70 miles. Germany demands the French Congo. Second Moroccan Crisis (Agadir Crisis): 1911 David Lloyd George's Mansion House speech insisted that Britain be consulted. France cedes the French Congo to the Germans in return for German recognition of French claims in Morocco Italo-Turkish War: 1911-2 over Tripoli, reveals Turkish weakness First Balkan War: 1912-3 Russiasees an opportunity and brokers the Serbo-Bulgarian Treaty of 1912 which formed the basis of the Balkan League. First Balkan War: 1912-3 TheBalkan League, consisting of Serbia, Bulgaria, Montenegro, and Greece (with encouragement by Russia) vs. Turkey. Turks are quickly overwhelmed and almost driven out of Europe, retaining only Constantinople. First Balkan War: 1912-3 The victory of the Balkan League demonstrates Russian ascendancy in the Balkans and undermined Austrian security. First Balkan War: 1912-3 The renowned British historian, A.J.P. "Taylor says: 'The victory of Balkan nationalism was a disaster beyond remedy for the Habsburg Monarchy.' This was fully appreciated by the Austrian General Staff." (Turner 40) First Balkan War: 1912-3 Austriaand Italy, fearing a Southern Slavic nation on the Adriatic, force Serbia to give up Albania, which had been a Serbian war objective. Second Balkan War: 1913 Bulgaria versus Greece, Serbia and Rumania. Bulgaria is quickly defeated after attacking Greece and Serbia. Greece, Serbia, and Rumania all gain territory at Bulgarian expense. War is seen as a victory for Russia and a defeat for Austria Sarajevo Crisis: 1914 Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austrian throne, is assassinated by a Serbian nationalist, Gavrilo Princip, at Sarajevo on June 28, 1914. Sarajevo Crisis: 1914 Radicalson both sides feared his accession to the throne because he was believed to support a Triple Monarchy, granting the South Slavs equal status with the Germans and Magyars within the Empire. The blank check: July 1914 Germany gave Austria a "blank cheque", telling them to go ahead with their plans (which Germany did not know) and Germany would support them. The blank check: July 1914 Austriasees a chance to crush Serbian nationalism once and for all, and delivers an ultimatum which they did not expect (or want) to be met. The blank check: July 1914 Serbia mobilizes her army on July 25, but replies brilliantly to the impossible Austrian demands. Upon reading it, the Kaiser noted that all cause for war had vanished Partial Russian Moblilization: July 1914 Russia begins taking preliminary steps to mobilization July 26, which of course, could not be kept secret. Without bothering to read the Serbian reply, Austria mobilizes against Serbia July 25. Partial Russian Moblilization: July 1914 an act of national insanity, German In Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg urged a swift Austrian declaration of war on Serbia. Mobilization Means War! Mobilizationwas universally regarded by military men as tantamount to a declaration of war!!!!!!! Partial Russian Moblilization: July 1914 Austria declares war on Serbia on July 28. With the Austrian declaration of war, events begin to move automatically, and can no longer be stopped! The Schlieffen Plan: August 1914 German military doctrine required a swift offensive aimed at enveloping and annihilating one of her two chief enemies, Russia or France. The Schlieffen Plan: August 1914 Then, using interior lines, Germany could turn on and dispose of the other. Russia is too vast to be beaten quickly. Therefore, the Germans must defeat France quickly. National survival required SPEED! The Schlieffen Plan: August 1914 The common Franco-German border is heavily fortified by the French, and the Germans do not believe that a swift victory is possible by a thrust from Alsace-Lorraine. The Schlieffen Plan: August 1914 German military doctrine required a swift offensive aimed at enveloping and annihilating one of her two chief enemies, Russia or France. Then, using interior lines, Germany could turn on and dispose of the other. Russia is too vast to be beaten quickly. Therefore, the Germans must defeat France quickly. The common Franco-German border is heavily fortified by the French, and the Germans do not believe that a swift victory is possible by a The Schlieffen Plan: August 1914 Graf Alfred von Schlieffen therefore devises a bold plan to encircle the French from the north, violating Belgian and Luxembourg neutrality. The German right wing would be a bludgeon, swinging like a door hinged on Luxembourg.. The Schlieffen Plan: August 1914 This plan which required the seizure Liége within 24 hours. Such a brutal invasion of Belgium was in violation of treaties signed by Germany. The Schlieffen Plan: August 1914 Worse, it would certainly bring England into the war on the side of the French. “A Scrap of Paper” Bethmann-Hollweg, the German Chancellor complained that Britain would fight Germany for “a scrap of paper.” “A Scrap of Paper” Such a view reflects a Social Darwinist view of the situation: Germany, faced with an issue of national survival, would take whatever measures necessary—moral or immoral—to survive. “A Scrap of Paper” Such a view not only ignored a vital interest of Great Britain’s stretching back at least to the Hundred Years’ War—control of the coast of the Low Countries—but also the issue of whether any nation’s word could be trusted if treaties are disregarded. “The Lights are Going Out” SirEdward Grey, the British Foreign Minister, sadly noted that “The lights are going out all over Europe.” “The Lights are Going Out” He did not realize how truly he saw the situation. The optimistic, bourgeois civilization of 19th century Europe is destroyed in the maelstrom of World War I Works Cited Kagan, Donald. On the Origins of War and the Preservation of Peace. New York: Anchor, 1995. Works Cited L. C. F. Origins of the First Turner, World War. New York: W.W. Norton, 1970.
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