The Road to World War I by wanghonghx


									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
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.”
 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   is very Machiavellian
Bismarck’s Goal
 Toisolate France and protect his new
League of the Three Emperors:
 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
 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
 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
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
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
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
 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:
 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:
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:
 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:
 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:
 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:
 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
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
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
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
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
 France cedes the French Congo to the
  Germans in return for German
  recognition of French claims in
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
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
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
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
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
 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
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
 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
The Schlieffen Plan:
August 1914
 Worse, it would certainly bring
 England into the war on the side of the
“A Scrap of Paper”
 Bethmann-Hollweg, the German
 Chancellor complained that Britain
 would fight Germany for “a scrap of
“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
 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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