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Causes of the First World War Although the world seemed at peace in the early 1900s, powerful forces were pushing Europe toward war. These forces included.

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Presentation on theme: "Causes of the First World War Although the world seemed at peace in the early 1900s, powerful forces were pushing Europe toward war. These forces included."— Presentation transcript:

1 Causes of the First World War Although the world seemed at peace in the early 1900s, powerful forces were pushing Europe toward war. These forces included nationalism, militarism, imperial rivalries, alliance systems, and the decline of the Ottoman Empire.

2 Imperialism: competition for colonies &influence Race to Colonize Africa Colonization in Asia

3 Militarism – During the late 1800s, militarism arose in many nations in Europe. This development lead to fear and suspicion as nations became more willing to use military force to achieve national goals. –Arms Race – During the late 1800s and early 1900s a massive arms race took place in Europe, as each of the major powers tried to out do one another in terms of building weapons. One of the fiercest rivalries was between Great Britain and Germany over their navies. Causes of WW1

4 Alliances – Increased tensions and suspicions led nations to form alliances. These alliances were agreements between many nations to defend each other in the case of an attacks. By 1914, there were several major alliances, but there were two that became very strong. –Triple Entente – Great Britain, France, and Russia. –Triple Alliance – Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. Causes of WW1


6 Nationalism – As we have learned, nationalism can bring people together. However, it can also be a source of conflict. In Europe in the early 1900s, aggressive nationalism was a source of tension. –Germany and France – Nationalism was strong in both Germany and France in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Germany, now unified, was proud of its growing military and industrial strength. France, meanwhile, wanted to take back its position as a leading European power. After losing the Franco-Prussian War in 1871, many French people wanted revenge against the Germans. Causes of WW1

7 Nationalism –The Balkans – Nationalism was a source of conflict in the Balkan Peninsula of southeastern Europe. In the 1800s, the Ottoman Empire still ruled much of the area, which was home to many ethnic groups. Among these were Serbs, Croats, Bosnians, Greeks, Bulgarians, and Romanians. During the 1800s, nationalist groups in the Balkans rebelled against Ottoman rule. The other nations of Europe viewed the Ottoman Empire asthe sick man of Europe, a nation in extreme decline. Because of this, they hoped to gain territory from it. Causes of WW1

8 Nationalism –Pan-Slavism – Russia had encouraged a form of nationalism in Eastern Europe called Pan-Slavism. This movement tried to draw together all Slavic peoples. Russia was the largest Slavic country, and it was ready to defend other Slavic nation in Europe. One such Slavic nation in Europe was Serbia. –The Powder Keg of Europe – In the early 1900s, crisis after crisis broke out on the Balkan peninsula because of these problems. By 1914, the Balkans were called the powder keg of Europe because of all the tensions in the region. The keg would finally explode in 1914 with the beginning of World War 1. Causes of WW1

9 Imperialism – Britain, France, Germany, and other nations competed for colonies, and economic power throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s. –Colonies – France and Germany competed especially for colonies in Africa. –Economy – Germany and Great Britain competed industrially. Germany had industrialized rapidly, and the British felt threatened by this. Because of their competition with Germany, the old enemies Britain and France started to form a closer relationship with one another. Causes of WW1

10 Not surprisingly, World War 1 began in the Balkans. Although many Serbs lived in Bosnia, it was ruled by Austria-Hungary. Fueled by the ideas of Pan-Slavism, Serbs believed that Bosnia should be a part of Serbia, instead of Austria-Hungary. Many organizations were created, with the goal of someday freeing Bosnia from the Austro- Hungarians, and making it a part of Serbia. One of these was the Serbian terrorist group known as the Black Hand. The Balkan Crisis

11 By 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the heir to the Austrian throne. On June 28 th, 1914, the archduke and his wife were traveling through the city of Sarajevo, which is the capital of Bosnia. The Black Hand planned a bombing to kill the archduke and his wife, but when their car route changed, Gavrilo Princip sprung in to action, heading off the cars and shooting and killing the archduke and his wife. The Balkan Crisis

12 –1.) Austria-Hungary blamed Serbia for the murders and made harsh demands on Serbia. –2.) Serbia refused to comply with the demands. –3.) Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia on July 28 th. –4.) Russia, a Slavic nation and friend of Serbia, mobilized its military in preparation for war. The Chain Reaction After the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, the major nations of Europe responded. Each hostile action led to another reaction. Like dominos, the countries of Europe fell into war.

13 –5.) Germany, an ally of Austria-Hungary, declared war on Russia. –6.) Germany declared war on France, an ally of Russia. –7.) Germany invaded Belgium on August 3 rd, 1914, so that German forces could enter France more easily. –8.) Great Britain declared war on Germany. The Major Powers of Europe were at War The two alliances from before the war, the Triple Entente and Triple Alliance, changed and gained new members. Their names also changed as they became the Central Powers and the Allied Powers. The Chain Reaction


15 Allied Powers (Entente) –Russia –France –Great Britain –Belgium –Serbia –Rumania –Greece –Albania –Italy –Portugal –Ireland –Later, The United States Central Powers (Alliance) –Germany –Austria-Hungary –Ottoman Empire –Bulgaria The Two Sides

16 Germany – Felt that it must stand behind its ally, Austria Hungary Austria-Hungary – Blamed Serbia for terrorism. They also wanted to crush Serbian nationalism Russia – Supported Slavic peoples and feared Austria-Hungary wanted to rule over Slavic peoples. Great Britain – Felt a duty to protect Belgium and feared German aggression. France – Backed up ally Russia and wanted revenge against the Germans. Who Was to Blame?





21 Total population (millions) Russia US Germany Austria France Britain

22 Relative shares of world manufacturing output (percentages) Russia7.6%8.8 %8.2 % US14.7%23.6 %32 % Germany 8.5 %13.2 %14.8 % Austria4.4 %4.7 %4.4 % France7.8 %6.8 %6.1 % Britain22.9 %18.5 %13.6 %

23 Military and Naval Personnel Russia791,0001,162,0001,352,000 US34,00096,000164,000 Germany426,000524,000891,000 Austria246,000385,000444,000 France543,000715,000910,000 Britain367,000624,000532,000

24 Warship Tonnage Russia200,000383,000679,000 US169,000333,000985,000 Germany88,000285,0001,305,000 Austria60,00087,000372,000 France271,000499,000900,000 Britain650,0001,065,0002,714,000

25 Quiz List the 4 MAIN causes of World War I Define each term Explain briefly how each helped cause the conflict

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