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The Causes of WWI Ingredients for War NationalismAlliancesArms RaceImperialismLack of Fear.

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Presentation on theme: "The Causes of WWI Ingredients for War NationalismAlliancesArms RaceImperialismLack of Fear."— Presentation transcript:

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2 The Causes of WWI

3 Ingredients for War NationalismAlliancesArms RaceImperialismLack of Fear

4 Nationalism  All ethnic groups in Europe were nationalistic (extremely proud of their culture and heritage).  France wanted to start a war with Germany because it had lost two provinces (Alsace and Lorraine) in its last war against Germany.  Ethnic groups living within crumbling empires wanted to break away and form their own countries.  Austria-Hungary was ethnically and religiously divided – all these groups wanted independence.

5 Germany had taken Alsace and Lorraine from France after a war in 1871.

6 Ethnic Groups living in Austria-Hungary

7 Imperialism (Colonization)  The Great Powers (Britain, France, Germany...) wanted to acquire as many colonies as possible.  Colonies would ensure access to resources and a market for all the goods produced in the home country.  Result: There was increasing competition for colonies in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.  Problem: Germany had had the most powerful military and economy, but very few colonies!

8 Colonial Empires in 1900

9 Alliances  European powers had been divided into two allied camps:  The Triple Alliance (Germany, Italy, Austria-Hungary)  The Triple Entente (Britain, France, Russia)  This made war more likely because now they all knew that they had “backup”.

10 Alliances in Europe

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12 Lack of Fear  In 1914, most people were not afraid of war.  Most believed that a war would be short, and that victory for their side was a certainty.

13 Arms Race (Militarism)  The division into two allied camps led to an arms race.  All Great Powers adopted universal conscription, creating large reserves of manpower.  Armies and navies had been expanded tremendously.  Both sides were expanding their armed forces in order to maintain the balance of power.  Example: The French and German armies doubled in size between 1871 and  Example: There was a naval competition between Britain and Germany as a result of the building of the first Dreadnought. This type of ship was so powerful that it made all older ships obsolete.

14 The Dreadnought

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16 So how did WWI actually begin?  In 1908, Austria-Hungary annexed a region named Bosnia. This was a problem because Bosnia was populated by Slavs, including many Serbs.  Result: The Russians and the Serbs were very upset.  A terrorist organization called “ The Black Hand ” was formed. Its goal was to cause a war so that Bosnia could be taken over by Serbia.  In 1914, the Austrian Archduke (heir to the throne), Franz Ferdinand, decided to tour the capital of Bosnia, Sarajevo, with his wife.  The members of the Black Hand decided that this was the time to act. They planned to assassinate the Archduke during his tour of Sarajevo!

17 Bosnia: Right between Serbia and Austria-Hungary

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20 The arrest of Gavrilo Princip

21 Causes of WWI - Summary Nationalism Imperialism (Colonization) Alliances Lack of fear Arms race (Militarism) Finally, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand


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