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Long Term Causes of World War I The World Wars Ms. Hamer September 9, 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Long Term Causes of World War I The World Wars Ms. Hamer September 9, 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Long Term Causes of World War I The World Wars Ms. Hamer September 9, 2009

2 What were the Long Term Causes of World War I? What countries had problems with each other and why? What was happening to the Balance of Power in Europe at the turn of the century? Imperialism Nationalism Militarism

3 The Great Powers Europe at this time was made up of: – a few countries that had a lot of power (England, France…) – other countries that did not (Belgium, Switzerland…) – and some growing countries that wanted to be a Great Power (Germany, Italy) In this system of control, if one country got too much power, the other Great Powers would band together to fight against it

4 Map of Europe

5 Great Britain Industrial and Commercial Power World’s Largest Empire – 20% of the world’s land 45 million people Best Navy “Splendid Isolation”: Since England was doing so well, it tended to stay out of the affairs of continental Europe Constitutional Monarchy Banking capital of the world

6 British Empire in 1900

7 France Was the ruling power in Europe in the 1700’s Lost a big war to Germany in and was on the downward spiral since then – Lost Alsace and Lorraine in this war 35 million people Republic with very diverse political parties Empire – SE Asia and Africa mostly Was really worried about Germany…

8 Russia Spanned Asia and Europe 164 million people – Very diverse and not all happy to have had their country merged into Russia (like the Poles) Not nearly as developed technologically or politically as Western Europe Autocratic System ruled by Tsar Nicholas II Was having problems: – 1905 – lost the Russo Japanese War – 1905 – Revolution that almost destroyed the government Idealism of Pan-Slavism: Russia wanted to help other Slavic nations (like Serbia)

9 Germany Created in through a war with France – Unification was based around Prussian military principle Quickly became a Great Power and the strongest on the continent; strong economy too 65 million people Kaiser Wilhelm II took over in 1888 and he wanted to win respect through an aggressive foreign policy Kind of a constitutional monarchy – Reichstag – Parliament – Kaiser – King / Leader Politically split between the Marxist SPD (Social Democratic Party) and the Nationalist Leagues

10 Germany

11 Austria - Hungary Old empire, lost a lot to the newly forming Germany in 1866, then befriended it… Empire ruled by Emperor Franz Josef Major concerns: dissatisfied ethnic groups, shaky empire, and lagging behind in industrial production – The Balkans were especially problematic as A-H worked to keep their control there and to keep Russian control out

12 Austria-Hungary 1910

13 Other Players (Not Great Powers)

14 Ottoman Empire Would become Turkey Was a MAJOR empire, but was on its last legs by the 1900’s – Lost a lot of territory in the Balkans – No real industrial development – Was being preyed on by the European powers 1908 – Young Turk movement came about to revive the empire Around 15 million people (estimated)

15 Ottoman Empire Purple: Lost by 1886 Pink: Lost by 1914

16 Italy Also a newly formed country – million people Wanted to be a Great Power, but had internal instability Had complaints against France (over colonial issues) and Austria-Hungary (over land A-H had taken)

17 Serbia Kingdom Had gained independence from the Ottoman Empire Wanted to unite the Slavs under a Balkan league – This worried Austria- Hungary Supported by Russia

18 Japan Newly industrialized country under the Meiji Restoration of the last quarter of the 1800’s Wanted to be an imperialist power – Won the Sino-Japanese war in 1895 – Won the Russo-Japanese war in 1904 – Annexed Korea in 1910 (had liberated Korea from China in the 1895 war)

19 The United States of America Did not really figure into European politics because of the vast distance between them Massive industrial production – Produced more steel than either Britain or Germany by 1900 No real military power, but it had potential in population and industrial capacity Had become imperialist in the late 1800’s

20 Life in Europe under the “Balance of Power”

21 The Balance of Power Began in 1648 in Europe, reaffirmed at the Congress of Vienna in 1815 and called the Concert of Europe – Theoretically kept harmony in Europe – If one power got too strong, the others would unite against it Broke Down in 1854 with the beginning of the Crimean War – Much more competitive after this – “The German Question” – what would the new Germany’s role be?

22 Mindsets of the Time Liberalism – Middle Class – Believed in individual freedom, constitutional limits on the state, free trade, and identified with the progress of the time Nationalism – Had been used as idea of liberation, was now used to legitimate governments of nation-states (Germany, Italy…) – Picked up the Social Darwinist ideas of ‘rising’ and ‘declining’ races of people by the turn of the century

23 Mindsets of the Time Part 2 Conservatism – Old school typically – Against liberalism, but sometimes embraced the nationalist ideas Socialism – Super liberal idea based on the idea of a workers’ revolution – Grew in strength in Germany

24 Imperialism During all of this, European countries fought for control of land overseas, by the 1800’s the focus was on Africa and Asia England and France were rivals England and Russia distrusted each other in Central Asia (England controlled India and somewhat controlled China) Germany did not participate in the rash of land- grabbing that happened in the mid-1800’s – Therefore Germany did not have as much as everyone else – Germany would end up being very bitter about this

25

26 Militarism The combination of imperialist competition and instability in the balance of power led many European countries to expand their military, especially after Germany’s new aggressive foreign policy began in 1890 France Germany and Russia built up their armies – European armies in general doubled in size from Countries began to make extremely detailed plans for military operations in possible future wars

27 Popular Militarism in Germany The idea of war starts to blend with nationalism: war is a test of national identity and supremacy As militarism took hold in Germany, there were cultural changes: – Brutalization of the middle classes as they imitated the Junker aristocracy – Students prized dueling scar

28 Popular Militarism in Germany Part 2 – Lots of respect shown to military officers – Kaiser Wilhelm II was all about uniforms, parades, aggressive foreign policy – Many supported this attitude, but not all Germans felt this way Some felt that war was a way out of a political crisis or stalemate

29 What problems could militarism cause?

30 Militarism Moves Forward

31 Misconception of the Modern Nature of War Should have known better after the Crimean War (1850’s) and American Civil War (1860’s) Still though war was short, fast, and glorious – Also thought it would still be focused on the offensive, and cavalry… Ideas about war becoming more civilized: – Geneva Conventions of 1864 and 1906 – Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 Protecting civilians and POW’s No use of poison gas

32 What does this all Lead to? Expectation of and planning for the “next war” in Europe – Glamorized in popular culture – Extensive military planning

33 Military Planning Germany: – Schlieffen Plan – Was to solve the 2-front war Germany would have to fight Knock out France in 42 days by attacking through Belgium, then face Russia France – Plan XVII (keep in mind they started at 14!) Was based on an offensive to retake the lost provinces of Alsace and Lorraine Left a small contingent to defend against the Belgian border because the Germans would never do anything so heinous as attacking through neutral Belgium…

34 The Cult of the Offensive Born out of this fervor for war was the Cult of the Offensive: – Emphasis on attack instead of defense – Leaders felt that their dedicated soldiers were so nationalistic that they could beat a larger force – Training focused on the bayonet drill and attack – infantry

35 What were the Long Term Causes of World War I? What countries had problems with each other and why? What was happening to the Balance of Power in Europe at the turn of the century? Imperialism Nationalism Militarism


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