2 IntroductionEfforts to outlaw war and achieve a permanent peace had been gaining momentum in Europe since the middle of the 19th century.Some Europeans believed that progress had made war a thing of the past.Yet in little more than a decade, a massive war would spread across the globe.
3 Rising Tensions in Europe Below the surface of peace and goodwill, Europe witnessed several gradual developments that would ultimately help propel the continent into war.
4 The Rise of Nationalism The growth of nationalism—deep devotion to one’s nation—caused intense competition among the Great Powers: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Great Britain, Russia, Italy, and France.The Great Powers competed for markets and territory.Intense nationalism in the nations of the Balkans led to demands for independence among Serbs, Bulgarians, Romanians, and others.
5 Imperialism and Militarism Imperialism, and the quest for colonies sometimes pushed European nations to the brink of war and intensified the sense of rivalry and mistrust.The nations of Europe took pride in having strong militaries and being prepared for war. This led to a dangerous arms race.Glorifying military power is called militarism.
6 Tangled AlliancesGrowing rivalries and mutual mistrust had led to the creation of several military alliances among the Great Powers as early as the 1870s. This alliance system had been designed to keep peace in Europe. But it would instead help push the continent into war.
7 Bismarck Forges Early Pacts Between 1864 and 1871, Prussia’s blood-and-iron chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, freely used war to unify Germany.Bismarck saw France as the greatest threat to peace.His goal was to isolate France and leave it without allies.In 1879, Bismarck formed the Dual Alliance between Germany and Austria-Hungary.In 1881, Italy joined this alliance forming the Triple Alliance.
9 Shifting Alliances Threaten Peace In 1890, Germany’s foreign policy changed dramatically. That year, Kaiser Wilhelm II—ruler of Germany—forced Bismarck to resign.Wilhelm let his nation’s treaty with Russia lapse in 1890.Russia formed a military alliance with France in 1892 and Such an alliance had been Bismarck’s fear.
11 Shifting Alliances Threaten Peace (continued) Kaiser Wilhelm II starts a shipbuilding program to make the German navy equal to the British fleet.Alarmed by this, England forms the Triple Entente with France and Russia.Therefore, there are two rival camps in Europe: the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente.
13 Crisis in the BalkansThis mountainous peninsula in the southeastern corner of Europe was home to an assortment of ethnic groups. With a long history of nationalist uprisings and ethnic clashes, the Balkans was known as the “powder keg” of Europe.
14 A Restless RegionBy the early 1900s the Ottoman Turks had declined and the peoples of the Balkans had formed new nations: Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, Romania, and Serbia.Serbia had a large Slavic population and was supported by Russia.In 1908, Austria annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina. Serbian leaders were outraged and tensions between the two nations rose.
15 A Shot Rings Throughout Europe On June 28, 1914 the heir to the throne of Austria, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie, paid a visit to Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia. Foolishly, they were riding in an open car.