Glorification of the military When a nation’s armed forces come to dominate a country’s national policy. As tensions increased leaders began to stockpile weapons and increase armies. Many of these nations tried to outdo each other by trying to have the most modern weaponry and the most men in uniform. 18801914 Germany1.3m5.0m France0.73m4.0m Russia0.40m1.2m Military Sizes
Alliances began to from among countries causing increased confidence among leaders. Triple Alliance- Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria Austria-Hungary and Germany will be known as the Central Powers Triple Entente: France, Russia, Great Britain Later known as the Allies Entente – alliances formed by signing non-binding agreements to try & keep peace. Leaders knew if they declared war they would have backup.
Many of the countries in Europe tried to establish empires that expanded throughout the globe. They were frequently getting into each other’s way which led to animosity between the countries. During the Franco-Prussian War (1870) Prussia (Germany) gained control over a small border province, Alsace-Lorraine. France resented this takeover and gave motive for war 44 years later.
Extreme devotion to one’s nation Europeans believed that a nation should express one ethnic group. If a country existed as a representation of “its people” (the majority ethnic group) the minorities were being left out leading to increased tension. Serbia’s national flag
Nationalism helped weaken empires such as Austria-Hungary and Ottoman. Serbia became independent and threatened Austria- Hungary by trying to gain some of their land and setting example for Austria-Hungary. Social Darwinists believed the best country would come out the winner.
28 June 1914 Heir to Austrian throne Franz Ferdinand visits Sarajevo. At the time, Bosnia was under the rule of Austria-Hungary. But it was also the home of many Serbs and other Slavs, leading to unrest. This area is called the Balkans, and it was known as the “powder keg” of Europe. Hotbed of Slav nationalism
“Black Hand” terrorists attack the Arch Duke Bomb attempt fails in morning Gavrilo Princip shoots Archduke and wife in the afternoon. Austrians blame Serbia for supporting terrorists. Seal of the Black Hand group Gavrilo Princip
Soon after the murder Germany promised Austria-Hungary its support. Austria-Hungary demanded Serbia investigate the assassination. Serbia declined. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia July 28, 1914. Russia allied with Serbia. Germany declared war on Russia. Britain and France joined as well. Germany declared war on neutral Belgium in hopes of using it to enter into France.
US attempted to stay neutral and Wilson encouraged neutrality. However in 1914 1/3 rd of Americans were foreign born. Many of these individuals supported their home countries though most sided with Britain and France. 3 positions on war: 1) Isolationists- believed it was none of America’s business. 2) Interventionists- felt US should intervene 3) Internationalists- believed US should play a role and work towards peace but not enter the war.
11 million German-Americans Irish-Americans hated Great Britain Close cultural ties Big business loaned much $ to allies Central Powers:Allies: US Exports to both sides:
1. Blockades Britain blockaded (stopped) all German ships going to America Germany announced a submarine war around Britain In May, 1915 Germany told Americans to stay off of British ships They could/would sink them
Lusitania torpedoed, sinking with 1200 passengers and crew (including 128 Americans) Was eventually found to be carrying 4200 cases of ammunition
2. Unlimited Submarine Warfare 1917 Germany announced “unlimited submarine warfare” in the war zone
3. Zimmerman Note US intercepted a note from Germany to Mexico, It promised Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona back in return for an alliance
Zimmerman Note + the sinking of 4 unarmed American ships led to a declaration of war by the United States