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3 SHORT-TERM CAUSES OF WWI
Transcript of 3 SHORT-TERM CAUSES OF WWI
• Morocco was one of the few African countries not controlled by a European power.
• Germany worried about the alliance between Britain and France and attacked France.
• Germany wanted to expose the weakness of the friendship of France and Britain.
• Britain supported a French takeover of Morocco, in return, France recognized Britain’s position in Egypt.
The Bosnian Crisis (1908)
• After the Moroccan crisis, Russia signed an entente with Britain.
• Germans thought this was a plan of Russia, France and Britain to encircle and contain them.
• Germany became closer with their ally Austria-Hungary.
• In 1908 there were internal problems in the Ottoman Empire (Turkey).
Second Moroccan Crisis (Agadir – 1911)
First Balkan War (1912)
• Russia encouraged Greece and Montenegro to form an alliance.
• Their objective was to take Macedonia and divide it between themselves.
• Turkey was weak because of a war they fought with Italy the previous year.
• In only 7 weeks they were almost driven out of the Balkans.
• Austria didn’t want Serbia to be stronger and declared war to them.
• They also feared that Russia would support the Balkans and that the war could spread to other European countries.
Second Balkan War (1913)
The Crisis Years (1905 – 1913)
Several crises between 1905 and 1913 increased the tension between the two alliance blocks in Europe and created greater instability in the Balkans.
SHORT-TERM CAUSES OF WWI
The Moroccan Crisis (1905)
• Germany would help the Sultan to maintain their independence and demanded an international conference.
• Throughout 1905 Germany threatened of war until France accepted to hold the conference in Algeciras, Spain 1906.
• Britain decided to support France’s plans to take Morocco and Germany had little support to back up Morocco’s independence.
The Moroccan Crisis (1905)
• As a result Germany didn’t get territories in northern Africa, which was a failure for Weltpolitik and a hit for their pride.
• The entente became stronger instead of breaking.
• British foreign policy was now directed to support French interests.
• Germany was now seen as a threat to British interests.
The Bosnian Crisis
• Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina to their territory.
• Serbia had had interest in these territories as well because they wanted access to the sea.
• Secretly, the foreign ministers from Russia (Alexander Petrovich) and from Austria (Aehrenthal) had agreed that Russia would support the annexation.
• Aehrenthal acted without waiting for Russia to get the international community’s support.
• France, Britain and even
the Russian Tsar and Prime
Minister didn’t agree.
• Germany stated they would
support Austria-Hungary if a
war with the Serbs started.
• Russia didn’t get support
from Britain and France and
had to accept the annexation
of Bosnia to Austria.
• Russia was humiliated
and started a
• The Serbs were very angry and their nationalist feeling increased.
• This ended the cooperation between Russia and Austria over the situation in the Balkans.
• In 1911 Morocco was having internal problems, asked France for help to contain them and France accepted.
• Germany thought France was going to take over Morocco and sent a gunboat to Agadir in order to stop them.
• Germany wanted to get benefited from this: they demanded the whole Congo territory occupied by France.
• Britain thought this was a war threat and was worried about Germany taking Agadir and threatening their naval routes.
• Britain’s Chancellor gave a speech warning Germany to back off.
• Finally the crisis was resolved and Germany accepted to receive two strips of the French Congo.
• The entente between Britain and France became even stronger.
• Tension and hostility grew between Germany and Britain.
First Balkan War (1912)
• Sir Eduard Grey (Britain’s Foreign Secretary) wanted to stop the war from spreading and called a peace conference in London.
• As a result the Turkish lands were divided up between the Balkan states.
• Austria got what they wanted and Serbia didn’t get much territory.
• Instead Albania was created and placed between Serbia and the Adriatic Sea.
• This created more resentment between Serbia and Austria-Hungary.
• This time Bulgaria was in war against Serbia and Greece over territory occupied by Serbia.
• The Bulgarians wanted all the Bulgars living in Serbia and Greece to be in Bulgar territory.
• The Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister, Count Leopold Berchtold asked Germany for assistance because he feared Russia would get in the conflict to help the Serbs.
• Turkey joined Greece and Serbia in the fight against Bulgaria because they wanted to get back part of the territory they lost in the first Balkan War.
• Bulgaria was defeated and in the Treaty of Bucharest singed in August 1913 they lost almost all of the territory they won during the first war.
• Even though the crisis didn’t spread through Europe, the tension among the powers increased.
• Serbia won again and encouraged even more their nationalist feeling, plus they were almost as twice bigger now.
• Serbia’s victories represented diplomatic wins for Russia and encouraged them to stand by the Serbs.
• Austria-Hungary was convinced they had to crush Serbia.
• Both Balkan wars were diplomatic defeats for Germany who became close to Austria-Hungary.
• The press and education prepared the public of Europe for war by showing it as something that would be short and heroic.
• Nationalism had become stronger and aggressive in the major states.
• The press exaggerated the international incidents to inflame the public opinion about an upcoming war.
• The powers were all in an arm race (not only naval but general). Between 1870 and 1914 the military spending of the European powers had increased by 300 per cent.
• The population had also increased and it allowed countries to form bigger armies.
• All the European powers made detailed plans of what they would do if the war started.
• The German field Marshal Count Alfred Schlieffen’s war plan intended to deal with the Triple Entente and the difficulty of fighting war in two fronts.
• Schlieffen knew it would take six weeks to Russia to mobilize so he made a plan that involved crushing France.
• They thought they could invade France through Belgium, Holland and Luxemburg and then encircle Paris. Taking Paris would allow them to move easily to face Russia in the Eastern Front.
• In 1911, Schlieffen’s successor, Helmuth von Moltke modified the plan but still had errors: the impact of marching through Belgium, the time Russia would need to mobilize, and Britain’s effectiveness in coming to help France.
• France planned a high-speed mobilization of most of its forces and a quick attack to capture Alsace and Lorraine before crossing the Rhine into Germany.
• Russia planned to attack Austria-Hungary and Germany.
• Austria-Hungary had two plans: They differed in the amount of troops allocated to fighting Russia and Serbia.