Causes of WWI: Nationalism Gone Awry
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Causes of WWI: Nationalism Gone Awry SOC 20
Activity: Nationalism T-Chart Create a T-chart in your notes (or use this one) In partners, brainstorm 10 features of nationalism in Europe; split between the two columns Think About: Factors of Nationalism Events & People that shaped nationalism Historical Examples
Western European Nationalism
Eastern European Nationalism
-Single, large ethnic groups -
-Many, small ethnic groups -
A Historian’s View “Countries sought and made allies for defensive purposes and the settlement of outstanding disputes between them…..they were not, openly formed for offensive purposes to harm or attack other countries.” Years of Change
Cause #1: The System of Alliances With the Congress of Vienna, European states were limited in expanding their power To compensate, they developed alliances amongst each other, for mutual economic and political gain
The unification of Germany in 1871 upset the balance, for Germany became an economic powerhouse However, Germany’s location made it vulnerable Thus Bismarck did his best to foster relationships with Austria-Hungary
The Tangled Web: Can you identify the countries depicted?
System of Alliances: The Triple Alliance A dual alliance was founded by Bismarck, between Prussia and Austria. Russia was also a part of this alliance However, Kaiser William II became emperor and broke the treaty with Russia. He also retired Bismarck Members: Dual Alliance: Germany & Austria Russia – although this alliance lapsed Ottoman Empire Many German people agreed with William II that Germany should “Claim its place in the sun” as a global imperial and naval power in Europe
System of Alliances: The Triple Entente In response to the Triple Alliance, and Russia’s removal from it, France quickly formulated an agreement with Russia Members: Core: France & Russia Later: Britain
German imperial policy drove European powers away from the Triple Alliance and towards the Triple Entente
System of Alliances: The Fuse British and French officials saw Germany as a major threat to their national interests, thus they would stop at nothing to halt German expansion Germany, on the other hand, realized their dependence on Austria-Hungary, their closest ally Thus Germany would do anything to ensure the success and power of Austria-Hungary But, Austria-Hungary had their own problems…
Cause #2: The Issue of “Ethnic” Nationalism Quick Recap: Western Europe dominated by political nationalism Eastern Europe dominated by ethnic, religious, and linguistic nationalism
Example: Austria-Hungary Over 27 million subjects did not identify with the dominant German peoples Thus many members of the Habsburg Empire sought to break it up into smaller states
Cause #2: The Issue of “Ethnic” Nationalism Nationalism, in other words, became an explosive force, rather than a unifying force The survival of Austria-Hungary depended on their stamping out nationalist desires wherever possible However, such actions prompted further nationalist tendencies
Ultimately, several nationalist groups (resorting at times to terrorism) emerged
Imperialism Lenin famously asserted that the worldwide system of imperialism was responsible for the war Imperialism is when a country takes over new lands or countries and makes them subject to their rule. By 1900, the British Empire extended over five continents and France had control of large areas of Africa. With the rise of industrialism, countries needed new markets.
Germany was thus competing with Britain and France – trying to acquire new ‘lands’ late in the game
Cause #3: Imperialism & Colonies With the Congress of Vienna, European powers had to look overseas in order to expand politically and economically The system of colonies granted this power Colonies on the other hand, were subject to their Imperial mother states Thus whenever an imperial colony went to war, its colonies were automatically at war
In the case of WWI, most of the European powers were at war – thus most of their colonies were at war
Cause #4: Militarism Militarism means that the army and military forces are given a high profile by the government. The Balance of Power & growing European divisions led to an arms race
The armies of both France and Germany had more than doubled between 1870 and 1914 Fierce competition between Britain and Germany for mastery of the seas. The British had introduced the 'Dreadnought', an effective battleship, in 1906. The Germans soon followed suit introducing their own battleships.
The German, Von Schlieffen also drew up a plan of action that involved attacking France through Belgium if Russia made an attack on Germany. The map below shows how the plan was to work.
The Schlieffen Plan
Arms Race: HMS Dreadnought
Flashpoint: Moroccan Crisis In 1904, Morocco had been given to France by Britain, but the Moroccans wanted their independence. In 1905, Germany announced its support for Moroccan independence. War was narrowly avoided by a conference which allowed France to retain possession of Morocco.
However, in 1911, the Germans were again protesting against French possession of Morocco. Britain supported France and Germany was persuaded to back down for part of French Congo.
Flashpoint: Bosnian Crisis In 1908, Austria-Hungary took over the former Turkish province of Bosnia. This angered Serbians who felt the province should be theirs. Serbia threatened Austria-Hungary with war, Russia, allied to Serbia, mobilized its forces. Germany, allied to Austria-Hungary mobilized its forces and prepared to threaten Russia. War was avoided when Russia backed down.
There was, however, war in the Balkans between 1911 and 1912 when the Balkan states drove Turkey out of the area. The states then fought each other over which area should belong to which state. Austria-Hungary then intervened and forced Serbia to give up some of its acquisitions. Tension between Serbia and Austria-Hungary was high.
The Event that Triggered it All On June 28, 1914; Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was assassinated while touring Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina The culprit was a Serbian nationalist group called “the black hand,” and the assassin was a student by the name of Gavrilo Princip
The Event that Triggered it All There had been ethnic tensions in the area since the Habsburg empire had annexed the territory from the Ottoman Empire Ethnic Groups: Croatians, Serbians, Muslims Ethnically, the Serbian people in Sarajevo did not identify themselves with the Austrians They wanted to rejoin their brothers in Serbia
Countdown to World War June 28th 1914 Franz Duke Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne assassinated 28th July Austria Hungary declare war on Serbia. France and Russia back Serbia 30th July Britain and Russia mobilize forces 1st August Germany declares war on Russia 2nd August Germany invades Belgium, declares war on France 4th August Britain declares war on Germany