I.             Foundations

A.    Age-old causes of WWI…

1.    colonial rivalries

2.    alliances

3.    nationalism

B.    Franco-Prussian War – 1871 – fallout from the war

C.    Bismarck now wants peace

D.   Bismarck seeks to…

1.    keep France isolated

2.    protect Germany from East (Austria-Hungary and Russia)

E.    To do these things, he makes a series of alliances. Importantly…

1.    Three Emperors’ League (Austria-Hungary, Germany, Russia), but Russia later gets mad at Germany and drops out

2.    Triple Alliance (Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy)

3.    Germany courts Britain & Russia

F.    Change à Emperor William II replaces Bismarck

1.    William II wants tougher stand against Russia

2.    Russia becomes alienated, eventually sides with France as long as Triple Alliance exists

G.   Britain’s support hinged between the two alliances

1.    Alliance with France and Russia seemed odd

2.    natural alliance” with Germany upset by...

a.    commerce rivals

b.    William II talking about becoming world power

c.    German naval boom

d.    Boer War…overextended Britain and anti-British sentiment by Germans

3.    Britain joins up with France, especially after tactless German bickering over disputed Morocco

H.    German perception of an anti-German conspiracy

I.     German navy affects British People’s Budget (they spent money for military instead of the people)

II.           The Spark

A.    Balkan region is the “powder keg”, assassination sparks war

B.    Balkan peninsula are nationalist hotbed

1.    After Congress of Berlin, 1878, three options existed – rule by Ottoman Turks, rule by Austria-Hungary, independent (see map page 892)

2.    In Bosnia (Sarajevo area) – run by Austria-Hungary but contains Serbs

3.    Balkan Wars fought to boot out Ottomans (they indeed do that)

4.    Resent now turns toward Austria-Hungary

C.    Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary killed by Serbian revolutionaries, June 1914

D.   Domino Effect

1.    Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia

2.    Russia comes to help Slavic little buddy of Serbia; couldn’t effectively declare war against A-H only, so Russia goes to war with Germany too

3.    Germany pledges sull support to A-H; begins das Schlieffen Plan designed to attack France

4.    Germany goes through poor Belgium, infuriating Britain

5.    France and Britain declare war against Germany and A-H

6.    It is on!  Like butter on popcorn!