Foreign Policy - Weshallfightthemonthebeaches
Transcript Foreign Policy - Weshallfightthemonthebeaches
Bismarckian to Wilhelmian
a timeline in your book summarising
in sufficient detail the following foreign
events under Bismarck and Wilhelm II
1872, THREE EMPORERS
The three emperors of Austria-Hungary, Germany, and
Russia all signed an agreement to say they all had
common interests against, primarily, Socialism. It meant
little, but was the first step in improving relations with
Germany and other countries, as well as between
Austria and Russia. It also isolated France, who was
looking for allies as it was a Republic not an Empire.
1875, WAR IN SIGHT CRISIS
France was building up it’s army and Bismarck wanted
to show France that they were not strong enough to
threaten Germany. He started a media storm
suggesting that a war between France and Germany
looked likely, including the headline “WAR IN SIGHT”
on the cover of the Berlin Post. Foreign powers firmly
placed the blame on Germany, but by then investors
had pulled out of France and France’s economy was
once again weakened. Overall, it helped gain support
for France, and weakened Germany’s relations with
other powers. Not a success, but France was very
1875-1878, THE EASTERN
QUESTION a.k.a. THE BALKANS
A series of revolts against the Ottomans started in the Balkans. The Turks
committed atrocities in Bulgaria, and thus as another Slavic country, Russia
declared war on Turkey. They had a lot of success, almost getting as far of
Constantinople, where they stopped and signed a peace treaty (Treaty of
San Stefano, 1878). Other powers were annoyed-they did not want Russia
to have such influence over the Balkans, especially Britain. Bismarck
organised a conference attended by all powers but France, which
rearranged the map of the Balkans, gave land back to the Ottomans, but
stripping Russia of nearly everything. Russia was furious with Bismarck, but
all other countries involved were pleased. Germany appeared to have
averted another war, and thus it improved Diplomatic relations in general,
isolated France, but relations with Russia were severely strained.
1879, THE DUAL ALLIANCE.
This was an alliance between Austria and Germany
that meant they would help each other if
attacked, i.e., if Russia attacked Austria, but
there was no obligation in the alliance of either
helping the other if they attacked, i.e., if Austria
attacked Russia. This was supposed to stop any
war in the Balkans, unless Germany decided to get
involved, which it wouldn’t as Bismarck was against
war. Austria couldn’t attack, Russia couldn’t
attack, Germany wouldn’t. It was very successful,
peace, better relations, and Austria and Russia
were forced to talk, they couldn’t fight
This agreement meant that if one power was
involved in a war with a fourth power, the
other two could not intervene. This stopped
war on two fronts against France and Russia
for Germany. It also meant Russia had a
chance of re-taking Balkans without Russian
intervention. Even so, the agreement meant
that mutual consultation was necessary on
Balkans affairs. This was a very successful
1882, TRIPLE ALLIANCE.
This brought Italy into the Dual alliance, it
guaranteed Italy defence if attacked by
France, and meant that Italy would aid
Austria and Germany in the event of a war,
unless Britain was involved. The basic purpose
was to Isolate France by removing potential
allies, but it also improved Diplomatic
1885-1887, 2ND BALKANS
Bulgaria annexed East Rumelia, Russia Serbia,
and Austria unhappy. Serbia invades Bulgaria,
gets crushed. Bulgarian troops stationed on
Serbian border. Austria threatens war, Russia
threatens war. Germany will not help Austriathe whole thing fizzles out and the Dual
Alliance is proven to work, countries are
forced to talk. No war, but German-Austrian
relations severely strained, as well as AustroRussian relations.
1887, SECRET REINSURANCE
Bismarck desperate to avoid war. Signs
agreement with Russia saying that Germany
will stay neutral if Austria attacks Russia: by
saying both will stay neutral in the event of
war with a third power-unless Russia attacks
Austria, or Germany attacks France. Austria
would say it went against Dual Alliancedangerous agreement. Shows desperation of
1890, FAILURE TO RE-SIGN
Caprivi’s free hand policy and the Kaiser’s
nationalism meant that the reinsurance treaty
was not re-signed in 1890. The Russian’s took
this rightly to mean that in the event of a
problem in the Balkans, Germany would
support Austria, showing a clear departure
from Bismarck’s policies.
1896, KRUGER TELEGRAM.
After the failure of the Jameson raid, the British attempt to
start an uprising in the Transvaal, the Kaiser sent a telegram
to Paul Kruger to congratulate him on not needing German aid.
The Kaiser had wanted to send troops, Hohenlohe convinced
him not to. The Germans were positive about it, saw it as
standing up to Britain the oppressor, Britain was outraged
however, it did not see why Germany was messing in its own
affairs. It was clumsy policy-it did nothing for Weltpolitik,
but did anger Britain.
(Weltpolitik was the policy of attempting to get Germany a
voice amongst the other powers. It was to be done in various
ways, and only appeared a few years into the Wilhelmein era:
e.g. TRADE, NAVY (FLOTTENPOLITIK), EMPIRE,
CHALLENGE BRITAIN, DIRECT VOICE
With the appointment of Admiral Tirpitz came a large change
in the German navy. Both Tirpitz and the Kaiser wanted a
larger Navy, and as such bills were passed to increase the
size of the fleet. Helgoland was also bought to use as a naval
base in the north sea-to threaten Britain’s dominance of the
seas. (Britain would have to divert ships from the
Mediterranean, thus making it easier for other nationality
ships to trade there.) Other purposes were also to increase
Germany’s world voice-countries should take notice if you
have a large Navy at your side. (Gunboat diplomacy).
Overall Britain took notice, and built numerous more ships
including the Dreadnought as a response. Tirpitz had
originally wanted to build secretly, but that was soon
discovered. In all, it worsened Anglo-German relations,
without really threatening Britain.
1902, GERMANY AND THE
During the war, Germany sent armaments and aid to the
Boers fighting the British, as well as cheap loans. The
size of the shipments was not small-Kruger wished to
fully re-equip his troops. This was slightly nationalistic,
but not really Weltpolitik-it did nothing for colonies,
trade, or a direct voice. It did however, make Britain
feel weak and isolated. This caused Britain to come out
of splendid isolation, signing the 1904 ENTENTE
CORDIALE, and the TRIPLE ENTENTE in 1907. Germany
believed that these agreements were supposed to
threaten Germany, to stop Germany changing the ‘old
order’. Now Germany felt surrounded.
1905 1ST MOROCCAN CRISIS.
Morocco is weak, and France wants it-to control all of
North Africa. In a period of unrest, France demands
control of Moroccan Police and Army, Sultan refuses.
Kaiser gives a speech in Morocco proclaiming that
Moroccan independence and free trade should be upheld.
Weltpolitik, as Kaiser went with Armed Escort, used
Direct Voice, it involved Trade, and stopped other
powers increasing their own Colonies. It sparked a crisis
and a conference the 1906 AGADIR CONFERENCE,
where it is agreed France and Germany must stay out of
Morocco. Kaiser gains nothing, but loses nothing, and he
tests the 1904 ENTENTE. It seems strong-Britain
supports France. This convinces Germany that other
countries are ganging up on her.
1908, BOSNIAN CRISIS
Russia proposes to Austria, that if Austria appeals
for removal of the INTERDICT OF THE BLACK
FLAG, then Russia will not oppose an Austrian
annexation of Bosnia. Austria asks, but to no avail,
and annexes Bosnia anyway. It was a secret
agreement. Serbia angry, and Russia supports
Serbia, they want Serbia to have access to the
Adriatic sea, and propose a conference. Instead,
Germany threatens to support Austria, and Russia is
forced to back down. This only puts off problems.
1911, 2ND MOROCCAN CRISIS.
France believes that Germany is distracted in The Balkans, and
sends the French Foreign Legion into Morocco to crush a
rebellion. They then make a large loan to Morocco, so large that
they demand control of taxes and customs, and send in a
gunboat to Agadir. Germany says this breaks the terms of the
1906 AGADIR CONFERENCE, and announces it will send an
army to Southern Morocco, it does send a gunboat, the
PANTHER to Agadir too. Tension rises as both have a gunboat
in Moroccan waters. There is war fever in Britain and France,
Britain says it will support France. Again this was Weltpolitik,
but not particularly successful. Anglo-French relations
strengthened, France gains Morocco, and Germany gets given a
strip of the Congo as compensation. Not happy about it though.
1912, 1ST BALKANS WAR
Greece, Serbia, Montenegro, and Bulgaria form Balkans
League. They help revolts against the Ottomans in Albania
and Macedonia. Bulgaria attacks first, without warning, and
makes the most gains. The rest follow as quick as they can
and they all fight for whatever they can get. Between them
they get nearly all European Turkey, except Albania becomes
independent, and sign a peace treaty, 1913 TREATY OF
LONDON, before Austria and Russia can mobilise. However,
the terms make Serbia angry as it is land locked still.
Bulgaria thought however that more of Macedonia should be
theirs, as they did most of the fighting.
1913 2ND BALKANS WAR
1 month after 1913 TREATY OF LONDON, an
angry Bulgaria invaded Serbia and Greece in
the hope of winning more lands. However,
Turkey joins with Serbia and crushes Bulgaria.
The treaty drawn up removes nearly all
Bulgarian gains from 1ST BALKANS WAR.
Bulgaria humiliated, Serbia has a heightened
sense of confidence. It attacks Albania, but
withdraws after Austrian intervention.
1914. THE GREAT WAR.
Another problem in the Balkans caused another war, but
there were numerous other causes too.
Germany had some responsibility, due to it’s alliance
systems drawing other countries in. It could have also
been planning for war, there was a war conference in 1912,
and it would have been a good distraction against
The war was big because of Germany’s actions bringing
Europe into two camps, TRIPLE ALLIANCE and TRIPLE
But other powers were also responsible, Russia mobilised
first, for example.
Economic rivalry between the powers, as well as
nationalism, and Imperialism were other causes of
countries wanting to fight.