Arms Race and the First World War

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Transcript Arms Race and the First World War

World War I
Chapter 25
The Beginning of the Twentieth-Century Crisis:
War and Revolution
Long-term Causes of WWI
• Nationalism
• Imperialism
• Militarism
• Alliances
• Crises
The Great Powers of Europe prior to 1914
• Great Britain
• Germany
• France
• Austria
• Russia
The Berlin Conference
• Tensions began
to mount between
rival European
• Conference called
in 1884 by Bismarck of Germany to defuse disputes
and set guidelines for colonization
Slide 5
The Berlin Conference
• Conference in Berlin essentially divided up
Africa – no African representatives were in
attendance (or were even invited)
• While dividing up the continent tribal territories
and rivalries were not considered. Boundaries
were drawn that divided tribes and coupled
enemies together, leading to modern problems
in Africa.
Slide 6
Scramble for Africa
Slide 7
Spheres of Influence (China)
• Local rulers maintain control of internal affairs
• Europeans control port towns
Slide 8
Bismarck’s Alliance System
• Dreikaiserbund-Three Emperor’s League (1873)
• Wilhelm I of Germany, Franz Joseph of Austria, Alexander II of Russia
• Russo-Turkish War (1877-78)• Bulgaria revolts against the Ottoman Empire
• Serbia and Montenegro respond by declaring war on Ottomans
• Russia self-proclaims protector of the Slavs and Orthodox Christians
• Treaty of San Stefano (1878)
• Ottomans defeated and must recognize the independence of Serbia, Montenegro, and
• Creates a large Bulgarian state (under Russian influence)
*Austria did not like the amount of power Russia was gaining in
the Balkans and neither did the British; thus increasing the
possibility of war
*The Congress of Berlin (1878) was called by Bismarck; the
“honest broker” to settle the dispute of San Stefano
*Treaty of Berlin (1878) replaced Treaty of San Stefano
1. Granted independence for Serbia, Montenegro, and Romania
2. Size of Bulgaria was reduced
3. Austria was allowed to occupy and administer Bosnia and
Herzegovina (but no annexation)
4. Great Britain gained right to occupy the island of Cyprus
*Bismarck intended for the Treaty of Berlin to show
Russian dominance over the eastern Balkans and
Austrian dominance over the western Balkans, but in
reality Austria gained more influence.
Treaty of San Stefano 1878
Treaty of Berlin 1878
• Dual Alliance 1879
• Three Emperor’s League collapses after Treaty of Berlin 1878
• Bismarck creates a defensive alliance with Austria
• Each would bring mutual aid if either was attacked by Russia
• Revival of the Three Emperor’s League 1881
• Bismarck is able to restore this alliance between Germany, Austria, and Russia
• The alliance was fragile due to the animosity between Russia and Austria over the
• Triple Alliance 1882
• Italy, Germany, and Austria
• Italy initiated this treaty due to their anger of losing influence in Tunisia to France
• Reinsurance Treaty 1887
• Continued conflict over the Balkans led Russia to not renew the Three Emperor’s
• However Bismarck is able to convince Russia to sign a treaty with Germany only
• “benevolent neutrality” in case either went to war with exceptions
• Germany attacked France
• Russia attacked Austria
• Bismarck is dismissed by Wilhelm II 1890
• Wilhelm II/Germany does not renew the Reinsurance Treaty with Russia;
Wilhelm II felt that an autocratic Russia and a Republican France would
never create an alliance with each other…oh, how wrong he was
• Wilhelm II wants “a place in the sun”
• Franco-Russian Alliance 1894
• Secret military alliance; originally aimed at Great Britain’s presence in the
• Secret Italo-French Agreement 1902
• Italy would recognize French claims in Africa; and France would recognize Italy’s
future claims in Africa
• This would help France during the First Moroccan Crisis
• Entente Cordial 1904
• Agreement between France and Great Britain primarily over colonial claims
• France recognized British claims over Egypt; Great Britain recognized French claims
over Morocco
Alliances and the First World War:
Triple Entente, 1907
In 1907 Russia joined Britain and France to make the Triple Entente.
So by 1914 Europe had divided into two massive superpower blocs.
People thought this BALANCE OF POWER would keep the
Wilhelm II’s Weltpolitik
• The aim of Weltpolitik (world policy) was to transform Germany into
a global power through aggressive diplomacy, the acquisition of
overseas colonies, and the development of a large navy.
We have conquered for ourselves a place in the sun. It will
now be my task to see to it that this place in the sun shall
remain our undisputed possession, in order that the sun's
rays may fall fruitfully upon our activity and trade in foreign
parts... The more Germans go out upon the waters, whether
it be in journeys across the ocean, or in the service of the
battle flag, so much the better it will be for us.
A speech by Kaiser Wilhelm to the North German Regatta Association, 1901.
Naval Race 1898-1914
• Between Great Britain and Germany
• Germany wanted to expand its navy to 2/3 the size of Great Britain
• This plan to increase its navy was sparked by Great Britain’s invasion
of the Transvaal and the eventual Boer War
• 1902-1910 Great Britain’s navy went through massive expansion to
keep its naval dominance over Germany
• Technologically advanced ships like the HMS Dreadnought, became
the British standard
HMS Dreadnought
• Haldane Mission-Great Britain sent a mission to
Germany to negotiate the number of ships both sides
could build; the mission was a failure due to Wilhelm II’s
announcement of a naval construction bill to the
Reichstag the day before Haldane’s arrival
• The naval race would be a primary reason Great Britain
would join the Triple Entente
• By 1913-Due to financial constraints and increasing
tension with Russia, Germany began to focus more on
U-Boats than large warships; money was also used to
increase army needs along the German-Russian border
Slides 24-36 are from John Clare’s Website:
Arms Race and the First World War:
Essential Background - 1
e.g. the Daily Mail ran MANY stories
(such as this one by William Le Queux)
imagining German invasions.
c.f. also John Buchan, The Thirty-Nine
Steps (about German spies).
The Arms Race was as much about nations’ INSECURITY as about their
Arms Race and the First World War:
Increase in Spending
Defence Spending, 1870-1914
There was a four-fold increase in defence spending of the great powers, 18701914.
Arms Race and the First World War:
Attitude towards war
But note that militarism is also a government's attitude of mind, seeing war as
a valid means of foreign policy.
(GERMANY was especially militaristic.)
Arms Race and the First World War:
Armies - 1
GERMANY, worried because it was in-between France and Russia, built up
the largest land army. The German army was accepted as being the biggest
and the best in the world.
Arms Race and the First World War:
Armies - 2
This Russian postcard of
1914 shows Russia
(symbolised by a woman)
nailing the German eagle to
a pillory after a war.
But other countries built up their land armies too – in 1914, the fastest growing
army was that of RUSSIA. This worried GERMANY a lot.
Arms Race and the First World War:
Armies - 3
As well as their STANDING ARMIES, the nations introduced
CONSCRIPTION, so they also had large numbers of trained RESERVES.
All the nations except Britain had HUGE armies.
Arms Race and the First World War:
Essential Background - 2
This British postcard
interprets Kaiser Wilhelm’s
statement about wanting ‘a
place in the sun’ – it shows
him making everybody in the
world bow down to him.
IMPERIALISM led to an arms race … in 1900, Kaiser Wilhelm said that
GERMANY wanted ‘a place in the sun’ – i.e., that Germany wanted an
empire as big as Britain’s. This TERRIFIED the British.
Arms Race and the First World War:
Navies - 1
If GERMANY was to have an empire, it needed a navy, so in 1900 Admiral
Tirpitz introduced the German Navy Law, which announced a huge
programme of building warships.
Arms Race and the First World War:
Navies - 2
Both BRITAIN and GERMANY started building Dreadnoughts – the most
advanced class of warship in the world. The Dreadnought essentially reduced
everybody else’s number of warships to zero.
Arms Race and the First World War:
Navies - 3
Building Dreadnoughts, 1906-1914
1906 1907 1908 1909 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914
Great Britain
There was a race between Germany and Britain to build the most
Dreadnoughts. The graph shows the number built each year.
Arms Race and the First World War:
Navies - 4
Reginald McKenna, First Lord
of the Admiralty 1908-11.
In 1909 he told Parliament that
the German navy was just about
to become more powerful than
the Royal Navy, and he
instigated the press scarecampaign that forced Parliament
to build more Dreadnoughts.
The British government planned to build four Dreadnoughts in 1909, but the
British public panicked, demanding: 'We want eight and we won't wait'.
Arms Race and the First World War:
Navies - 5
Total Dreadnoughts
1906 1907 1908 1909 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914
In the end, Great Britain built many more Dreadnoughts than Germany.
Arms Race and the First World War:
The arms race was tied in to both NATIONALISM and IMPERIALISM. It
increased SUSPICION and HATRED of other nations - and it gave the
nations the WHEREWITHAL to wage war.
Crises Leading to WWI
Let the Crises Begin…
• First Moroccan Crisis 1905
• Wilhelm II/Germany provoked a crisis with France over its claim to Morocco;
Wilhelm II said Germany had a stake in Morocco and wanted its independence
• Algeciras Conference 1906
• Germany only had support from Austria-Hungary
• Great Britain, Russia, and Italy supported France’s claim to Morocco
First Bosnian Crisis 1908-1909
• Austria annexes Bosnia and Herzegovina
• Russia and Serbia are both outraged at this event
• Russia and Serbia back down once Germany gives “full support” to
• Once again Russia is humiliated
Second Moroccan Crisis 1911
• Germany renews objections to France’s claim over Morocco; sends a
warship to the area
• France relents and cedes part of French Congo to Germany
• Germany then recognizes France’s claim to Morocco
The Second Moroccan Crisis alarmed both
Great Britain and France. So much so that
Great Britain begins to concentrate its navy
in the North Sea, and France sends the bulk
of its navy to the Mediterranean.
First Balkan War 1912-13
• Creation of the Balkan League (Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, and
• Balkan League declares war on the Ottoman Empire (Turkey)
• Treaty of London 1913
• Austria persuades the great powers (except Russia) to create the new
Balkan state of Albania
• Russian and Serbia are infuriated-once again both lose influence in the
Second Balkan War 1913
• Serbia did not receive access to the Adriatic Sea that it sought during
the First Balkan War; wants part of Bulgaria’s share in Macedonia
• Serbia, Montenegro, Greece, Romania, and Turkey go to war with
• Bulgaria loses and must give territory to Romania; Serbia and Greece
get most of Macedonia
Alliances and the First World War:
The Balkans
But Russia was also allied to Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria. When
trouble erupted in the Balkans in 1914, the nations found their alliances
dragged them into war…
Alliances and the First World War:
How the Alliances caused war
… like mountain climbers tied to the same rope.
(i.e. it is arguable that THE SYSTEM OF ALLIANCES CAUSED
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Europe in 1914
World War I
The Great War
The Road to World War I
• Nationalism and Internal Dissent
• Nationalism
• Diplomacy based on national states to bring peace
• Led to competition instead of cooperation
• Socialist labor movements create fear
• Militarism
• Conscription
• Influence of military leaders
• The Outbreak of War: The Summer of 1914
• The effects of the Balkan Wars prior to 1914
• Assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand and wife Sophia, June 28,
• German “full support” to Austria (Blank Check)
• Russian mobilization
• Schlieffen Plan
Who is fighting who???
• Triple Entente becomes the Allied
Powers: Great Britain, Russia, France
and eventually Italy and the United
• The Triple Alliance becomes the
Central Powers: Germany,
Austria-Hungary, Ottoman
Empire, and Bulgaria
4 Steps to War
Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia
Russia begins to mobilize for war with Austria-Hungary
(defending Serbia)
Germany initiates the Schlieffen Plan leading Germany to declare
war on Russia and France
Great Britain declares war on Germany due to its invasion of a
neutral Belgium
Special Note: Once mobilization of land armies
begin, it is impossible to stop.
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The War 1914-1915: Illusions & Stalemate
• European attitudes toward the beginning of war
• Failure of the Schlieffen Plan
• First Battle of the Marne, September 6-10, 1914
• Russian failures
• Battle of Tannenberg, August 30, 1914
• Battle of Masurian Lakes, September 15, 1914
• Austrian failures
• Galicia and Serbia
• Germans come to Austria’s aid
Battle Scene in Northern France
The War 1916-1917: The Great Slaughter
• Trench warfare
“No-man’s land”
“Softening up” the enemy
Battle of Verdun, 70,000 lost
Battle of the Somme,
• Heaviest one-day loss in WWI
Trench Warfare in France
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The Western Front, 1914-1918
The Widening of the War
• Ottoman Empire enters the war
• Battle of Gallipoli, April 1915
• Italy enters the war, May 1915, against Austria-Hungary
• Bulgaria enters the war, September 1915, on the side of the
Central Powers
• Middle East
• Lawrence of Arabia (1888-1935)
• Entry of the United States
• The United States tried to remain neutral
• Sinking of the Lusitania, May 7, 1915
Return to unrestricted submarine warfare January 1917
• United States enters the war, April 6, 1917
• Bolshevik Revolution, 1917
A New Kind of Warfare
• New Technology
Machine Guns
The Home Front: The Impact of Total
• Governments become more centralized
• Conscription
• Effects on Economics
• Public order and public opinion
• Dealing with unrest
• Defense of the Realm Act
• Propaganda
• Social Impact of Total War
• Labor benefits
• New roles for women
• Male concern over wages
• Women began to demand equal pay
• Gains for women
War and Revolution: Russia
• The Russian Revolution
• Nicholas II was an autocratic ruler
• Russia not prepared for war
• Influence of Rasputin
• The March Revolution
Problems in Petrograd
March of the women, March 8, 1917
Calls for a general strike
Soldiers join the marchers
Provisional Government takes control
Alexander Kerensky (1881-1970)
Tried to carry on the war
Soviets sprang up
Bolshviks the most important
Russian Revolutions
• The Bolshevik Revolution
• Under the leadership of Vladimir Ulianov, 1870-1924
• Sent back to Russia in a sealed train by the Germans
• “Peace, land and bread”
• Bolsheviks control Petrograd and Moscow soviets
• Collapse of Provisional Government, November 6-7, 1917
• Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, March 3, 1918
• Civil war
Bolshevik (Red) army and Anti-Bolshevik (White) army
Red Terror by the Cheka
Allied invasion
Differences among the white army
Communists and “War communism”
Invasion of allied troops
Communists will control Russia
The Last Year of the War
• Last German offensive, March 21-July 18, 1918
• Allied counterattack, Second Battle of the Marne,
July 18, 1918
• General Ludendorff informs German Leaders that
the war is lost
• Wilhelm II abdicates, November 9, 1918
• German Republic established (Weimar Republic)
• Armistice, November 11, 1918
The Peace Settlement
• Palace of Versailles, January 1919, 27 Allied nations
• Woodrow Wilson, Fourteen Points
• Pragmatism of other states
• Lloyd George determined to make Germany pay
• Georges Clemenceau of France concerned with his
nation’s security
• January 25, 1919, the principle of the League of
Nations adopted
The Treaty of Versailles
• Five separate treaties (Germany, Austria, Hungary,
Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire)
• The most important was the Treaty of Versailles,
June 18, 1919
• Article 231, War Guilt Clause
• 100,000 man army
• Loss of Alsace and Lorraine
• Sections of Prussia to the new Polish state
• German charges of a “dictated peace”
The Other Peace Treaties
• German and Russian Empires lost territory in eastern Europe
• New nation-states: Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland,
Czechoslovakia, Austria, and Hungary
• Romania acquired additional lands from Russia, Hungary, and
• Yugoslavia
• Compromises will lead to future problems
• Minorities in every eastern European states
• Ottoman Empire dismembered
• Promises of independence of Arab states in the Middle East
• Mandates
• France – Lebanon and Syria
• Britain – Iraq and Palestine
• United States Senate rejects the Versailles Peace Treaty
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Europe in 1919
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East in