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European Studies

The origin of First World War 18901914
Eighth class

Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of
Science and Technology, Karachi

) All the nations of Europe were militaristic.1.   (This often includes the influence of government by the generals. but the governments of Germany and Austria-Hungary were especially so. seeing war as a valid means of foreign policy. . but also a government's attitude of mind.  Militarism This is not just an arms race.

   In 1914. 97 warships •   Austria-Hungary: 810. .000 soldiers. their armed forces stood like this: •   Germany: 2.000 soldiers.000 soldiers.200.000 soldiers. 28 warships.000 soldiers. so all the others felt obliged to increase their armed forces to keep the ‘balance of power’. •   Italy: 750.125. 185 warships As one country increased its armies.Figures of armed strength of some nations of Europe All the countries of Europe built up their armies and navies. 30 warships •   Great Britain: 711. 36 warships •   France: 1.000 soldiers.200. 62 warships •   Russia: 1.

not only on the standing army.   One historian has estimated the total number of men (including reservists) that the countries could thus call upon as:  •   Germany: 8.5 million  •   Austria-Hungary: 3 million .5 million men  •   Russia: 4.Standing army  Another thing that the countries of Europe did was to train all their young men so that if there was a war they could call. but on huge numbers of trained reservists.4 million  •   France: 3.

   At first.   c. Britain made an entente with Russia.   France in 1894 made an alliance with Russia. the countries of Europe sought protection by forming alliances.   In 1907. Great Britain). thus forming the Triple Entente (France. and b.   .which became the Triple Alliance (or Central Powers Alliance) when Italy joined in 1882. Russia.Alliances As well as seeking protection in the size of their armies. Alarmed by this strong central bloc: a. and concentrated instead on the Dual Alliance of 1879 between Germany and Austria-Hungary .   Kaiser Wilhelm overturned this. Bismarck had kept Germany friendly with Russia. but a promise to work together).   In 1904 France made an agreement with Britain called the Entente Cordiale (‘Friendly Relationship’ – not a formal alliance.


   This led to rebellions and terrorism which destablised the Balkans. but in 1900 many Serbs were still ruled by Turkey and Austria-Hungary.   The most nationalistic of all were the Serbs – Serbia had became an independent country by the Treaty of San Stefano in 1878.    Slav nationalism among the people who lived there. and the Germans sang: ‘Deutschland uber alles’.   French politicians like Clemenceau and Poincare (who had been around in 1870) HATED the Germans.   People were enraged when someone insulted their country.Nationalism  EVERYONE was nationalist in those days. especially Serbia. and Serbia was determined to rule over them all. .   It made the people of countries like Britain.   It made the races ruled by Turkey (such as the Romanians and the Bulgarians) and by Austria-Hungary (such as the Serbs) want to be free to rule themselves.   In the Balkans this was called ‘Panslavism’ because the people who wanted to be free were all Slav races. Germany and France more bellicose (warlike) – the British sang: ‘Rule Britannia’ and ‘Land of Hope and Glory’.  b. and this helped cause war in two ways:  a.

Imperialism  Imperialism is when a country increases their power and wealth by bringing additional territories under their control. . This was especially true because of the raw materials these areas could provide. The increasing competition and desire for greater empires led to an increase in confrontation that helped push the world into World War I. Before World War 1. Africa and parts of Asia were points of contention amongst the European countries.

Different colonial rivalry among big powers which led to occurrence of WWI 1. 3. 4. 6. 5. 2. 8. Japan & China over Korea and Formosa US & Britain over Venezuela Britain & France over Sudan Spain & United States over Cuba & Philippines Britain & Dutch over South Africa Germany & France over Morocco Russia & Japan over Manchuria Austria & Russia over Balkan region . 7.

France Rivals with Austria for control of the Balkans Strained relations with Britain. Russia Wanted the return of the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine from Germany Russia Tsar Nicholas II (1894-1917) Monarchy Britain. .Europe Before 1914: the Main Powers Member States of Triple Entente Name Head of State Allies Disputes Britain King George V (1901-1936) Constitutional Monarchy France. Russia Naval arms race economic rivalry with Germany France President Raymond Poincare Parliamentary Democracy Britain.

Rivals with France over Alsace. Germany Rivalry with Russia over the Balkans. Britain over her navy. Austria. Territorial disputes with her ally. . Germany Disputes with France in North Africa large Italian communities lived in the Austrian Empire. Austria- Hungary Kaiser Franz Joseph (1848-1916) Constitutional Monarchy Italy.Hungary.Member States of Triple Alliance Germany Kaiser William II (1888-1918) Constitutional Monarchy Italy. Italy Italy King Victor Emmanuel III (1900-1946) Constitutional Monarchy Austria.