11.1 WWI

The War to End All Wars
11.1 Notes
• Arms race= build armies and navies
(Russia/Germany & Germany/England)
• Romantic
• Influence
• Alsace & Lorraine
• Pan-Slavism
– Slavic people share common
– Russia largest Slavic country,
support Serbia (Slavs)
• Balkans
– Austria-Hungary made up of
many ethnic groups
– Feared nationalism
– Same for Ottoman Empire
• European empire rivalries
• Britain threatened by Germany’s quick
The Tangled Web of Alliances
or Allianceism (made up)
• Central Powers (Triple Alliance)
– Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Empire
• Allies (Entente Cordiale)
– Britain, France, Russia (US and Italy eventually
• Germany was looking to isolate France, while
France was concerned about a German
• Both sides made agreements that meant
even a small incident was likely to mean all of
them being dragged in.
The Spark
Murder of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to
the Austro-Hungarian Empire
– Visited Sarajevo with wife Sophie
– Plot by Serbian
nationalist group, the
Black Hand
– Gavrilo Princip
murdered the
Archduke and his wife
on June 28, 1914
The July Crisis
• Austria strikes back
– Some saw assassination as an opportunity to
crush Serbia
– Kaiser Wilhelm II’s “blank check”
– July ultimatum
– Ultimatum = final set of demands
– Serbia must end all anti-Austrian agitation and
punish anyone involved in the murder plot
– Serbia failed to meet all the terms
War in Europe
• Austria declared war on Serbia on July 28,
• Russia mobilized in defense of Serbia
• Germany declared war on Russia
• France promised support to Russia
• Germany declared war on France
• Italy and Britain still neutral
War in Europe
• The Schlieffen Plan
– German generals wanted to
avoid a two-front war with
Russia and France
– General Alfred von Schlieffen
suggested attacking France first
– After defeating France, Germany
could take on Russia
Why Invade Belgium?
• European powers
had agreed upon
Belgian neutrality
• Neutrality =
supporting neither
side in a war
• Britain declared war
on Germany