The Causes of the Great War







- King ruled over Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Caribbean Islands, and others
- Tried to acquire more colonial colonies
-didn’t have an overseas empire 
- didn’t colonize 
-exits in Africa and SE Asia 
- wanted major power
- Late into empire building
- Had a few poor and small African colonies
- Felt the need to expand to show power, even into other ‘s territories

-the last of the old empire
-No foreign colonies
-No overseas empire 
-extended borders in southern Europe 
-Small countries struggling against it
- tried to seize territory from Japan
- lost naval battle against Japan 
- failure made them angry and easily provoked


- Strongest Navy, but not the largest army
- Military policy: Navy must be twice as large and powerful as other country’s navy
- large population with proud military
- leaders were old and corrupt
- land armies
- outdated and poor equipment
- weak navy
- lost to Germany
- Spent A LOT of money in military development and tech.
- Was not afraid to start wars
- Believed strongly in the use of planes
-weak and feeble 
-practice only in fighting small countries in the south 
-led by old fashioned commanders 
-lacks confidence 
-can fight small countries
lack-Russia has a big population so it has a big army
-Has some of the best war generals in Europe
-But the country is so big that it becomes hard to protect
-Russia can only win a war where it is attacking, not defending


- King George IV, rules the country with an elected government (believed they invented modern democracy) 
- Believe they are most civilized and “best” overall nation
- napoleon almost controlled the whole continent
- his power faded
- france lost to Prussia in Franco-Prussian war
- 30 years old: strong, but young country
- Proud, vibrant culture
- Desired to prove its strength in war (which it did)
-tense and politically divided 
-wants to revive old order of kings 

-     Russia is alienated by other European nations

-     Feel like they have something to prove

-     Navy almost doesn’t exist

-     Huge population and huge country make them feel invincible

-     Napoleon couldn’t survive Russian winter


- Close ties with Germany
- Main goal is to preserve balance of power
-Very old alliance with Belgium
- Rising power in Germany means Britain was likely to become allies with enemies of Germany

- had a hard time making alliances
- does hidden alliances
- looking for anyone against Germany
- Allied with Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire
- Tried to keep alliances a secret, but at the same, time, thought of it as another way to prove its own strength.
-avoids conflicts with larger countries (army)
- Alliance with Germany 
-strength of Germany enough to make them feel confident enough to attack other smaller countries without fear
- Russia borders Germany and Austria-Hungary
- Neither country wants to work with Russia 
- Russia often found itself out of European politics, much due to Germany
- Russia was ready to make an alliance with any country that hates Germany as well 
- If Russia wanted to fight they would find reason by involving themselves in the chaos of Southern Europe




Long Range Causes




- In early 1800’s, a great leader of France – Napoleon -  created a large pan-European empire


- Controlled vast areas of Europe redrawing national boundaries, this short political control of one country over many others is called I hegemony


- Prussia, Austria, Russia, and Great Britain formed an alliance – a group of nations designed to work together in a military agreement to defeat the French


- In 1815 the alliance defeated France




Collective Security


- Soon after the powers of Europe decided to engage in a process called collective security


- Designed to act as a way to ensure no one power becomes hegemonic over the others. Al of the nations cam together to ensure conflicts were settles peacefully


- Known as the Concert of Europe




France-Prussian War


- At one time some nations wanted their independence


- Italy and Prussia were examples of this


-  Prussia which is known as Germany today wanted to have a greater German state and they were very powerful at that time  under the leadership of otto Von Bismarck


- France was the major power in Prussia’s way, however Prussia defeated France with ease


- France was embarrassed by their los of Alsace and Lorraine (2 of their provinces) and therefore wanted revenge



Other Notes


·         Germany navy expansion was starting to catch up to Britain’s


·         1900-1905 14 Germany battleships launched


·         Every time Britain launched its turbine advanced battleships, them and Germany   grew  farther apart


·         Archduke boarded train to Serbia


·         3 Assassins tried to kill him


·         First one threw a bomb but missed


·         Other assassins failed


·         Wanted to visit hospital, driver did not know the new trip and went to the museum

but stopped in side road.


·         Assassin saw the stopped car, shot Archduke and his wife before being               apprehended


·         New technology made news of the shooting travel instantly around Europe


·         Most other European nations did not care


·         The killing gave them a reason to destroy Serbia, but they always wanted to


·         Austria sent Serbia ultimatum


·         Berlin quietly returned leaders home one by one


·         Germany told Russia to stop its armies or they would mobilize


- Schleifen plan: 90% of Germany’s army goes to France and 10% to fight Russia


- He died before the plan could be put into action, another general altered it


- It failed since Belgium was neutral and Russia was waiting


- Belgium didn’t let Germany cross through their country


- Germany going through Belgium brought Britain into the war due to their alliance with them