- Slides: 38
The Causes of World War I
Long-term Causes of World War I § I. Bismarck’s Web of Alliances § Main aim isolate France; stay allied with Russia – prevent a two-front war § 1) The Dreikaiserbund (1873): G / A-H / R § 2) The Dual Alliance (1879): G / A-H § Replaced Dreikaiserbund; mutual assistance § 3) The Three Emperor’s Alliance (1881): § G / R / A-H; neutrality if others attacked
Long-term Causes of World War I § I. Bismarck’s Web of Alliances (cont’d) § 4) The Triple Alliance (1882): G / A-H / It § Mutual assistance § 5) The Reinsurance Treaty (1887): G & R § Three Emperor’s Alliance ends problems in the Balkans
Long-term Causes of World War I § II. The New Course & Weltpolitik: § Kaiser Wilhelm II 1888 § 1890 – resignation of Bismarck; abrupt foreign policy change § 1) Germany’s “New Course” § Intended to simplify Bismarck’s system § 1890: Reinsurance Treaty not renewed § Difficult balance between A-H & R § Hope for an Anglo-German alliance
§ Dropping the Pilot. Caricature by Sir John Teniel, first published in the British magazine Punch, March 1890. Showing German Emperor Wilhelm II and the leaving Chancellor Otto von Bismarck. The reference to Bismarck as a "pilot" comes from an earlier cartoon from the Puck magazine from Saint Louis, Missouri. For that magazine, the cartoonist Joseph Keppler made one titled "The Master Pilot of the Age", featuring Bismarck on a ship, having brought it out to the high seas, from which the stars and gods looked down. This symbolized Bismarck's accomplishment of forming the Kaiserreich, which enabled Germany to be recognized as a great power.
Long-term Causes of World War I § Results of the New Course § Conditions created for the Franco-Russian Alliance of 1894 § Militarily mutual assistance if either was attacked by Germany § Also agreed to immediate mobilization if any Triple Alliance member mobilized § Politically mutual support in imperial disputes
Long-term Causes of World War I § 2) Weltpolitik § 1896: “Nothing must henceforth be settled in the world without the intervention of Germany & the German Emperor. ” § Wilhelm II § Rejection of Bismarck’s “continental policy” § Emphasis was now on overseas expansion § “We don’t want to put anyone else in the shade, but we too demand our place in the sun. ” § von Bülow (German FM)
(from Left) von Bülow, Bismarck, & Wilhelm II
Long-term Causes of World War I § III. Imperialism § Main source of tension between European powers in 1880 -1905 was colonial rivalries § Domination of Africa & the Far East § Initially driven by economic motives § Later, empire building took place due to: § Social Darwinism – spread of Western Civilization was “God’s Work” § Nationalistic competition § Ex. The Jameson Raid & Kruger telegram
Colonization in 1800
Imperialism in 1900
Colonialism in 1945
The “New Imperialism” § Cecil Rhodes: “Expansion is everything, … I would annex the planets if I could. ” § Refers to the colonial expansion adopted by Europe and, later, Japan and the US, during the 19 th and early 20 th centuries § expansion took place between 1830 to 1914 § The period is distinguished by an unprecedented pursuit of overseas territorial acquisitions
§ Cecil Rhodes: Envisions a Cape Town to Cairo Railroad
§ Pygmies and a European explorer. Some pygmies would be exposed in human zoos, such as Ota Benga displayed by eugenicist Madison Grant in the Bronx Zoo.
§ A shocked mandarin in Manchu robe in the back, with Queen Victoria (Great Britain), Wilhelm II (Germany), Nicholas II (Russia), Marianne (France), and an Emperor Meiji (Japan) discussing how to cut up a plate with Chine ("China" in French) written on it.
China: Spheres of Influence (1900)
Long-term Causes of World War I § IV. The Emergence of the Alliance System § Weltpolitik brings G & B into conflict § Admiral von Tirpitz (Sec. of the Navy) – believed Germany should mount a naval challenge to Britain § The Naval Law of 1898 was pushed through the Reichstag (17 ships over next 7 years); followed by a second Naval Law in 1900 § Fleet was to be used as “the lever of Weltpolitik”
Alfred von Tirpitz and the German Imperial Navy § The Wittelsbach class (const. 1899 to 1904) § The Braunschweig class (const. 1901 to 1906) § The Deutschland class (const. 1903 and 1908)
German High Seas Fleet, with a member of the Braunschweig class in the lead.
Deutschland class battleships in line
Long-term Causes of World War I § IV. The … Alliance System (cont’d) § Britain responds to the challenge – rejects “Splendid Isolation” § Britain begins to seek allies: § Clashed w/ France @ Fashoda § Was a rival w/ Russia in the Far East § Now faced a German naval challenge § 1902 – alliance with Japan § 1904 – Anglo-French Entente
Imperialism in 1900
Long-term Causes of World War I § IV. The … Alliance System (cont’d) § The entente with France § Not a formal alliance § Settled rivalry over colonial issues § Set a completely new direction for Anglo. French relations § 1907 – Britain and Russia reach agreement on Persia, Tibet, & Afghanistan § 1907 – Triple Entente formed (B, F, & R)
§ 1914 Russian poster. The upper inscription reads "agreement".
Long-term Causes of World War I § V. The Naval Race: § 1906 Britain launched a super-battleship, the HMS Dreadnought § Literally “feared nothing” (speed, range, and firepower were far superior to any other existing battleship) § Ironic takes the BB race back to zero since all others were obsolete
Pre-Dreadnought – the Lord Nelson-class battleship HMS Agamemnon
HMS Dreadnought 1906
SMS Rheinland, a Nassau-class battleship, Germany's first response to the Dreadnought
Long-term Causes of World War I § V. The Naval Race: § By 1909 Britain ordered more ships constructed to respond to Germany § Naval race changed British public opinion, newspapers & fiction now portrayed Germany (rather than France or Russia) as the enemy threatening Britain
Long-term Causes of World War I § VI. The Situation in the Balkans: § Conflicting interests of OE, A-H, & Russia § A) Ottoman Empire: “ the Eastern Question” § Balkan independence movements § B) Austria-Hungary: receding power § Slavic nationalism (Serbia Russia) § C) Russia: Slavic nationalism § Warm-water ports