European Alliances and Counter – Alliances
In 1900 five of the European Great powers were divided into two armed camps.One camp consisted of the Central powers-Germany, Australia-Hungary and Italy.Under the guidance of Bismarck,they had formed the Triple Alliance in 1882.The understanding was that Germany and Austria would help each other.The other camp consisted of France and Russia.Their alliance was formed in 1894 with the promise of mutual help if Germany attacked either of them.An isolated Britian wanted to break her isolation and approached Germany twice but in vain.As Japan was the ally of Russia,it preferred to ally with Britain (1902).The Anglo-Japanese Alliance prompted France to seek an alliance with Britain (1902).The Anglo-Japanese Alliance prompted France to seek an alliance with Britain to resolve colonial disputes over Morocco and Egypt.This resulted in the Entente Cordiale(1904).In return in the Entente Cordiale (1904).In return for letting the French have a free hand in Morocco, France agreed to recognize the British occupation of Egypt . Britain subsequently reached an agreement with Russia over Persia,Afghnis an and Tibet.Thus was formed the Triple Entente of Britain, France and Russia.
Violent Forms of Nationalism
With the growth of Nationalism,the attitude of”my country right or wrong I support it” developed.The love for one country demanded hatred for another country.England’s jingoism, France’s chauvinism and Germany’s kultur were militant forms of Nationalism,contributing decisively to the outbreak of war.
Aggressive Attitude of German Emperor
Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm || of Germany was ruthlessly assertive and aggressive.The Kaiser proclaimed that Germany would be the leader of the world.The German navy was expanded.The sea being considered a presserve of England ever since Napoleon’s defeat at Trafalgar (1805), Germany’s aggressive diplomacy and rapid building of naval bases convinced Britain that a German navy could be directed only against her.Therfore , Britain embarked on a naval race, which heightened the tension between the two powers.
Hostility of France towards Germany
France and Germany were old rivals.Bitter memories of the defeat of 1871 and loss of Alsace and Lorraine to Germany rankled in the minds of the French.German interference in Morocco added to the bitterness.The British agreement with France ovr Morocco was not consented by Germany.So Kaiser Wilhelm|| intertionally recognissed the independence of the Sultan and demanded an international of the Sultan and demanded an international conference to decide on the future of Morocco.
Imperial power politics in the Balkans
The young Turk Revolution of 1908 ,an attempt at creating a strong and modern government in Turkey, provided both Austria and Russia with the opportunity to resume there activities in tha Blankans.Austria and Russia met and agreed that Austria should annexe Bosnia and Herzegovina,while Russia should have freedom to move her warships, through the Dardanelles and the Bosporus ,to the Mediterranean.sokn after this , Austria announced the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.Austria’s action aroused intence opposition from Serbia.Germany gave Austria firm support.Germany went to the extent of promising that if Austria invaded Serbia and in consequence Russia helped Serbia, Germany would come to Austria’s assistance.The enmity between Austria and Serbia , Germany would come to Austria’s assistance.The enmity between Austria and Serbia led to the Outbreak of war in1914.
The Balkan wars
Turkey was a powerful country in the south west of Europe in the first half of eighteenth century.The Ottoman Empire extended over the Balkans and across Hungary to Poland .The Empire contained many non-Turkish people in the Balkans.Both the Turks and their subjects of different nationalities in the Balkans indulged in the most frightful massacres and atrocities.The Armenian genocide is a frightful example.Taking advantage of the political and economic instability of the Turkish Empire from the second half of the eighteenth century,Greeks followed by others began to secede,one after another,from Turkish control.Macedonia had a mixed population.There were rivalries among Greece ,Serbia,Bulgaria and later Montenegro for the control ofbit.In March 1912 they formed the Balkan League.The League attacked and defeated Turkish forces in the first Balkan war (1912-13). According to the Treaty of London signed in May 1913 the new state of Albania was created and the other Balkan states divided up Macedonia between them.Turkey was reduced to the area around Constantinople.
The division of Macedonia, however,did not satisfy Bulgaria.Bulgaria attacked Serbia and Greece.But Bulgaria was easily defeated.The second Balkan war ended with the signing of the Treaty of the Treaty of Bucharest in August 1913.
The climax to these events in the Balkans occurred in Bosnia.On 28 June 1914 the Archduke Franz Ferdinand,nephew and heir to Franz Joseph, Emperor of Austria-Hungary,was assassinated by Princip ,a Bosnian serb.Austria saw in this an opportunity to the eliminate Serbia as an independent state.Germany thought that it should strike first.It declared war on Russia on 1Augest . Germany had no quarrel with France,but because of the Franco-Russia Alliance ,the German army which was planning a war against both France and Russia wanted to use the occasion to its advantage.The German violation of Belgian neutrality forced Britain to enter war.