FIRST WORLD WAR 1914-1918German soldier with a gas mask.
First World War or the “Great War”• The First World War was named by its contemporaries as the “Great War” but, Why?• For many reasons...
This war had characteristics that not otherwar had showed before:• It was the first conflict in history to put in arms countries from all around the world.• Frontlines stretched through out the five continents and the war had consequences all around the world.
The conflict introduced a new concept of war, “Total War”. Thismeant using all the resources of the country, both human andeconomic, to beat the enemies. British women working in a weapon factory.
During the war new weapons were developed and new ways ofconducting battle were introduced to break the stalemate thatcame down after the Battle of Marne in 1914. Bigger and more powerful canons like this one were developed during the war.
Tanks and fighters appear for the first time U-boatsMore powerful canons Poison Gas Machineguns
BUT ITS CONTEMPORARIES SPECIALLY REMEMBERTHIS WAR AS THE GREAT WAR BECAUSE OF...
... ITS BRUTALITY AND DEVASTATING EFFECTS. 9 million casualties And a higher number of injured 6 million disabled 57.000 British soldiers died in the Battle of Somme onFrench soldiers charging in Verdun the first day. 420.000 between July and November.
To be able to understand the process that ledEurope and the whole world to war, we mustbear in mind several factors. And that is what we are going to learn in the following days.
1. Causes of the First World War.• There are many LONG-TERM SHORT-TERM factors that we CAUSES CAUSES must bear in mind • Bismarck’s • Conflicts and to understand the Systems. rivalries outbreak of First • Colonial between countries Causes. World War. To • Economic built up. make it easier to Causes. • The understand, histori • The Arms ambitions and fears of ans have divided Race. Germany. • Ideological these factors in: Causes. • The Balkan Crises
A. The Bismarck’s Systems• During the last third of the 19th century the European policy was dominated by the German chancellor Bismarck. Once Germany was unified in 1871 his goal was to consolidate the power and prestige of the new nation in the European Concert.• Due to this, Bismarck developed an aggressive diplomacy with two goals: – To undermine UK’s leadership in the European Concert. – To isolate France whom they considered their traditional enemy. Otto von Bismarck
The Bismarck’s Systems• The first part of the plan was easy to accomplish due to UK’s policy of avoiding getting involved in European politics. However, for the second part Bismarck had to develop a complicated system of alliances that would determine the system of alliances before the outbreak of war.• These game of alliances are known as the Bismarck’s Systems
The First System (Entente ofthe 3 Emperors (1873-1878)• In 1873 Bismarck organised a meeting with the 3 emperors (Wilhelm I of Germany, Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary and Alexander II of Russia.• The objective of the meeting was to establish an alliance with them that would ensure his rearguard in the case of the outbreak of war with France.• Bismarck justified the alliance alleging that France as a republic was a thread for their monarchical regimes.
Problems with the Entente• The alliance was precarious because of Austrian and Russian rivalries in the Balkans.• Russia invades the Ottoman Empire in 1878 breaking the treaty.• The international community forces Russia to retreat.• Austria-Hungary gets control of Bosnia- Herzegovina.• Germany is forced to choose between keeping its alliance with Austria-Hungary or Russia.
The Second System (TheDouble Alliance 1879-1887)• In 1879 Germany renews its treaty with Austria- Hungary. It’s a military agreement to provide aid in case of war.• The Double alliance will prove to be the longest one as Germany entered the war in 1914 due to it.• To reinforce the system Bismarck signs a new treaty with Russia in 1881.• Finally in 1882 makes another treaty with Italy. This new treaty is called “The Triple Alliance”.• At this stage Bismarck holds the greatest power in Europe.
Problems with the system• Italy has rivalries with Austria- Hungary in Croatia.• Russian and Austrian rivalries in the Balkans have increased.
The Third System (1887-1890)• The third system tried to solve the problems.• Germany renews its treaty with Russia. The “Reinsurance Treaty”.• Germany also renews “The Triple Alliance” with Italy.
Problems with the system• However Bismarck’s effort to isolate France from 1888 Russia is provided with cheap loans by France.• Moreover in 1890 the new Kaiser Wilhelm II decides not to ratify the “Reinsurance Treaty” with Russia. France signs a military, economical and financial treaty with Russia ”Franco-Russian Alliance” (1892).• Meanwhile Italy secretly signs a treaty with Great Britain in 1887.• In addition in 1904 Great Britain signs a treaty with France “The Entente Cordiale”• Finally the Anglo-Russian treaty in 1907 sets the “Triple Entente”.
THEREFORE BY 1914 THE SYSTEM OFALLIANCES WAS AS FOLLOWS:CENTRAL POWERS OR “THE TRIPLE THE TRIPLE ENTENTE ALLIANCE”• GERMANY • GREAT BRITAIN• AUSTRIA-HUNGARY • FRANCE• ITALY • RUSSIA Politicians at the time called this system of alliances the “Balance of Power”