- Rivalries between different European
- United Kingdom and Germany:
- France and Germany: consequences
of the Franco- Prussian War
-Austria-Hungary and Russia
(competition to control the Balkans)
- Confronted military alliances:
-Triple Alliance: Germany, Austria-Hungary
-Triple Entente: United Kingdom, France
- Arms race: big investments in weapons,
soldiers and war plans to be ready for war
- Exacerbation of nationalism: general tendency
of exaltation of the own virtues and contempt towards
foreigners and racism
SYSTEM OF ALLIANCES IN EUROPE
PRE-WAR CRISES BEFORE 1914
There were several crises in the first years of the
century, which increased tension and were
on the brink of provoking war
- Two crises in Morocco, which increased
tension between France and Germany:
-1905-1906: it ended with the establishment
of a French-Spanish protectorate in
-1911: Germany received part of the French
Congo and accepted the French
protectorate in Morocco.
- Two crises in the Balkans, which increased
tension between Austria- Hungary and Russia:
- 1908: Bosnia-Herzegovina was annexed
by Austria- Hungary
- 1912-1913: Balkan Wars: Serbia,
Montenegro, Greece and Bulgaria fought
against the Ottoman Empire. Later they
fought among themselves to increase their
AGADIR CRISIS, 1911
Kaiser Wilhem II sent the gunboat Panther to
Morocco to put pressure on France.
TRIGGER FOR THE WAR
June 1914: Gavrilo Princip, a
Serbian nationalist who wanted the union
of all the Slaves of the South, killed the
heirs of the Austro- Hungarian Empire in
Sarajevo (Bosnia- Herzegovina)
Austria-Hungary accused the Serbians of
being involved in the terrorist attack and
sent an ultimatum to the Serbian
government with several requests (23rd
July) and gave them 2 days to carry out
their requests. The Serbians denied their
involvement and refused to allow the
Austro-Hungarian police to investigate in
Serbia. They trusted in Russia´s support, if
they were attacked by Austria-Hungary.
Austria-Hungary and Serbia broke relations
and got ready for war.
MURDER AT SARAJEVO
July: Austria-Hungary declared war onSerbia.
July: Russia mobilized its troops against Austria-Hungary.
August: Germany declared war on Russia and to France on the 3rd
August. On the 4th
August Germany invaded Belgium (Schlieffen Plan) to occupy France. The United Kingdom
declared war on Germany when Belgium was invaded.
Only Italy kept out of war
The alliances led to a
general war in some
WHY WORLD WAR I?
Although war developed mainly in Europe, the main colonial powers were involved
and their colonies with them.
GREEN: Triple Entente
ORANGE: Central powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary and allies).
-New and deadlier armament: machine guns,
poison gas, flamethrowers, tanks, armoured cars,
aircraft (aeroplanes and airships), submarines,
railway guns. Soldiers suffered a lot and there
were millions of dead and disabled.
-Civil population became war target. Cities
were bombed and citizens suffered a lot at
rearguard (hunger, food rationing)
- War economy: all the available resources were
mobilized and destined for war, industries and
agricultural production were restructured in order
to supply the armies, women replaced men at
- Governments of national unity, formed by the
- Constant use of propaganda to rally population
and demonize the enemy. Those who opposed
war were considered traitors and sent to jail. WOMEN WORKING AT A FACTORY
IN VINCENNES (FRANCE)
AEROPLANES MACHINE GUNS
WORLD WAR 1
-WAR OF MOVEMENT (1914)
- WAR OF ATTRITION (1915-1916)
- END OF THE WAR (1918)
1st STAGE: WAR OF MOVEMENT
All the armies moved towards the enemy and
planned a short war. Fight developed in two
- WESTERN FRONT: The Germans attacked
France through Luxembourg and Belgium
(Schlieffen Plan, to take Paris). After the Battle
of Marne, the French stopped the German
advance. The front stabilized at the end of
- EASTERN FRONT: the Russians advanced
through Eastern Prussia and Galitzia. The
Germans stopped them after the Battles of the
Masurian Lakes and Tannenberg.
At the end of 1914 Japan joined the Triple
Entente and the Ottoman Empire joined the
Central Powers . The Japanese occupied
Tsingtao (German colony in China) and they
didn´t do much more during the rest of the war..
The Germans planned a short fight against France
to focus in the Eastern front against Russia. But the
plan failed and they had to fight almost alone in two
STAGE: WAR OF ATTRITION
The war fronts stabilized and didn´t
move since the end of 1914. The
soldiers dug kilometres of trenches
and tried to keep their positions, at
high cost: a lot of lives were
sacrified to gain some metres of
New countries joined the war: Bulgaria
joined the Central Powers and Italy and
Romania the Triple Entente.
- WESTERN FRONT: war of attrition and
some big offensives: the Germans attacked
in Verdun and the French reacted at the
Somme. The front didn´t move, but there
were around two million victims (1 million
allies and 800,000 Germans).
- EASTERN FRONT: Big German offensive
to the East. The Russians had to retire back.
A third front opened in the Balkans: the
Central Powers occupied Serbia and
Romania. The British attacked the Ottoman
Empire from Egypt and occupied Palestine,
but they were defeated at Gallipoli.
It lasted ten months (February- December 1916).
163.000 French soldiers and 143.000 German
soldiers dead and more than 500,000 wounded.
BATTLE OF VERDUN
3rd STAGE: CRISIS OF 1917
Serious internal problems in all the
-soldiers´ mutinies in all fronts.
- nationalist protests in the Austro-
- Easter Rising in Ireland (1916)
- revolution in Russia: the Bolsheviks
took power in October 1917 and
decided to sign an agreement with the
Germans to take Russia out of the war.
STORMING OF THE WINTER PALACE
October 1917, Saint Petersbourg
The Bolsheviks considered the war to be
an imperialist conflict and decided to take
Russia out of war
The USA and Greece joined the Triple
Entente. This was decisive for the allies
The USA joined the war because the
German naval warfare damaged trade
and the German submarines sunk the
British ocean liner Lusitania (234 US
SINKING OF THE LUSITANIA OCEAN LINER
In the Middle East, the Arab tribes (convinced by Lawrence
of Arabia) revolted against the Turks and the British got a lot
THOMAS E. LAWRENCE,
known as Lawrence of Arabia
STAGE: THE END OF THE WAR (1918)
Two decisive facts:
-Arrival of refreshment troops from the
-Brest- Litovsk Treaty, signed between
Russia and Germany: the Russians
stopped fighting and there were no more
battles in the Eastern front. Russia lost
Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia,
Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine.
RUSSIAN TERRITORIAL LOSSES AFTER
BREST-LITOVSK PEACEUSA SOLDIERS (September 1918)
The Germans could focus on the Western front
and launched two offensives:
-1st at the Somme (stopped by Foch)
- 2nd at the Marne (stopped by Pétain).
Revolts in the German army and protests
against the government started in Germany.
In the Eastern front Bulgaria surrendered in
September and the Ottoman Empire in
October. The Austro- Hungarian army
collapsed in the North of Italy and the Balkans.
Protests increased in Germany. Fearing a
communist revolution in Germany, the German
government tried to negotiate peace. Kaiser
Wilhem II abdicated and fled to the
Netherlands. The republic was proclaimed (9th
November) and the armistice was signed at
Rethondes on the 11th
The war at the Western front:
CONFERENCE OF PARIS
32 States met in Paris to decide how the world would be
after the war:
- The defeated countries were not allowed to attend
- Woodrow Wilson, president of the USA, presented a
Fourteen-Point Plan for a fair peace, without revenge
against the defeated. But France and the United Kingdom
took revenge on them. Wilson´s plan also defended self
determination for the people, but this right wasn´t taken
into account in several cases (Kurds, Armenians,
- Separated peace treaties were signed with the
losers (Germany, Austria, Bulgaria and Turkey). The
Treaty of Versailles, signed with Germany, was the most
- Creation of the League of Nations, an international
organization to preserve peace and solve conflicts
peacefully (precedent of the UN). But the League of
Nations was weak since its foundation: the USA didn´t
join it, agreements had to be unanimous, it was very
difficult to establish sanctions and they didn´t have an
army to enforce their decisions.
The decisions made in this conference
were one of the causes of WW2
TREATY OF VERSAILLES
Germany was declared the main responsible for the
war and received hard sanctions:
-Huge war reparations for the destruction caused in
France and Belgium (20,000 million dollars)
- Loss of 1/8 of their territory in Europe:
- Alsace and Lorraine for France
- Schleswig for Denmark
- Part of Eastern Prussia and the Danzig
corridor for Poland
- Memel for Lithuania
- Eupen and Malmédy to Belgium
- Reduction of their army to 100,000 soldiers. Their
navy and air force were disbanded and military
conscription was forbidden.
-Demilitarization of the West bank of River Rhine.
-The German colonies were given to France and
The Treaty of Versailles also included the creation of
the League of Nations.
EUROPE AFTER WORLD WAR 1
The other losers were also hardly punished:
-Disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian
Empire: this gave birth to two new States:
Austria and Hungary. Czechoslovakia
became independent and the Slaves of the
South (Slovenians, Bosnians, Croates and
Serbians) created Yugoslavia. Romania
received Bukovina and Italy got Trent.
- In order to avoid the extension of the
Russian Revolution, the Treaty of Brest-
Litovsk was respected: Poland, Finland,
Estonia, Latvia and LIthuania preserved
their independence and became a buffer
area to contain revolution.
•Disintegration of the Ottoman Empire: Turkey became a republic and the
Arab territories of the Near East were given to France and the UK as
“mandates” of the League of Nations: Palestine (present day Palestine and
Israel) and Transjordan (present day Jordan, Iraq and Kuwait) for the UK and
Syria and Lebanon for France. The Kurds and Armenians didn´t become
CONSEQUENCES OF THE WAR
-Demographic losses: more than 16.5 million dead
and 21 million wounded. Around 40% of
the casualties were civilians. 20 million more died
due to the Spanish flu.
-Economic consequences: the productive system
of the belligerent countries was completely
destroyed. All the countries had got into debts to pay
for the war. Many of them owed money to the USA.
-Political consequences: Europe lost its position as
the center of the world and was replaced by extra-
European powers (USA and Japan)
-Territorial consequences: disappearance of the
big Empires of the 19th
century, changes of borders,
new countries appeared
-Moral and psychological consequences: war
horrors provoked social trauma, disillusionment,
cynicism, distrust in the politicians. There were two
opposite reactions: one bet for internationalism and
search for peace and another one focused on
militarism and violence as a way of solving problems.
Total casualties and economic destruction in the
THE WAY TO WORLD WAR 2
In 1919 John Maynard Keynes, a British economist, warned about the economic
consequences of an unfair peace and the future desire of revenge of the defeated