1) The World in 1914: outbreak of the First World War
o On August 13th, 1914, the first Belgian fort surrendered, and by August 16th, Liege was under German control. This was the first major engagement of World War I.
o Europe dominated the rest of the world in 1914.
o The United States of America became a world power when we produced more coal, pig-iron, and steel than Germany or Britain.
o Japan was also a strong power, due to its defeat of Russia in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905.

Governments
o USA, Britain, and France had democratic government →parliament consisting of representatives elected by the people.
o Germany had a parliament, but power belonged with the Chancellor and Kaiser.
o Italy had a monarchy with elected parliament voted for by only the wealthy.
o Russia’s tsar and Austria Hungary’s emperor were aucratic rulers →although parliaments existed, they could only advise the rulers.
o A lot of imperialism and imperialistic goals existed.
o Alliances were formed.
v THE TRIPLE ALLIANCE
Germany
Austria- Hungary
Italy

v THE TRIPLE ENTENTE
Britain
France
Russia

Friction due to:
o Serbian nationalism.
o French resentment at losses to the Germans.
o Naval rivalry between Britain and Germany.
o Russian suspicions of Austrian ambitions in the Balkans.
o German accusations of being encircles by British, Russians, and French.

2) Events leading up to the outbreak of war
o The Moroccan Crisis (1905-1906) - German attempt to test the recently signed Anglo- French ‘Entente- Cordiale.’
o The British agreement with Russia (1907) - Seen by Germans as another hostile movie by British.
o The Bosnia Crisis (1908) - Austrians took over the Turkish province of Bosnia during Revolution of Turkey. Blow at neighboring Serbia.
o The Agadir Crisis (1911) - further development of Morocco situation. This was good for the Entente Powers.
o The First Balkan War (1912) - The Balkan League attacked Turkey.
o The Second Balkan War (1913) - Bulgarians were dissatisfied with the peace settlement. Bulgaria attacked Serbia.
o Assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand- This assassination sparked off the war. Directly following it, countries began declaring war.


3) What caused the war, and who was to blame? (Reasons for the escalation of the War)
o The alliance system or “armed camps” made war inevitable.
o There existed a colonial rivalry in Africa and the Far East.
o The naval race between Britain and Germany. At first, the growth of the German fleet did not alarm the British, as they were far ahead. The naval race was the result.
o Economic rivalry between Britain and Germany. “The desire for economic mastery of the world caused German businessmen and capitalists to want war with Britain… this theory… puts the blame for the war on the capitalist system.
o Russia made was more likely by backing Serbia. Serbia had a strict anti- Austrian policy, which Russia added to.
o German backing for Austria was crucially important.
o Miscalculations made by the great powers reduced the time available for conciliation.


Ø German historian, Fritz Fischer said Germany should take most of the blame. *Did Germany want a major war?