impact of german unification and beginning of WW1.docx

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16 Apr 2012
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German unification and beginning of WW1
Unification of Germany changed the balance of power in Europe
War of 1870, France was unable to recover, leaders wanted to change France
Otto Von Bismarck wanted to build a security system, built a network of alliances, safety was the
cornerstone of his thinking
German ambassadors in Moscow wanted a Nazi/Soviet alliance
3 emperors league- Alexander II, Wilhelm I, Franz Joseph I, met to talk about international
relations
Congress of Berlin disbanded 3 emperors 3, and san Stefano treaty declared void, humiliation
for Russia
Russians hated British, were angry at Bismarck and were now using Jews as scapegoat
Also began growing economically and began implementing tariffs to protect their growing
industry
German implemented their own tariffs in response to this and began refusing Russian money at
the German stock exchange and banned the import of Russian grain and cattle
Bismarck did not like the anti-Russian sentiment of the German people
Bismarck wanted to revive 3 emperors league, in an attempt to form a better relationship with
Russia
1879, Austrian/German alliance, Italy added in 1882
WW1 and WW2 all took place in east central Europe
East central Europe became centre for European affairs
Balkan wars/Balkan conflict
First eastern crisis, concluded by the Congress of berlin
Initially Germany didn’t participate initially
20th cent, Germany took interest, wanted a railway from berlin through Balkans, to Bagdad
Bosnia Herzegovina occupied by Austria-hungary in 1870s
Austria and Russia wanted to religiously and economically control the Balkans
Russian, Serbian and Montenegrin relations grew stronger b/c of orthodoxy
1881, secret alliance between Serbia and Austria, Serbia recognized as a kingdom, received lots
of money as well
Austrians advised serbs to expand into Macedonia
Russians and Bulgarians worked closer in response to the Serbian/Asutrian alliance
Romania signed special treaty with Germany and Austria, because they were afraid of Russian
domination
Geography of Balkans, protect ethnicities
Complicated ethnic and religious structure
Wilhelm the first dies, followed by his son, who is followed by Wilhelm the second who felt that
Germanys goals should not be limited to just Europe
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Thought Germany should be a colonial empire
Wilhelm the second didn’t think he needed Bismarck
Germany began a naval project where they occupied areas in Africa, this bothered Britain, which
in turn pushed England to ally themselves with France and Russia
England became internationally isolated
1904, treaty between paris and London signed
Russian,france and England became the triple entente
1904- russo-japanese war began
Disaster for Russians
Bayonets vs. machine guns
Russian peasants had no motivation to fight
Russians overburdened
1905 first russian rev
WW1 archduke franz Ferdinand killed in Sarajevo
Ironic b/c Ferdinand was pro-slav and liberal, but to the serbs he was a symbol of hungary
Assaination started WW1
June 28 1914, important date for serbs
Many events before 1914 could have triggered WW1
Germans and Austrians hoped war would be easy on the eastern front
Thought russian army would give up based on events of russo-japanese war
Germans concentrated power against france
East Prussia and Galicia taken by Russians
Russians fought well
Thought war would bring conservative rev and change
Germans sent to defend east Prussian against Russians, led by Hindenburg
Beginning of war was unclear, many disasters for local populations
First time gas was used in central Poland
May 1915, russian front in the carpathians is broken
1916 romania joined entente
Germans occupied Romania
Russians occupied Galicia, but were pushed by germans
Central Europe became german
WW1 was won by Germany in east central Europe
Nov 1917 rev and coup de ta in Russia
Oct/nov Bolshevik coup de ta
Russia collapsed, could not handle revolution and war
Bolsheviks took central regions of Russia and established their gov’t
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