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HIS109Y1 Lecture Notes - Nicholas Ii Of Russia, Serbian Nationalism, Autocracy

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Kenneth Bartlett

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March 7th, 2
The First World War
Most terrible cataclysmic event since the Black Death
Led to a period of instability even though it was supposed to be a war to end all
Period from the Congress Vienna to the years before WWI were relatively
Everyone seemed to walk blindly into the event, they knew it was going to happen
but no one did anything to stop it
Immediate cause was the assassination of Franz Ferdinand by a Serbian
nationalist Gavrilo Princip
Franz Ferdinand (d. 1914)
Heir to the Habsburg Dynasty
Theories as to why the archduke was a target of assassination: independent,
liberal to the Slavic minorities (thought to have wanted to turn the Dual
Monarchy into the Triple Monarchy)
Had to be taken out or else the ambitions of the Serbs could not happen
Austrians gave an ultimatum to Serbia, & they accepted 10 of the 11, & refused
the one in which the Austrians could investigate the assassination Austrians
refused to accept this
Russia posed a problem because they felt the Serbs were their brethren
French began to stir up the Russians, they told them not to back down or else it
would weaken the Triple Entente (had to maintain power & authority, Russians
backing down would present a point of weakness)
Germans were ambiguous felt that the Austrians obtained enough from the
Serbs to maintain their status, however they stood by Austria
Two power blocs (Triple alliance & Triple Entente) came into conflict with one
Europe was preparing for war decades before had war plans, overwhelming
force & mobilization plans
Tsar Nicolas II began to mobilize Russia, & Germany began to realize how serious
the situation was Germans had to respond by responding to the French,
however the French were ambiguous
Germany Quickest way to get to France was through Belgium, however
Belgium was neutral, Britain was forced to declare war on Germany
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Turkey entered the war on the side of the Alliances (wanted to maintain power in
Ottoman Empire), Japan on the side of the Entente (wanted German colonies in
the East & in China)
Germany said this was a war against Russian autocracy (Darwinian argument
that came out again & again during the 19th century)
At the beginning everyone believed that the war would be short due to
mechanized war (bombs, aircraft, use of mines, tanks, & poison gas)
Resulted in the loss of the space between the trenches because both sides were
evenly matched
Appalling loss of life
Americans entering the war tipped the scale of balance significantly
Forces of Nationalism:
Marx workers have no nation, only a ligancy to other workers
When war broke out, every socialist conception joined the countries colours (every
worker turned out to be just as nationalistic)
Alexander Kerenckzy (1881-1970)
Russian Monarchy was inept; the Tsar pursued a war policy that his nation could
not support
Wilhelm II seen as a problem
Woodrow Wilson & the Americans began to identify the elements that would lead
to peace (these points set out by Wilson were adopted by the Entente)
Versailles Treaty was harsh & punitive especially towards Germany & Austria
Situation was created which would lead to war once again
Woodrow Wilson
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