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HIS109Y1 (536)


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Anthony Cantor

The Great War I. Causes II. The War III. Effects I. Causes -the war is the culmination of imperialism, imperial rivalries, intense nationalism & militarism -culture of pessimism about civilization & society, enthusiasm for eugenics (Europeans are experiencing crisis of masculinity, racial degradation) -Brooke thought war was a good thing (would help people purify & leave old life behind), sense that war could alleviate supposed crisis of masculinity, racial integrity, strength -people thought the war would end by Christmas -ideological, nationalism, total war (complete societal mobilization for the war effort, including machine gun, poison gas, trains, trenches) -Militarism -1914: U.S. President Wilson sent an advisor to Europe to assess the situation, who foresaw an awful cataclysm ahead -arms race & gov’t spending on that had stimulated European economies -militant nationalism, rivalries over imperial claims & conquests Ex. Morocco Crisis -Germans landed in Morocco in 1905~ to prevent Fr. interests there -1906: international conference held in Spain concerning this crisis -Germany expected it would get a lot of concessions at the conference -powers at the conference backed Fr. claims in North Africa: Fr. & Britain had seen Germany trying to impose power on North Africa, which resulted in a secret alliance in 1904 -Germany found itself weak internationally, but was v. strong economically & industrially, & were determined to compete for more territory abroad -1911: Moroccan Crisis resumed -Germany sent a gun boat to a Moroccan port & demanded concessions from the Fr. -British & Fr. took alliance to next level, making binding military commitments: in case of war, they would deploy specific troops to specific places, definitely strengthened alliance system (v) Ex. Balkan Crisis (1878-1914) -clash among A-H Empire, Ottoman Empire & Russian Empire, all seeking influence & coming into conflict w/ the powerful unifying force of nationalism (idea that nationality is the primary criterion for self-determination, building of political state) -A-H thought adding more nationalities & peoples would beacon the claim of any single ethnic minority in their empire (if the mix of peoples became bigger, it would make it harder for any one of those nationalities to assert itself strongly & remake itself in the empire) -Germany supported A-H in this, to push back the Russians -Russia saw itself as the protector of Slavic peoples, fostering nationalism uniting Slavic peoples -Russia saw A-H & Ottoman Empires, & Serbian nationalism as a threat to its ability to be a protector, & wanted to expand into its western frontier as it failed in expanding to the east (defeated by Japan) -1908: revolt in A-H Empire~ by Young Turks, & A-H used this opportunity to annex, angering Serbia -w/in “autonomous” states there are complicated conflicts that sought more A-H & Ottoman territories -1912: First Balkan War – Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro joined to take Albania & Macedonia from Ottoman Empire, Bulgaria gaining most -1913: Serbia, Greece & Montenegro challenged Bulgarian gains & were successful, making A-H even more worried about rise of Serbia as a power in the Balkans -strategists wanted a quick war to settle these conflicts, but this couldn’t happen b/c of alliances & the arms race tensions were running high, countries started preparing by drafting citizens for armies, 1914: Germany, France & Russia called more than 250,000 troops/year, expenditure for defense increased every year since 1890, modernization of weaponry (breakthroughs in chemical industry, artillery) actually made it harder to win a battle b/c neither side could overcome that intense fire power, naval competition (Britain produced new warship called the Dreadnought w/ high fire power, & Germany built battleships all over the world) -Alliances -the Alliance System, a series of sometimes secret & public agreements -ensured any minor conflict could turn into a widespread conflict quickly -Bismarck had negotiated the Triple Alliance: Germany, A-H & Italy, whose idea was that if Germany was attacked on both sides, it would have allies to help -Triple Entente grows out of pact between Britain & France, & pact between Russia & France -Britain & France agreed to truce of mutual self-interest in early 1900s, to recognize colonial claims in certain places -nations commit to get involved if one of the other alliance partners is attacked -main concern of what Germany was to do to enhance its global power -Kaiser embarks on ways to contest the expansion of the French Empire (leads to Moroccan Crisis) -Imperial rivalries -Nationalism II. The War -June 28, 1914: assassination of Austrian Archduke & heir to the throne, Franz Ferdinand & his wife Sophie in Sarajevo -were on state visit & a group of Serbian nationalists through bombs & failed to kill him -Serbian nationalist shot the couple -has reverberations in the A-H gov’t, seeing it as opportunity to squash Serbs -assassin had received arms & info from the Serbian gov’t, making case for using assassination to go to war w/ Serbia even stronger, & Germany encouraged this (Germany didn’t trust Italy as much in the alliance & rightly thought that A-H needed to stay strong) -A-H sent ultimatum to the Serbian gov’t: suppression of terrorist groups & to let Austrian officials investigate the crime, which were humiliating for Serbia -Russians, as protectors of pan-Slavism, believed this couldn’t lead anywhere good -Serbia went along w/ most terms of the ultimatum except the presence of Austrian officials -Kaiser of Germany thought this was a success for Austria, but Austrians believed the refusal of th st one demand was enough reason to begin war (on Jul
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