Long Term Causes And Arguments:
In 1838, a agreement was formed to protect Belgium if attacked or invaded. Briton along with other major European powers signed this therefore dragging themselves into the First World War when Germany invaded Belgium to fight France.
In 1848, Austria-Hungary under Franz Josef lost a war against France, beginning a long rivalry between the two countries.
In 1860, Italy was founded which agravated Austria-Hungary as parts of ithe land had originally been owned by them.
In 186, Austria-Hungary under Franz Josef lost to Prussia creating tention between Austria-Hungary and yet more countries within Europe.
In 1870, the Franco-Prussian War happened. France, led by Napoleon III, lost to Wilhelm I. This loss meant Alsace-Lorraine was joined on to Germany Empire. France would never forget this and was keen for revenge.
In 1875, France set up a War college “Ecole Superieure de Guerre” which implied that they were building up a strong army to attack Germany again.
In 1879, the Dual Allience was formed between Germany and Austria-Hungary, although Wilhem I was afraid that it might damage relations with Russia, which had always supported Prussia.
In 1881, The Emperors League was formed creating more allies for Germany and Austria-Hungary.
In 1882, Italy who had been waiting to see which was the stronger empire between the two sides finally joined Germany and formed the Triple allience.
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In 1888, Wilhelm I died and Wilhelm II was appointed Emperior of Germany.
In 1890, Germany refused to renew the Russian Reinsurance Treaty and lets Russia go off to find new allies.
In 1891, Russia and France agreed to protect each other if either country was attacked(the Franco-Russian Alliance).
This created more strain on Germany as the surrounding empires teamed up.
In 1904, Briton became an unoffical member of the Franco-Russian allience, building up to fight Germany if attacked.
In 1912, Briton and France agreed to join each others battles if it was an unprovoked attack.
The Pig War:
The pig war was an attempt by Austria-Hungary to stop the Pan-Serb movement and eventually Serbia, but all that came from this was a stronger Serbia and encouragement to get revenge somehow.
Serbia’s main trade was in live-stock and so in 1906 Austria-Hungary stopped the import of all Serbia’s livestock. The Pig war had begun and continued for five years with unexpected results from both Serbia and Austria-Hungary. The Serbs reacted quickly making new trades with Greece, Turkey, Egypt and Germany. At the end of the year Serbia was exporting more live-stock than they had ever before. The empire’s opinion was that Austria-Hungary were pickiing on the smaller Serbia and so the pig war divided the monarchy. This event created the scene for the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.
The Dreadnought Race:
The completion of the British dreadnught had the opposite result to its expected result. The British navy was way ahead of the German’s – however in adding the dreadnought it sent them down to an equal level instead of making the navy the best in the world. Also the defeat of Germany navy would never defeat Germany overall, the defeat of Britons navy would. This started the Arms race.
The War Plans:
Each country, in fear of attack, developed their own plans for the event of a war. The plans were to include the timetable of miltary troops and to use the latest technolgy to achieve victory. Also nothing was to be left to chance.
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Each side was aware of parts of the enemies plans as spies were sent into opposing counties. However, a defence was not always formed as some plans looked as if there were many flaws and would not succeed.
French Plan XVII:
The french had never been able to live down the defeat of 1871, and so they planned to first take back the land they had lost in the war of 1871. Unfortunately this plan was full of flaws and placed the army in the wrong location, leaving the Germans an easy victory.
German Schlieffen plan:
This plan was designed to give Germany an easy victory over France in 42 days before their ally Russia had time to form an army. Then Germany could chrush Russia with out France in the way.The bad part of this plan was hat it meant marching across Belgium which Britain and Germany had signed to protect in 1839.
The Franz Ferdinand assasination:
The archduke Franz Ferdinand planned a special day for him and his wife (as it was their 14th wedding aniversry).
In Vienna his wife had not been of royal enough blood to ride in the same car as him. however in Sarajevo she would be treated as royalty and also be allowed to ride in the same car as the archduke.
A group of seven men planned a terrorist attack on the duke. These men were called ‘The Black hand’. The first man threw a bomb at the car but it was either thrown back or missed. The next three men did nother but before the car came to men number five and six the car turned down the wrong lane and met Princip, who leapt on the occasion and shot buth the Archduke and his wife.
This incident caused major arguments between Austria-Hungary and Serbia. The Great War began.