The move was designed to test the strength of the recent Anglo-French entente. The visit provoked an international crisis, which was resolved in France's favour at the Algeciras Conference , The result was to bring France and Britain closer together. Edward VII called the German actions "the most mischievous and uncalled for event which the German Emperor has been engaged in since he came to the throne.
This crisis erupted when the Germans sent the gunboat "Panther" to the Moroccan port of Agadir , to protect German citizens there. Germany claimed that the French had ignored the terms of the Algeciras Conference. This provoked a major war scare in Britain until the Germans agreed to leave Morocco to the French in return for rights in the Congo. Many Germans felt that they had been humiliated and that their government had backed down.
The two Turkish provinces had been administered by Austria since the Congress of Berlin. Austria annexed Bosnia after tricking Russia during negotiations between their respective foreign ministers. The action outraged Serbia as there was a large Serbian population in Bosnia. There was a crisis among the Great powers and it brought Europe to the brink of war.
Russia bowed to German pressure when they supported Austria and they agreed to the annexation. However she was determined not to be humiliated again. The effects of these crises had been a hardening of attitudes and an increase in distrust between the different European powers. It led to a strengthening of the different alliances:.
Throughout the 19th and early 20th century the Ottoman Empire had lost land in the Balkans to the peoples who lived there. The great powers were also interested in extending their influence in the region. Austrian and Russian relations were poor over their rivalry in the Balkans. Both hoped to expand there at the expense of the Ottoman Empire. Another important factor was the growth of Slav nationalism among the people who lived there, especially Serbia.
Russia encouraged Slav nationalism while Austria worried that this nationalism could undermine her empire. As a result of the Balkan Wars - Serbia had doubled in size and there was growing demands for the union of south Slavs Yugoslavism under the leadership of Serbia. Austria had a large south Slav population in the provinces of Slovenia, Croatia, the Banat and Bosnia.
Austria was very alarmed at the growing power of Serbia.
She felt Serbia could weaken her own Empire. Modern historians have drawn attention to the influence of internal politics on the actions of the Great Powers. The ruling class in some of these countries hoped that a short victorious war would put an end to class differences and reduce the support for socialism that threatened the existing order.
Underlying the assumptions of all the Great Powers during the July Crisis was the belief that if war did break out it would be a short one. Many in Britain felt that the war would be over by Christmas. Austria presented Serbia with an ultimatum and she was given 48 hours to reply. Although the text was approved on the July 19 it was decided to delay its presentation until the state visit of the French President and Prime Minister to Russia was finished. This was done to prevent the French and Russians from co-ordinating their response. It was presented when the French delegation had left Russia and was at sea.
The Serbs agreed to all of the Austrian demands bar one. The Austrians were so surprised by the humility of the Serbian reply that the foreign minister hid it for 2 days from the Germans. It must be remembered that once the military machine mobilised the generals took over from the diplomats.
In German military thinking, once she was at war with Russia, war with France was unavoidable.
The Schlieffen plan now came into operation. This involved a concentration of German forces on an attack on France. Delay could be fatal. Excellent website dedicated to the First World War. Alliances provided European states with a measure of protection. They served as a means of guarding or advancing national interests while acting as a deterrent to war.
Some collapsed when new leaders emerged; others were nullified or replaced by new alliances.
European nations allied themselves either in support of Bonaparte or to defeat him. The Congress of Vienna established an informal system of diplomacy, defined national boundaries and sought to prevent wars and revolutions.
When an alliance is signed, those countries become known as Allies. Words: - Pages: 8. The French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars put Great Britain and France in the role of perennial adversaries, both of them forging alliances with other powers if useful and possible. Certain individuals may argue that militarism was the culprit, or that alliances provided the spark needed to ablaze warfare on a global scale. Cookie information is stored in your browser and performs functions such as recognising you when you return to our website and helping our team to understand which sections of the website you find most interesting and useful.
The congress system worked for a time but started to weaken in the mids. Imperial interests, changes in government, a series of revolutions and rising nationalist movements in Germany, Italy and elsewhere saw European rivalries and tensions increase again in the mids. During the late 19th century, European leaders continued to form, annul and restructure alliances on a regular basis. The alliance system during this period is often attributed to German chancellor Otto von Bismarck and his attitude of realpolitik. Though not a formal alliance, this multi-lateral treaty acknowledged the existence of Belgium as an independent and neutral state.
Belgium had earned statehood in the s after separating from southern Holland. The Treaty of London was still in effect in , so when German troops invaded Belgium in August , the British considered it a violation of the treaty. It was engineered and dominated by the Prussian statesman Otto von Bismarck, who saw it as a means of securing the balance of power in Europe.
It required each signatory to support the other if one was attacked by Russia. Each of the three signatories to the Triple Alliance was required to provide military support to the others, if one was attacked by two other powers — or if Germany and Italy were attacked by France. Italy, a newly formed nation that was weak militarily, was viewed as a minor partner in this alliance. This military alliance between France and Russia restored cordial relations between the two imperial powers. Main article: Technology during World War I.
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