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First World War Origins Revision Notes

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First World War Origins Revision Revision

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HISTORY REVISION

First World War: Origins and Cause Lecture: The Triple Alliance:
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1879 - a Dual alliance between Germany and Austria-Hungary is signed

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1882 - Accession of Italy, forming the Triple Alliance

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The Triple alliance was designed as a counterweight to the Franco-Russian alliance, which surrounded central Europe o

Germany and France have a history of bad relations

Napoleon, Franco-Prussian war

Franco-Russian Alliance:
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Russia feared an expanded Triple Alliance; this increased the appeal of a French alliance to the Romanov dynasty

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French desire to recapture the lost provinces of Alsace and Lorraine from the Germans o

Lost in Franco-Prussian war

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Early 1892 - Tsar Alexander III suggested that if Germany attacked either France or Russia, the other must immediately come to their aid

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August 1892 - Military convention

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Ratified on January 4th 1894

The End of British Isolation:
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Since the establishment of the British Empire in the 17 th century the British policy of isolationism had enabled them to become to most powerful country in the world

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Britain would intervene when one nation became too powerful o

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British empirical concern at the forefront of any alliance made o

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India, threat from Russia

Anglo-German agreement rejected in London as too dangerous o

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Napoleonic France

The Germans could not help if Russia decided to invade India

Salisbury had faith in the system of isolation o

Suggested that forming an alliance was an attempt to guard from a danger the British had no reason to believe existed

HISTORY REVISION
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Anglo-Japanese alliance in 1902 ensured British security in the Far East without undertaking dangerous continental commitments

The Entente Cordiale:
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Outbreak of Russo-Japanese war in February 1904

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Britain and France keen not to get involved, despite them both having alliances with participants

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Process of settling imperial differences had been underway for a year o

Did not want to revert to hostile relationships between Britain and France

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Entente signed on April 8th, 1904

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Not a military alliance; focused on colonial & naval disputes o

However, France believed that by signing this, Britain had forged a military alliance

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Signing of the entente marked the end of the oldest animosity in the world

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Sir Edward Grey on the Entente: o

Britain signing the Entente created an image to the French that the British would support them in a war. If the British disappointed the French, there would be no salvaging Anglo-French relations.

o

Britain places a lot of significance on morality; they would not want to be viewed as untrustworthy or negatively portrayed to the international community

The First Moroccan Crisis:
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1905 - France sought to establish a protectorate over Morocco

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Kaiser Wilhelm II visited Tangiers, publically promising to support Morocco against any French aggression

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April 1905 - Germany called a conference to resolve the crisis

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January-April 1906 - Algeciras Conference o o

French economic control of Morocco

o
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Moroccan political independence

Policed by Spain and France (also Switzerland)

Russia and Britain supported France

The Anglo-Russian Entente:
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Signed on 31st August, 1907

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Attempt to reconcile Imperial differences

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