Saturday, 9 June, 2012

Events leading upto the Outbreak of the First World War

Hi Viewers,
Science states that there is a reason behind every things that happens. Nothing in this world happens unreasonably. So here when we talk about the outbreak of the First World War there were some critical events leading to the outbreak of it. The main events are listed below -
  • The Moroccan Crisis ( 1905-1906 ) - The Germans attempted to check the Anglo-French 'Entente Cordiale' (1904) which signed between Britain, France and Russia. They announced that Germany will assist the Sultan of Morocco in maintaining the country's independence. The Germans demanded an international conference to discuss the country's future which was held at Algeciras in Southern Spain in January 1906. The result of the confrence was that, Britain, Russia, Italy and Spain supported the French demand to control the Moroccon Bank and Police. This was a major diplomatic defeat for Germany which made them realized that Britain and France were a force to be reckoned with.
Map of Morocco

  • The British and Russian Agreement (1907) - For years Britian has viewed Russia as a mojor threat to their intrests in the Far East and India but after the defeat of Russia by Japan in (1904-1905) had weakened Russia and alsoo the Russians were looking forward to end the long-standing rivalry and were anxious to attract British investment for thier industrial modernization programme. The agreement settled this dispute. The agreement wasn't a military agreement and surely not an anti-German move, but the Germans saw it as threat that the Triple Entente were encircling them.
  • The Bosnia Crisis (1908) - The crisis occured because the Austrians took advantage of the revolution in Turkey and annexed the Turkish province of Bosnia. The state of Serbia also wanted to annex the state because it contained about 3 million Serbs, among its mixed population of Serbs, Croats and Muslims but because Austria had already annexed the province it came as a serious blow to Serbia. Serbia then appealed for help to their for fellow Slavs, the Russians, who demaned a European confrence, expecting British and French support. Ultimately it became clear that Germany would support Austria if war broke out. The British and French did not wanted to engage themselves with Germany and were unwilling to become a part of the war in the Balkans. Russia dared not risked an other war without the help of its allies because Russia was still recovering from her defeat in the war with Japan. At the end there was no help for Serbia and no confrence was held, Austria held on to the Bosnian Province. This was a triumph for the Austro-German alliance, but it had unfortunate results that Serbia remained bitterly hostile to Austria and secondly, the Russians focused themselves on a massive military build-up to avoid any further humiliation so that if Serbia appealed for help again they could do so.

  • The First and Second Balkan Wars (1912 and 1913) - The first Balkan war began when the Balkan League (Serbia, Greece, Montenegro and Bulgaria) attacekd Turkey and captured most her remaining territory in Europe. Sir Edward Grey, the British Foreign Secretary, with the German government arranged a peace confrence in London. He wanted to avoid spreading of the conflict and proposed that Britain and Germany could still work together. The settlement divided the former Turkish lands among the Balkan states. Serbia wass not happy because it wanted Albania, which would give them an outlet to sea, but the support of Germany and Britain, Austria insited that Albania should become an independent state. The result of Albnia becoming an independent state was that it prevented Serbia from becoming more powerful. The second Balkan war (1913) began because of the dissattisfaction of the Bulgarians of the peace settlement. They wanted the Macedonian province but most of the Macedonian territory was given to Serbia so Bulgaria attacked Serbai but Bulgaria was defeated and lost most of the gains of the first war by the Treaty of Bucharest (1913) because Serbia was backed by Greece, Romania and Turkey. There were some serious consenquences of both the Balkan wars. Serbia had strengthened and was determined to cause trouble among both Serbs and Croats living inside Austria-Hungary, and behind it the Austrian wanted to put an end to the Serbian ambition and lastly the German took Grey's willingness to co-operate as a sign that Britain was prepared to be detatched from France and Russia.



  • The assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand - This was the event that sparked off the immidiate outbreak of the First World War. The event took place in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914 when the Archduke, nephew and heir to the Emperor Franz Josef, was payin an official visit to Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital, when he and his wife were shot dead by a Serb terrorist, Gavrilo Princip. The Austrians blamed the Serb government and sent a stiff ultimatum. Most of the terms were accepted by the Serbian government but the Austrian with the help of German support were determined to use this incident as an excuse for a war and so Austria-Hungary on 28 July declared war on Serbia. The Russian ordered a general mobilization not to led down the Serbs again on 29 July. The German government demanded the cancellation of mobilization (31 July) and when the Russian did not comply the Germans declared war on Russia (1 August) and on France (3 August). Britain had promised to keep Belgian neutrality in the war but when the Germans entered into Belgium the British demanded their withdrawl but the Germans did not comply and Britain entered into the war (4 August). Later on 6 August, Austria declared war on Russia and the other countries joined later.

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