• Militarism
  • Alliances
  • Imperialism
  • Nationalism


  • Def: Building up of arms (weapons) to deter (scare) others from attacking.
  • Germany was competing with the UK to build battleships.
  • The British feared an attack on their Empire
  • Germany was competing with Russia and France to expand their armies


  • Def: Banding together of countries against a common threat.
  • By 1914, all the major powers were linked by a system of alliances.
  • The alliances made it more likely that a war would start.
  • Once started, the alliances made it more likely to spread.
  • Triple Entente (France, Britain and Russia) vs. Triple Alliances (Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy)
  • Allies vs. Central Powers
  • Also, Serbia, which Russia promised to protect.
  • Also Belgium, which Britain promised to protect
  • And, the colonies, such as Canada, who were automatically at war when Britain went to war


  • All the great powers were competing for colonies / territory.
  • Land = power
  • Germany was envious of Britain’s colonial possessions (25% of globe)
  • The British feared Germany in Africa
  • Serbia feared Austria (terrorism)
  • The Austrians feared Serbia (allies with Russia)
A Declaration of Grievances; Louis XVI’s Downfall


  • Def: Feelings of great loyalty to one’s people and homeland. Can lead to feelings of superiority.
  • This was an age when all nations wanted to assert their power and independence.
  • In Europe Slavs, aided by Serbia and Russia, wanted to be free of Austrian rule.
  • Balkan = Serbia, Bulgaria
  • Albania, Romania, etc.
    • Britain: large navy, empire
    • France: history of “greatness”
    • Russia: big (land)
    • Austria-Hungary: large empire, strong army, “natural leaders of Europe”
    • Germany: navy rivaled Britain; “natural leaders of Europe”
    • Italy: recently unified as a country; looking to prove itself

The Crisis 1.

  • 28 June 1914
  • Heir to Austrian throne Franz Ferdinand visits Sarajevo.
  • Capital of Bosnia, recently grabbed by Austria.

The Crisis 2.

  • Black Hand” –Serbian nationalist group /‘terrorists’ attack the Arch Duke
  • Bomb attempt fails in morning
  • Gavrilo Princip shoots Archduke and wife in the afternoon.
  • Austrians blame Serbia for supporting terrorists.
  • Assassination at Sarajevo, Bosnia
Charlemagne: Biography & Conquest

The Crisis 3.

  • Austrians, supported by Germany, send Serbia a tough ultimatum (demand by one government to another – accept terms or face war).
  • Serbia agrees to all but one term of the ultimatum.(pg 69)
  • Russia mobilises her troops to support Serbia
  • Germany demands that Russia stands her armies down -> Russia refuses
  • Germany declares war on Russia (Aug. 1, 1914) and on France the next day
  • Why did Canada get involved?
  • Canada was an independent country
  • But all foreign policy controlled by Britain
  • When Britain went to war, Canada automatically went to war

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment