Bismark system

Afeter the Franco-Prussian War, Bismark’s goal was to isolate France to prevent them from recapturing Alsace and Lorraine. To do this, he created an alliance system: 

*League of the Three Emperors between Germ., Aus-hungar and russia (1873 and 1881) Russia would nor help France, and Aust-hun would not support england.

*Triple alliance between Ger., Aust-hung and italy (1882). It was renewed until 1914. The goal is to isolate France and that Italy would be neutral in case of war between Austria and russia

*Mediterranean Agreements (1887) with Great Britain, italy, aust-hung and spain to maintain the status quo in the Mediterranean

*Reinsurance Traty (1887) between russia and germ. In exchange for the Russian neutrality if France attacked germ., Bismarck promised support for the policy Balkan Russian

The outbreak of the war——>Assesination in Sarajevo

Germ. supported Austria-Hungary and Russia supported Serbia:

Germ. declared the war on Russia 1 aug. 1914

Germ declared the war on France 3 aug 1914

great britain declared on germ and austria-hungary after the invasion of Belguim

unit 5:

def. Concession: an area assigned to a metropole for a period

Legacy of colonialism—>consequences

Drew new borders—>tribal conflicts, Built infraestructures, change the landscape and the economic and political structure of the continent, death rate dropped, lose of african/assian identity–>acculturation, explotation of colonial resources/people, changed their crops and replaced with ones that beneficts metropole, no respect for ways of life and social structures.

Why did war break out in europe in 1914?

A) colonial conflicts

Bismark tried to avoid conflicts in the Berlin Conference (1885) but it was imposible (Fashoda)

        1. Moroccan crises

France wanted to establish a protectorate in Morocco, but Germany, that was ruled by Guillermo II, decided to support Morocco in maintaining its independence. The conflict was solved in the Algeciras Conferences (1906) which establish that France and Spain would control the ports and Morocco maintained its independence. Years later, Ger. took advantage of an uprising in Fez to demand compensation in Morocco. Finally, Ger obtained Cameroon and in 1912 a Franco-Spanish protectorate was established.

B) rivalry between powers and nationalism

Economic rivalry between England and Germany. Alsacia and Lorraine: It belonged to France until the Treaty of Frankfurt (1871) and Germany took it from them in the German unification, so France was always claimed both territories.

C) Balkan wars

Balkans was ruled by the Otooman empire, but it was in a state of collapse. In this time, Austria-Hungary had aspirations to gain territories, while Serbia aspired to the formation of Greater Serbia and Russia to go out to the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles. In 1908 Austria-Hungary occupied Bosnia-Herzegovina causing the first balkan crisis. Serbia and Montenegro protested but russia cannot do anything because it is exhausted after the Rusoo-Japanese war. There was the second balkan crisis between 1912-1913 that took place in Serbia, with Russian help, so they increased its power in the area

D) military alliances and the arms race

All this system of alliances formed by Bismarck and the different crisis led to the formation of two blocks: Triple alliance (1882) formed by Germany, Austria-Hngary and Italy, but the relationship between Germany and Russia and England was deteriorated by colonial disputies leading to the Triple entente(1907), formed by France, Russia and England

Phases of the war

1. The war of movements

 Each block had his military strategy, Germany has the Schlieffen Plan and France has the XVII Plan. This phase ended in a draw. Germany was defeated in Battle of Marne (sept 1914), Russia in Tannenberg (aug 1914) and Serba stopped Austria-Hungary’s advance and it took Belgrado

2 Trench warfare

After the Battle of Marne, Western Front became inmobile so trenches were built. Germany and France tried to break the front: Battle of Verdun (feb-june 1916) organised by Germany, but failed, Battle of Somme (july-nov 1916) organised by France but failed and France and England also failed in the battles of Dardanelles and Gallipoli (feb and april 1915) and finally British fleeet defeated German fleet in the Battle of Jutlandia (1916). During this period of time, both block tried to make allies, Bulgaria and Turkey supported Germany and Japan, Italy and Rumania supported France.

3. 1917 last phase

1917 was a key year for several reasons: EEUU joined in the war (1917), with a boat that was sunked, the Lusitania, Russia ruled by Lenin, signed the Brest-Litovsk Treaty to went out of the war (march 1918) and Italy was defeated by Germany in Battle of Caporetto (oct 1918). In 1918 Germany was alone, so the Austro-Hungary and Turkey signed an armistice. Finally, Willliam II abdicated and Germany signed the Armistice of Rethondes in Nov 11, 1918.

Economy and society during the war

 The countries involved establisheda war economy: This means that the industrial sector concentrated on the production of military equipment and supplies, agricultural and consumer goods production decreased, because the prices increased, goverments intervened to cotrol the distribution of basic goods and the women filled the positions men had left


10 million deaths, 20 million of injured,-> facial reconstruction, exouds of million people, women were recruited to work in factories-> suffragette movement