• 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
• Germany 1.3m 5.0m
• 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.
• All the great powers were competing for colonies / territory.
• The British feared Germany in Africa.
• The Austrians feared Serbia / Russia in the Balkans
• 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.
national flag Significant Individuals 1.
• Kaiser Wilhelm II
• Built up German army and navy • Aggressive foreign policy
• Determined to make
Germany a top nation.
• Distrusted by other powers
“Germany must have its place in the sun”
“The world belongs to the strong.”
Significant Individuals 2
• Count Berchtold
• Austrian Prime
• During the July
Crisis, decided on a very tough ultimatum for Serbia
“Were the Serbs to agree to all the demands, this would not be to my liking”
Significant Individuals 3
• Bethmann Hollweg
• German Prime Minister
• Gave very strong support to Austria during the July crisis while Kaiser was cruising on his yacht
“The Austrian demands are moderate. Any interference by Britain,
France and Russia would be followed by incalculable consequences”
The Crisis 1.
• 28 June 1914
• Heir to Austrian throne
Franz Ferdinand visits
• Capital of Bosnia, recently grabbed by
• Hotbed of Slav nationalism Seal of the
Black Hand group The Crisis 2.
• “Black Hand” terrorists attack the Arch Duke
• Bomb attempt fails in morning • Gavrilo Princip shoots
Archduke and wife in the afternoon.
• Austrians blame Serbia