Background to WWI Key Dates

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    Franco-Prussian War

    The Kingdom of Prussia was leading German power; Bismarck encouraged the growing rift between Prussia and France to turn S Germany into national union. Spanish throne was offered to a Prussian prince; offer was rejected but France demanded further commitments (guarantee that German royalty would not take over Spanish throne). Ems Dispatch insulted the French and resulted in outbreak of war; resulted in loss of Aslance-Lorraine.
  • Dual Alliance between Germany and Austria-Hungary

    The two countries pledgesd to aid one another in case of an attack by Russia, and each state promised to remain neutral/support the other if one of them was attacked by another European power.
  • The Triple Alliance is created

  • Wilhelm II becomes Kaiser

  • Franco-Russian Alliance

    Was to remain as long as the Triple Alliance existed; created in fear of the growing strength of allies in Central Europe; undermined supremacy of German Emprie
  • France and Britain sign the Entente Cordiale

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    Russo-Japanese War

    Japan destroyed the entire Russian army which surprised the rest of the world and humiliated Russia.
  • First Moroccan Crisis, 1905-1906

    Morocco was an uncolonized African country, but France wanted to add it to its Empire. Germany objected, and demanded an international conference on Morocco's future. Algerciras Conference in 1906 resulted in British, Italian, Russian and Spanish support.
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    Naval Arms Race

    in 1900 Kaiser Wilhelm began to build up the German navy (Tirpiz's Navy Law) to challenge British navy; Brtain had two power standard, responded to Germany's improveents in 1906 by building first Dreadnought. Germany built its own kind in 1907-8. Resulted in loss of Germany- Britain made 29 and Germany made 17.
  • HMS Dreadnought is launched

  • Germany begins a Naval Race, 1906-1914

  • Anglo-Russian Entente

  • Anglo-Russian Entente

  • Austria-Hungary takes control of Bosnia

    A-H had been given control of Bosnia by an 1878 treaty, but wanted to make it an official part of their Empire. However, Serbia wanted sea access (it was landlocked) to help trade as was hoping to join with Bosnia as lots of Serbs were living there. Russia supported the annexation on the conidtion that it would have access for its warships through the Turkish Straits. Russia didn't get what it wanted as other powers stood against it- but A-H went ahead. Russia protested but Germany backed A-H.
  • Agadir Crisis (Second Moroccan Crisis)

    France sent troops to Fez to fight Moroccan rebels, Germany accused France of trying to take complete control over Morocco. Germany sent a warship called the Panther to Agadir, hoping to force France to give them the French Congo. Britain was worried that Germany might build a naval base, which would threaten key British trading routes. They sent warships as well. Germany backed down.
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    First Balkan War

    Many countries wanted influence in Balkan Territory (Germany wanted to build railway, A-H wanted to stop Serbia from stirring up more nationalism, Russia wanted sea access Italy wanted to control Adriatic Sea). Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro formed the Balkan League and attacked the Turkish Empire. At the Treaty of London the Turks agreed to give up their lands in Europe.
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    Second Balkan War

    Bulgaria was dissatisfied about spoils and territory from the First Balkan War and attacked Serbia and Greece. Turkey and Romania joined the Greek and Serbian side and Bulgaria was soon defeated. Serbia nearly doubled its size. France felt it was not prepared. In both of these wars France and Britain tried to keep the peace (France felt it was not ready to go to war against Germany, Britain secretly encouraged and Bulgaria to join in order to counteract Russian influence in Balkan areas).
  • Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand