World War-I

Date: December 21, 2014

                                                      World War-I                         


                               Groups (In 1907)

       Tripple Aliance                                                  Tripple Entante

(Austria, Germany, Italy)                                   (England, France & Russia)

  ( Axis States)                                                           (Allied States)


Fundamental Causes of the war – The 19th century was comparatively an era of peace. From 1815 upto 1914 there had been not a general war in Europe. It is not easy to answer why world war-I broke out in 1914 A.D. but certain fundamental causes which had their origin in the 19th century may be traced. The basis of fundamental causes much be distinguished from the immediate causes. The basic causes that led to the catastrophy of the 1914 were –

  1. The system of rival alliances                                                                       2. The armament race          
  1. The system of rival alliances – After unification of Germany in 1871 AD. Its chancellor Bismark desired peace and the maintenance of the status quo. He feared that in another European war his new German Empire might be turn into pieces. He desired peace to achieve internal consolidation and to develop Germany in Industry and commerce. Germany considered France as its greatest enemy. The France could not forget Alsace Lawrence and they entertained the idea of recovering these provinces. Bismark at once took step to prevent such a move. He was certain that France alone would not dare to attack Germany. So he attempt to isolate France and to gain alliance for Germany. Great Britain would not join France in view of their colonial rival. In 1871 Bismark formed the league of 3 Emperors Germany, Russia and Austria with a view to preserve peace and maintaining the status quo. However, in 1878 AD the relation between Russia and Austria Hungry become strained because the Austrian interest in the Balkan conflicted with the Russian ambitious in the same region. So Bismark was obliged to chose between Russia and Austria, he chose Austria-Hungary and concluded a secret treaty with Austria-Hungary in 1879 A.D. This treaty is known as the ‘Dual Alliance’. Its basic provision was that if one of two empires were attacked by Russia the other was bound to come to its assistance & if empire were attacked by a power other than Russia the other empire would remain neutral.

               Bismark took one more step to isolate France, he concluded a secret treaty with Russia in 1887 AD by this treaty Bismark promised to support Russia’s interest, in Balkan region, this treaty was known as ‘reassurance treaty’.

               Italy was alone and it needed alliance. It joined the German camp and thus the ‘Dual Alliance’ become a ‘Tripple Alliance’.

               Austria had been the biggest obstacle in the Italian unification. Thus, the alliance with Italy on the one side and Germany and the Austria-Hungary on the other was clearly a marriage of interest not affection.

French Diplomacy – After the retirement of Bismark in 1890 A.D. Germany under C. Williams II undid much of his work, the reassurance treaty with Russia was not renewed. Consequently France made diplomatic moves to win over Russia to its side. In 1893 AD, France and Russia signed a military pact, according to this pact if France was attacked by Germany or by Italy supported by Germany than Russia would attack Germany & if Russia was attacked by Germany or Austria supported by Germany France would fight Germany. The terms of this pact were kept secret.

               Meanwhile, the alliance between France and Russia left Britain diplomatically isolated Great Britain and France had been heriditaire foes. British imperialism have closed with both Russians and France even since in the number of region in the world. At the same time Germany’s industrial & commercial development alarmed Great Britain. So Britain had to decide with alliance it would join France and Russia.

  1. The armament race – In the formation of the Tripple Entante Europe found itself divided into two hostile group. The purpose of the alliances was supposed to be national security but in reality they lead to increase insecurities among the nations. Each group feared that the other group would try to become mightier. This lead to mutual distrust, which in turn gave rise to an armament race. The European States viewed one another in building their armies and navys the larger states except Great Britain their armies. No nations dared to withdraw from the race for fear by being destroyed by another. Thus, big arrives and big military budget become common in Europe from 1870 onwards. The people believed that big armies were meant for national defence. Infact peace did prevailed in Europe from 1878 to 1914 but it was an armed peace.

               The special phase of the armament race was Naval contest between Great Britain and Germany. Germany was the greatest power in Europe and the British Empire was the greatest power in the world. Britain had dominated as a sea power through out the 19th century. She had built a mighty empire covering a quarter of the surface of the earth. Germany’s Charles William II was not satisfied with having the strongest army in Europe. He wanted to built a large navy and therefore paid special attention to naval armaments.

               “Our future lies on sea, I will never rest until I have raised my army to a position similar to that occupied by my army”.

“More Navy, More Army and more Dry Powder.”

               Therefore, this compelled Britain to spend large sums in maintaining her naval supremacy to meet German Naval competition what greatly alarmed Britain was C. William’s provocative statements such as “We Germans fear God and nothing else in the world.”

               In 1889 AD, 26 power met at the Hague a city in the West Netherlands. The 1st Hague conference which went on for more than 10 weeks discussed the problem of disarmament.

               The conference established a permanent court of International Justice at Hague. Formulated certain laws for the conduct of war. However it failed to face the great danger of armament race.

               The 2nd Hague conference which met 1907AD achieved nothing. Meanwhile, the armament race continued at full speed in 1912 Austria Hungary and Russia increased the size of their armies. France extended the period of military service from 2-3 years.

  • Sarajevo Masacre (Immediate Causes of the War)
  • Gabrieto Princep assassinated prince of Germany and his wife in Sarajevo city in Bosnia which was under Austria.

On 28th July 1914 declared war Austria against Sarbia than to support Sarbia, Russia declared war against Austria, than because of this secrets treaties collapse with each other and world war-I started.

Divided into two groups in 1914-

                         Austria, Germany                                                              England, France, Russia & Italy

Paris Peace Settlement

Selection of the Place – 32 Nations was called for the settlement. First it was to be held in Geneva but due to pressure from France it was held at Paris.

1st Conference 18 January 1919

               Later only 10 nations and then 4  superpowers were made as a committee as 32 nations were huge no. of meeting. America’s President Wudrow Wilson, British Prime Minister Lorette George, France’s Prime Minister Climainshu and Italy’s Prime Minister Orleudo. Under them 5 treaties were done with different nations –

  1. Allied and associate nations made treaty with defeated nations.
  2. Versoy treaty with Germany – 28th June, 1919
  3. St. German treaty with Austria – 10th Sept, 1919
  4. Merilly treaty with Bulgaria – 27th Nov., 1919
  5. Trianon traty with Hungary – 4th June, 1920
  6. Lassane treaty with Turkey – 23rd July, 1923
  • League of Nations was established under the committee.
  • International Labour organization
  • Mandatory system of government.

There were 5 important leaders of the conference namely that USA, Great Britain, France, Japan & Italy.

Japan concerned itself primarily with the eastern issues & as such remains away from European problems. After sometime Italy also withdraw from the conference after opposing discussion Adriotic problems.

               Real leadership about dealing with Germany and European problem remain with Wudrow Wilson, Loyd & Climainshu.

               Presides Willson was keen in having long duration peace based on justice & neutrality instead of taking revenge on the enemy. He wanted that peace should be concluded on this basis of 14 point programme.

               On the other hand Climanshu ridiculed this. He once said “Even God was satisfied with 10 commandants but Mr. Willson insist on 14.”

               Climanshu wanted that peace treaty should guarantee security of France and so was the view of Orlaudo of Italy that interest of Italy should be protected at all cost.

                     George wanted to establish international peace based on Truth & Justice only. If interest of England with fully well protected.

               “I leave signed the treaty not because consider it a satisfactory document but because it is imperatively necessary to close the war.” -              Bail (Germany)