League of the Three Emperors, Dreikaiserbund
1872: Bismarck negotiated this in the wake of the Franco-Prussian War in order to isolate France and maintain European peace and security. It was between Germany's Emperor William I, Austria's Emperor Francis Joseph, and Russia's Tsar Alexander II. They pledged to cooperate in efforts to maintain peace and the status quo. However, after the Russo-Turkish War and the Congress of Berlin(1878) there was much tension between Austria and Russia and the strength of the League seemed doubtful. So...
Dual Alliance of 1879
Between Germany and Austria-Hungary. Manipulated by Bismarck to isolate France. A SECRET defensive military alliance which provided for mutual aid if either of the two were attacked by Russia.
Italy added to the (SECRET) Dual Alliance in 1882. Italy was upset at France for taking Tunisia. Arrangement was that if any member of the alliance was in a war with two or more adversaries, allies should come to its aid. The Triple Alliance would last until 1914. France now more isolated than ever.
1887: Bismarck negotiated this with Russia since growing tensions in Balkans made renewal of Dreikaiserbund impossible. Treaty provide for benevolent neutrality in case either partner became involved in war unless Germany attacked France or Russia attacked Austria. Germany had no intention of attacking France. The provision that Germany would not be obliged to observe benevolent neutrality in the event of a Russian attack on Austria made the terms of the Reinsurance compatible with Germany's obligations under the Dual Alliance. After Bismarck's fall from power, William II let this treaty lapse.
1894: France, feeling isolated and opposed by Germany, A-H(Austria-Hungary) and Italy - sought an alliance with the newly single Russia. Seemed like odd bed-fellows since France politically radical and Russia very reactionary. Nonetheless, in foreign policy they had mutual concerns. French capital was invested in Russia and Czar even went so far as to remove his hat when the Marsaillaise was played.
1902: This was Britain's alliance with Japan against Russia. Slowly, cautiously, Brit was ending its isolationism which had seemed especially bothersome in wake of Fashoda Crisis and Boer War. Began to be concerned about its position in the naval race. Saw Russia as threat to its postition in the Near, Middle(Persia) and Far (China) East. Japan, which was imperializing in Korea and China was also in competition with Russian expansionism.
1904. Britain and France agree to forget Fashoda and accumulated bad feeling of the last 25 years. France recognized Brit occupation of Egypt. Brit recognized French penetration of Morocco. Agreed to support each other against third parties but NO SPECIFIC ALLIANCE. Translated means - friendly understanding. France tried to reconcile its new friend with Russia.
1907: These long-time adversaries settled differences over Persia. Brits recognized Russian sphere of influence in Northern Persia and Russians recognized Brit sphere in Southern Persia.
1907: By this time Britain, France and Russia acting together and facing older Triple Alliance. Entente not as formal as Alliance because the Brits refused to make military committments.
(FIRST MOROCCAN CRISIS), 1905: In this incident William II of Germany was testing the strength of the Entente Cordiale. He visited Morocco where he gave a speech in Tangier supporting Moroccan independence. Since the French had long since penetrated Morocco and established police power, gained concessions and arranged loans - this was more than an indirect challenge. Diplomats recognised what William was up to. The Germans demanded Algericas Conference.
1906: The major powers attended (including the U.S.) to discuss the status of Morocco and in conclusion supported French claims. Only Austria voted with Germany against French claims. Thus Germany had created an incident and been rebuffed. Britain had supported its partner in the Entente Cordiale and was moving further toward Russia and the Triple Entente which was made the following year.
(SECOND MOROCCAN CRISIS), 1911: Germany sent a warship, The Panther, to the Moroccan port of Agadir, ostensibly to protect German interests. Tensions were eased when the French agreed to cede part of the French Congo to Germany in return for German recognition of the French position in Morocco. Germany's aggressive diplomacy had again caused alarm and David Lloyd George(Liberal Chancellor of the Exchequer) made an important speech in Parliament in which he warned of the German menace. French moved bulk of navy to Mediterranean and Brit focused forces in the North Sea - taking on responsibility of protecting French north coast. Thus Entente moving more towards and Alliance.
1908: Russian and Austrian foreign ministers (Isvolsky and Aehrenthal) came to a secret agreement. Both concerned by Young Turks and South Slavs movements. Decided to call international conference at which Russia would favor Austrian annexation of Bosnia and, in return, Austria was supposed to support opening of the Straits of Dardanelles to Russian warships.
Annexation of Bosnia
Austria did this WITHOUT even waiting for the conference or granting Russia its agreed upon reward. This action infuriated the Serbs who wanted Bosnia for themselves(to be part of a greater Serbia). Meanwhile, Bulgarians and Cretans broke from the decaying Ottoman Empire. Isvolsky could not get support for his claim from his partners in the Triple Entente. This secret deal was kept secret in Russia where the government was already facing criticism over foreign policy failures.
First Balkan War
1912: Italy declared war on Turkey for Tripoli and the Dodecanese Islands - easy victory encouraged Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece and Montenegro to take opportunity, with Russian patronage, of forming Balkan League and pressing their demands on Turkey. Turkey was defeated and at the TREATY OF LONDON, 1913, lost all its territory in Europe except for area along Straits. Over final disposition of territory, Austria and Russia took opposing views. Russia supported Serbs desire for ports on Adriatic. Austria wanted new state, Albania, created on Adriatic effectively blocking Serbian expansionism. International conference supported Austrian view. Once again Serbians thwarted and Russians losing face.
Second Balkan War
1913: Serbia, Greece, Romania AND TURKEY(!) vs. Bulgaria. The Serbs resented lack of gain in First Balkan War and felt Bulgarian received too much from settlement. Bulgarians defeated in 1913 conflict and ceded territory to Romania while Serbia and Greece gained most of Macedonia.
Independence of Albania
New State created as result of Balkan Wars. It was a Muslim, mountainous, wild area adjacent to Adriatic. It was by agreement of the Great Powers that it was created as an independent state. Its existence confirmed success of Austria's policy of keeping Serbia from the sea. It aroused outcries in Serbia and Russia. Russia backed down but Serbian nationalism and expansionism continued to fester.
JUNE 28, 1914: In capital of Austrian province of Bosnia, a South Slav/Serbian nationalist, GAVRILO PRINCIP, assassinated the ARCHDUKE FRANCIS FERDINAND, heir to the Austrian throne, and his wife Sophie. Princip was sponsored by the BLACK HAND, and Serbian nationalist/terrorist group. Although Serbian Govt was not directly involved, some Serbian officials were aware of plot and had done nothing to avert it. Led to series of events which ended in WW I...
German "Blank Check"
Germany indicated its readiness to support Austria fully in its pressing of an ultimatum on Serbia. This was much like issuing a blank check - Austria was free to write in the amount. Knowing that it had German support, Austria delivered a harsh ultimatum including the untenable stipulation that Austria send investigators to Serbia to find and punish the perpetrators of this heinous assassination.
Serbia felt Russia would support them in refusing this one condition
Austria knew it had German support (Blank Check)
Austria DECLARED WAR ON SERBIA, JULY 28, 1914
RUSSIA MOBILIZED ITS TROOPS
GERMANY DEMANDED AN END TO RUSSIAN MOBILIZATION
GERMANS DECLARED WAR ON RUSSIA, AUGUST 1ST.
GERMANS DECLARED WAR ON FRANCE, AUGUST 3RD - BECAUSE OF ...