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Build up to War
The European powers were readying themselves for the coming conflict.

Build up to War

Build up to War looks at alliances and treaties.

History tells us that the cause of the First World War was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by Bosnian Nationalists. But was this really worth the lives of the millions who were to die in the conflict? What were the true causes of the war, which had been brewing in the previous decades, ready to plunge Europe into the largest conflict in its history?

Following the Napoleonic and Crimean Wars of the 19th century, treaties were signed in an attempt to maintain peace. The first of these, the League of the Three Emperors, was signed in 1873 by which three countries?
Germany, Russia and Austria-Hungary
Britain, France and Russia
Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire
Britain, France and the USA
The treaty did not last long. It was dissolved in 1878 after arguments between Austria-Hungary and Russia over the Balkans, the same argument which would eventually start the First World War
The German Empire became a major world power after its foundation in what year?
In 1861
In 1871
In 1881
In 1891
Before they were united as one country under Wilhelm, the Emperor of Prussia, Germany had consisted of many independent states. These were the remnants of the Holy Roman Empire which had been dissolved in 1806 after defeat to Napoleon
In 1882 Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy signed a defensive pact. What was the resulting alliance called?
The Union
The League of Defence
The Axis
The Triple Alliance
The treaty pledged the support of all members if one was attacked by a foreign power. At the outbreak of the First World War Italy did not join in, as the treaty only promised defensive help and Germany and Austria-Hungary had been the aggressors. Italy later joined the war against its former allies
In 1908 Austria-Hungary annexed the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. To which nation had Bosnia and Herzegovina formerly belonged?
The Russian Empire
The Ottoman Empire
The Austro-Hungarians had occupied the land since they took it from the Ottomans in 1878. The annexation was condemned by both Serbia and Russia but, as Austria-Hungary was supported by the Germans, war was averted. Instead the Russians began to increase the size of their army in preparation for any future conflict
The Reinsurance Treaty, signed in 1887, was a further agreement between Russia and Germany. It broke down in 1890 because Germany wished to pursue an alliance with which other nation?
Great Britain
Russia was seen as a threat to British interests in the Middle East and Germany wanted an alliance with Great Britain, France's traditional enemy, as a form of protection against the French
The European powers were readying themselves for the coming conflict. In the five years which preceded the First World War, arms-spending rose by how much?
It rose by 25%
It rose by 50%
It rose by 100%
It rose by 200%
Germany vastly increased the size of its navy and challenged Britain's dominance over the seas. The development of the British Dreadnought ensured its lead over its German counterpart
In 1904 the Entente Cordiale brought to an end 1,000 years of hostility between which two nations?
France and Spain
France and Italy
France and Holland
France and Great Britain
The Entente Cordiale settled several bones of contention between the two enemies. The French recognised British rule in Egypt and the British recognised French rule in Morocco. In addition, France was given land in Senegal and Nigeria
Between 1912 and 1913 the First Balkan War took place, in which the countries of Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria and Montenegro allied themselves to fight against which country?
The Austro-Hungarian Empire
The Ottoman Empire
The allies were successful and the Ottomans were all but driven from Europe. As a result of the war, the nation of Albania was born, but not all the victors were happy with the outcome. Bulgaria objected that some of the lands won were shared and it declared war on its former allies one month later. Bulgaria lost this Second Balkan War, which only lasted for 6 weeks, and had to give up much of the land it had gained during the First Balkan War
In 1907 the Franco-Russian Alliance and the Anglo-Russian Convention, allied Britain, France and Russia in a defensive pact. By what name was this alliance known?
The Triple Alliance
The Anglo-French-Russian League
The Triple Entente
The Anglo-French-Russian Pact
The Triple Entente was seen as a countermeasure to the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy and a deterrent to war, though without these two opposing forces the world would not so easily have been plunged into conflict
The spark which ignited the powder keg of Europe was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by members of the nationalist group Mlada Bosna. What does Mlada Bosna mean in English?
Free Bosnia
Republican Bosnia
Independent Bosnia
Young Bosnia
The man who killed the Archduke was 19-year-old Gavrilo Princip. He was too young to receive the death sentence and so he was sent to prison for 20 years. He did not serve the whole of his sentence as he contracted tuberculosis and died three years later. At his trial Princip said, "I am a Yugoslav nationalist, aiming for the unification of all Yugoslavs, and I do not care what form of state, but it must be freed from Austria." His aim was eventually achieved, but not until millions of men had been killed


Author:  Graeme Haw

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