The European powers were readying themselves for the coming conflict. Build up to War Build up to War looks at alliances and treaties. But was this really worth the lives of the millions who were to die in the conflict?
Last words from a lost army 29 Aug In Germany, France and Austria-Hungary, mobilisation produced mass outbursts of patriotic hysteria and rejoicing.
For the French, it was an opportunity to wipe out the shame of their defeat by the Prussians 43 years before and to restore Alsace and Lorraine to their rightful owners.
For the Germans, it Build up to ww i the chance to fulfil the destiny that had been denied them by their spiteful, greedy neighbours.
For the Austro-Hungarians, it was a pretext to slap down the Serbs once and for all. The spring in the step of the soldiers marching away and the ecstatic cheers of the crowds were a reflection of the widespread belief that the conflict would be short and sharp.
An officer of the Russian Imperial Guard fretted over whether he should pack his full dress uniform to wear for the triumphant entry into Berlin, or leave it to be delivered by the next courier.
We tend to view as a hinge in a doorway leading from a benign, sunlit past to a cold, dark future. It seems to mark the end of a long sequence of progress and prosperity and the beginning of a new Dark Age. Before the Great War, all the belligerents had their share of social and political problems.
Worst of all was Russia, seething with chronic discontent and presided over by an apathetic and fatalistic Tsar.
The Habsburg empire of Austria-Hungary was coming apart, its patchwork of ethnicities and languages torn by nationalist passions. Germany, for all its economic vigour and sense of purpose, was taut with social and cultural tensions as was its arch enemy France.
Four-fifths of the population occupied the bottom stratum supplying the two million domestic servants who ministered to the needs of those at the top.
When they rioted in Tonypandy introops were sent in. At the outbreak of war, no woman had the vote. As property qualifications were still in force, nor did many of the departing soldiers.
The prospect that the army might be used against the Protestants of Ulster who were violently opposed to the idea of being ruled by an autonomous Dublin parliament, caused an extraordinary outbreak of defiance by officers. But for all the inequalities and latent strife, British working-class men marched off to fight for their country with much the same enthusiasm as their French and German counterparts, cheered on by the same loyal women.
The prevailing mood of Europe was nationalistic. Nationalism was a reflection of patriotism and in patriotism could not be easily imposed or faked.
Burgeoning communications, educational advances and the march of democracy meant that the nation had a better idea of what they were fighting to protect than preceding generations. The mass of Britons were proud of who they were and their dominant place in the world.
As Professor Sir Michael Howard pointed out: In this atmosphere of prosperity, stability and optimism, the arts flourished. In Germany, Richard Strauss led the world in musical innovation. Britain had a new crop of literary talent in Conrad, Wells and Kipling. In Vienna there seemed to be a genius in every kaffeehaus.
But the process of globalisation created commercial interdependencies that seemed to make the idea of a large-scale war impossible.
A big best-seller of was The Great Illusion. Its author Norman Angell argued that the disruption of international credit which would inevitably come with war would either prevent it from breaking out or, if it did, bring it to a speedy end. This view was widely accepted as nothing more than the truth.
Co-operation rather than confrontation seemed to be the way forward. International agreements covering telegraphs, railways, meteorological data, maritime arrangements, the spread of disease and a host of other areas of mutual interest and benefit had been in place for decades.
There had even been an attempt to regulate war itself. InTsar Nicolas II, of all people, called for an international conference which convened at The Hague to discuss not only arms limitation but the establishment of an international court to settle disputes between nations by arbitration. Fear of war, though, was outweighed by fear of unpreparedness if war broke out, and the race went heedlessly on.
The Europe of swirled with threat and promise. Increased prosperity and a growing mass consciousness, brought about by the spread of literacy and the advent of mass media, increased the danger of class strife — maybe class warfare.
These elements of promise and threat were encapsulated in a single, wonderful invention — the aeroplane. Before the war, all over the continent the public flocked to air shows to marvel at the new flying machines and the daredevils piloting them.
Inherent in the spectacle was the sense of possibility, that the frontiers of existence were joyfully expanding. Yet almost immediately, these blissful creations were being fitted with weaponry.Oct 29, · Watch video · World War I began in , after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and lasted until During the conflict, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire (the Central.
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Build Up to WWI. STUDY. PLAY. Klemens von Metternich. The leader of the meeting in Austria and the person with the answers to the questions of who is in charge, where are the borders, and how to stop another French Revolution or Napoleonic War.
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Here are 10 facts that tell the story of the build-up to World War One. Historians are still divided over why exactly the war happened, which events were most significant .