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World War One
 Account for the feelings of hostility towards the Austria-hungry Empire by Serb nationalists in 1914:
 Austria was what stood in the way of progress of the Serbian nation. Serbia was a direct threat to the survival of the multinational Austrian Empire and for that reason Austria felt it necessary to thwart Serbia’s plans for growth and development. The Serbs desired more land, especially a coastline with an all important sea port, Austria denied them this by, in the peace treaty of 1912, creating a new country between Serbia and the coast, Albania. Austria also had Imperial control over several Slavic states, to which she denied national self-determination. The annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina by Austria in 1908, and the subsequent threat of war by the Empire had also been a major factor in creating the hostility between the two sides.
 Assess the extent to which Germany provoked the war of 1914:
 The Actions and policies of Germany before 1914 were largely provocative towards the other powers of Europe and thus a major factor in the build-up to war.
With the Accent of a new Kaiser, Kaiser William II to the throne and the retirement of Chancellor Bismarck Germany embarked on a series of aggressive reforms and developments to her foreign policies. Kaiser Bill himself was threatening to the other leaders. His proud, militarist and power-hungry features, caused him to be viewed in a questionable light and the policies he instigated for Germany caused the same reaction. Central to the foreign policies of Germany was Weltpolitik (world policy), which involved the move from a continental power to a world power through colonial and naval expansion.
Chancellor Bismarck had prevented Germany from threatening the other Empires by her foreign policies but it wasn’t long before Germany’s determination for a ‘place in the sun’ drew the attention of Britain and France. Her aggressive grabs for colonial acquisitions, her rapid naval expansion and increasing military strength were seen as, not only a direct threat to their own individual positions within Europe but as an attempt at world domination, particularly as Germany’s international position was already strong. This created enormous tension that spread through all other nations and caused them to alter their own foreign policies and military status in answer to the threat from Germany. Thus Germany was largely responsible for the stress of the arms race and desperate desires for colonial expansion in the other powers, which created tension that largely, contributed to the outbreak of war in 1914
Germany too, was largely responsible for the creation of the alliance systems that meant any conflict would develop into an international crisis. She began with an alliance with Austria to support the other if attacked, which then spurned the creation of the alliances between France, Britain and Russia. In the opinion of the historian J. Lochlan this was a major contributing factor to the buildup of tension between the rival powers.
When this tension reached crisis point Germany was once again responsible for the direction the events took. Her assurance to Austria of a ‘blank cheque’ for support in the conflict with Serbia allowed Austria to act rashly in instigating war with the Serbs. Had Germany been more cautious in their support of Austria, Austria in turn would have acted more responsibly. Indirectly Germany had once again provoked the powers of Europe and driven them towards war
The final provocation from Germany towards the other powers was direct indeed. On the third of August, when Russia, Austria and Serbia were already at war, Germany invaded Belgium. The implications of this were enormous. Firstly it was a huge threat to both France and Britain, who, if it wasn’t for Germany’s action may have stayed clear of the squabble. Once in Belgium Germany had a clear path to both France and the English Channel. But what was worse was that Germany had, along with France and Britain, signed a treaty agreeing on Belgium’s neutrality. By crossing the frontier Germany had violated that treaty and Britain and France had no option but to retaliate. Germany had caused the war to become an international crisis involving all major powers.
Although Germany’s actions were a major provocative factor in the actions of the other major powers, which eventually led to war. They were not solely responsible for W.W.I. and it would be unfair to accuse them such. Both Britain and France were very much involved in the arms race and colonial race and added to the tensions these two races created. Austria too played a major role in the war’s lead up by her activities in the Balkans. Blame for W.W.I. can not solely be placed in any one court but Germany’s actions were certainly very provocative and therefore a major factor in determining the course of other powers in the years before 1914.
 Describe the differences between the social classes of Edwardian Britain:
 There were vast differences between the characteristics of life in the different social classes, which were mainly attributed to wealth although birth and social status were contributing factors. Firstly there was education. Working class children attended a board school until the age of about twelve, they learnt basic reading and writing and perhaps some numeracy but that was all. Middle and upper class boys attended Grammar or public schools and, after graduation either university or business school. Middle class girls often attended girls’ boarding school where they learnt to be respectable, while upper class girls were educated by a governess and taught to be a lady. Both girls and boys of the working class entered the workforce at an early age. They worked in large factories for long hours at low pay. Often the work was dangerous and damaging to the health. Working class people didn’t usually have a nutritious diet or healthy lifestyle and so were at risk of disease, which spread quickly in the crowed conditions, in which they lived and worked. Middle class boys meanwhile often went on to become the owners or directors of the factories in which the working class were employed. They were doctors and teachers and lawyers. The women married and they ran large suburban home, often with several servants. The middle class life was one of respectability and comfort. Members enjoyed a life of financial security and, although they did not live in luxury, they did not want for anything and were able to enjoy recreational activities such as seaside holidays in summer. The usual course for an upper class young man was a position in the army, government or church. The upper class life was drenched in tradition, the main source of income was from the large family estates (the upper class were the main landowners in Britain) and houses, which had been in the family for generations. Upper class men did not actually have any employment as such so their lives were an endless round of hunting seasons in the country house, shooting seasons at the Scottish estate and London ball seasons in the town house. In winter most upper class families went abroad to Europe. Ladies aspired to marry well and become socialites; trend setters and party givers. The vast differences between the classes meant huge distinctions in dress. Upper class people had very fussy and elaborate clothes that looked beautiful would have been easily damaged. The middle class was a bit more practical with their clothing but was always dressed comfortably and elegantly. The working class however dressed for necessity. Fabrics were durable and warm, styles designed for maximum movement for the wearer and they often only owned one or two outfits.
 Discuss the factors contributing to the nationalistic fever in Germany by 1914:
 The main factors contributing to nationalistic fever in Germany were; the propaganda put out by various political leaders concerning Germany’s naval, military and colonial expansions, which inspired pride in the nation. They influence of the press on public spirit. The anticipated threat from other powers, which increased the desire for German supremacy and personal financial interest, especially from the middle class, in German industrial expansion.
The German people were proud of their Kaiser and his policies, which they saw as being for the good of Germany, and therefore the good of themselves. Much of their pride was inspired by various pieces of propaganda, designed to rally public support, created by the Kaiser and his political leaders to justify their actions. Prince Bernhard Von Bülow was the author of the book Imperial Germany that described Weltpolotik and the reasons for it. In this book, read by millions of Germans he says;
“for the sake of our interests, as well as our honor and dignity…”
Phrases like these, about honor and dignity were a huge rallying point for public support. Another tactic used by political leaders was the elusion to a possible threat to Germany’s future. The historian Hand Delbruck said in 1896:
“the nation which goes away empty handed will loose its place in the next generation from the ranks of those Great Powers.”
With messages like these coming from political leaders it was no wonder the German public supported the Kaisers activities and saw them as being for the greater good of Germany.
The press had a very strong influence on popular opinion and, as an organization it was very nationalistic. It then projected this nationalism onto the general public. Newspapers were cheap and easily available, thus they were able to influence all levels of society. Even unbiased reports carried an overtone of nationalistic sympathy that injected itself into the general public. Headlines like;
“Military Power will prevail”
were very effective in arousing public spirit and involving everyone in support for the Government’s policies.
The German press was also very effective in inspiring fear of threats from other powers. It was common knowledge in Germany that France was still bitter over her defeat in the Franco-Prussian war. This, and threats from other powers such as Russia and Britain were played up by the press one headline from august 1905 read:
“British challenge the German right to navy”
messages like this caused the rise of nationalism in response to the supposed threat from other nations.
The last major factor in German nationalism was economic. Major businesses, especially industrial ones, were reliant on Germany’s strength and colonial size for their success. Colonies provided a source of raw materials and an export outlet while much of the German industry was also tied up in the political side of the nation, with links to major banks as well. This powerful triangle controlled all the aspects of Germany’s domestic economy and was very nationalistic in their interests. They, in turn, inspired nationalism in the General public.
 Evaluate the extent to which the British public determined the actions of Britain in the lead-up to war.
 The British public played a very large role in the actions of Britain in the lead-up to war. They had such power, which was denied to many of their European counterparts, mainly because, as a constitutional Monarchy with an elected parliament British rule was subject to the needs, wants and demands of the British public.
As voting taxpayers the British public had huge influence over their parliament, who could either submit to demands placed upon it or face the threat of being voted out of power. In turn the British press had huge influence over the public. Newspapers and publications inspired in the British public nationalism, born from the seen threats from other nations and from a desire for British supremacy. One example of the press influencing the public, who in turn influenced the parliament was seen in 1909. Because of the threat to British naval dominance from Germany nationalistic fever created a demand for new dreadnought class battleships. “we want eight and we won’t wait” screamed the headlines in demand of what the public saw as being necessary for Britain’s navy. Because to refuse would have meant the loss of popular support, and then the loss of power in the next election the parliament had no choice but to comply with public demand.
This was the case for many of Britain’s activities during the pre-war years. Any controversy that inspired interest and nationalism in the public was taken up as a public cause. Had the parliament wished to step out of the arms race or imperial race or ever some of the military strategies and treaties being developed public support would not have allowed it. The British public was court up in nationalistic fever and, had any parliament refused to comply with their wishes they would have elected new politicians who would do as they wished. Thus British parliament were bound to their public and the public were largely able to control the course of Britain’s pre-war period
The most crucial event of public sympathy regarded the Belgium affair. When Germany invaded Belgium on August 3rd 1914 the British public was outraged. “protect Belgium!” they demanded and the parliament, who may have been cautious about leaping into war, were forced by the strength of public demand to declare war on Germany.
The public largely determined the course of British action during the crucial pre war period. Leaders who held public confidence, such as Lloyd George did guide the nation on its course but mostly the aims of these leaders coincided with the wishes of the public anyway.
 Explain the reasons behind Germany’s foreign policy.
 The reasons for Germany’s aggressive foreign policy centered largely on the Kaiser. In his personal life and as leader of Germany the Kaiser was proud, militarist and aggressive. As the right to determine foreign policy lay solely in his hands much of the activities of Germany in her international relations can be tracked back to him. But the Kaiser had his reasons for his actions, and they are what we can identify as being the driving forces behind German foreign policy.
Germany desired a ‘place in the sun’ in other words a share in the glory and power of an Empire. The Kaiser believed that “the future of our people among the great nations depends on it.” Prince Bernhard, Chancellor of Germany gave more economic reasons for Germany’s Weltpolitik. He explained, in his book, Imperial Germany that the expansion of Germany’s empire was necessary; to support her growing industry, to build up her economic basis, to supplement the growth of the navy and to sufficiently defend the mother nation. Many commercial opportunities could been seen by the Kaiser in the Orient and interest in Turkey focused on the advantage of a Berlin to Baghdad railway.
Her international relations with allies and foes were an important part of German foreign policy too. Relations with France, which had been strained ever since the Franco-Prussian war, were further soured over the Moroccan struggle for trade monopolies in 1905. Austria was Germany’s only strong ally and for that Reason Germany was very generous in her support of Austria. She did not want to loose her one ally and have to face a hostile front of nations on her own.
 Identify the major powers at the time of W.W.I.
 The major colonial and influential powers by 1914 were Britain, with the largest Empire and navy. Germany with the strongest army. Russia with the largest population and largest land Empire. France with major monopolies in Africa and India and Austria- Hungry.