WWI (Modern European)

People

Kaiser Friedrich Wilhelm IV

1840 - 1861

Kaiser of PRUSSIA (not Germany - not yet united)
He was a strict, conservative Junker who was in power during the 1848 revolutions and refused to rule over a united Germany (won't accept a crown from the gutter!)

Kaiser Wilhelm I

1861 - 1888

Kaiser of Prussia, then German after Franco-Prussian war and subsequent unification. He had Bismarck as his chancellor. He ruled during the Schlesvig wars, Franco-Prussian war, and the Austro-Prussian war.

Bismarck

1862 - 1890

German chancellor, Realpolitik, unification of Germany

Wilhelm II

1888 - 1918

A young Kaiser who dismisses Bismarck and favored a personal, direct rule. He was in favor of Weltpolitik foreign policy (dramatically different from Realpolitik). He resigned after the WWI armistice.

Misc. Events

Zollverein

1833

an alliance between German states that facilitated trade and promoted economic unity

1848 Revolutions

1848

Liberal, nationalist uprisings that were appearing throughout Europe. In Germany they resulted in a parliament being held and a constitution drawn up which begins the concept of a united German nation state. Kaiser Freidrich WIlhelm IV is offered the crown of Germany but he refuses (He won't accept a crown from the gutter!)

Prussian Constitutional Crisis

1860

Early 1860s.
Kaiser Wilhelm I wanted to increase the military budget but the mostly liberal parliament refused as that would mean more taxes for the working/middle classes they represented. Bismarck was called in and he solved the problem (the budget was increased)

Kaiser Titel Crisis

1869

Bismarck loudly vocalizes support for Wilhelm I taking the crown for ALL of Germany (supports unification), this pisses off the French.

Spanish Constitutional Crisis

1870

Spain offers the crown to Wilhelm I of Prussia because he has a claim to it. France is strongly opposed to this. No one knows what's going to happen next.

the Ems telegram

1870

A French ambassador approached the vacationing Wilhelm I about the Spanish crown crisis, it was a big mistake WIlhelm got sad and telegrammed Bismarck. Bismarck edited and published the telegram, 'exposing' the French to the world (fuel for Franco-Prussian war).

Congress of Berlin

1878

The Treaty of San Stefano is revisited and some edits are made which curb a bit of Russia's power. This confirms Berlin as the new center of the diplomatic world.

Heligoland-Zanzibar Treaty

1890

an agreement between GB and Germany in which Germany gains Heligoland island in exchange for rights to Zanzibar (Britain) - Britain feels threatened by Germany (colonially)

Kruger telegram

1896

a telegram sent to the Dutch by the Germans (Wilhelm II) congratulating them on their Boer war victories against the British = did not improve relations with the Brits

First Naval Bill

1898

example of Weltpolitik – first naval bill gave an outline to naval reforms and additions (to compete with Britain) and proved that Germany wanted to make its mark and show off its competence

First Moroccan Crisis - Tangier

1905 - 1906

British accept French rule in Morocco, Germany sets out to undermine their friendship by getting aggressive - wants to call a conference about maintaining the Moroccan sultan’s independence

Algeciras conference in Spain

1906

Britain supports France's claim to Morocco after Germany calls the conference to discuss Moroccan independence (Germany is trying to get France and Britain to fight)

Bosnian Crisis

1908

The Balkans are unstable...
Austria annexes parts of Bosnia - Russia and Serbia are MAD. There is talk of war...!

Second Moroccan Crisis - Agadir

1911

Germany continues to apparently support Moroccan independence. Sends a gunboat over to Agadir to protest French intervention.

Defense of the Realm Act (Britain)

1914

British act that allowed land to be taken for the war effort, industries concentrated, different behavioral controls (DORA)

Sussex Pledge

1917

German u-boats sink a passenger liner → Wilson calls for Sussex Pledge for Germans to stop submarine warfare on non-military vessels

Zimmerman note

1917

factor that influenced the US into entering the war → intercepted telegram from Germany to Mexico in which she urged the Mexicans to attack the US

Conflicts

Crimean War

1853 - 1856

conflict with Russia vs. France/Britain/Ottoman empire - Russia was trying to expand into the Ottoman empire's territories (that were weakening)

Second Schleswig War

1864

Prussia and Austria vs. Denmark over the Schleswig territories. Prussia and Austria win and divide the territories amongst themselves.

Austro-Prussian war

1866

Austria vs. Prussia
This war resulted in a Prussian victory (but a "soft" one as they didn't take any spoils of war.
It solidified Prussian dominance over the other states.

the Peace of Prague

1866

Settles the Austro-Prussian war

Franco-Prussian War

1870 - 1871

conflict between Prussia and France that united Germany and defeated France. Germany conquered the Alsace-Lorraine territories - the memory of this would not fade quickly from French minds (revanchism, etc. later on)

Treaty of Frankfurt

1871

Settles the Franco-Prussian war

Treaty of San Stefano

1878

Settles the Russo-Turkish war by creating large Russian client-states in the Balkans. This makes Austria angry because they want a monopoly over the Balkans. It makes the Ottomans sad because they are the sick man of Europe :-(

Russo-Turkish war

1878

Russians supporting Pan-Slavs vs the Ottomans

Serbo-Bulgarian War & Bulgarian Crisis

1885 - 1886

a proxy war where the Serbian king is backed up by Austria-Hungary and Bulgarian king is backed up by Russia, Bulgaria is expanding - Serbia/Austria not happy
the tensions and proxy war dissolved the Dreikaiserbund

First Sino-Japanese war

1895

war between China and Japan that proved Chinese military incompetence and gave Japan influence over a large amount of territories in Asia
Russia + France + Germany form the Triple intervention on China’s side to prevent Japanese (Yellow Peril) spread into Russian borders)

First Balkan War

1912

Serbia, Greece, Montenegro vs. Turkey (Ottomans), want independence

Second Balkan War

1913

Bulgaria unsatisfied with its spoils from the first Balkan war, attacks Serbia etc, Russia defends Serbia & Austria gets very very worried

Alliance system

the system of alliances can be observed as long term causes of the war

Draikaiserbund

1872 - 1888

Three Emperors' League between Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary - wasn't very effective (Austria-Hungary often clashed with Russia) or profound but it kept France isolated which is what Germany wanted

Dual Alliance

1879

between Germany & Austria-Hungary - pledged to aid eachother in event of a Russian attack

Dreikaiserbund renewed

1881

the Dreikaiserbund was renewed but it eventually fell apart four years later due to Balkan troubles

Triple Alliance

1882

Austria-Hungary, Germany, Italy but Italy would eventually switch sides

Reinsurance Treaty

1887

SECRET treaty between Russia and Germany for neutrality in the case of conflict - gave Germany the choice between Russia and Austria Hungary (with the dual alliance) if something happened

Franco-Russian alliance

1892

Russia and France finally allied together first economically, then militarily

Bjorko Meeting

1905

it was a secret meeting between Wilhelm II and the Russian Tsar where they signed a mutual defense treaty BUT the Tsar’s ministers CANCELLED the agreement (Russia was already tight with France, Germany's enemy.....)

Anglo-Russian convention

1907

Britain + Russia arrangement of Middle East/Central Asia which settles the Great Game colonial rivalry between them

Western Front

Sinking of the Lusitania

1915

German u-boats sink a liner carrying US citizens → Wilson appeals to Germany to halt submarine warfare (round 1) – stop for a year or two

Battle of Jutland

1916

British vs. German navy in the North Sea → inconclusive result

Battle of the Somme

1916

French-British offensive that proved inconclusive, tanks introduced for the first time (attempt to overcome trench warfare)

Battle of Asiago/Trentino

1916

Italy vs. Austria-Hungary where Austria surprised Italy

Battle of Verdun

February 21, 1916 - December 18, 1916

Western front battle that exemplified the war of attrition – Falkenhayne launched this enormous offensive against the French in an attempt to “bleed them white” and scare Britain into surrender however it ran out of steam and not much came out of it

Battle of the Somme

July 1, 1916 - November 18, 1916

French-British offensive which proved inconclusive

Battle of Cambrai

November 20, 1917 - December 7, 1917

British offensive & German counteroffensive - first use of tanks

Meuse Argonne Offensive

1918

Allied offensive all along the Western front

Battle of Chateau Thierry

1918

one of the first actions of the American troops

Kiel revolt/mutiny

1918

the Spring Offensive

1918

a massive attack of the Germans onto the allies in the Spring of 1918, they were riding on it to be their “victory offensive” → they believed if they rallied hard against the French they would surrender and the British would consider peace (war of attrition). They also wanted to take decisive action against the Allies before the US troops arrived in significant numbers. Unfortunately this offensive petered out and the Ally counterattack resulted in Germany suing for peace and the armistice on November 11, 1918.

Hundred Days' Offensive

1918

final Allied offensive against Germany that resulted in the November Armistice (11/11/11)

Eastern Front

Battle of Galicia

1914

Russia vs. Austria in which the Russians crushed the Austrians and forced them out of Galicia (modern day Ukraine) → Germany had to come in and save them

Battle of Tannenberg

August 1914

a battle where the Germans crushed the Russians on the Eastern Front

Gallipoli campaign

1915 - 1916

a campaign which aimed to break the deadlock caused by the Western front by bringing the war to the Balkan theatre – the Russians called the British over to take the Dardanelles and claim the Balkans, the Ottomans WON over the Brits, ANZAC troops helped the Brits to no avail

Armenian Genocide

1915

he Ottoman government’s systematic extermination of the Armenian minority – this was done through the assassination of intellectuals, the massacre/conscription/forced labour of able-bodied men, and the deportation of women, children and the elderly on fatal death marches in the Syrian desert

Gallipoli Campaign

April 25, 1915 - January 9, 1916

a campaign which aimed to break the deadlock caused by the Western front by bringing the war to the Balkan theatre – the Russians called the British over to take the Dardanelles and claim the Balkans…?

Brusilov Offensive

June 5, 1916 - September 20, 1916

Russia vs. Central Powers, huge offensive against the Central Powers which resulted in a Russian victory and a tremendous loss of life

Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

1918

treaty formed when Russia exited the war in which it had to pay Germany reparations and concede many territories, this was annulled at the Treaty of Versailles

the July crisis

lead-up and break-out of WWI

Germany issues a blank check to Austria-Hungary

July 6 1914

"we got u babe"

Poincare makes arrangements btwn France and Russia

July 20 1914

Austro-Hungarian ultimatum to Serbia

July 23 1914 - July 25 1914

Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia

July 28 1914

Franz Ferdinand is assassinated!

July 28 1914

Germany declares war on Russia

August 1 1914

Germany declares war on France

August 3 1914

Britain sends Belgian neutrality reminder to France/Germany

July 31 1918