International Relations 1878-1941


US Independence

July 4, 1776

Treaty of Nanking


Chinese were forced to import opium
To cede the island of Hong Kong
And to open up five coastal cities to foreign traders

Meiji Restoration


Japan transformed to a modern state

Unification of Germany

30 January 1871

Treaty of Frankfurt

10 May 1871

The League of Three Emperors

1873 - 1875

Russia, Austria, Germany - Against France and against issues in the Balkans

Eastern Crisis

August 1875 - July 1878

Berlin Congress

13 June 1878 - 13 July 1878

Autro-German Dual Alliance

1879 - 1918

Without Russia due to issues at Berlin Congress

Alliance of Three Emperors

18 June 1881 - 1887

Germany, Russia, Austria - Russia joins because Germany makes concessions
Renewed in 1884 (3 year treaty)

The Triple Alliance

20 May 1882 - 1915

Austria, Italy, Germany (frees up Austrian troops from Italy frontier in case of war with Russia)

Trans-Siberian Railway


Built by Russia - could send troops straight into China

Franco-Russian Alliance

1894 - 1917

The Jameson Raid

29 December 1895 - 2 January 1896

Fashoda Crisis


Britain and France

Anglo-German naval rivalry

1898 - 1912

Dreadnought battleship 1906

The Boer War

1899 - 1902

Ango-Japanese Alliance

1902 - 1923

Japan recognized Britain's interest in China, and Britain accepted that Japan was interested in Korea

The Russo-Japanese War

1904 - 1905

Fought between the Russian Empire and the Empire of Japan over rival imperial ambitions in Manchuria and Korea.

Entente Cordiale

April 1904 - 1907

Improvement in Franco-British relations (end to hostility over Egypt)

Treaty of Portsmouth


Negotiated the end of the Russo-Japanese war

First Moroccan Crisis

March 1905 - May 1906

Triple Entente

1907 - 1917

Britain, France, Russia

Anglo-Russian Entente

31 August 1907 - 1918

Possible because Russia was weakened by it's defeat in 1905 and was no longer a threat to Britain in China
-Russians gave up all claims to Afghanistan and recognized British interests in Tibet
-Peria was divided into zones of influence: North to Russia, neutral zone, South to England
-Both recognized Chinese sovereignty over Tibet

Bosnian Crisis

1908 - 1909

Sparked by Austrian annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Second Moroccan Crisis

April 1911

Sparked by French troops in Morocco due to Fez riots. Germany wanted territorial compensation.

First Balkan War

8 October 1912 - 30 May 1913

Balkan states attack Turkey. Austro-Russian tensions around Serbia. Crisis averted when Bulgaria fails to take Constantinople.

Peace Conference in London

30 May 1913

Turks gave up all territory except small zone around Dardanelles and Bosphorus
- Russia
Albania became an independent state
- Satisfied Austria

Second Balkan War

16 June 1913 - 18 July 1913

Bulgaria attacked Serbia
Greece, Romania, and Turkey all supported Serbia
Bulgaria defeated in a month

Treaty of Bucharest ends Balkan conflict.

10 August 1913

Increased territories of Serbia, Greece and Romania

Assassination of Franz Ferdinand

June 28 1914

Excuse for Austria to eliminate Serbian threat to Bosnia and South slav territories
Gains German backing (blank cheque)

Austria declares war on Serbia

28 July 1914

After Serbia rejects Austria's ultimatum. Germany backing Austria and Russia backing Serbia.

Russian mobilization against Austria

29 July 1914

Didn’t want Austro-Hungarian domination of the Balkans or the destruction of Serbia

French mobilization

1 August 1914

France couldn’t let the Germans defeat Russia because it would increase German power. The Dual Alliance also bound France to help Russia.

Germany declares war on Russia

1 August 1914

After Russia refuses to step down their mobilization.

Schlieffen Plan Activated - Germany declares war on France

3 August 1914

Britain declares war on Germany

4 August 1914

After Germany attacked Belgium (Treaty of London 1839)

Japan declares war on Germany

23 August 1914

To capture German territory in Shantung and the German Pacific islands. Primary interest to strengthen hold on China.

Inter-Allied Military Conference

December 1915

Allies plan coordinated attack on Central Powers.

Battle of Verdun

February 21, 1916 - December 18, 1916

Germany attacks French military fortress in hopes of knocking out France and Britain.

Battle of Jutland

May 31, 1916 - June 1, 1916

Germans attack British naval fleet but fail to do significant damage.

February Revolution

February 23, 1917

Swept away Tsarist regime in Russia.

Germany retreats to the Hindenburg Line

March 1917

General Ludendorff fears that German lines will fall.

US enters WWI


After unrestricted submarine warfare USA declared war on Germany

Bolshevik Revolution

October 1917

Wanted to pull Russia out of the war.

Battle of Cambrai

November 1917

British tanks trample Hindenburg line - a pointer to the future of military technology.

Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

3 March 1918

Russia forced to give independence to Poland, the Baltic provinces, the Ukraine, Finland and the Caucasus.

Paris Peace Conference

18 January 1919 - 21 January 1920