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Escalating Tensions, 1880 - 1914


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Title: Escalating Tensions, 1880 - 1914

Western CivilizationChapter 24
  • Escalating Tensions, 1880 - 1914

  • By 1885, only 1/9 of the worlds land surface had
    been surveyed
  • By 1900, each of the continents had been explored
    and measured
  • Efforts were made to map territories and to
    standardize time
  • However, there were disagreements about the need
    for standardization, especially with time zones
  • Germany had 5 time zones in 1891
  • The U.S. had over 200
  • They couldnt agree on the placement of the prime
    meridian. Countries were too busy expanding
    boundaries to fix them for a map.

World Time Zones
The New Imperialism
  • Nations had always taken over other territory
  • This was imperialism
  • After 1870, acquisition of territories was on an
    intense scale, helped by all the new inventions
    in transportation, communication, and weapons
  • Europe began concentrating on taking over
    undeveloped lands
  • A competition for colonies developed among
    European nations, especially among England,
    France, and Germany

The Technology of Empire
  • Steam, iron, and electricity were all-important
    to Europes imperial expansion in the 19th
  • Steam was used in factories and in transportation
  • They could then transport more people and cargo
    more quickly
  • Iron ships were more durable, lighter,
    water-tight, faster, and more fuel-efficient than
    wooden vessels
  • Iron steamships allowed Europeans to maintain
    closer contact with their colonies
  • Europeans could also go upriver in the new ships
    helping them learn about the terrain, natural
    beauty, and resources

  • Technology allowed for the deepening of harbors
    and the creation of canals
  • Two major ones were built the Suez Canal and
    the Panama Canal
  • Suez Canal was built by the French and bought by
    the British and was completed in 1869 opening a
    new trade route
  • Panama Canal was started by the French and
    finished by the U.S., connecting the Atlantic to
    the Pacific
  • Both canals shortened the distance of travel and
    made a shortcut

Suez Canal
  • The electric telegraph had revolutionized global
    communication by the end of the 19th century
  • This enabled colonizing nations to keep in closer
    contact with their colonies
  • There were new medicines allowing colonizers to
    venture inland in new territories
  • Quinine comes from the cinchona tree bark and
    combats malaria

Panama Canal
Panama Canal
  • New types of firearms helped Europeans take over
    areas defended only by spears and blow guns
  • There were machine guns and new rifles
  • So the new technology allowed for the new
    imperialism and new European control worldwide
  • Example the sun never sets on the British Empire

Motives for Empire
  • Economic reasons
  • New raw materials for industry
  • New markets for manufactured goods
  • Fortunes could be made or lost, depending on the
  • Europeans had the desire to expand investment
  • Not all new territories proved profitable
  • The purpose of colonies was to enrich the Mother

  • Geopolitical reasons
  • Countries were encouraged to expand even into
    territories that probably werent economically
  • These areas could be used as fueling bases, a way
    to protect sea routes, or could offer a presence
    to help control an area
  • This caused an increase in naval budgets and the
    size of naval fleets
  • Britain had the largest navy, but were challenged
    by the U.S., Germany, and Japan to some extent by
  • Each wished to dominate the seas

  • Armies also grew to protect the newly acquired
    lands and the people in them traders,
    missionaries, and government officials
  • Between 1890 and 1914, military expenditures of
    Western nations grew greatly
  • There was a buildup of new weapons, armies, and
  • This also increased the influence of the military
    and naval leaders in foreign policy decisions

  • Nationalism
  • National prestige and national pride were at
  • Keeping up with the other great nations of
    Europe so your nation could be great also
  • A Great Nation is one with an industrialized
    economy and colonies
  • This idea of prestige was helped along,
    popularized by newspapers
  • Newspapers capitalized on national sentiment
  • They used the imperialist passion of their people
    and their governments to sell papers

  • Newspapers helped shape new public opinion
  • This, in turn, helped shape foreign policy
  • Newspapers were manipulated by government
    officials to get backing for whatever it was they
  • The idea of Jingoism emerged, a term phrased by
    J.A. Hobson
  • It meant inverted patriotism, where the love of
    ones country is transformed into hatred of
    another country, and into a fierce craving to
    destroy the individuals of that other nation
  • Jingoism pressured governments to defend their
    national honor abroad by expanding their
    boundaries to keep up with other nations doing
    the same

European Search for Territory and Markets
  • Two fundamentally different social structures
    governed life in non-industrialized regions that
    became targets for European imperialism
  • In sub-Saharan Africa, tribal societies
    emphasizing communal rule dominated
  • In Asia, societies were strictly organized
    hierarchically and under the power of distinct
    ruling elites
  • European empire-builders used indirect rule in
    places like India where the ruling elite became
    puppets of the conquerors

  • Tribes, Europeans believed, needed to be
    conquered and rules formally and directly
  • All those who were taken over did show some
    resistance but didnt have a chance against the
    new European weapons

Scramble for Africa
  • Europeans controlled only 10 of the African
    continent in the early 19th century
  • By 1914, they dominated 90
  • Theyd send in traders and missionaries
  • Christian missionary activity was central to
    European expansion in Africa in the early 19th
  • This increased European knowledge of tribal
  • They also acquired land within tribal communities
  • The need to protect these missionaries encouraged
    European governments to formally colonize African

Africa 1900
  • This process increased greatly in the last 25
    years of the 19th century creating that Scramble
    for Africa
  • Traders also aided in the colonization process
  • They established posts in African regions
  • They learned the languages and customs
  • They built up a relationship with the people
  • The British dominated world trade in the 1800s
    through their world markets, and they were
    expanding into Africa.
  • Not to be left out, the Germans established
    market areas in Africa. By 1880s, they had
    annexed Togo, Cameroon, S.W. Africa, and German
    East Africa

  • The formal taking of territories accelerated in
    the early 1880s because one nation wished to get
    a territory before another nation did
  • Germany, France, and Britain vied for new
    territories in Central and West Africa
  • Conflict arose when all 3 were trying to take the
  • This resulted in the calling of the Berlin
    Conference in 1884, resulting in the Berlin Act,
  • They set up the game rules for colonizing no
    guns for Africans
  • A nation had to occupy territory before it could
    be annexed
  • This only seemed to intensify rivalries.

  • There was fierce rivalry concerning the
    headwaters of the Nile River
  • This conflict brought French and British forces
    to the brink of war in 1898-1899 at Fashoda with
    French Captain Marchand vs. the British General
  • While they waited for orders about whether to
    fight each other or not, they would meet for
    evening cocktails
  • There was talk of war in England and France, but
    problems back home in France made the French
    unwilling to get involved in a war and Marchand

  • When the scramble for territory was over around
    1914, the French claimed to have the most
    extensive African territories
  • However, Britain and Germany werent far behind

Imperialism in Asia
  • India was the heart, the center, the jewel in
    the crown for Britain
  • It was of great importance because of its many
  • Queen Victoria had herself crowned the Empress of
    India and appointed a viceroy to represent her
  • India was the center of Britains foreign policy
  • British trading in Indias markets began in the
    17th century
  • Formal British rule dated only from 1861 after
    the Sepoy Mutiny
  • British East Africa Company proved ineffective at
    ruling for the British government, so Britain
    began its formal rule of India

  • Britain used, utilized much of the existing
    hierarchy already established in India indirect
  • They exported Indias goods cotton, salt, opium
  • In China, Britain first exchanged Indian cotton
    for tea, but Chinese demand for cotton waned
  • So the British began trading Indias opium for
    tea which made a lot of money for the British as
    more Chinese became addicted
  • This angered Chinese officials
  • In 1729, 200 chests of opium were sold to the
  • In 1838, that rose to 40,000 chests

  • Opium became Britains most important crop
  • In 1839, the Chinese government destroyed British
    opium in the port of Canton and touched off the
    Opium War, 1839-1842
  • The British blocked Chinese ports, took over the
    port of Canton, and occupied Shanghai - all to
    protect their trade in opium
  • The war ended with the Treaty of Nanking
  • Unequal treaty system set up
  • Extraterritoriality
  • Resumption of opium trade
  • Special privileges for the British
  • China had to pay for the war

Opium War
  • This treaty showed British arrogance toward the
    Chinese culture and their belief in white
  • Extraterritoriality meant the British in China
    did not have to follow Chinese laws they only
    had to follow British laws in China
  • Other European nations made incursions Germans,
    French, and Japanese
  • All had spheres of influence their own chunks of
  • By 1912, over 50 major Chinese ports were in the
    hands of foreigners

  • In 1900 the Chinese resentment of foreigners and
    Christian missionaries resulted in the Boxer
  • Named for a martial arts group
  • They killed foreigners
  • They took over consulates
  • 16,000 well-armed Japanese, British, Russian, and
    American forces fought back to save their
    privileges in China
  • They showed no mercy towards the Chinese
  • They sacked Beijing
  • Europeans then resumed operating through their
    spheres of influence

Boxer Rebellion Boxer Prisoners
  • Europeans had interests in other parts of Asia
  • British took Hong Kong in 1842, Burma in 1886,
    and Kowloon in 1898
  • Russians took the Maritime Provinces in 1858
  • French moved in on Indochina in 1884 taking Annam
    (Vietnam), Tonkin, Cambodia, and Laos
  • European culture was spread through the
    establishment of colonies.
  • Many from colonies like India went to England for
    schooling and some stayed.

  • And Europeans moved to other places as well
  • Between 16th and 18th centuries, 6 million left
  • Between 1870 and 1914, 55 million Europeans left
    for the Americas, Australia,, and New Zealand
  • Emigration scattered people and spread cultures
    overseas, putting a European stamp on people and
    societies abroad influencing their economies,
    art, architecture, philosophy, and politics

19th Century Philosophies
  • 1850 the idea of Liberalism was strong in
  • By 1900 there were other isms to challenge
  • Liberalism
  • generally for the expansion of civil rights
  • for free trade
  • upheld the right to private property
  • for power in the hand of men
  • wanted to ensure worker safety
  • for public welfare

  • Socialism
  • Marxist and non-Marxist wanted to gain support of
    workers by supporting their causes
  • Some were in favor of reaching objectives
    gradually and peacefully
  • Others wanted the violent overthrow of capitalist
  • Different countries started their own Socialist
  • Britain Independent Labour Party (1893)
  • More popular was the Fabian Society (1884) that
    criticized Capitalism and believed factories
    should be owned by the state for the good of all.

  • Germany began a Socialist Party in 1875
  • One German Socialist leader was Edward Bernstein
    who believed that through gradual democratic
    means, socialism could come about
  • Another German Socialist leader was Karl Kautsky
    who believed only revolution would bring about

  • Anarchism
  • Said humans could be free only when the state had
    been abolished
  • People of a stateless society would automatically
    join together in communes and share what they had
  • Some felt they could educate people about their
    goal and, it would naturally be achieved
  • Others were for a more violent approach like
    attacking existing authority Example- Michael
    Bakunin of Russia fought against the Tsar and
    other authoritarian governments in Europe in
    1848, feeling all governments were oppressive

  • From 1894 1901, anarchists killed the president
    of France, the prime minister of Spain, the
    empress of Austria, the king of Italy, and the
    president of the U.S., William McKinley
  • These assassinations made people view anarchism
    as violent and not improving peoples lives
  • Many workers were more for unionization and
    direct action
  • This was called Syndicalism
  • Workers should join unions
  • Workers should call general strikes
  • This would cripple capitalism
  • Popular in Mediterranean area

  • Opponents to Liberalism and Socialism were the
    Conservatives on the political right
  • They were for
  • keeping the existing order
  • nationalism
  • racist ideologies that were common in the 19th
    century Ethnocentrism
  • They tried to back up their racism with twisted

  • Anti-Semitism was the result of this racist
  • Originally, hatred of the Jews was based in
  • Later, pseudo-scientists said Jewish blood was
    different and inferior
  • They were unworthy of the same rights others
    shared in a democratic society
  • Jobs were restricted
  • Neighborhoods were separate
  • Emancipation of the Jews began with the French
    Revolution and then spread to Germany and Austria
    by the 1860s.

  • New opportunities came to Jews
  • Some did not like this new equal standing in
  • Resentment followed saying Jews were dangerous
    and wicked
  • All misfortunes were blamed on them
  • Those professing anti-Semitism were elected to
    political offices
  • Russia organized pogroms or massacres and those
    who werent killed left Russia in 1905
  • 2 million left mostly for the U.S.

  • Many Jews started to believe they would only be
    safe in their own nation
  • Zionist Movement was started by an Austrian
    Jewish journalist, Theodor Herzl
  • advocated establishing a Jewish state in Israel
  • Israel was finally created in 1948

  • 1880s was characterized by irrationality and
    uncertainty with the spotlight on instinct and
    emotion rather than on rational thinking
  • Friedrich Nietzsche
  • said reason could not solve human problems
  • said God is dead
  • without a God, we are free to live as we please

  • Sigmund Freud
  • founded psychoanalysis as a way to treat psychic
  • explored the unconscious
  • felt people are guided by unconscious feelings
    and emotions
  • there are unresolved inner conflicts
  • said irrational forces play a significant role in
    human behavior

  • Gaetano Mosca
  • political scientist
  • said an elite minority rules over the majority
  • desire to dominate is part of human nature
  • surface appearances are deceptive
  • elite minority manipulates the people

The Arts
  • Avante Garde
  • French for forefront
  • broke societys taboos and conventions
  • created new forms of expression
  • the art of this era did not have a clear message
  • they wanted to show mood, nightmares, violence,
    and horror

  • There was a decline in church attendance and in
    the practice of Christian rituals
  • Some became attracted to Buddhism and Hinduism
  • Scientists questioned long-held beliefs
  • 1905, Albert Einstein proposed his theory of
    relativity that changed fundamental ideas about
    time and space

End of 19th Century
  • By the end of the 19th century, political systems
    of Europe were shaky
  • In democracies, more were voting and that changed
    who was in power
  • Traditional members of Parliament had to be
    responsive to the new electorate or get booted
  • Ireland
  • was a problem for England
  • wanted British out
  • finally got Home Rule in 1914 but World War I
    broke out and it was up in the air again

  • England
  • 1906 brought in a Liberal government that worked
    toward social reform
  • had old-age pension funded by a tax on landed
  • liberal government had some difficulties
  • brawling in Parliament

Womens Suffrage Movement
  • At end of 19th century, women began organizing to
    get the right to vote
  • Had little success at first
  • In 1906 they became more militant
  • Led by Emmeline Pankhurst and her 2 daughters

  • They would disturb Parliament
  • They threatened to kill the Prime Minister and
    the King
  • They went on hunger strikes and were force fed
  • They were attacked by male thugs
  • There was widespread force shown in many areas of

  • France
  • 1870, had their Third Republic that was unstable
  • There was a series of crises and scandals
  • They had no strong leadership
  • Example The Dreyfus Affair
  • Alfred Dreyfus was a captain in the French army
    in 1894 and was accused of giving French secrets
    to Germany
  • There was no proof, but he was a Jew and an
    officer, hence untrustworthy
  • They forged evidence against him
  • He was sentenced to life in prison on Devils
    Island off the coast of South America

  • 1896, the French found that Major Esterhazy was
    the real spy, but they would not reopen the case
    because that would mean the French army was
  • 1897, the French public found out and the affair
    became controversial
  • 1899, there was a retrial and Dreyfus was still
    found guilty, but he could be pardoned
  • 1906, Dreyfus was exonerated, and he ended his
    days as a general
  • People were angry at the Catholic Church for
    having backed the courts against Dreyfus
  • Some stormed the churches

  • There were labor strikes
  • Traditional life in France seemed to be breaking

  • Italy
  • Had parliamentary system
  • Unification came in 1860, but true unity was
  • The vote was given to those who owned property,
    about 3 of the population
  • Government tried to bring reforms to improve the
    general standard of living, but they werent
  • There was rapid population growth, from 25 to 35
    million 1870-1890
  • Country had limited moneys
  • There were wealthy landowners who owned
    latifundia or plantations

  • Most people were poor and landless
  • Industry paid low wages
  • There were protests
  • Protests were put down brutally by the government
  • Autocracies in Europe were in crisis. Germany,
    Austria-Hungary, Russia, and the Ottoman Empire
    faced grave problems by the end of the 19th
  • Demands for democracy were growing and the
    opponents used any means they could, including
    violence, to put down protests. Violence was met
    with violence

  • Germany
  • Had a parliament that answered to the Kaiser, not
    the people
  • Kaiser Wilhelm II (r. 1888-1918) wanted to rule
    as well as reign but wasnt fit to govern
  • Wilhelm II had a crippled hand but
    overcompensated for his deformity by being
    forceful and brutal
  • He had a poor self-image
  • He wanted Germany to be a world power with
    colonies, a navy, and world influence
    (Weltpolitik world politics)
  • Other European countries saw Germany as
  • Weltpolitik was supported at home because it
    created jobs

Kaiser Wilhelm II
  • There was also opposition to the Kaisers
    autocratic way of governing, and he was seen as
  • 1912, 1/3 of Germans voted for a socialist
    candidate dedicated to the downfall of capitalism
    and autocracy
  • 1912, 1 million workers went on strike, and more
    and more Germans pressed for Parliamentary
  • Kaiser Wilhelm II couldnt take criticism and
    wanted the army to crush any opposition to him
  • Things were coming to a head

  • Austria-Hungary
  • Plagued by crises
  • Was a multi-national empire with many ethnic
  • Ruled by Franz Joseph (r. 1848-1916)
  • Hard to control the empire, with Hungarian and
    Austrian sides

  • Habsburg government introduced universal male
    suffrage in 1907
  • This seemed to make the empire more difficult to
  • There were 30 ethnically based political parties
    in Parliament
  • Debates became explosive
  • 1914, the emperor dissolved the Parliament
  • The empire was falling apart

  • Ottoman Empire
  • Seen as the bridge between Europe and Asia
  • Was also falling apart by 1914
  • Had been on a downward slide since 1700
  • There were secessionist movements from within
  • There was European aggression from without
  • Empire ruled by Sultan Abdul Hamid II (r.
  • He was a dictator called the Great Assassin
  • He brutally put down any uprisings
  • Social unrest continued
  • They were nearing bankruptcy

  • There were different ethnic, linguistic, and
    religious groups within that wanted self-rule,
  • Abdul Hamid was overthrown in a coup in July 1908
    by young, Western-educated Turks who despised
    one-man rule

  • They set up representative government that tried
    to stop the loss of territory through strong
    central government
  • Those in outlying areas like Macedonia, Albania,
    and Armenia did not like this Turkification
    and rebelled
  • Many were killed like the Armenians
  • Other nations felt this was good time to take
    down this weakened empire
  • Greece, Bulgaria, and Serbia formed the Balkan
    League and attacked the Ottomans successfully in
  • The empire lost, as a result, most of its
    European possessions

  • Russia
  • Attempts were made to industrialize the country
    in the 1860s
  • Serfs were freed and given land they later
    discovered they had to pay for
  • By giving them land, the Tsar hoped the
    peasants would produce more and he could make
    more money to use for industry
  • Universities increased in number as did the
    number of students
  • This intelligentsia then worked to bring down the
  • Repression increased
  • Tsar Alexander II was assassinated in March 1881
    as he was about to sign a decree that might have
    given them a parliament

Alexander II, Tsar of Russia
  • Alexander III took over for his father

  • Alexander III thought his father had been too
    lenient and upheld his autocracy
  • There would be no self rule and no parliament
  • He died in 1894 and his son Nicholas II took over
    as Tsar
  • He, too, was an autocrat but was not forceful
  • Nicholas wanted his people to like him
  • He did not know how to delegate duties
  • Instability followed
  • Life was restricted
  • There was not enough food for an increasing
  • There was some industry but with bad conditions
    and unrest

Nicholas II
  • 1898, the Russian Social Democratic Party formed
  • 1903, it split into Menshevik and Bolshevik
  • Bolsheviks were led by Vladimir Lenin

  • 1904-1905, Russia vs. Japan over control of North
    Korea Japan won
  • January 1905- there were demonstrations at one of
    the Tsars palaces where people were asking for
    bread and an 8-hour day the military opened
    fire and massacred the demonstrators
  • This was known as Bloody Sunday
  • Demonstrations spread
  • Tsar Nicholas II promised the people a Duma, a
    parliament, freedom of religion, speech,
    assembly, and association to get his country back
    under his control

  • The Duma never had any power although it met
  • There was increased population and famine
  • There was a workers strike in 1912 where 725,000
    took part that numbered doubled by 1914
  • The authoritarian states in Europe and the
    democratic ones were being challenged by a
    restive public by the start of 1914
  • Even though no European nation wanted a war,
    their policies said otherwise

  • By 1914 there were 2 major alliances in Europe
  • The Triple Alliance Italy, Germany,
  • The Triple Entente - Great Britain, France,
  • There were international rivalries, military
    build-up with weapons and ships, imperialism,
    alliances, and nationalism that led to World War
  • 4 Main Causes of World War I
  • Militarism
  • Alliances
  • Imperialism
  • Nationalism

  • The Trigger
  • The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and
    his wife Sophia by Gavrilo Princep of the Black
    Hand on 28 June 1914
  • It was an ideal pretext for war against Serbia
    that protected nationalist student groups from

The Arrest
The Great War, The War to End All Wars, World War
  • 28 June 1914 assassination of Austria-Hungarys
    Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophia, in
    Sarajevo, Bosnia by Gavrilo Princip of the Black
  • 23 July 1914 ultimatum sent from
    Austria-Hungary to Serbia (unreasonable demands
    and a time limit for retribution)
  • 28 July 1914 Austria-Hungary declared war on
    Serbia ( only with German backing)
  • 30 July 1914 Russia declared war on both
    Austria-Hungary and Germany

  • By 4 August 1914 Germany declared war on Russia
    and France and marched through neutral Belgium to
    surprise France
  • France declared war on Germany
  • Britain declared war on Germany after it had
    violated Belgian neutrality
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