ChAPTER 33 -- Part 2: Descent into the Abyss: World War I
European powers had been involved in empire-building overseas, and they came to equate the prestige of "great power" with the status of colonies.
Their rivalries made each country feel more nationalist.
Most of the world's territories were colonized by one of the two alliance states by 1900.
In the early 1900s, there was a scramble for the few areas that were unclaimed, which resulted in greater tensions in the European diplomatic system.
Algeria and Tunisia were included in the can colonies of the French.
Germany twice threatened war if the French advance continued, only to back off when it was clear that none of the other European powers would support it.
The Germans had to sell their possessions in central Africa to the French in the second of the international crises.
The jingoism that spread among the middle and working classes throughout Europe was due to the growing divisions between the two alliances.
Most Euro pean leaders of both the great powers and smaller states, such as those in the Balkans, were focused on keeping their rivals out of their own country.
Imperialism and the alliance system were linked to costly arms races.
The Naval rivalry was the most intense.
The Germans' decision to build a navy that could threaten Great Britain's long-standing control of the world's oceans was one of the reasons for Britain's move for military cooperation with France and Russia.
The greatest arms race in history happened at that time.
Hopes for arms limitations faded.
In the event of a general war, the armies practiced massive maneuvers that national leaders were prepared to implement.
The military build up helped pave the way to war as some in the German military wanted a strike before army reforms in Russia made it too powerful to overcome.
The paranoia and extreme stereotypes of domestic tensions are demonstrated by the poster drumming up financial support for Diplomatic and military competition.
The business classes and political elites were alarmed by the chal enges.
They wanted to distract their subjects from social problems at home.
British ministers and the German kaiser appealed for labor peace in the face of the threat of attack by powerful rivals.
Military builds were supported by those in power because they provided employment for the working classes and huge profits to industrialists who were pillars of support for each of the European regimes.
The Balkans were the focus of decades of rivalry and mounting tensions within the European state, where Russia sought to back Serbia in its fight against the Austro-Hungarian empire.
The crisis of Europe as a whole was mirrored by the complex ethnic divisions and interstate rivalries of the Balkans region.
The event that triggered World War I happened in the Balkans.
The Austro-Hungarians drew up a list of demands that it was assassination in Sarajevo that would make it impossible for the Serbs to give up their nation's sovereignty.
The events that began in Austria-Hungary were meant to end decades of Serbian control of World War I.
The alliance systems that had been forged in the preceding decades quickly came into empire when the Russians promised to support their Slavic brethren in Serbia if war broke out with the Bosnian province of Austrian the Austrians.
After the confrontation of the two blocs, the threat of a general being the spark that started World War I became a reality.
Although the leaders of most of the powers had long thought of Mobilizing as a way of applying diplomatic pressure, the Germans thought of it as war.
The Germans had devised an intricate plan to first attack in the west and defeat France before moving to the east because they had faced the possibility of massive combat on two fronts.
The alliance systems were locked into a massive war after Russia and the German armies moved to retaliate against each other.
A European conflict was transformed into a global one when the British entered to defend tiny Belgium.
Britain's naval ally Japan jumped into action.
The British-ruled territories of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as Britain's extensive imperial possessions in India and Africa, were brought into the war.
Europe was once again consumed by a general war that quickly spread to other parts of the world.
There would be a long war of stalemate and attrition after a over France.
Military leaders in Germany were beginning to count on their country's railway system and armies to overwhelm the French before they could even fully mobilize.
They were obliged by the French to plunge into a conflict that was likely to go on for a long time.
But the Belgians resisted bravely, slowing the German goliath, and the small but superbly trained British army suddenly appeared to contest the momentum of three German armies--each of which was larger than the total British forces.
The German soldiers were tired when they reached the frontiers of northern France and had left the railways behind in southern Belgium.
After being defeated by the Germans in Alsace-Lorraine, the French forces retreated toward Paris, where they regrouped, and prepared for the German onslaught.
During a five-day battle along the Marne River in September, the German advance was halted and thrown back.
British and German soldiers began to dig into the ground after the Belgium to Switzerland battle in order to protect themselves from the bombardment of the machine guns of the World War I.
There were many attempts to break the casualties for all sides in the conflict in northern and western France.
The industrial technology used by the European armies favored the defensive.
The Western Front was turned into a killing ground by the use of machine guns, barbed-wire barriers, and poison gas.
The Germans lost 850,000 troops, the French 700,000, and the British 400,000 in a single year on the Western Front in 1916.
The front of the cage is a place of fear.
We live under a network of arching shells.
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