|World War I, " the Great War," involved all of the great powers of Europe and killed more than eight million soldiers. Discuss the reasons which led to the rising international tensions that sparked World War I.|
|ARTICLE 1. Should, contrary to their
hope, and against the loyal desire of the two High Contracting Parties, one of the two
Empires be attacked by Russia the High Contracting Parties are bound to come to the
assistance one of the other with the whole war strength of their Empires, and accordingly
only to conclude peace together and upon mutual agreement.
ARTICLE 2. Should one of the High Contracting Parties be attacked by another Power, the other High Contracting Party binds itself hereby, not only not to support the aggressor against its high Ally, but to observe at least a benevolent neutral attitude towards its fellow Contracting Party.
ARTICLE 4. This Treaty shall, in conformity with its peaceful character, and to avoid any misinterpretation, be kept secret by the High Contracting Parties, and only communicated to a third Power upon a joint understanding between the two Parties, and according to the terms of a special Agreement.
The Dual Alliance Between Austria-Hungary and Germany
|ARTICLE 1. The High
Contracting Parties mutually promise peace and friendship, and will enter into no alliance
or engagement directed against any one of their States.
They engage to proceed to an exchange of ideas on political and economic questions of a general nature which may arise, and they further promise one another mutual support within the limits of their own interests.
ARTICLE 2. In case Italy, without direct provocation on her part, should be attacked by France for any reason whatsoever, the two other Contracting Parties shall be bound to lend help and assistance with all their forces to the Party attacked.
This same obligation shall devolve upon Italy in case of any aggression without direct provocation by France against Germany.
ARTICLE 3. If one, or two, of the High Contracting Parties, without direct provocation on their part, should chance to be attacked and to be engaged in a war with two or more Great Powers non-signatory to the present Treaty, the casus foederis will arise simultaneously for all the High Contracting Parties.
ARTICLE 4. In case a Great Power non-signatory to the present Treaty should threaten the security of the states on one of the High Contracting Parties, and the threatened Party should find itself forced on that account to make war against it, the two others bind themselves to observe towards their Ally a benevolent neutrality. Each of them reserves to itself, in this case, the right to take part in the war, if it should see fit, to make common cause with its Ally.
The Triple Alliance
|Let us attempt a glance
into the depths of the soul. What are the specific intellectual and moral characteristics
of this Germanic race? Certain anthropologists would fain teach us that all races are
equally gifted; we point to history and answer: that is a lie! The races of mankind are
markedly different in the nature and also in the extent of their gift, and the Germanic
races belong to the most highly gifted group, the group usually termed
.Physically and mentally the Aryans are pre-eminent among all peoples; for that
reason they are by right, as the Stagirite expresses it, the lords of the world.
Houston Stewart Chamberlain
|"We cannot enter into
such considerations. Necessity has no law. The world belongs to the strong. A vigorous
nation cannot allow its growth to be hampered by blind adherence to the status quo.
We have no designs on other people's possessions, but where States are too feeble to put
their territory to the best possible use, it is the manifest destiny of those who can and
will do so to take their places."
The significance of these individual
utterances may easily be exaggerated. Taken together, their cumulative effect is to
confirm the impression that Germany distinctly aims at playing on the world's political
stage a much larger and much more dominant part than she finds allotted to herself under
the present distribution of material power
And as it is an axiom of her political faith that right, in order that it may prevail, must be backed by force, the transition is easy to the belief that the "good German sword," which plays so large a part in patriotic speech, is there to solve any difficulties that may be in the way of establishing the reign of those ideals in a Germanized world .
|The states of Europe were like
individuals living in a primeval state of nature marked by incessant strife between one
and another. They acknowledged no higher authority that might have forced them to keep the
peace. What was called "international law" was not in fact binding on them,
being backed by no more than a moral or customary sanction..More and more people had
acquired a larger stake in defending the state. This was the natural result of
democratization and increase in wealth
.All over Europe, 1914 was to prove that the
masses as well as the classes were militantly patriotic when they thought their country
was being attacked
.Huge cheering crowds surrounded the Kaiser, stood outside
Buckingham Palace, saluted departing French troops at the railroad stations, made love
publicly in St. Petersburg
.It was with exultation, not sorrow, that the peoples of
Europe greeted the war, a fact that in the last analysis may go farther to explain its
coming than all the details of diplomacy
|ARTICLE 1. This
organization is created for the purpose of realizing the national ideal: the union of all
Serbs. Membership is open to every Serb, without distinction of sex, religion, or place of
birth, and to all those who are sincerely devoted to this cause.
ARTICLE 2. This organization prefers terrorist action to intellectual propaganda, and for this reason it must remain absolutely secret.
ARTICLE 4. To fulfill its purpose, the organization will do the following:..2. Organize revolutionary action in all territories inhabited by Serbs; 3. Beyond the frontiers of Serbia, fight with all means the enemies of the Serbian national idea
ARTICLE 30. On entering the organization, each member must know that he loses his own personality, that he can expect neither personal glory nor personal profit, material or moral. Consequently, any member who endeavors to exploit the organization for personal, social, or party motives, will be punished. If by his acts he harms the organization itself, his punishment will be death.
The Black Hand
Vienna, July 28, 1914
The Royal Serbian Government not having answered in a satisfactory manner the note of July 23, 1914, presented by the Austro-Hungarian Minister of Belgrade, the Imperial and Royal Government are themselves compelled to see to the safeguarding of their rights and interests, and, with this object, to have recourse to force of arms. Austria-Hungary consequently considers herself henceforward in state of war with Serbia.
|I have heard with the greatest anxiety
of the impression which is caused by the action of Austria-Hungary against Servia
[Serbia]. The unscrupulous agitation which has been going on for years in Servia, has lead
to the revolting crime of which Archduke Franz Ferdinand has become a victim. The spirit
which made the Servians murder their own King and his consort still dominates that
country. Doubtless You will agree with me that both of us, You as well as I, and all other
sovereigns, have a common interest to insist that all those who are responsible for this
horrible murder shall suffer their deserved punishment
Your most sincere and devoted friend and cousin
I am glad that you are back in Germany. In this serious moment I ask You earnestly to help me. An ignominious war has been declared against a weak country and in Russia the indignation which I full share is tremendous. I fear that very soon I shall be unable to resist the pressure exercised upon me and that I shall be forced to take measures which will lead to war. To prevent a calamity as a European war would be, I urge You in the name of our old friendship to do all in Your power to restrain Your ally from going too far.
My Ambassador has instructions to direct the attention of Your Government to the dangers and serious consequences of a mobilization. I have told You the same in my last telegram. Austria-Hungary has mobilized only against Servia, and only a part of her army. If Russia, as seems to be the case, according to Your advice and that of Your Government, mobilizes against Austria-Hungary, the part of the mediator with which You have entrusted me in such friendly manner and which I have accepted upon Your express desire, is threatened if not made impossible. The entire weight of decision now rests upon Your shoulders, You have to bear the responsibility for war or peace.
In spite of negotiations still pending and although we have up to this hour made no preparations for mobilization, Russia has mobilized her entire army and navy, hence also against us. On account of these Russian measures, we have been forced, for the safety of the country, to proclaim the threatening state of war, which does not yet imply mobilization. Mobilization, however, is bound to follow if Russia does not stop every measure of war against us and against Austria-Hungary within 12 hours, and notifies us definitely to this effect. Please to communicate this at once to M. Sasonof and wire hour of communication.
German Chancellor to German Ambassador at St. Petersburg
|The Imperial German Government have
used every effort since the beginning of the crisis to bring about a peaceful settlement.
In compliance with a wish expressed to him by His Majesty the Emperor of Russia, the
German Emperor had undertaken, in concert with Great Britain, the part of mediator between
the Cabinets of Vienna and St. Petersburg; but Russia, without waiting for any result,
proceeded to a general mobilization of her forces both on land and sea. In consequence of
this threatening step, which was not justified by any military proceedings on the part of
Germany, the German Empire was faced by a grave and imminent danger. If the German
Government had failed to guard against this peril, they would have compromised the safety
and the very existence of Germany. The German Government were, therefore, obliged to make
representations to the Government of His Majesty the Emperor of All the Russias and to
insist upon a cessation of the aforesaid military acts. Russia having refused to comply
with [not having considered it necessary to answer] this demand, and having shown
by this refusal [this attitude] that her action was directed against Germany, I
have the honour, on the instructions of my Government, to inform your Excellency as
His Majesty the Emperor, my august Sovereign, in the name of the German Empire, accepts the challenge, and considers himself at war with Russia.
Presented by the German Ambassador to St. Petersburg
States History and Government