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Name _______________ Date __________ Per _____ Causes of WWI Notes

Essential Question: How did the murder of one man cause WW1?
Terms: Militarism, Alliances, Imperialism, Nationalism, Franz Ferdinand, Gavrilo Princip, powder keg
of Europe, Slav

Militarism: A nation building up its military so it Alliances: A system of friendship formed between
is always ready for war. certain countries where they promised not to go to
-Weapons Race. Britain built a warship, then Germany war with one another and perhaps defend each
would build 4, the Britain would build 100 hundred. other in times of war.
-Propaganda: Posters showed war in a positive way to enrich - Secret Agreements to attack rivals
the nation and told men that war would make them
successful. increase tension
- Conscription: Men were required to join army and train for Triple Entente v. Triple Alliance
war even before battle broke out. They had HUGE armies just France Germany
standing by ready to attack. United Kingdom Austria-Hungary
- Prepared plans for attack: Even before any war broke out, Russia Italy
nations had plans how to surprise attack their enemies by (S)erbia is not (O)ttoman Empire joins after
going through neutral counties. This ensured that neutral WWI breaks out
countries would be dragged into any conflict.
officially a member
Big idea: Nations were prepared for a world war and wanted but is invited by Slavic
war. Any little excuse could start a world war. Big Brother Russia


Imperialism : Nations competed with Nationalism: The people of Europe had a deep devotion to
one another for foreign land. their specific nation & people above others
- Cultural Superiority. The English thought they were the
- Border Conflicts. Overseas, best people on Earth and that every decision that they
battles between countries raged made, or their government made, was absolutely correct.
as nations fought over the So did Germany. So did France.
boundaries of borders in South - Ethnic groups divide Europe as many different peoples
Asia. want independence from empires that were control of
- Broken treaties. Nations them. The Polish resented the rule of the German
frequently broke treaties to fight Empire. The Bosnians wanted be independent of
over resources in China, creating Austria-Hungary. All the Serbs who controlled by various
an atmosphere of distrust and empires wanted to united under one country so that this
rivalries. minority would be better protected.
- Revenge: France wanted revenge - Germany and Italy were newly formed nations that felt
for losing their colonized territory they needed to display to the world that their nations and
of Alsace-Lorraine to Germany. people were strong and capable. They also upset the
balance of power established by Napoleon.
The Spark That Started WWI

(1) Why were the Balkans considered the Powder Keg of Europe?
The Balkans were under the control of the Empire of Austria-Hungary. This place was like a gun
powder keg, a bomb, ready to explode at any moment because it had so many rival ethnic groups.
The whole region was full of different religions, languages, and cultures that did not get along with
one another and wanted their own separate country.

(2) Who was Archduke Franz Ferdinand?

He was the leader of Austria-Hungary who was seen as mistreating a minority ethnic group – the
(3) Why was he killed by Gavrilo Princip?
Gavrilo Princip was a terrorist who believed Slavs would be better off in an independent country. He shot and killed
Franz Ferdinand so that the empire would crumble and Slavs could create their own country.

(4) How did this explosion of the powder keg of Europe led to World War One?
* Remember that Europeans like to A.R.G.U.
1) Franz Ferdinand is murdered
2) Austria- Hungary declares war on Serbia who
they think are funding terrorism
3) Russia defends Serbia, a fellow Slavic nation
and their little brother.
4) Germany, Italy jump in to defend their ally
5) United Kingdom and France jump in to defend
their ally Russia

BOOM! WWI has erupted as these nations attack

one another.

(5) If we could go back in time and hire extra security for Franz Ferdinand so that he would not be
killed, do you think World War I would still have broken out? Explain.


HW: 10 point grade. Propose a plan (or plans) that would resolve each of the 4 M.A.I.N. causes of
WWI. Make sure the plan is feasible and clearly explained on a separate sheet of paper that will be