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The Road to War: Europe, 1870-1914

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A1: The Road to War: Europe, 1870-1914 Questions 1. a) i) Give ONE reason to explain why the Treaty of San Stefano was disliked by the Great Powers of Europe. (3) ii) Describe the key features of the Treaty of Berlin (1878). (5) iii) Why was there a crisis over Bulgaria in the years 1885-86? (5) iv) Why did tension in the Balkans increase in the years 1908-1913? (7) Answers 1. a) i) One reason to explain why the Great Powers of Europe disliked the Treaty of San Stefano was because part of the Treaty stated that a large self-governing pro-Russian Bulgaria under an elected prince was to be created. Thus potentially giving Russia access to the Mediterranean and India. It was to be occupied for two years by Russian troops. The Great Powers of Europe therefore disliked this because it was felt that by the creation of the 'Big Bulgaria' it was giving Russia too much influence in the Balkans. Britain and Austria both wanted to preserve the Turkish Empire as it prevented the extension of Russian power into the eastern Mediterranean, which had become an area of great strategic importance for the British Empire since the opening of the Suez Canal in 1866 as the shortest route to India. ...read more.


A compromise was suggested by Britain whereby the two Bulgarian states would remain technically separated but Alexander would become the Governor-General of Roumelia. Temporarily tension subsided, but the Russians, quite contrary to their earlier intentions, were determined to stop a unified Bulgaria under Alexander, whom they now considered to be an outright enemy. In August 1886 they had him kidnapped and he was forced to abdicate a month later. iv) Tensions in the Balkans increased in the years of 1908-1913 because in 1908 Austria went ahead with annexing Bosnia-Herzegovina. This annexation, however, was met with a storm of compliant throughout Europe. Also because Montenegro declared war on Turkey on 8 October 1912, later to be followed a few days later by Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia. Within three weeks the Turkish Empire in Europe had collapsed. What made this situation so tense was that: * Austria faced a greatly strengthened Serbia, which had occupied part of Albania. Austria, however, was determined to make Albania an independent state so as to deny Serbia access to the Adriatic. At first Russia supported Serbian claims and Austria began to concentrate troops near the Russian frontier. * The crisis also threatened to activate 'the alliance system'. ...read more.


Also during the Bulgarian Crisis the alliance of the Three Emperors had collapsed, so Germany tried to restore relations with Russia. Through this a three-year agreement with Russia was signed on 18 June 1887 called the Reinsurance Treaty. b) ii) France tried to develop a system of defensive alliances in the years 1894-1914 by trying to improve relations with Russia, and so France began negotiating an Entente, and drew up the Franco- Russian Alliance in 1894. The Treaty was a considerable triumph for the French as it marked the end of their diplomatic isolation in Europe. However, both Russia and France each wanted different things from it. Paris was determined to turn it primarily into an anti-German alliance. France later also tried to improve relations with Britain, and so an Agreement was signed on 8 April 1904 called the Entente Cordiale. This agreement certainly improved Anglo-French relations but it was not an alliance since both countries retained full freedom of action. Three years later, in 1907 Russia joined this agreement, and this agreement was known as the Triple Entente. These alliances that France had been making proved to be very strong and secure in the years of 1905 and 1911 when two Moroccan crises had occurred. On which on both occasions Germany interfered with French dealings in Morocco, which lead to both Britain and Russia supporting France against Germany. ...read more.

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