|Who were the 'Great Powers' of Europe in
1914? Draw up a table in Word to compare the relative
strengths of Britain, Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary and France
before the outbreak of WWI. This will be completed as 5 groups/pairs
and a report back session.
||Josh Brooman - The End of Old Europe (1-12)
For those interested to find out more about the countries of Europe
at this time, visit the IST IB History site and an interactive
map of Europe created by IB students in 2001. It is also
useful to copy this map or a similar one into the beginning of your
Curve website (Old WWI site) has a good interactive map on this page which
shows the relative strength of the European powers before the war.
|Read Farmer on 'Colonial Rivalry'. This
is a difficult chapter, more suited to IB students. However, you
should be able to understand much of what is said. Make notes under
Causes - Economic Motivation (this is the Marxist
explanation), Nationalism, Humanitarianism and accident.
The Scramble for Africa
The Struggle for China (no need to write much about this
other than Russian-Japanese rivalry).
Conclusion - The last paragraph summarises Farmer's
viewpoint that Colonialism provided a 'safety-valve' for the Great
Powers to let of steam without harming each other too much.
Door website has some good text resources on colonialism.
Also see the two case-studies:
(i) Tangier Crisis (1905)
(ii) Agadir Crisis (1911) covered in future
lesson. Brooman (20-21).
This is a complex topic, not helped by the fact that Alan Farmer
can see little reason to identify colonialism as a cause of the
First World War. Part of the reason for this is probably his
anti-Marxism - "By 1900 it was or should have been, apparent
that Marx had got most things wrong" (p.5 'Marxist
Misconceptions') - most Marxists (following Lenin) identify
colonialism or imperialism as a major cause of the war. For
Farmer 'Lenin's arguments are not convincing' (37). We ought
to expect something a little more balanced from an author of a
Corner website for a clear explanation of the contribution of
First of all, colonial rivalry led to strained
relations among the European powers. Secondly, colonial
rivalry led indirectly to the formation and strengthening of
alliances and ententes. Thirdly, colonial rivalry led to an
intensification of the arms race. Fourthly, colonial rivalry
led to much hostility among the powers.