Allied PowersFance has not forgotten its humiliating defeat at the hands of Germany in 1871. France was waiting for the chance to reestablish its power on the continent. France was willing to ally itself with another longtime enemy, Britain, to its hand against Germany. Great Britain had traditionally followed a policy of neutrality, which served it well. Yet some Britains were now calling for a new alliances, to counter the rising power of the German Empire. Britain depended on industrial strength for survival.
Germany was a threat to that strength, as well as to Britains naval power. Russia had been defeated by the Japanese in 1905 and was troubled by unrest within borders. Russia felt a need to prove its strength to the other nations of Europe. It also desired to extend its influence and protection over Slavs in Balkan countries.
Central Powers The German Empire had been created in 1871. Included in its territory were the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine, taken from France. Now Germany was the leading power on the Continent. But Germany was not secure. Directly to the west was France, waiting for the chance to reclaim Alsace-Lorraine. To the east was Russia, recently allied with France.
And on the seas the rapidly growing German navy competed with the more powerful British navy. The Austro-Hungarian, Empire was not a nation of one people, but an empire of many nationalities. The peoples that made up the empire were mainly Austrians, Hungarians, and Slavs. But the Austrians and Hungarians ruled the empire.
... prepared embryonic plans for a naval war between Britain and Germany, with Britain acting to defend France. This entente however was by no means ... were satisfied by the provisions which gave France and Spain power over the Moroccan police and France power over the Moroccan banks. These provisions ... turn of the century the defence of India and the Empire was seen as the most important job of foreign ...
Many SLavs who lived in the provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina wanted to be part of the new nation of Serbia. Furthermore, Rumania and Italy had designs on territory within the empire. Russian ambitions in the Balkans brought them into conflict with the Austro-Hungarians. The empire of Turkey was known as the ‘sick man of Europe’. The new nations in the Balkans – Serbia, Bulgaria, Rumania, and Greece – had broken off from the empire. The nations of Europe feared the Ottoman Empire would collapse and there would be a fight for its territory.
Russia, in particular, wanted the Dardanelles Strait, a strategic part of the empire.