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CH 8 THE EUROPEAN CRISIS, 1914-18 By the end of the year it was clear that the war was going to be a long one and that its result would depend as much on economic strength as on military action. Prussian War ministry committed to a policy of total mobilization in order to achieve their goal of total victory. They established a dictatorship in which they attempted, not always successfully, to organize the resources of Germany for a final effort which would bring them victory in 1918. The French e

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  CH 8 THE EUROPEAN CRISIS, 1914-18 By the end of the year it was clear that the war was going to be a long one and that its result would depend as much on economic strength as on military action. Prussian War ministry committed to a policy of total mobilization in order to achieve their goal of total victory. They established a dictatorship in which they attempted, not always successfully, to organize the resources of Germany for a final effort which would bring them victory in 1918. The French economy, industrial losses + fighting zone was unproductive for the duration of the war. The war therefore forced the French not only to increase their imports from the allies but also to reorganize and modernize their industry with the help of state advances of capital ad it was the first world war which really completed the industrial revolution in france and led to a big expansion of French heavy industry and to a considerable improvement in technology. The Italians, when entered the war, they also faced with the problem of industrial weakness and an almost total lack of the essential raw materials, especially coal. The war therefore helped to some extent to modernize the Italian economy. The british government soon found itself having to cope with shortages of armaments and men. A breach was made in the british liberal tradition in may 1916, when compulsory military service was finally introduced after it had become clear that voluntary schemes were not enough. The most obvious method was to borrow money, either abroad or internally. By the end of the war there was an intricate structure of inter-allied debts to be paid off, with Britain, france and their allies especially indebted to the US. In October 1914 Turkey joined the war on the German side and this had the effect of reopening the whole Balkan question and arousing new ambitions among the smaller starts of south-east Europe. The british at this stage hoped that the Bulgarians might be tempted to join the allies. Partly to convince the bugarians of the seriousness of british intentions and partly in the hope of opening up a new front, marching on Constantinople and driving the turks out of the war, the british government after much argument sent an expedition to the Gallipoli peninsula, at the western entrance of the Dardanelles, but this in fact achieved nothing and had to be withdrawn at the end of 1915. Bulgaria signed an alliance with germany and turkey in September 1915, following within a few weeks with an attack on Serbia. Nor had the allies been more successful in bringing Greece into the war. It was not until 1917, after what was virtually a civil war in Greece, that a coup d’etat succeeded in bringing Greece into the war on the side of Britain and france. By the end of 1915 germany and Austria seemed to have the advantage in south-east Europe. The neutral country Italy: although bound by an alliance to germany and Austria, the ıtalians remained neutral at the outset of he war because the terms of the alliance did not automatically operate except when their allies were attacked: it was the germans who had declared war in france and Russia, while Austria had not even informed the ıtalians of the ultimatum to Serbia. Italian opinion was deeply divided. The attractions of neutrality were considerable, and the choice was not so much between entering the war on one side or another, but rather between trying to make Austrians pay a substantial price for Italian neutrality and trying g to extract from the allies promises of gains after the war in return for fighting on their side. The feeling about Italia Irredenta was so strong that no government could have carried the country into war on the Austrian side. They wanted to win from Austria the south Tirol, Trieste and the surrounding province of Istria and a substantial part of the Dalmatian coast. On the other hand for Austria-Hungary these demands were so large that it was hard to conceive a government which was still undefeated in the war agreeing to the, especially as concession to the principle of nationalism. But for the allies was comparatively easy to offer Italy large areas of enemy territory after the end of the war  – but until they won the war they would not have the territory  to dispose of. In April the Italian government decided to sign the secret treaty of London with Britain, france and Russia an on 23 may 1915 they entered the war. The decision was not taken without a considerable internal struggle. 1914, Benito Mussolini had made his way from school-teaching into journalism, and he had been an active and radical member of the ıtalian socialist party. The Italian socialists were committed to the policy of neutrality. But in November he broke with the socialist party and dedicated to the cause of active intervention on the allied side. The secret promises m ade by the Allies to ıtaly of large areas of Austrian territory showed how the military deadlock and the lengthening of the war had resulted in the search for new allies and therefore had also resulted in the formulation of new war aims. At the start of the war Britain and france were committed to demanding the liberation of Belgium and the return of Alsace-lorraine to france, with a rather vaguer intention of saving small states such as Serbia from being swallowed by up more powerful neighbours. Once turke y joined the war the war was open to speculation about a possible peace at turkey’s expense and the british, hoping to use the opportunity permanently to annex Egypt. German side: ‘September programme’ of 1914. These war aims included in the west further t erritorial annexation form france, so as to round off the industrial zone in Lorraine with the germans had acquired in 1870, permanent control of belgium’s foreign relations, in the east the german frontier would be extended and thus with Austria-hungary closely linked with germany, a vast zone of economic control in central Europe would be created. But it would perhaps be a mistake to conclude, as some historians do, that it was to achieve these aims that germany actually went to war. Still, once the war had started, the ideas were there to be formulated and although as the fortunes of war changed, the aims in the September programme were modified or expanded by various of the leaders of the german army and government. The attitude of the last remaining powerful neutral, the US, became a crucial importance to the nature and course of the European war. At the end of 1916 president Woodrow Wilson, newly elected to a second term of office, invited the belligerents to state their war aims, in the hope that this would serve as a basis for mediation. The attempt was successful. How far apart the objectives were: while the germans did not answer Wilson directly and implied that they would be satisfied with the gains they had already achieved, the allies not only declared that they were fighting for the restoration of Belgium, Serbia and the territories occupied by the germans and Austrian armies, but also stressed that they wished to see the independence of the slavs, ıtalian and other s under habsburg rule and the freeing of the populations subject to the bloody tyranny of the turks. Yanı war aims negotiate base olmayınca savas uzadı, bır nedenı de bu. + Propaganda statements aimed at American opinion show how far discussion of war aims had moved since 1914. Neither side was willing again to risk losing their big battleships. The war at sea became increasingly a war of submarines and destroyers, a war, that is to say, aimed a t enforcing a mutual blockade, interrupting commerce and destroyingmerchant shipping. Asmiral Tirpitz use of submarines U-boats to destroy british ships + neutral ships bringing supplies to Britain. But Bethmann-Hollweg, it would at once turn neutral opinion, and especially that of the US against germany. As a result Tirpitz resigned in March 1916. In august 1916general Paul von Hindenburg became Chief of the general Staff. He had declared that ‘a ruthless submarine campaign is the only means of carrying the war to a rapid conclusion’, it was decided on 9  january 1917 to begin unrestricted submarine warfare. The consequences of this decision were enormous. The german military and naval authorities were confident that the new strategy would defeat England in six months and that therefore, even if America were to come into the war, the war would be over before US aid could be effective. In the meantime,  however, on 7 April 1917 the US had taken the fateful step of declaring war on germany.  Although the immediate reasons for america’s entry into the war were ones of practical self  -interest  – the danger posed to American trade by the german submarine campaign and the threat from german intrigues across the border in Mexico, where the germans were offering the Mexican government an alliance n the event of war with the US and holding out hopes of the return to Mexico of Texas, Arizona and New Mexico  –  the American declaration of war not only potentially changed the new balance of power in Europe, it also transformed the scope and nature of the war. The idea of turning the war into a crusade for democracy and a new international order. By the beginning of 1917, after two and a half years of inconclusive fighting, all the European belligerents were faced with internal crises. Britain and France, this uneasiness expressed itself in the form of political instability, in germany it led to the emergence of what was in effect a military dictatorship, in Russia it led to revolution. Switzerland became a refuge for all those who, for whatever reason, antd to avoid or escape the war. Among them, lenin. Throughout the war, Switzerland remained a genuinely neutral haven in a divided Europe. French: in addition to their military failure the Russian revolution of February 1917 threatened to lead to the end of the war on the eastern front and to expose the French and british in the west to the whole strength of the german army before the resources of the US could be brought to bear in Europe. Although it seemed in 1917 that the germans were in sight of victory and Britain and France on the verge of defeat, yet the situation inside Germany was also critical during that year, for all the hopes that Russia might drop out of the war and Britain be starved into surrender by the U-boat campaign. The british blockade of germany was making its effect: food was short, rationing had been introduced (fransada da uygulandı, haftanın 3gunu meatless) and a major strike among the metal workers in April 1917 showed that the internal situation was by no means stable. Moreover the solidarity which the parties had shown at the outbreak of the war was beginning to break down. In april 1917 the dissident group, now openly opposed to the war and calling for a ‘peace without annexations and indemnities’, formed itself into a separate party, the Independent social democratic Party(USDP). By July 1917 when it was clear that the U-boat campaign had not defeated England in six months, that the Russians had not yet left the war and even looked like mounting an offensive in Galicia and that in spite of the French failures the germans had not broken through in the west either, a number of Reichstag members, led by the Centre party’s bean to express themselves in favour of a negotiated peace. ON 8 July, Bethmann was forced to resign, since Ludendorff had declared that he would go if Bethmann did not. He was succeeded by an insignificant Prussian official, georg Michaelis. But on 19 July the Reichstag passed by a substantial majority a resolution which stated, Germany resorted to arms in order to defend her freedom and independence and the integrity of her territorial possessions. This raised hopes that there might now be a basis for a negotiated peace  –  though it made no mention of Alsace-Lorraine, which the French expected to recover outright. By the beginning of 1918, Hindenburg and Ludendorff were the real rulers of Germany committed more tenaciously than ever to a programme of extensive annexations at the expense of france and Belgium in the west and Russia and roumania (which had joined the war on the allied side in august 1916) in the east. Situation of her ally  AustriaHungary. The death of Franz Joseph in november 1916 and the accession of his great-nephew the young emperor Karl, opened up the final crisis of the monarchy, and the remaining two years of its existence were filled with growing tensions, both economic and political. The Hungarian government had used the opportunity provided by the war to act in a lost total independence of Vienna, so that the future of the Ausgleich (the Compomise  between the Hungarians and the emperor srcinally reached in 1867 and renewed every ten years since and due to come up for renewal in 1917) looked uncertain. It was at the economic level that Austrian dependence on Hungary was most apparent. Vienna and the provinces relied on Hungary for their grain supply. In peace-time could be supplemented from Russia and Romania, but in the war, with the British blockade becoming increasingly effective. Emperor karl and his advisers decided early in 1917 to explore the possibilities of a separate peace offering to make some concessions to Italy and to press the German to return Alsace-Lorraine to France. Secret negotiations but did not come to anything. The French were skeptical, and were not even certain that they wanted a separate peace which would probably bring Italy out of the war as well as Austria. Above all however it was the extent to which Austria was now bound to Germany that made Karl’s diplomacy unrealistic. Germany would never have allowed Austria to drop out, and any peace would have to be a general one and not a separate one. The new Emperor was no more successful in his search for internal peace. Czech, Yugoslav and Polish émigrés were actively trying to persuade the allied governments to recognize their claims, and any remodeling of the monarchy along the mildly federal lines which the emperor had in mind was by now irrelevant. The factors which everywhere underlay the European crisis were present in Russia- war weariness, food shortages, rising prices, demands for more efficient conduct of the war and for better conditions for the troops  –  but they were exacerbated by the nature of Russian institutions and by the personality and beliefs of Nicholas II. The Tsar was an autocrat: that is to say that he believed himself to have a divine mission to rule as an absolute sovereign without sharing his power with anyone. But a liberal parliamentary block was emerging which was deeply critical of the monarch and his advisers. If food and peace could only be obtained by a revolution, there was at home and at the front a vast mass of Russians ready to support one. By 15 March a provisional government was formed by the Duma with the backing of the Soviet, and late that evening the Tsar, who was on his way back from his headquarters but unable to reach Petrograd because the revolutionaries controlled the railway lines, as compelled to abdicate. The effects of these sudden events were felt throughout Europe. For liberals in France and Britain the overthrow of the tsarist autocracy was welcome in itself but also because it made Russia seem a more respectable ally and improved the chances, it was believed, of a just peace. The spontaneous popular movement wanted peace above everything but peasants with the hope that the revolution would bring them possession of the land. The provisional government was under considerable pressure from russia’s allies to remain in the war but it soon became clear that the difficulties: ın the army itself discipline had collapsed. Not only was the Petrograd soviet a rival executive body to the provisional government, but the soviets in the cities were often the only effective administrative organ to be found. The existence of the ‘dual system’ meant that it was hard for the provisional government to act without the soviets’ support. The alternative to seeking a negotiated peace seemed to be an immediate cease-fire which would leave all Russia exposed to a german advance, and it was only the Bolsheviks who were prepared to envisage this, and even they were not unanimous about it until Lenin had returned to Russia early in April and was able to establish his personal domination over the party. Any attempt on the other hand to persuade the Alies to consider starting peace negotiations implied a continuing Russian war effort until the negotiations were complete. In September 1915 a small group of socialist had met at Zimmerwald in Switzerland. The Zimmerwald congress is significant no only because it marked, on however small a scale, the emergence of a new international movement on he Left, but also because it revealed three lines of policy which were to lead to the development of three groups in the socialist
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