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1. Discuss the main causes of the First World War.
• Europe was divided into two armed camps namely the Central powers and Allies.
• Germany, Italy and Austria - Hungary were Central powers. They formed Triple Alliance in 1882.
• England, France and Russia were the Allies and they formed Triple Entente. There was enmity between these two blocs.
Violent forms of Nationalism:
• With the growth of nationalism, the attitude of "my country right or wrong, I support it" developed.
• England's Jingoism, France's Chauvinism and Germany's Kultur were militant forms of nationalism.
Aggressive Attitude of German Emperor:
• Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany was ruthlessly assertive and aggressive. He proclaimed that Germany would be the leader of the world.
• The German navy was expanded.
• Therefore Britain embarked on a naval race.
• It led to tension between the two power blocs.
Hostility of France towards Germany:
• France and Germany were old rivals. Bitter memories of the loss of Alsace and Lorraine rankled in the minds of France.
• Germany's interference in the Morocco affair added to the bitterness.
• Taking advantage of the political and economic instability of the Turkish empire the Balkan countries tried to secede from the Turkish control.
• The Balkan League was formed, The League attacked the Turkish force. The first Balkan war ended with the Treaty of London.
• The new state of Albania was created.
• The Second Balkan war was also fought. It ended with the Treaty of Bucharest.
• Franz Ferdinand, the Austrian crown prince was assassinated by Princip, a Bosnian Serb in Bosnia
• Austria saw in this an opportunity to eliminate Serbia as an independent state.
• Based on a rumour that Russia was sending her forces to support Serbia, Germany declared war on Russia.Thus started the First World War.
2. Highlight the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles relating to Germany.
• Germany was found guilty of starting the war and therefore was to pay reparations for the losses suffered.
• All central powers were directed to pay war indemnity.
• The German army was to be limited to 1,00,000 men. A small navy was allowed.
• The union of Austria and Germany was forbidden.
• All German colonies became mandated territories under the League of Nations.
• Germany was forced to revoke the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (with Russia) and Bucharest (Bulgaria).
• Alsace - Lorraine was returned to France.
• Poland was-recreated.
3. Explain the course of the Russian Revolution under the leadership of Lenin.
• The Soviet was dominated by Mensheviks and the minority Bolsheviks were timid and undecided. The situation changed with the arrival of Lenin.
Failure of Provisional government:
• When the revolution broke out Lenin was in Switzerland and he wanted continued revolution. His slogan of "All power to the Soviets" soon won over the workers' leaders. The people were attracted by the slogan of "Breed, Peace and Land".
• The provisional government made two grave mistakes.
• It postponed a decision on the demand for the redistribution of land.
• Government decided to continue with the war.
• This intensified the rising in Petrograd led by Bolsheviks. The government banned Pravda and arrested all Bolsheviks. Trotsky was also arrested.
Take over by the Bolshevik party under lenin:
• In October Lenin persuaded the Bolshevik Central Committee to decide on immediate revolution.
• Trotsky prepared a detailed plan.
• On 7 November the key government buildings, including the Winter Palace, the Prime Minister's head quarters were seized by armed factory workers and revolutionary troops.
• On 8 November 1917 a new communist government was in office in Russia. Its head this time was Lenin. The Bolshevik Party was renamed the Russian Communist Party.
• Lenin thought the most important factor for the fall of provisional government was its failure to withdraw from World War. Lenin opted for withdrawing from the War to concentrate on the formation of new government.
4. Estimate the work done by the League of Nations.
• The League of nations was called in to settle a number of disputes between 1920 and 1925. It was successful in 3 issues.
• In 1920 a dispute arose between Sweden and Finland over the sovereignty of the Aaland Islands situated between Finland's west coast and Sweden's east coast. The League ruled that the islands should go to Finland.
• In 1921 the League was asked to settle the frontier between Poland and Germany in Upper Silesia.
• It was successfully resolved by the League.
• The third dispute was between Greece and Bulgaria in 1925. Greece invaded Bulgaria and the League ordered a ceasefire. After investigation it blamed Greece and decided that Greece was to pay reparations.
1. Students can be taught to mark the places of battles and the capital cities of the countries that were engaged in the War.
Mark the following countries on the world map.
1. Great Britain 2. Germany 3. France 4. Italy 5. Morocco 6. Turkey 7. Serbia 8. Bosnia 9. Greece 10. Austria-Hungary 11. Bulgaria 12. Rumania
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