New
New
Year 9

International tension

I can explain how increased tension in Europe towards the end of the nineteenth century led to the formation of military alliances.

New
New
Year 9

International tension

I can explain how increased tension in Europe towards the end of the nineteenth century led to the formation of military alliances.

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Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. The increasing influence of Germany in the early twentieth century caused anxiety in Britain.
  2. Germany signed a military alliance with Italy and Austria-Hungary in 1882, known as the Triple Alliance.
  3. By 1907, Britain had formed a military alliance with Russia and France, known as the Triple Entente.
  4. In the early twentieth century powers in Europe began building up their militaries, known as the 'arms race'.

Common misconception

Everyone knew what was agreed by countries which had made alliances before the start of the war.

Explain that important parts of the alliance agreements were not made public so other countries did not know about them.

Keywords

  • Alliance - an alliance is a relationship between two (or more) countries for a particular purpose

  • Arms race - an arms race is a competition between nations for military superiority and the development of weapons

  • Military - the military is anything related to the armed forces of a country

  • Kaiser - Kaiser is the German word for emperor

  • Empire - an empire is a group of states or countries ruled over by a single country or monarch

For the discussion activity on slide 14, encourage pupils to think about 'place in the sun' literally and metaphorically.
Teacher tip

Content guidance

  • Contains conflict or violence.

Supervision

Adult supervision suggested.

Licence

This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).

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6 Questions

Q1.
Put these events in chronological order, starting with the earliest.
1 - Spanish exploration and colonisation of Americas begins
2 - the beginning of transatlantic slavery
3 - Industrial Revolution begins
4 - European empires begin growing rapidly
5 - the unification of Italy and Germany
Q2.
What is an empire?
When a single ruler/country is controlled by multiple countries/rulers
Correct answer: When a multiple countries/states are controlled by a single ruler/country
When a single country is controlled by a single ruler
Q3.
Which of these nations was believed to have the largest empire in the late 1800s?
Correct answer: Britain
Italy
Russia
Spain
Q4.
Match the words with the correct definitions.
Correct Answer:army,The part of the armed forces that works on land.

The part of the armed forces that works on land.

Correct Answer:navy,The part of the armed forces that works at sea.

The part of the armed forces that works at sea.

Correct Answer:alliance,A relationship between two or more countries.

A relationship between two or more countries.

Correct Answer:industrialise,To develop industries on a large scale.

To develop industries on a large scale.

Correct Answer:military,Anything related to the armed forces of a country.

Anything related to the armed forces of a country.

Q5.
Which two of the following had made Britain wealthy by the 1800s?
colonies in South America
the agricultural revolution
Correct answer: the Industrial Revolution
Correct answer: transatlantic slavery
Q6.
Who ruled Britain in the late 1800s?
Correct Answer: Queen Victoria, Victoria

6 Questions

Q1.
When was Germany unified?
1781
Correct answer: 1871
1971
Q2.
Who ruled Germany at the start of the 20th century?
Correct Answer: Kaiser Wilhelm II, Wilhelm II
Q3.
Match each country to the correct alliance.
Correct Answer:Austria-Hungary,Triple Alliance

Triple Alliance

Correct Answer:Britain,Triple Entente

Triple Entente

Correct Answer:France,Triple Entente

Triple Entente

Correct Answer:Germany,Triple Alliance

Triple Alliance

Correct Answer:Italy,Triple Alliance

Triple Alliance

Correct Answer:Russia,Triple Entente

Triple Entente

Q4.
Starting with the earliest, sort the following events into the order in which they happened
1 - The unification of Germany
2 - The formation of the Triple Alliance
3 - German industrialisation allows Germany to begin growing their military
4 - The formation of the Triple Entente
5 - The Germany army reaches 4.9 million soldiers
Q5.
Which of the following was a cause of tension in Europe from 1871-1914?
Correct answer: industrialisation in Germany
industrialisation in Britain
Correct answer: the creation of British and German dreadnoughts
the unification of Italy
the declining power of the French and Russian army
Q6.
Which the following best explains why growing tensions in Europe led to alliances?
Correct answer: German expansion threatened Britain, and so alliances were formed as protection
Germany felt threatened by the Triple Entente, and so sought an alliance
Germany built the first dreadnought, threatening British naval power

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