New
New
Year 9

The outbreak of war

I can explain how the assassination of Franz Ferdinand caused European powers to declare war on each other as a result of the alliance system.

New
New
Year 9

The outbreak of war

I can explain how the assassination of Franz Ferdinand caused European powers to declare war on each other as a result of the alliance system.

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Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. Tensions rose in the Balkans due to the rise of nationalist movements and opposition to Austrian influence.
  2. The trigger for war was the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Serbia.
  3. German-supported Austria declared war on Serbia, supported by Russia.
  4. The system of alliances caused Germany and Russia to declare war, dragging other powers into the conflict.
  5. The failure of Germany's Schlieffen Plan, which assumed British neutrality, contributed to the outbreak of a global war.

Common misconception

That the assassination of Ferdinand led to the inevitable, immediate outbreak of a global war

The outbreak of the war was the result of a series of context-dependent events, including the Austrian ultimatum and the Schlieffen Plan

Keywords

  • Nationalism - nationalism is the support for the political independence of a country

  • Assassinate - to assassinate someone is to murder an important person for a political or religious reason

  • Ultimatum - an ultimatum is a final demand which, if denied, will result in some form of retaliation

  • Mobilise - to mobilise is to prepare an army for war

On slide 17, emphasise that without British involvement the war would likely have been much smaller in scale - perhaps not remembered as a 'World War'
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.
Which of the following countries was formed in 1871?
Austria
Britain
Correct answer: Germany
Russia
Q2.
Match each key word to the correct definition.
Correct Answer:alliance, relationship between two (or more) countries

relationship between two (or more) countries

Correct Answer:nationalism,the support for the political independence of a country

the support for the political independence of a country

Correct Answer:assassination,to murder an important person for a political reason

to murder an important person for a political reason

Correct Answer:ultimatum,a final demand which could result in retaliation

a final demand which could result in retaliation

Q3.
Which three of the following nations were part of the Triple Alliance?
Correct answer: Austria-Hungary
Britain
France
Correct answer: Germany
Correct answer: Italy
Q4.
Which three of the following nations were part of the Triple Entente?
Austria-Hungary
Correct answer: Britain
Correct answer: France
Germany
Correct answer: Russia
Q5.
Which one of the following statements best explains how large wars break out?
One country declares war on several countries.
Correct answer: War breaks out between two countries, and other countries defend their allies.
Several countries agree to declare war on another large group of countries.
Q6.
Which three of the following were a cause of tension across Europe from 1871-1914?
Correct answer: formation of the Triple Alliance
Prussia was a large German state
Correct answer: formation of the Triple Entente
Correct answer: Germany expanded their military
German states were mostly agricultural in 1870

6 Questions

Q1.
When were the Balkan wars?
1871-1905
Correct answer: 1912-1913
1915
1914-1918
Q2.
Match each key word to the correct definition
Correct Answer:ultimatum,a final demand which could result in retaliation

a final demand which could result in retaliation

Correct Answer:mobilise,to prepare an army for war

to prepare an army for war

Correct Answer:nationalism,the support for the political independence of a country

the support for the political independence of a country

Q3.
Who was assassinated on 28th June 1914?
Gavrilo Princip
Correct answer: Archduke Franz Ferdinand
Kaiser Wilhelm II
Q4.
Starting with the earliest, sort the following events into the order in which they happened.
1 - The Balkan Wars end, Serbia emerges as independent nation
2 - Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie are assassinated
3 - Serbia rejects Austria-Hungary's ultimatum, and war is declared on Serbia
4 - Russia declares war on Austria-Hungary
5 - Germany declares war on Russia
6 - France declares war on Germany
7 - Germany prepares to launch the Schlieffen Plan
Q5.
Complete this sentence by typing in the missing word. Austria-Hungary blamed the nation of __________ for the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
Correct Answer: Serbia, serbia, serbs, Serbs
Q6.
Which three of the following are reasons why the Schlieffen Plan failed?
Correct answer: Russia mobilised quicker than expected
Correct answer: Britain joined the war to defend Belgium
Austria-Hungary issued Serbia an ultimatum
Correct answer: Germany marched through Belgium, a neutral country
Germany declared war on Russia

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