A School History of the Great War eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 164 pages of information about A School History of the Great War.

Great Britain had for a long time remained outside the jealousies and combinations of the continental powers.  In fact she had frequently found herself at odds with France over the rights of the two nations in Africa, and with Russia over the question of Constantinople and Russian aggression in Asia.  When English statesmen discovered, however, that the German Empire was constantly enlarging her navy with a view to challenging English control of the seas, they felt that it would be well for Great Britain to seek friendships on the Continent.  Old quarrels with France and Russia were forgotten.  Friendly relations were established, and Great Britain, France, and Russia entered into a league of friendship known as the Triple Entente (1907).

SUGGESTIONS FOR STUDY.—­1.  Locate the Bosporus, Alsace-Lorraine, Italia Irredenta, Balkan peninsula, AEgean Sea. 2.  Explain the geographical importance of Constantinople.  How was Russia prevented from taking it in the Crimean War of 1854 and the Russo-Turkish War of 1877? 3.  Show on a map of Europe the countries in the Triple Alliance and those in the Triple Entente.  Why was each alliance formed?
REFERENCES.—­War Cyclopedia (C.P.I.); Harding, New Medieval and Modern History; Hazen, Europe since 1815; and other European histories.  For the treaties forming the two alliances, see A League of Nations, Vol.  I, No. 4.



THE BALKANS.—­As we have learned in Chapter I, the Balkan states are, with the exception of Montenegro, the result of a series of revolutions which took place during the last hundred years.  These revolutions were the result of two causes.  First there was a growing restlessness of the different groups of people in the Balkan peninsula.  This was due not only to centuries of Turkish misrule, but also to the influence of the republican movement which developed in northern and western Europe as a result of the French Revolution.  The second cause of the Balkan revolutions was the gradual growth among the oppressed races of the feeling that they would better their condition by throwing off the despotic Turkish rule and by organizing each separate race into a separate nation.  Thus it was that the revolutions brought into existence a group of small states, each populated chiefly by one of the races inhabiting the Balkans.

[Illustration:  THE BALKAN STATES 1913]

RACES IN THE BALKANS.—­There are more races represented in the Balkans than in any similar sized territory in Europe.  Most of the Balkan states lie along what was the northeastern fringe of the Roman Empire.  So we find inhabiting them not only ancient races like the Greeks and Albanians, but also descendants of Roman colonists like the Roumanians, and other racial groups like the Serbs and Bulgars, which represent the survivals of the barbarian invasions of the Middle

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A School History of the Great War from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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