Unit 6

IB Topic 6--European diplomacy and the First World War 18701923

This section deals with the longer- and shorter-term origins of the First World War, its course and consequences. The breakdown of European diplomacy pre‑1914 and the crises produced in international relations should be examined. It covers how the practice of war affected the military and home fronts. The section also investigates reasons for the Allied victory/Central Powers’ defeat plus a study of the economic, political and territorial effects of the post-war Paris Peace Settlement.

  • European diplomacy and the changing balance of power after 1870
  • Aims, methods, continuity and change in German foreign policy to 1914; global colonial rivalry
  • Relative importance of: the Alliance System; decline of the Ottoman Empire; Austria Hungary and Balkan nationalism; arms race; international and diplomatic crises
  • Effects on civilian population; impact of war on women socially and politically
  • Factors leading to the defeat of Germany and the other Central Powers (Austria Hungary, Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria); strategic errors; economic factors; the entry and role of the United States
  • Post-war peace treaties and their territorial, political and economic effects on Europe: Versailles (St Germain, Trianon, Neuilly, Sèvres/Lausanne)