Empires before World War I Austria-Hungary. Ottoman empire. British, German, French and Russian empires.
Empires before World War I
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- a lot of people including myself have found the study of world war I to
- be a little bit confusing sometimes
- and i think the reason is is the world was very different
- leading up to World War I than it is today.
- and to some degree the modern world we live in was shaped
- to a large degree by war one and later world war two
- and just to get a sense of what our modern world looks like
- and especially what modern Europe looks like, this is a map of modern Europe.
- But the interesting thing about this map is instead of being the traditional map
- that you normally see where you just see the country boundaries
- the state boundaries this has a state boundaries right here
- in these little gray lines they show the where where
- France and say Switzerland or Germany or Italy begin
- but overlayed on top of that we see where the languages are spoken
- so this is actually much more focused on where the people speak French
- where people speak German
- and i think that you all noticed for the most part throughout most of europe
- today's boundaries or modern boundaries closely closely match up
- to where languages are spoken.
- There a few areas where this isn't clear, there is more of a disconnect with
- Catalan and Spanish
- and actually that is leading to uh... some issues,
- but for the most part in modern europe the country boundaries and the linguistic
- boundaries of the national boundaries kind of match up.
- If we go, if we rewind to the world entering into world war one,
- things were very different.
- Some of the boundaries we recognize.
- We recognize, we recognize the United Kingdom and well, Ireland has since been carved out,
- but we recognize that as not being that differently than it is today.
- Spain is not that different,
- France is not that different,
- Italy is not that different,
- Germany is a good bit different.
- In fact if you take Germany the German empire entering into World War I
- or in the early nineteen hundred's around
- between them and the Russian empire they essentially they essentially were
- swallowing up a bunch of linguistic groups
- a bunch of linguistic groups right over here that now have their own independent states.
- The other thing that you might notice is this huge, this huge state called Austria Hungary
- often called the Austro-Hungarian empire.
- And people say Oh you know there's uh... you know I'm familiar with
- some of these nations that have the word Austria Hungary in them,
- but i'm not, you know "what is the Austro Hungarian empire" and what's interesting about
- it is that it really was an empire
- it was really trying to cobble together all of these folks that
- spoke all different, all of different types of ethnicities.
- This is kind of a zoom in of the austro-hungarian empire leading
- into world war one
- And the austro-hungarian empire is probably the most
- important thing to understand if we're trying to get a sense
- of how world war one started.
- Because leading up to World War I in 1908, the austro-hungarian empire
- formally annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina,
- and that's another confusing thing for many of us but that's actually one country.
- It's called Bosnia and Herzegovina or I guess for the
- austro-hungarian that was i guess one region that they annexed
- and what's interesting about that is if you look at the linguistic map, you see
- that this whole region right
- over here speaks a very similar, essentially they are dialects of Serbian
- Croatian and Bosnian.
- They're all very linguistically an ethnically connected
- so this whole region right over here this whole region right over here is
- linguistically and ethnically connected
- and we will see is is that this desire to to connect people with similar
- ethnic or linguistic roots was well huh linguistic
- backgrounds is what led to a lot of what
- happened in world war or at least was the sparked that fuel to
- the people sometimes say the powder keg of world war one
- the other thing that was very different or the other i
- guess country or nation or empire that we are not used to today
- is the Ottoman empire
- so if we go today we see the could the country of turkey which
- is kind of on the anatolian peninsula so
- this is turkey this is turkey right over here this is
- modern-day turkey
- but entering into world war one in nineteen fourteen turkey was essentially part
- of the remnants of the Ottoman empire
- so this right over here is what the ottoman empire look like
- this is this is right over here is roughly modern-day
- but the Ottoman empire consisted of modern-day turkey
- and much of the modern middle east so much of a
- specially much of the arab especially the arab
- world syria iraq lebanon uh...
- much of what we're modern-day israel is
- some of saudi arabia
- this was really the dying state of the ottoman empire did
- At it's peak it controlled much of the muslim world
- a controlled northern africa as well as all the stuff that
- you see here
- and even a little bit and even a little bit of persia and
- actually a good bit of the balkan southeast europe and even grease
- at the peak of its on an empire
- now i'm talking about going hundreds and hundreds of
- years back into the past
- so when we entered the world war two
- we don't have a world where people kind of our
- where states are defined by linguistic boundaries or by ethnic
- to a large degree we have these empires that has existed that
- existed as we exited out of the eighteen hundreds
- and this empires were not just in europe like the austria, austro-hungarian
- or not just in the middle east
- like the ottoman empire
- right over here is a kind of an empire map at around that point in time
- and you see probably the most dominant feature here
- is the british empire that's in this pink color
- so braided that's
- that's united kingdom great britain would just be would just be
- this right over here
- you throw in ireland you get the united kingdom the
- great britain was in control of the indian the entire indian subcontinent
- it was essentially although nominally Egypt was somewhat independent
- great britain had a huge amount of influence here
- obviously places like canada and australia and New Zealand were under the control of
- or part of the british empire
- well a lot of people don't realize is that significant amount of africa as well
- a significant amount of africa was also was also under british control
- and what we have running up into world war one
- is kind of a race for empire and arms race between the major powers of europe
- in particular you have great britain or or the united kingdom
- that obviously had a vast empire
- the son never sets on the british empire
- was a better setting on this empire that we just saw here
- and the german empire was also starting to flex its muscle and starting and starting
- to militarized
- and the more than german side of the british ruled rising
- the more that the british added that the more the british the more
- the germans and one or two after militarized and vice versa
- and you said this arms race
- and they're all trying to build a empires
- so the germans the there you they were present in africa
- you have the french who are present in much of africa
- and you have to remember all of this in context some of this empire building was frankly
- just about ego and just about spreading someone's
- influence supplanting their power uh...
- a lot of it was uh... based on kind of ethnic beliefs about civilization
- i guess is a rationalizations to kind a take control of other people's resources
- and a lot of it was we were in a world where access to resources
- in particular access to row materials and especially oil uh...
- could to some degree define whether a a power was a power at all
- and so with that i think we have a pretty good basis for uh... that
- the state of affairs as we enter into world war I
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