1914 Europe from USMA

Jan. 13 - The Liberal Party in Britain won 22 of 39 seats from the Labor Party in the election, bringing to Parliament young Winston Churchill, and making Sir Edward Grey Foreign Secretary.

Feb. 10 - Britain launched HMS Dreadnought, the first modern battleship, with ten 12-inch guns, and planned to build 4 such capital ships each year to modernize her navy. Mahan's book in 1890 had argued that a strong navy was necessary to maintain an empire. The book influenced the Germans, and in 1892 von Tirpitz began a naval expansion program. In 1894 England began a naval expansion program. In 1904, Admiral Sir John French became First Sea Lord, and urged naval reforms. In 1905, the renewed the Anglo-Japanese Alliance and this allowed England to move 5 battleships from Asia to Channel Fleet. In 1908, England launched its first battle-cruiser, HMS Inflexible, faster but with thinner armor. In 1913, Tirpitz ended the naval race by accepting the 60% superiority of Brit battleships over German. Anglo-German relations improved by joining for a common policy regarding the Balkans.

Mar. 24 - A census of the British Empire counted 400 million living on 12 million square miles governed by Britain, one-fifth of the globe, including the 41 million who populate the British Isles.

Apr. 7 - The Algeciras Conference preserved the independence of Morocco but under the protection of France. Only Austria supported Germany's claims.

July 21 - Capt. Alfred Dreyfus was vindicated in court and given the Legion of Merit, 12 years after he was arrested in 1894 for espionage.

Nov. 26 - Roosevelt returned to the United States after a month-long trip to Panama, the first President to visit a foreign country, and operated a steam shovel during his inspection of the Canal Zone.

In the "Pig War" 1906-11, Austria closed its borders to Serbian livestock imports in retaliation for Serbia's refusal to buy arms from the Skoda company in Bohemia. This was another step in the growing conflict between the Austria-Hungarian Empire and Serbia. Austria had sought to annex Bosnia and Herzogovina since the 1878 Treaty of Berlin that gave Serbia its independence from the Ottomans, but the 1903 assassination of Serbia's King Alexander brought to power King Peter Karageorgevic and PM Nikola Pasic who defied Austria by leading a pan-Slavic crusade. In 1909, Germany supported Austria's demand for annexation of Bosnia and Herzogovina, and Russia refused to challenge Germany, and Serbia was forced to accept the annexation on March 31, 1909. Serbian expansion then turned to the south against the Ottomans that would result in the Balkan Wars that began in 1912.




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