The Causes of World War I: Part 4 – Regional Conflicts

A painting depicting the end of the First Balkan War

The Causes of World War I: Part 4 – Regional Conflicts

Several smaller conflicts tested the alliances established by the great European powers and set the stage for the great conflict that would erupt in 1914.

These are some of the smaller conflicts that rocked the world during the new century.


Russo-Japanese War (1904): Russia and Japan go to war over Korea and Manchuria. Russia is ultimately defeated.

Italo-Turkish War (1911): Italy hopes to expand its territory and occupies Benghazi and Tripoli in northern Africa and the Dodecanese and Rhodes in Europe. In 1912, the Treaty of Lausanne gives Cyrenaica and Tripoli to Italy.

Moroccan Crisis (1911): Germany sends a gunboat to a Moroccan port which was in French territory. Germany believed all nations should have equal access to the port and had asserted this belief five years earlier. The crisis was resolved in late 1911.

The Balkan Wars (1912, 1913): Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro and Serbia formed an alliance called the Balkan League which attacked and defeated the Ottoman Empire. The following year, unable to agree over Salonika, Bulgaria and Greece went to war. Bulgaria was defeated.


Updated: 23 October 2020
Melina Druga
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Most kids have an active imagination. My imagination has stayed strong into adulthood, and I’ve funneled that creativity into a successful writing career. I write history, both fiction and nonfiction, because although your school history classes may have been boring, the past is not. My goal is to bring the past to life in all its myriad of colors.
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