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  • LCIMUN 2014


    World War One

    Background Guide

  • LCIMUN 2014 - WWI


    Table of Contents

    World War One

    The British Empire ----------------------------------------------------------------3-4

    Canada (British Empire) ---------------------------------------------------------5-6

    Australia (British Empire) ----------------------------------------------------------7

    France -----------------------------------------------------------------------------8-10

    Germany --------------------------------------------------------------------------11-12

    The Russian Empire -------------------------------------------------------------13-15

    Belgium ---------------------------------------------------------------------------16-17

    Ottoman Empire-----------------------------------------------------------------18-19

    Italy -------------------------------------------------------------------------------20-21


    Austria-Hungary ----------------------------------------------------------------24-25

    United States Of America ------------------------------------------------------26-28

    Bulgaria ---------------------------------------------------------------------------29-30

    Romania --------------------------------------------------------------------------31-32

    Serbia ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------33



  • LCIMUN 2014 - WWI


    The British Empire


    Monarch: Queen Victoria, Edward VII, George V

    Prime Minister: Herbert Henry Asquith, David Lloyd


    Brief History:

    The empire on which the sun never sets is certainly fitting to describe the British Empire

    prior to the start of the First World War. Its colonies spanned more than a quarter of the

    Earth's total land area. Britain was the indisputable world superpower that dominated in its

    military, technology, and colonial empire. Its role in the world then is comparable to that of

    the U.S. now, its every move influencing the entire world. Its military size was surprisingly

    small for such a vast empire, though Britain had the largest and most advanced navy in the


    Politics and Society:

    In 1901 Britain had a constitutional government, but it was not completely democratic.

    Freedom of speech was not permitted and the formation of a coalition government silenced

    any possible opposition. The conservative ideology dominated in politics, with Britain having

    the most restrictive franchises in the world. A full-fledged democracy did not come until after

    the war, though some reform was made, such as, the House of Lords not having veto power.


    Being the first nation to industrialize, Britain was definitely an economic superpower during

    the nineteenth century. However, Britains economic power was overtaken by the United

    States of America. Its economy was largely dependent on its colonies. The colonies

    supported Britain with raw materials, where Britain would manufacture, and ship off to the

    rest of the world. However, uprisings and wars in its colonies disrupted this and also the

    establishment of large monopolies dragged back the British economy. Despite these

    drawbacks, Britain maintained its status as an economic superpower and continued to affect

    the global economy.

  • LCIMUN 2014 - WWI



    The British military was surprisingly small for such a vast Empire. It comprised of the Royal

    Navy and the Army. At this time, the Royal Air Force did not exist. Its navy was what made it

    dominate the world. In fact, there was a law in Britain that ensured its domination in the

    seas: it stated that Britain must have a navy larger or equal to the next two largest navies

    combined. The British government was determined to maintaining its status as a world

    superpower by dominating the seas.


    Foreign Relations:

    The year is 1911 and you control on of the largest most powerful nations in the world. The

    state of the world is tense. You now look to your former bitter enemy, France as a temporary

    ally. Back in 1904, both of your nations decided to put hostilities aside and signed an entente.

    Russia, who was also seen as a rival by you and your empire also entered into the entente

    together in 1907. You do not trust your new allies completely because of years of hostilities,

    though, you do not think that treachery is a possibility quite yet. This triple entente will offer

    some protection from the power hungry Germany. You are involved in a trade agreement

    with the Ottoman Empire as well as Austria-Hungary. It is up to you as a ruler do decide, if

    war breaks out, to send troops into the main land or not Your main objective as a delegate of

    the British Empire is to put a stop to Germanys rapid and threatening expansion. You also

    want to ensure that you remain in control of your colonies.

  • LCIMUN 2014 - WWI


    Canada (British Empire)

    Brief history:

    Since confederation, Canada had been

    expanding greatly, taking the entire

    north of the North American continent.

    The construction of the Canadian

    Pacific Railway also connected Canada

    from sea to sea, making trade and

    industrialization easier than ever before. The Canadian population relied heavily on

    immigration, and so racism was a big problem for Canada at this time. Overall, Canada was a

    very prosperous member of the British Empire, providing Britain with lumber and many other

    natural resources


    The Canadian government, a constitutional monarchy, followed the structure of the British in

    the lower house with a House of Commons, and an American upper house: the Senate.


    Canada, being one of Britains colonies, maintained its supply of natural resources to Britain.

    Entering into the 20th century, Canadas dependence on Britain for economic gains greatly

    decreased as the United States came to replace them. Now depending more than ever on the

    U.S., Canada decided to seek out a free trade deal with them. Canadian business owners saw

    this as a threat and anti-American sentiment grew, which meant that the deal was never made

    and the government under Laurier was defeated in the next election.


    Canada had no military of its own. British troops were stationed along borders and the British

    navy patrolled Canadian waters. However, prior to the First World War, Britain requested

    that Canada aid in the arms race by forming a navy. This was done by purchasing two old

    chips from Britain. The Canadian navy was formed thus formed.

  • LCIMUN 2014 - WWI


    Foreign Relations:

    The year is 1911 and you control a large colony of Britain. Your voice is wholly represented by

    Britain. Though Britain is supposed to protect your rights, they have often betrayed you. In

    the Alaskan Boundary dispute with the U.S., the British representative cast a vote in favour of

    the U.S. You realize that internally, the French are against the British representing Canada

    and that your society is moving closer to the U.S. than to Britain. Your main objective as a

    delegate of Canada is to find new allegiances, while maintaining strong connections with

    Britain. You must also try to please French Canada.

  • LCIMUN 2014 - WWI


    Australia (British Empire)

    Brief history:

    The Commonwealth of Australia was formed

    in 1901 by the Governor-General Lord

    Hopetoun. The first prime minister of

    Australia, Edmund Barton, was elected in that

    same year: The Australian population was very

    small at the time, numbering only three million or so, the vast majority of which are of British

    decent, who stood firmly behind the decisions of the empire.


    Like Canada, Australia relied heavily on immigration. However, racism was also prevalent in

    Australia, with many laws being passed to discourage the immigration of Asians, especially

    the Chinese. The ruling political party was the Protectionist party under Edmund Barton.


    The Australian economy was very resource based. Its manufacturing only accounted for

    approximately 12 percent of its GDP while 30 came from mining and agriculture. Australia

    had a very small labour force, which resulted in the relative lack of its productivity.


    After Australia gained its autonomy, they began to establish an army. Since it had a very

    small population, people of age had to go through compulsory military training. A military

    college was also established in Australia. The military was quite large for such a small

    population, with a peacetime standing of 200,000.

    Foreign Relations:

    The year is 1911 and you control a huge British colony. All your people support Great Britain.

    Any move for independence would cause revolts and rebellion. You support Britain

    completely and will devote your entire army to its cause. You main objective as a delegate of

    Australia is to ensure that Britain achieves victo