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World War I 1914-1920. Part I: The Great War P rior to reviewing this Power Point... 1) Read pages 649-653 2) Answer the P art I guide questions

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World War I 1914-1920

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World War I 1914-1920

  • Part I: The Great War

  • Prior to reviewing this Power Point...

  • 1) Read pages 649-653

  • 2) Answer the Part I guide questions

  • View the Power Point, explore the related links, complete the “tasks” and take detailed notes on the content. Be prepared to discuss the content and ask questions designed to refine your understanding.

The following events are turning points for WW I and will provide you with an overview of the war…

  • June, 1914- Archduke Ferdinand is assassinated

  • August, 1914- World War I starts

  • March, 1917- The Russian Revolution

  • April, 1917- U.S. enters the war

  • Nov, 1918- The armistice

Objective…Describe the underlying causes of World War I.

The underlying (M.A.I.N.) causes of WWI...

  • Militarism...

  • Alliances...

  • Imperialism…

  • Nationalism...

Create an analogy that demonstrates your understanding of the above WW I causes.

World War I is like....


The Great War

Objective…Outline the chain of events that triggered the start of the war.

The funeral...

The eventthat triggers WW I …Archduke Franz Ferdinand , heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne is assassinated in June, 1914.

The assassin…GavriloPrincip

was Bosnian nationalist trained in Serbia.


Franz Ferdinand

The assassination

The chain of events…

  • Archduke Ferdinand is assassinated in Bosnia by a Serbian Nationalist

  • Austria-Hungary blames Serbia & makes harsh demands of Serbia

  • Austria- Hungary asks Germany for support & Germany responds with the…“blank check”...

    Literally - A “blank check” has no value written on the check, but is signed. The person writing the check writes the value on the check.

    Figuratively - A “blank check” refers to unconditional support... Germany was offering anything that Austria-Hungry would need to fight Serbia.

  • Russia is allied with Serbia & mobilizes to protect Serbia

  • Germany fears a two front war… attacks France through neutral Belgium (...Schlieffen Plan)

  • The network of alliances sets off a chain reaction that takes Europe to war

The Schlieffen Plan was a German military strategy designed so that Germany would win a war simultaneously fought with France and Russia. In a war with France and Russia, Germany would fight on two fronts and be weakened by dividing it’s forces between the two fronts (Eastern Front: Russia / Western Front: France). The Schlieffen Plan was designed to knock out France quickly and avoid a two front war. Making matters more difficult for Germany were France’s defenses along its eastern border. Any direct assault on France would run into these defenses and slow the German offensive. The Schlieffen Plan was designed as a surprise attack through Holland and Belgium that would avoid the French defenses and defeat France quickly.

Austro-Hungarian Empire



Ottoman Empire





Great Britain



United States

Central Powers v. Allied Powers

Watch the following...

Homework: Using the article “Causes of WW I”, class notes & your text, create a detailed chronological flow chart summarizing the chain of events that led Europe into WWI. – Due tomorrow

Quick review…

  • June, 1914- Archduke Franz Ferdinand is assassinated

  • July, 1914 – Austria declares war on Serbia with German support … “The Blank Check”

  • August, 1914 - A chain reaction related to the alliances draws all European powers into war.

The Great War

Although WW I began in 1914 in Europe, the U.S. did not join the war, but instead pursued a policy of neutrality until 1917.

Objective…Summarize the chain of events through which America entered World War I.

Wilson’s response to the outbreak of war…

Wilson declares neutrality…

“impartial in thought as well as in action”

  • Why was it difficult for the US to remain neutral?

  • Cultural forces…“hyphenated Americans”

  • -America contains sub cultures that supported

  • Germany ...i.e. German-Americans

  • Propaganda forces - Early in the war the trans-Atlantic cable was cut & all war information is routed through Great Britain.

  • Economic forces - The US has a strong trade relationship with Britain and he U.S. will not challenge the British blockade of Germany.

The principle of the “freedom of the seas”

Although not an international law the principle of freedom of the seas dates back to the early 1600s. The understanding was that the seas are international territory and that all nations are free to conduct trade without interference from other nations.

In the final year of WW I, President Wilson articulated the principal of freedom of seas in his Fourteen Points. In a speech to the Congress, President Wilson stated:

“Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas, outside territorial waters, alike in peace and in war, except as the seas may be closed in whole or in part by international action for the enforcement of International covenants.”

During WW I both Great Britain & Germany routinely violated the principle of freedom of seas.

Great Britain set up a naval blockade around German coastal ports and limited both humanitarian supplies (food & medicine) and war supplies from being shipped to Germany.

  • Great Britain’s violation of “freedom of seas” ...

  • Germany’s violation of “freedom of the seas”…

Germany used unrestricted submarine warfare as a part of it’s strategy to win WW I. Unrestricted submarine warfare is a type of naval warfare in which submarines sink ships without warning.

What did Germany hope to accomplish using unrestricted submarine warfare?

“Unrestricted Submarine Warfare” makes waves, but not war...

  • In May of 1915, a British passenger liner named the Lusitania was torpedoed & sunk without warning by a German U-boat. The sinking of the Lusitania was a violation of the freedom of seas that angered Americans and increased the sentiment to go to war.

1,198 dead… 128 Americans dead

In 1915, Germany declared the waters around Britain a war zone and started unrestricted submarine warfare. The U.S. called Germany’s actions “an indefensible violation of neutral rights.” and vowed to hold Germany responsible .

Military Preparedness

  • President Wilson, believed that the US should be in a position of armed neutrality.

  • Congress passed the National Defense Act...

    -The size of the army doubles & the National Guard is put under federal control.

    -The Navy expands by building battleships, destroyers & cruisers.

Military Preparedness:U.S. preparedness is controversial and there is both support& oppositionfor preparedness…

  • Support...

    The National Security League - A conservative group backed by bankers & industrialists. ...Why would this group support “preparedness?”

  • Opposition...

  • The main opposition in the U.S. came from Christian pacifists, women's groups, intellectuals & socialists.

Germany Provocation:

  • Using the strategies below (1, 2) the German's thought they could decisively win the war.

  • The two major factors that move the US into WW I...

    • The Zimmerman Telegram

    • The resumption of unrestricted warfare

Germany resumes unrestricted submarine Warfare in February of 1916...

  • Germany announced that their U-boats would resume unrestricted warfare attacks against every ship in the waters around Europe. Several days after the German announcement Wilson ended diplomatic relations with Germany in an attempt to make it clear that Germany's actions were unacceptable and risked war. Germany ignored the warning proceeded with the unrestricted submarine warfare.

The Zimmerman Note (March,1917)…

  • In January of 1917, the British decoded a telegram sent by German Foreign Minister Zimmermann to the German Minister in Mexico. The telegram suggested that Mexico be given “lost territory” in the US if they would join the war effort by attacking the US.

  • When the press published the news of the telegram it had a major impact on American public opinion. The telegram was published on March 1st and on April 6, 1917, the US Congress formally declared war on Germany.

The Zimmerman Telegram

  • How would Germany support Mexico?

  • What did Mexico have to gain?

  • What was Germany’s strategic goal?

  • Analyze the cartoon below ...

  • Who do the characters represent?

  • What message is being communicated to the reader?

  • Describe the relationship of the cartoon to the history we are studying?

The U.S. Declares WarApril 6, 1917

Wilson’s justification for war...

- World War I would be...

“The war to end all wars” - Woodrow Wilson

- World War I would be...

“The war fought to make the world safe for democracy” - Woodrow Wilson

  • The Congress votes…

  • Senate: 82- 6

  • House: 373-50

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