The great war
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The Great War. World War I. Organizing Principle.

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World War I

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The great war

The Great War

World War I


Organizing principle

Organizing Principle

The continents of Europe and North America had developed in parallel fashion since the mid-1800s. After the turn of the century, the same political and economic transformations that had taken place in the United States, pitted many European nations against each other. The tensions in Europe mounted and resulted in the outbreak of War in 1914. The United States put their head in the sand as isolationist sentiments ruled the day. However, as The Great War drifted into its third year, President Wilson had his arm twisted by the behemoth of conflict. Wilson’s position on neutrality quickly changed after diplomatic relations with Germany collapsed. Wilson justified his actions by proclaiming that the United States was fighting for a greater cause…a war to end all wars.


Thunders across the sea

Thunders Across the Sea

  • Causes of WWI

    • Militarism

      • Using military force as foreign policy

      • Naval race—Germany and the UK

    • Imperialism

      • Scramble for Africa—1884

        • Competition and prestige

    • Nationalism—extreme love of country

      • Balkan States—”foreign rule”

    • Alliance System

      • Triple Entente—Allied Powers

      • Triple Alliance—Central Powers


Alliance system

Alliance System


Assassination of archduke franz ferdinand

Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

  • Sarajevo, Bosnia

    • June 28, 1914

  • Black Hand

    • GavriloPrincip

  • Austria declares war against Serbia

    • “Blank Checks”


Split sympathies in u s

Split Sympathies in U.S.

  • Britain v. Germany

    • Ancestry

    • Political heritage

    • British propaganda

    • Economic realities

      • British Blockade

  • Neutrality

    • Socialists

    • Pacifists


U nterseeboots

“U”nterseeboots

  • Submarine warfare

    • Submarine war zone

      • Lusitania

        • May 7, 1915

        • 128 Americans died

    • Wilson claims rights of a neutral nation

      • Arabic

        • August, 1915

        • 2 Americans

      • Sussex

    • Germans “agree” to warning rule


Technology of warfare

Technology of Warfare

  • High powered artillery

  • Trench Warfare

  • Tanks

  • Flame throwers

  • Poison gas

  • Airplanes

  • Battleships

  • U- boats


German provocations

German Provocations

  • Wilson—“Peace without victory”

    • Germans wage unrestricted submarine warfare

      • Attack American ships too

  • March 1917

    • Zimmerman Note

      • Intercepted and published (01 March 1917)

      • Suggests a German-Mexican alliance

        • Restores Mexican possessions

  • Four U.S. merchant vessels destroyed

  • Nicholas II (Russian Tsar) abdicated

    • War for democracy

  • Wilson’s Declaration

    • 06 April 1917


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