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"The War To End All Wars.". The Great War 1914-1918. World War I. 1914-1918 “The Great War” “The war to end all wars” 1 st global war New weapons technology poison gas, machine guns, airplanes, new artillery, trench warfare. 1. Nationalism.

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The Great War 1914-1918

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"The War To End All Wars."

The Great War 1914-1918


World War I


“The Great War”

“The war to end all wars”

1st global war

New weapons technology

poison gas, machine guns, airplanes, new artillery, trench warfare



  • Intense national pride or loyalty in one’s country or nationality
  • Imperialism….countries take over other areas…..colony building.
    • increased rivalries, competition
      • Social Darwinism a component
    • threatened minority groups within countries
    • destabilized empires

We're #1!



  • Glorification of military strength
    • caused distrust & paranoia between countries
    • Militarism + distrust created by imperialism =arms race


  • Agreement among nations to cooperate for specific purposes.
    • Nations became bold/overconfident
    • turned small, local conflict into global war
  • By 1907 there were 2 opposing alliances:
  • Triple Alliance= Germany, Austria-Hungary & Italy (Central Powers……no Italy)
  • Triple Entente= France, GB & Russia (Allied Powers)

By 1910, Europe was a

“powder keg” ready to


assassination of archduke franz ferdinand


Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand
  • Heir to throne of Austria-Hungary
  • assassinated by Serbian nationalistGavriloPrincip June 1914
  • Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia
    • Germany supported A.H.
  • Russia supported Serbia
  • Alliance system brought in the rest
initial german strategy schlieffen plan
Initial German Strategy (Schlieffen Plan)
  • End war quickly
  • Massive strikes on France
  • Enter through neutral Belgium
    • Belgians resisted….war would not end quickly
  • Germans dug trenches
    • 450 + miles long

Trench Warfare

  • Symbolic of W.W.I
  • Emerged on western front
  • Trenches were:
    • Often elaborate
    • Could stretch for hundreds of yards
  • “no man’s land”….bombed out area separating two sides
  • Soldiers went “over the top”
    • Cut down by artillery fire as they ran
    • Poison gas & artillery shellings often used
stalemate on the western front
Stalemate on the Western Front
  • stalemate….neither side wins (tie) on western front
    • A win on western front= a win of the war
    • Why the stalemate?
      • new defensive weapons, trench warfare

United States


World War I

Key events that led to

U.S. involvement in The

Great War.

until 1917 the united states maintained a neutral status
Until 1917 the United States maintained a “neutral” status
  • Woodrow Wilson urged “Be impartial in thought as well as action”
  • Different American positions on the war:
    • Isolationists….stay out of it completely
    • Interventionists….intervene on side of Allies
    • Internationalists…play active role to achieve a just peace.
  • Loyalties split
  • Most supported Allies
sinking of the lusitania
Sinking of the Lusitania


  • British blockade of Germany effective
  • Germans used U-Boatsto sink Allied ships
  • May 7, 1915 U-Boat sunk British passenger ship the Lusitania
    • Approx. 1,200 died (128 Americans)
    • Outrage in America…Germans said the ship carried contrabandand weapons
    • Promised to warn/not sink civ. ships
sussex pledge violated


Sussex Pledge Violated
  • March of 1916-unarmed French vessel (The Sussex) attacked …..several Americans injured.
  • Wilson threatens to cut ties w/ Germany
  • Sussex Pledge …… (re) promise not to sink liners without warning or ensuring safety of passengers.
  • U.S. preparedness steps up
  • Feb. 1917, Germans resume full-scale U-Boat warfare.
  • Diplomatic ties cut.
the zimmerman note jan 1917


The Zimmerman Note (Jan. 1917)
  • Telegram from Germany

to Mexico

  • Intercepted by the British…
  • Proposed an alliance w/


    • get back land it lost U.S.
  • Published in papers
    • Reaction = Call for war



On the first of February, we intend to begin unrestricted submarine warfare. In spite of this, it is our intention to endeavor to keep the United States of America neutral. In the event of this not succeeding, we propose an alliance on the following basis with Mexico: That we shall make war together and make peace together. We shall give generous financial support, and an understanding on our part that Mexico is to reconquer the lost territory in New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona. The details of settlement are left to you. You are instructed to inform the President [of Mexico] of the above in the greatest confidence as soon as it is certain that there will be an outbreak of war with the United States and suggest that the President, on his own initiative, invite Japan to immediate adherence with this plan; at the same time, offer to mediate between Japan and ourselves. Please call to the attention of the President that the ruthless employment of our submarines now offers the prospect of compelling England to make peace in a few months.


u s enters the war
U.S. Enters the War
  • April 2, 1917 – Wilson asks Congress for War declaration.
  • April 7, 1917 – Congress votes for war (511-56)

“The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty. We have no selfish ends to serve. We desire no conquest, no dominion. We seek no indemnities for ourselves, no material compensation for the sacrifices we shall freely make. We are but one of the champions of the rights of mankind. We shall be satisfied when those rights have been made as secure as the faith and the freedom of nations can make them.”

Woodrow Wilson

american govt mobilizes for war
American Govt. Mobilizes for War

Selective Service Act….draft of young men for military service

2.8 mill drafted out of 4.8 mill served

Economy changed from peacetime to wartime

War Industries Board....took charge of industry


Shaping Public Opinion

  • Committee on Public Information…formed to convince Americans to support the war effort
  • Used propaganda in 5 main areas

Creel Committee

u s propaganda and w w i
U.S.Propagandaand W. W. I
  • A planned effort to shape people’s ideas and opinions generally in support or opposition to a cause.
  • Propaganda usually plays with people’s emotions and calls on a group or individual to act
2 promote conservation

"Gasless Sundays"

2. Promote Conservation

"Heatless, Wheatless, & Meatless"


3. Finance the War

Liberty Bonds….bonds sold by the govt. Pd for 2/3 of the war


The End of the War

  • American doughboys gives Allies edge to break stalemate
  • Use of the convoy….groups of merchantships sail together breaks U-Boat advantage
  • Nov. 11, 1918 …armistice

Peace without Victory

  • Wilson’s address to Congress
  • Proposed a peace by noble ideals.
  • No harsh treaty
  • Fourteen Pointssought to change the world
    • self determination….right to choose their own govt.
    • League of Nations…a world organization of countries to peacefully resolve differences.

“Only a tranquil Europe can be a stable Europe….[There] must be a peace without victory….Victory would mean peace forced upon the loser, a victor’s terms imposed upon the vanquished. It would be accepted in humiliation…and would leave a sting, a resentment, a bitter memory upon which terms of peace would rest, not permanently, but only as upon quicksand.”

    • January 22, 1917
fourteen points
Fourteen Points
  • 1. No more secret agreements ("Open covenants openly arrived at").
  • 2. Free navigation of all seas.
  • 3. An end to all economic barriers between countries.
  • 4. Countries to reduce weapon numbers.
  • 5. All decisions regarding the colonies should be impartial
  • 6. The German Army is to be removed from Russia. Russia should be left to develop    her own political set-up.
  • 7. Belgium should be independent like before the war.
  • 8. France should be fully liberated and allowed to recover Alsace-Lorraine
  • 9. All Italians are to be allowed to live in Italy. Italy's borders are to "along    clearly recognisable lines of nationality."
  • 10. Self-determination should be allowed for all those living in Austria-Hungary.
  • 11. Self-determination and guarantees of independence should be allowed for       the Balkan states.
  • 12. The Turkish people should be governed by the Turkish government. Non-Turks in       the old Turkish Empire should govern themselves.
  • 13. An independent Poland should be created which should have access to the sea.
  • 14. A League of Nations should be set up to guarantee the political and territorial        independence of all states.

Paris Peace Conference

  • European leaders not happy w/Wilson’s input
  • Began to erode his Fourteen Points
    • League of Nations squeaks through
  • Treaty of Versaillessigned June 28, 1919
    • Harsh, punitivetreaty…Germany responsible for the war (War Guilt)

Treaty of Versaille

is a


  • 1.     Germany had to accept the Blame for starting the war
  • 2.     Germany had to pay Reparationsfor the damage done during the war. 3.     Germany was forbidden to have submarines or an air force.   She could have a navy of only six battleships, and an Army of just 100,000 men.   In addition, Germany was not allowed to place any troops in the Rhineland, the strip of land, 50 miles wide, next to France.
  • 4.     Germany lost Territory(land) in Europe. Germany’s colonies were given to Britain and France.
  • (Also, Germany was forbidden to join the League of Nations)

Lloyd George - Prime Minister of Great Britain, Vittorio Orlando - President of Italy, Georges Clemenceau - President of France, Woodrow Wilson - President of the United States of America

u s senate did not ratify the treaty of versailles
U.S. Senate did not ratify the Treaty of Versailles.
  • Wilson’s plan is watered-down in Europe
  • League is formed w/out the U.S.
    • weak world governing body.




global effects of the war
Global effects of the War
  • Britain, France = weakened economically
  • U.S. strong, confident, prosperous
  • U.S. =creditor nation….other countries owed more to the U.S. than it owed
german humiliation
German Humiliation
  • Germany enters 15 yrs (1920 – 1935) of poverty , despair.
    • Poverty, violence widespread
  • Radical groups vie for power