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“Why Can’t We Be Friends?”: The Beginnings of WWI

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“Why Can’t We Be Friends?”: The Beginnings of WWI

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  1. “Why Can’t We Be Friends?”: The Beginnings of WWI Chapter 18, Sections 1 and 2


  3. SYSTEM OF ALLIANCES • Since the Franco-Prussian War, Germany and France haven’t been able to get along. Because of this and other conflicts, the major countries of Europe take sides, essentially promising to “have each other’s back” if any one of them go to war. • TRIPLE ALLIANCE – Germany, Italy, Austria-Hungary • TRIPLE ENTENTE – Russia, France, Great Britain


  5. IMPERIALISM • Only unified in the 1800s, Germany is the “new kid on the block” when it came to the powerful European nations. • Germany had lots of money from being an industrial power, but it did not have all the overseas landholdings of the other European countries. • Germany’s becomes jealous and feels like they have “no respect” from the other European countries. This leads Germany to have a chip on their shoulder.

  6. Germany… The Rodney Dangerfield of Early 20th Century Europe

  7. NATIONALISM • NATIONALISM – A feeling of pride for one’s homeland and a want to be part of a country with people of a similar background. • Austria-Hungary was a country made up people from many different ETHNIC backgrounds and languages. • Many SLAVIC people in Austria-Hungary felt like they did not belong. They wanted to be part of a country where they could be with people of a similar background. • SERBIA wants A-H’s Slavs to be part of their country. A-H says no way. This leads to tension between A-H and Serbia

  8. MILITARISM • With the system of alliances, each country is building up its military in case of war. • This is especially true in GERMANY and GREAT BRITAIN. • When the Germans increase the size of its navy, it scares Great Britain. This race to see who will build the biggest navy leads to MILITARISM.

  9. ALL HECK BREAKS LOOSE… • June 1914 – Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary goes to Sarejevoto visit. • A Serbian nationalist group – known as the BLACK HAND – assassinates FF. • A-H, who was mad at Serbia anyway, goes nuts. • A-H gives Serbia an unreasonable list of demands, and when they are not met, A-H declares war.

  10. GERMANY’S “BLANK CHECK” • Austria-Hungary acts so quickly because Germany has promised to back them up. • Since Austria-Hungary feels like they have the power of Germany, they declare war on July 28, 1914.

  11. Some of Austria-Hungary’s ULTIMATUM for Serbia… • Serbian government must stop all anti-Austro-Hungarian groups • Serbia must get rid of school teachers and books that didn’t support Austria-Hungary • Serbia must get rid of government officials who didn’t support Austria-Hungary • Austria-Hungary could take part in the assassins’ trial Austria-Hungary gives Serbia a month to comply

  12. The Dominoes Start to Fall… • Because of the SYSTEM of ALLIANCES, a little conflict turns into a big conflict. • Russia feels like they need to protect the SLAVIC people, so Russia MOBILIZES to help Serbia • Germany declares war on Russia, and then two days later, they declare war on France.

  13. Allied Powers France Russia Great Britain Italy Central Powers Germany Austria-Hungary Ottoman Empire Bulgaria Allied Powers vs. Central Powers

  14. SCHLIEFFEN PLAN • Germany knows it can’t fight a TWO-FRONT war… So they devise a plan to invade France quickly, defeat them, then move all of their troops to Russia. • On their way to France, Germany goes through BELGIUM. As soon as this happens, Great Britain declares war on Germany.

  15. SCHLIEFFEN PLAN (Cont’d) • For the Schlieffen Plan to work, the timing had to go exactly as the Germans had planned. • French and British troops held them up in the BATTLE OF THE MARNE, so the Schlieffen Plan doesn’t work. Germany is fighting a two-front war.

  16. The WESTERN FRONT • The war on the WESTERN FRONT becomes a STALEMATE because neither side can gain much ground (neither is really winning). • Both sides dig TRENCHES on the French/German border. This TRENCH WARFARE makes WWI a DEFENSIVE war. (Lots of killing – little progress)

  17. Trench Warfare

  18. New Technology: The reason for a DEFENSIVE war • Machine guns – Were set up in trenches to keep people from entering “no man’s land” • Barbed wire – Set up in “no man’s land.” • Poison gas – Thrown into the trenches • Tanks • Combat airplanes

  19. Trench Warfare at Work… • In Feb. 1916, the Germans launch a huge attack on the French at the BATTLE OF VERDUN. Over 600,000 men get killed, the Germans only move about 4 miles. • In July 1916, the British attack German soldiers at the BATTLE OF THE SOMME. Britain only takes about 5 miles.

  20. On the Eastern front… • The Russians have success early against Germany and Austria-Hungary, but they lose a lot of men. • However, Russia doesn’t have the INDUSTRY (businesses and factories to support a war effort). • By 1916, they are out of supplies, food and war stuff. • LUCKILY, they had a bunch of people (BIG countries have lots of people)…. They tie up many German soldiers.

  21. In the Atlantic Ocean… • Britain and Germany are using their navies against each other. • Britain is searching ships to make sure that no one is bringing valuable materials to Germany. • Germany fights this by sending out U-BOATS (German submarines) to sink any ship in the waters around Britain.

  22. THE LUSITANIA • In May 1915, U-Boats sink a British passenger boat called THE LUSITANIA. • 1200 people die, including 128 Americans. • This is the last straw for many Americans, and more people take the side of the Allies. • THE SINKING OF THE LUSITANIA DOES NOT GET THE UNITED STATES INTO WORLD WAR I. • President Wilson keeps the U.S. neutral, and Germany signs the SUSSEX PLEDGE, saying it won’t sink any more merchant ships without warning.

  23. THE ZIMMERMAN TELEGRAM • January 1917 – U.S. finds out about a message sent to Mexico from a German official named Arthur Zimmerman. • The message says that if the U.S. gets into the war, that Mexico should come take Germany’s side. Germany promised to give Mexico the states of Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico as thanks for their support.

  24. The U.S. is in the War • February 1917 – Germany starts to break the Sussex Pledge. • April 1917 – Woodrow Wilson asks Congress to declare war on Germany and they do. • Only a few vote against war, one is JEANNETTE RANKIN, the first woman elected to the U.S. Congress.