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World War I in Short 1914 - 1918
Also known as… • The War to End All Wars • The Great War
The 3 –isms that Led to WWI • Nationalism – national interests and unity placed ahead of foreign cooperation • Led to competition with other countries • Imperialism – when a powerful country takes over a weaker country and colonizes it for its natural resources • Increased the competition between countries • Militarism – the development and reliance on armed forces • Strongest army: Germany • Strongest navy: Britain
Alliances • An alliance system was created to given countries a sense of support and commitment. • Many countries said they’d help or support them if they went to war. • This led to a domino effect.
Initial Alliances • Triple Entente • France • Great Britain • Russia • Triple Alliance • Germany • Austria-Hungary • Italy • These were the initial alliances. Once the war progressed, the names and some alliances changed.
Later Alliances • Allied Powers • France • Great Britain • Russia • Canada • Australia • United States • Italy • India • Greece • Japan • Serbia • Portugal • Belgium • South Africa • Central Powers • Austria-Hungary • Bulgaria • Germany • Ottoman Empire
The War Begins • An assassination leads to war • The Balkan area was a “powder keg.” • The Balkan area is a peninsula that was surrounded by the Black Sea, the Adriatic Sea, Aegean Sea, and Mediterranean Sea • Many countries had interests in this area. • Archduke Franz Ferdinand • Heir to the Austrian throne • The Archduke and his wife were assassinated by a member of the secret society in Serbia known as the Black Hand.
War Begins • Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia. • The Alliance System was in full swing. • Russia declares war on Austria-Hungary. • Germany declares war on France (Russia’s ally). • Great Britain declares war on Germany and Austria-Hungary. • The Great War had begun.
Trench Warfare • What is trench warfare? • Trenches were dug where soldiers would stay for weeks at a time. • Pros of trench warfare • Hidden from enemies • Supplies were readily available • Camaraderie • Cons of trench warfare • Rat infestation • Disease • Trench foot • No ground was ever gained • Prolonged the war
Trench Warfare • Baffled military leaders who had been trained to fight wars of movement and maneuverability. • Only plan of action was to attempt to breakthrough by throwing masses of men against enemy lines that had been first battered by artillery. • Each side ordered various offensives, beginning with artillery barrage
Trench Warfare • “No Man’s Land”
War in the Air • Planes appeared in battle for the first time • First used to spot enemy position, but soon began to attack ground targets. • Pilots initially used pistols to shoot at each other through the airplane, and then later developed machine guns that were attached. • Caused the skies to be more dangerous
America in the War • At the beginning of the war, America was neutral. • Americans did not want any part of the war. • Many Americans had interest in the war because of family members in their native countries. • Americans were supplying both sides of the war and making money.
Military Strategy • The British wanted to use the navy to their advantage and set up a blockade. • Germans could not get food and over 750,000 people starved to death. • Germany practiced unrestricted warfare. • Started their own U-Boat warfare by sinking any ship they felt necessary, if it was within the borders of the German blockade zone.
Sinking of the Lusitania • May 7th, 1915 • One of the worst disasters was when the Germans sank a British passenger ship. • Killed almost 1,200 people, including about 128 Americans. • This helped get the U.S. involved in the war. • Pressure from the U.S. caused Germany to suspend unrestricted submarine warfare because of fear of the U.S. response.
America in the War • Despite the sinking of the Lusitania, the U.S. did not get involved in the war. • President Woodrow Wilson ran for another term in office on the platform of keeping us out of war.
America in the War • Zimmerman Note (spring 1917) • Telegram sent by the Germans to Mexico that asked them to get in a war with the U.S. to regain territories such as Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas in exchange for German support. • The Zimmerman Note, the sinking of the Lusitania, and the return of the unrestricted submarine warfare are considered to be the biggest events to cause the U.S. to join the war.
U.S. Prepares for War • The Selective Service Act (May 1917) • Also called the “draft” • 10 million men registered under the act • Those selected to serve were mostly between 21-23 and 1 of 5 were foreign born. • Weapons were in such great need that trainees often trained with imaginary weapons. • Black soldiers served in segregated units.
Weapons and Warfare • Transporting troops overseas was a great task which led to the convoy system. • Plan to defeat the German U-Boats • Merchant vessels would travel in a large group surrounded by destroyers and cruisers. • The Americans brought enthusiasm and freshness to the already worn out Allies. • They wanted a quick and strong force to break the Germans.
Weapons and Warfare • General John Pershing • U.S. Commander during World War I • “Doughboys” • Term for the American infantrymen because of their uniforms • Pershing felt that the Allies were fighting too much of a defensive war. • Alvin York • War hero celebrity who at first was a conscientious objector • Someone who refuses to fight for the sake of peace • Ended up fighting because the cause was just.
Weapons and Warfare • “Big Bertha” • German cannon with immense power • Zeppelin • A gas-filled airship that allowed Germans to drop bombs • Use of poisonous gases • Introduced by the Germans • Machine guns and tanks (artillery)
Medical Care during the War • Fighting was filthy • Rats, lice, polluted water that carried disease • Trench foot caused many feet to rot until they had to be amputated • “Shell shock” – emotional collapse from continuous fighting
War on the Homefront • President Wilson set up the Food Administration Board to help produce and conserve food. • Herbert Hoover was in charge. • Liberty Bonds were sold by the government to help finance the war. • Movie stars such as Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, and Mary Pickford spoke at rallies promoting war bonds. • The government set up the 1st propaganda agency • Committee on Public Information
War on the Homefront • Anti-immigrant feelings in the United States • German and Austrian immigrants lost jobs and were discriminated against. • Espionage and Sedition Acts • Could be fined up to $10,000 or 20 years in jail: • Interfering with the draft • Obstructing the sale of bonds • Saying disloyal or profane things about the government • Clear violation of the 1st Amendment
War on the Homefront • The Flu Epidemic • ¼ of the U.S. population fell ill and 500,000 died • One of the worst plagues in history. • Killed roughly 50 million worldwide • The flu afflicted over 25% of the population. • In one year, the average life expectancy in the United States dropped 12 years.
The End of the War • President Wilson and the end of the war • Wilson’s Fourteen Points • Wilson’s plan for freedom and peace • The 14th point was to set up the League of Nations • A forum for nations to discuss and settle things before war breaks out. • All but Wilson rejected the idea and wanted to make Germany pay.
The End of the War • The Big Four • France – George Clemenceau • Italy – Vittorio Orlando • Britain – David Lloyd George • United States – Woodrow Wilson • The Big Four met at Versailles Palace outside of Paris to come up with a treaty.
The Treaty of Versailles • Established 9 new nations • Stripped Germany of its colonies • Required Germany to pay reparations • Reparations are payments for damages. • Made Germany say it was responsible and caused the war.
The Treaty of Versailles • Problems with the Treaty • It humiliated Germany. • It left Russia out of the decision-making. • Colonized countries were distributed unfairly. • Opposition to the Treaty • Herbert Hoover found it too harsh. • Main dispute was the League of Nations. • The U.S. never approved the League of Nations, which was an embarrassment for Wilson.
How WWI led to WWII • Within Germany there was widespread depression, hatred, and a desire for revenge. • Rise of the Nazi Party