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Unit 8.1. The Great war begins. 5 Steps to War in Europe. Sarajevo, June 28, 1914: A Serbian terrorist assassinates Archduke Franz Ferdinand—the heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire—and his wife. 5 Steps to War in Europe.

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5 steps to war in europe
5 Steps to War in Europe
  • Sarajevo, June 28, 1914: A Serbian terrorist assassinates Archduke Franz Ferdinand—the heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire—and his wife
5 steps to war in europe1
5 Steps to War in Europe

2. Vienna, July 23, 1914: The Austrian government threatens war against Serbia and invades that country 4 days later

5 steps to war in europe2
5 Steps to War in Europe

3. Berlin, August 1, 1914: As Austria’s ally, the German government under Kaiser Wilhelm I declares war against Russia, an ally of Serbia

5 steps to war in europe3
5 Steps to War in Europe

4. Berlin, August 3, 1914: Germany declares war against France, an ally of Russia, and immediately begins an invasion of neutral Belgium because it offers the fastest route to Paris

5 steps to war in europe4
5 Steps to War in Europe

5. London, August 4, 1914: Great Britain, as an ally of France, declares war against Germany

  • How would the sequence of events in Europe been different had Archduke Franz Ferdinand not been assassinated?

Triple Entente (Allied Powers)

Triple Alliance (Central Powers)

  • France, Great Britain, Russia (and eventually the U.S.)
  • Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy
  • As with the War of 1812, the problem was that either side was seizing American ships and blockading each other’s ports, which angered many Americans
    • Wilson: “a violation of a neutral nation’s right to freedom of the seas”
  • Great Britain the first to declare a naval blockade against Germany
    • Mined the North Sea and seized any ships attempting to run the blockade (including U.S. ships)
  • Germany’s one hope for challenging Britain’s naval blockades was a new naval weapon, the submarine
  • In February, 1915, Germany issued its own blockade against Great Britain and established a “war zone” in waters near the British Isles
neutrality submarine warfare
Neutrality- Submarine Warfare
  • The Lusitania Crisis:
    • The Lusitania was a British passenger liner carrying U.S. citizens
    • A German torpedo sank it on May, 7, 1915, killing 128 Americans
    • Wilson sent a message to Germany warning that it would be held to “strict accountability”
    • William Jennings Bryan resigns as Sec. of State because he claims this message is too warlike
neutrality submarine warfare1
Neutrality- Submarine Warfare
  • There were several other sinkings that Germany claimed to be accidents
  • March, 1916: A German torpedo sinks the Sussex, killing several American passengers
    • Wilson and Americans very angry
neutrality submarine warfare2
Neutrality- Submarine Warfare
  • Rather than risk U.S. involvement, Germany issued the Sussex Pledge, and promised not to sink merchant or passenger ships…without giving fair warning
  • If Germany had not developed submarine technology, how might U.S. involvement in WWI been altered?
economic links with great britain and france
Economic Links withGreat Britain and France
  • Industrialist Partnership:
    • U.S. economy became closely tied to the Allied war effort
    • Orders for war supplies from the Allied powers increased U.S. industry during the early years of the war
    • In theory, the U.S. could’ve traded with Germany, but British blockades effectively prevented such trade
  • What could’ve happened differently for the U.S. to economically support Germany and the Central Powers rather than France and Great Britain?
economic links with great britain and france1
Economic Links withGreat Britain and France
  • Loans:
    • J.P. Morgan and other bankers loaned over $3 billion to France and Great Britain
    • Maintained U.S prosperity because the money would be coming back to the U.S. to purchase war goods
    • Sustained the Allied war effort
public opinion
Public Opinion
  • Ethnic Influences:
    • 1914: 1st- and 2nd-generation immigrants made up 30% of the American population
    • They were glad to not be fighting and strongly supported neutrality
    • Even so, immigrants often sided with their ethnic origins
      • Italians cheered on the Allied powers
      • German Americans sympathized with Germany
      • Irish hated Britain, favored the Central Powers
    • Although most wanted neutrality, the majority of native-born Americans supported Great Britain and France
  • If immigrants had not made up such a large percentage of the U.S. population in 1914, how would public opinion about U.S. involvement in WWI been different?
public opinion1
Public Opinion
  • British War Propaganda:
    • Britain commanded the war news that American newspapers and magazines received
    • The British government seized this opportunity to sway America’s public opinion by printing stories of evil German soldiers committing atrocities in Belgium and the German-occupied part of France
  • How would U.S. public opinion about Germany been different if Britain had not been the dominant source of war news?