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World War I. “The Great War”. 1914-1918. What led to World War One?. A series of contributing factors…. The Pursuit of Peace. Wanted to avoid conflict, foster understanding among nations Pacifism = opposition to all war 1896 = First Modern Olympic Games

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world war i

World War I

“The Great War”


what led to world war one

What led to World War One?

A series of contributing factors…

the pursuit of peace
The Pursuit of Peace
  • Wanted to avoid conflict, foster understanding among nations
    • Pacifism = opposition to all war
    • 1896 = First Modern Olympic Games
    • Alfred Nobel sets up the Nobel Peace Prize
    • Suffragettes supported peace
    • First Universal Peace Conference, Netherlands
    • Hague Tribunal, first world court to handle disputes between countries, no enforcement power
  • Militarism- glorification of the military
  • Alliances- formal agreement between two or more nations or powers to cooperate and come to one another’s defense
  • Nationalism- Pride and love of one’s country France, Germany, Russia, and the Balkans
  • Imperialism-Imperial rivals divided European nations.
  • Anarchy-Abolishing all government
militarism and the arms race
Militarism and the Arms Race
  • Grew partly out of Social Darwinsim.
  • Expansion of armies and navies = arms race
  • Tensions between Germany and Britain increase leading to increase naval spending
  • On matters of war and peace, governments turned to military leaders for advice

Militarism & Arms Race

Total Defense Expenditures

[Germany, Austria Hungary, Italy, France, Britain, Russia] in millions of £s.

a tangle of alliances
A Tangle of Alliances
  • Distrust led great powers to sign treaties, intended to create powerful combinations that no one would attack
  • Bismark forms the Triple Alliance – Germany, Italy, and Austria Hungary
  • France an d Russia form and alliance. France and Britain sign an entente.
  • Germany will sign with Ottoman Empire
  • Britain will draw close to Japan

Nationalist feeling were strong in France and Germany


      • Proud of their empires new military power and industrial leadership


      • Longed to regain its position as Europe’s leading power
      • French were bitter about their 1871 defeat in the Franco-Prussian War and the German occupation of the border provinces of Alsace and Lorraine
      • Yearned for revenge against Germany and recovery of lost territory

Eastern Europe

    • Russia sponsored a powerful form of nationalism called Pan-Slavism
    • As the largest Slavic nations, Russia felt it had a duty to lead and defend all Slavs
    • Austria-Hungary worried that nationalism might foster rebellion among many minorities within its empire
    • Ottoman Turkey felt threatened by new nations on its borders
    • In 1912, several Balkan states attack Turkey. The next year, the new Balkan states fought among themselves over the spoils of war.

Pan-Slavism: The Balkans, 1914

The“Powder Keg”of Europe

  • 1905 and 1911, competition for colonies brought France and Germany to the brink of war
  • Britain felt threatened by Germany's rapid economic growth
  • German’s wanted more respect (boo hoo)
easy way to remember the four contributing factors

Easy way to remember the four contributing factors:


M: Militarism

A: Alliance System

N: Nationalism

I: Imperialism

A: Anarchism

trigger incident

Trigger Incident

Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand

assassination in sarajevo
Assassination in Sarajevo
  • Austrian Archduke Francis Ferdinand angered Serbian nationalist when he decides to visit Sarajevo
  • “Our decision was taken almost immediately. Death to the tyrant!” – Black Hand conspiritor

Princip swallowed poison, which only made him sick. When he tried to turn the gun on himself, a crowed intervened. After rescuing Princip from the mob, the police inflicted their own torture on the assassin: they kicked him, beat him, and scraped the skin from his neck with the edges of their swords. Three months later, a court found Princip guilty of treason and murder, but because he committed his crime before his twentieth birthday, he could not be executed. Sentenced to twenty years in prison, Princip died in April 1918 from tuberculosis.

brief side note more modern history
Brief Side Note: More Modern History
  • In 1991, rivalries among Eastern Orthodox Serbs, Muslim Bosnians, and Catholic Croats led to civil war in Bosnia. More than 250,000 people died, and millions fled their homes. In 1995, American and European troops helped restore peace. Tensions flared again when Serbia moved to suppress an independence movement by Muslim Albanians in the province of Kosovo. In 1999, the United States and its allies took military action against the Serbian government.”
don t bite off more than you can chew
“Don’t bite off more than you can chew!”
  • Austria gives Serbia an ultimatum.
  • Serbia agrees to most of demands, requests negotiations on some points
  • Austria did not want to negotiate.
  • Austria declares war on Serbia. 7/28/1914
  • Russia takes action on the behalf of Serbia.
  • European countries urge them to back off.
chain reaction
Austria declares war on Serbia

Germany declares war on Russia.

Germany immediately declares war on France.

Russia mobilizes

Russia wants France’s assistance

France had not acted one way or the other.

Chain Reaction

Notice how the events criss-cross back and forth.

1 belgium neutral 2 germany invaded belgium 3 great britain outraged 4 g b declares war on 8 4 1914
(1.) Belgium (neutral) (2.) Germany invaded Belgium (3.) Great Britain outraged (4.) G. B. Declares war on 8/4/1914.

Chain Reactions Continue: Alliances Upheld

who is the instigator behind austria

Who is the instigator behind Austria?

(Hum the theme from jeopardy.)


The Kaiser (seated) and cousin Czar Nicholas II (foreground standing) in younger days at a party hosted by Queen Victoria at Baden-Baden in Germany


The Alliance System

Triple Entente:

Triple Alliance:

war time alliances central powers
War-Time Alliances: Central Powers

“The Heart of Europe” (Geographically)


Two Armed Camps!

Allied Powers:

Central Powers:


The Major Players: 1914-17

Allied Powers:

Central Powers:

Nicholas II [Russia]

Wilhelm II [Germany]

George V

[Great Britain]

Victor Emmanuel II [Italy ]

Enver Pasha[Turkey]

Pres. Poincare [Fr]

Franz Josef [A-H]

why was italy on the bad side
Why was Italy on the “bad” side?
  • France vs. Italy
  • French kidnapped the Pope from Italy, taken to Avignon, France
  • Pope dies in French custody (frail man)
  • French elect their own pope in Avignon
  • Act infuriates the Italian Catholics
  • Italy never forgives France
what do you think
What Do You Think?
  • Do you think the war could have been avoided?
  • Who caused the war?
  • Do you think the idea of going to war excites people today the same way that it 100 years ago?
the schlieffen plan
The Schlieffen Plan
  • General Alfred Graf von Schlieffen
    • Designer of Germany’s military plan
  • Avoid a two-front war
    • Attack and defeat France quickly, then Russia
    • Russia lacked RR (slow mobilization)
    • Speed = key to success of the plan
  • Attacked France through Belgium
    • Wanted quick access to France
    • Belgium refused (neutrality)

Differing Viewpoints

  • “Family feud”
  • “Fall of the eagles”
  • “The war to end all wars”
  • “The war to make the world safe for democracy”
table activity

Table Activity:

War Declaration

Reason for Declaration

Draw a table. Write the immediate reason why each nation declared war on the other.

Germany on Russia

Germany on France

Britain on Germany



  • Home by Christmas!
  • No major war in 50 years!
  • Nationalism!

It's a long way to Tipperary,

It's a long way to go;

It's a long way to Tipperary,

To the sweetest girl I know!

Goodbye, Piccadilly,

Farewell, Leicester Square,

It's a long, long way to Tipperary,

But my heart's right there!

the western front
The Western Front
  • Stalemate - deadlock
  • Trench warfare
  • No man’s land
significance the battle of the marne
Significance: the Battle of the Marne
  • First major clash on the Western Front
  • Resulted in a German defeat
  • Saved the city of Paris
  • Schlieffen Plan failed
    • Quick victory in the West unattainable
    • Fight long war on both fronts
      • West = stalemate
      • East = drain on troops (Russia invaded Germany)
interesting side note marne

Interesting Side Note: (Marne)

An unfortunate German officer drove away from his general’s camp, took a wrong turn, and led himself directly into a French patrol, who killed him. When his bloodstained belongings were examined by the French, they were found to contain a map that showed two important things: the exact location of the German troops and the direction of advancement planned for the next day.



In 1918, the two sides fight a second Battle of the Marne. The Germans push into Northern France again. Sadly enough, the four years in between had cost hundreds of thousands of lives and the armies were still exactly where they were when they started.

trench warfare
Trench Warfare
  • A form of warfare in which opposing armies fight each other from trenches dug in the battlefield
  • An underground network of bunkers, communication trenches, and gun emplacements
  • Heavy losses for small land gains
  • Artillery shells = death in trenches
    • “Metal rain” (shrapnel)
life in the trenches
Life in the Trenches
  • Pure misery and “a living hell!”
    • Dealing with fear & “shell-shocked” feelings
    • No fresh food
    • No place to sleep
    • Lack of cleanliness (presence of lice)
    • Rats
    • Elements/weather (hot sun, rain, cold, etc…)
  • “The men slept in mud, washed in mud, ate mud, and dreamed mud.”
trench fever

The Cause: Lice!

Trench Fever…
  • Symptoms:
    • Headaches, skin rashes, leg pains, and inflamed eyes
  • Similar to influenza
  • Transmitted by body bites
  • 97% infection rate in trenches
  • 15% casualty rate for lingering illness

Rickettsia quintana (lice)

  • Fungal infection
  • Prolonged by long exposure to damp, cold conditions
  • Poor hygiene/environment
  • Estimated 20,000 British casualties in one yr. alone
  • Improved with better trench construction, rubbing grease on toes/feet, and wearing clean, dry socks
no man s land
No Man’s Land
    • Space between the opposing trenches
  • Bombed-out landscape where armies were ordered to attack each other
    • Met by machine-gun fire, artillery fire
    • Mines, barbed wire made it difficult to attack
  • “Over the top”
    • Order to charge across no man’s land toward enemy lines with nothing but rifles and helmets
  • Little progress made (few hundred yards of territory)
battle of the somme sahm river
Battle of the Somme (Sahm) River
  • British army tried to relieve pressure on the French
  • First day of the battle
    • Over 20,000 British soldiers killed
    • Others, 60,000 killed & wounded other days
  • Planning & execution problems
    • Soldiers did not follow orders
    • German wire not destroyed by artillery
    • Machine-gun posts not destroyed
  • Gains (if you can call it that)
    • British advanced 5 miles, Germans 4 miles
    • No clear advantage won
The body of an allied soldier lies in the road. Rats and other vermin quickly devoured any exposed flesh.
the great war global conflict
“The Great War” = Global Conflict
  • Eastern Europe
  • Southern Europe
  • Outside Europe
  • The colonies
the eastern front

The Eastern Front

Stretch of battlefield along the German and Russian border

Russians, Serbs vs. Germans, Austrians, and Turks

russia s war effort weakens
Russia’s War Effort Weakens
  • Not industrialized
    • Short on food, guns, ammunition, clothes, boots, blankets
  • Allies unable to ship goods to Russian ports
    • German naval fleet blocked Baltic Sea
    • Ottomans controlled straits from Mediterranean Sea to Black Sea
russia continued
Russia Continued…
  • Single Russian asset: Numbers
    • (1915) 2 million soldiers killed, wounded, captured
    • Ranks rebuilt with Russian population
    • Distracted Germany from Western Front
almost to the end of the war
Almost to the end of the War …
  • Russian Revolution (1917)
    • Brought down Russian Monarchy (Czar Nicky II)
    • Allies hopeful for a more democratic government
    • V.I. Lenin comes to power
  • Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (1918)
    • Ended Russian participation in WWI
    • Caused Germans to concentrate on Western front
    • Allies REALLY angry at Russia
  • (1915) Bulgarians joined Central Powers
    • Crushed Serbia
  • Italy signs a secret treaty with Allies to gain Austrian-ruled lands inhabited by Italians.
    • (Oct./1917) German offensive launched against the Italian position at Caporetto
    • Italians retreated
    • Allied forces later stop the advance into Italy
other parts of the world
Other parts of the world….
  • Japan’s role in WWI
    • Continue to be an imperialistic nation
    • Ally to Great Britain
    • Seized German outposts in China
    • Seized islands in the Pacific Ocean
    • Tried to impose a protectorate on China
    • Gets angry at the end of the war when GB will not honor secret pacts with Japan
turks hit hard in the middle east
Turks hit hard in the Middle East
  • Determined to topple Ottoman Empire
  • Arab Nationalists rose up against ruling Turks
  • Colonel T.E. Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia”)
      • Sent by Britain to lead guerrilla raids against Turks
      • Dynamited bridges, supply trains
    • Ottomans lose a lot of land to the Arabs.
    • Arabs took control of Baghdad (Iraq), Jerusalem (Israel), & Damascus (Syria)

Fighting in Africa

Black Soldiers in the German Schutztruppen[German E. Africa]

British Sikh Mountain Gunners


Fighting in Africa

3rd British Battalion, Nigerian Brigade


Fighting in Salonika, Greece

French colonial marine infantry fromCochin, China - 1916

winning the war
Winning the War
  • Total War
  • The United States Declares War
  • Armistice
total war
Total War
  • The channeling of a nation’s entire resources into a war effort
    • Modern, mechanized war
    • Required the total commitment of the entire society
    • A draft (conscription)
    • Forced labor systems for civilians
    • Borrowed money, raised taxes
    • Rationed food and other products, like gasoline, and rubber
    • Set prices, forbid strikes by laborers
causes of collapsing morale
Causes of Collapsing Morale
  • Huge escalating war debts
  • Long casualty lists
  • Food shortages
  • Failure of generals to win promised victories
  • Mutiny of troops
  • Desertion of troops
  • Unrest in overseas holdings (colonies)
america enters the war

America Enters the War!


And provides a much needed:

- Upset of forces.

- Morale boost.

- End to the long stalemate.



The U.S. was the world’s strongest economy and largest creditor.

Some might call this war profiteering.

germany becomes desperate
Germany Becomes Desperate
  • Suffered from British naval blockade
    • Severe food shortages
  • January 1917 “unrestricted submarine warfare”
    • German policy that their submarines would sink without warning any ship in the waters around Great Britain
  • Step backwards in history for a moment
    • This policy was tried before….
sinking of the lusitania
Sinking of the Lusitania
  • May 7, 1915
  • German submarine sank British passenger ship
    • Killed 1,198 people (128 U. S. citizens)
    • Ship allegedly carrying ammunition/ weapons (true)
    • President Wilson and American public outraged
    • Germany agreed to stop attacking neutral and/or passenger ships
    • Agreed to surface, allow neutral passengers to escape to lifeboats
back to 1917
Back to 1917…
  • Return to submarine policy = gamble
    • German naval blockade hoped to starve Britain into defeat before America mobilized.
    • Wrong!
    • Sank 3 American ships after U. S. President Wilson gave warnings
  • Bad move…
  • Then...
zimmerman telegraph 1917
Zimmerman Telegraph (1917)
  • British intercepted telegraph
    • Arthur Zimmermann (Germany’s foreign secretary to German ambassador in Mexico)
    • If Mexico became ally to Germany, then Germany would help Mexico “reconquer” lost land in the United States.
      • Texas, New Mexico, Arizona
  • Last Straw for U.S.
  • U.S. declared war on April 2, 1917
telegraph last straw
Telegraph = Last Straw
  • U. S. sympathies already high
  • U.S. has a bond with Great Britain.
    • Common ancestry, language
    • Similar democratic institutions, legal systems
  • True (and false) reports on German atrocities
    • Stirred anti-German sentiment
  • ($) Strong economic ties to Allied Powers ($)
the yanks are coming
The Yanks are Coming!

Doughboy = An American soldier

(nickname given to American members of the AEF (American Expeditionary Force)…basically, the military)

  • The draft
  • Required young men to be ready for military and other service
  • Used by both Allies and Central powers
  • Needed a system to recruit soldiers
women in the war
Women in the War
  • Took over jobs, kept economies going
    • War industries
      • Manufactured weapons and supplies
    • Nurses
      • Tended wounds in aid stations close to the front
    • Women’s Land army
      • Grew food for nation in Great Britain
  • After the war, women lost jobs, pushed for rights, after helping with the war effort.
by the way

By the way…

What United States Amendment to the Constitution gave women the right to vote?



  • “Mata Hari”
  • Real Name:
    • Margareetha Zelle
  • Famous exotic dancer
  • German spy!
  • Tried by court martial
  • Blew a kiss to the French firing squad as they shot her
recast changes of gender roles
Recast (changes) of gender roles
  • All of a sudden women:
    • Raised the hemlines of their dresses.
    • Smoked in public
    • Participated in unchaperoned dating.
    • Increased political activism.
  • But after the war, governments try to force women back into the home – a more traditional role.
technology and transportation
Technology and Transportation
  • Poison gas
  • Armored tank
  • Automatic Machine guns
  • Aircraft
  • Submarines
  • Which invention do you think has done the most to change how wars are fought?
  • 1620 = Earliest use
  • New, effective warship
  • U-Boats
  • Unrestricted warfare on Allied ships
  • Primary weapon = torpedo
    • Self-propelled underwater missile
poison gas
Poison Gas
  • Introduced by Germans
  • Used by both sides
  • Immediate Effects:
    • Blinding
    • Severe blisters
    • Death by choking
  • Long-Term Effects:
    • Cancer
    • Leukemia
      • Certain types
gas continued
Gas Continued...
  • Goal: Break the stalemate, kill more enemy
  • Chlorine
    • Cheap, easy to manufacture
    • Acid formed in lungs/ mucus membranes
  • Mustard Gas
    • Skin burns
    • Gas mask = no protection
  • Medical officers = helpless
    • Skin grafts not used yet
  • The spreading of ideas to promote a cause or to damage an opposing cause
  • Newspapers, posters, songs, films, etc…
  • Tales of atrocities
    • Horrible acts against innocent people
    • Often exaggerated or completely made up
    • Circulated by the press
  • Germany denied war difficulties
    • German people will bee shocked at their “sudden defeat.”

What event is

this poster tied

back to?

What is left


(according to

the poster)?

propaganda targets
Propaganda Targets
  • Stress facts, stay away from hatred
    • Image evolves = Blood-thirsty Germans
  • German Heritage vs. 100% Americanism
    • Sauerkraut (on hotdogs) = “Liberty cabbage”
    • Pretzels = out of the bars/saloons
    • Bach, Beethoven = removed from symphonies
    • Hamburger = Salisbury steak
    • German measles = liberty measles
what famous historical figure is utilized below
What famous historical figure is utilized below?

Women of America, Save your Country, Buy War Savings Stamps

wilson s fourteen points
Wilson’s Fourteen Points
  • January 1918
  • A list of terms for resolving WWI & future wars
    • Freedom of the seas, free trade, large-scale reduction of arms, and end to secret treaties
    • Creation of a general association of nations to keep peace
  • Favored self-determinationfor Europe
    • The right of people to choose their own government
fourteen points
Fourteen Points
  • 1. End secret diplomacy
  • 2. Freedom of the seas
  • 3. Removal of trade barriers
  • 4. Reduction in armaments
  • 5. Adjustment of colonial claims
  • 6. Evacuation of Russian territory
  • 7. Restoration of Belgium
  • 8. Evacuation of France; return Alsace-Lorraine to France
fourteen points continued
Fourteen Points, Continued…
  • 9. Readjustment of Italy’s borders
  • 10. Independence of various national groups in Austria-Hungary
  • 11. Restoration of Balkans and access to the sea for Serbia
  • 12. Free passage of all nations into and out of the Black Sea
  • 13. Independence for Poland
  • 14. League of Nations
  • An agreement to end fighting
  • Sought by new German government
  • November 11, 1918, 11:00 a.m.
  • WWI/ Great War fighting ends…
the costs of war
The Costs of War
  • Pandemic
    • The spread of a disease across an entire country, continent, or the whole world
    • 1918 = influenza
    • 20 million dead
  • Financial burdens
    • Rebuilding costs
    • Highly inflated national war debts
    • Who should makereparations?
      • Payments for war damage
costs of war continued
Costs of War, Continued…
  • Political turmoil
    • Collapse of governments
    • Russia, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottomans
    • Spread of Communism
      • Led to a conflict between communism & capitalism
    • Colonial empires begin to see more violence.
    • Birth of new nations (9 to be exact)
  • Not to mention…the actual death toll of war
  • The Big Three
  • League of Nations
  • Treaty of Versailles
  • Dissatisfaction
triumvirate paris peace conference
Triumvirate: Paris Peace Conference
  • “The Big Three”
    • United States President, Woodrow Wilson
      • Ideals raised expectations for a just and lasting peace
      • Wanted the 14 Points basis of the peace plan
      • Could be hard to work with (due to his rightness attitude)
    • British Prime Minister, David Lloyd George
      • People demanded harsh treatment of Germany.
      • Wanted to build a post-war Britain “fit for heroes” (very costly)
    • French leader, Georges Clemenceau (“the tiger”)
      • Fierce anti-German war policy
      • Wanted a weak Germany (never threaten France again)
      • Boy, was he ever wrong!
mr wilson bores me with his fourteen points why god almighty has only ten

“Mr. Wilson bores me with his Fourteen Points. Why, God Almighty has only ten.”

- Georges Clemenceau

treaty of versailles june 1919
Treaty of Versailles, June 1919
  • Drawn up by the Allied powers
  • Germans forced to sign
    • Assume full blame for causing the war (Article 231)
    • Huge reparations - $30 billion -, which would hurt an already strained German economy
      • War destruction, cost, and pensions to war widows/families
    • Germany must set up a republic (Weimar republic).
treaty of versailles cont
Treaty of Versailles, Cont…
  • Limited the size of the German army (10,000 men)
  • No German air force and navy
  • Destruction of all German weapons
  • Returned Alsace-Lorraine to France
  • Stripped Germany of overseas colonies
  • Removed territory from western and eastern Germany
widespread dissatisfaction
Widespread Dissatisfaction
  • Other Central Powers received separate treaties than Germany, but also dissatisfying
  • Eastern Europe
    • New nations emerge from lands held by German, Austrian, and Russian Empires
      • Baltic states: Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia
    • Poland regained independence
    • Czechoslovakia, Austria, and Hungary (new republics)
    • Yugoslavia, dominated by Serbia, created
widespread dissatisfaction take 2
Widespread Dissatisfaction, Take 2
  • Mandate system
    • Territories administered by Western powers
    • Lands held and modernized
      • Until countries could “stand alone”
    • Colonies not freed, colonial leaders feel angry/betrayed
      • Had believed in Wilson’s ideas of self-determination
    • Britain gets German lands in Africa; Ottoman lands in the Middle East


A youthful Ho Chi Minh, the future leader of Vietnam, was rudely refused an audience with Woodrow Wilson.

Talk about a “what if?”

widespread dissatisfaction take 3
Widespread Dissatisfaction, Take 3
  • Unfulfilled goals
    • Italy did not get lands promised in secret treaties.
    • Japan did not get rights in China recognized.
    • Russia hated the Polish nation and new Baltic states.
      • Not to mention that they were excluded from the process.
  • Hopes for global peace: League of Nations
    • 40 nations joined, agreeing to negotiate disputes instead of declaring war
    • Promised to take economic or military action against aggressors, but never had enforcement power
but guess what

But guess what?

The U.S. refused to ratify the treaty and the United States never joined the League of Nations.

despite the actions of the united states

Despite the actions of the United States…

The League of Nations was a first step toward something genuinely new – an international organization dedicated to maintaining peace and advancing the interests of all people.

3 major problems
3 Major Problems
  • 1. Isolation of Russia
  • 2. Weak German economy
  • 3. Germany gets to participate in the planning stages of the League of Nations.
long term and immediate causes
Imperialist and economic rivalries among European countries

European alliance system

Militarism and arms race

Nationalists tensions in Balkans

Austria-Hungary’s annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Fighting in the Balkans

Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand

German invasion of Belgium

Long Term and Immediate Causes
immediate and long term effects
Cost of lives and money

Russian Revolution

New nations in Eastern Europe

Germany pay reparations

German loss of overseas colonies

Balfour Declaration

League of Nations

Economic Impact of war debts on Europe

Emergence of United States and Japan as important powers

Growth of nationalism in the colonies

Rise of Fascism

World War II

Immediate and Long Term Effects
connections to today
Connections to Today
  • Ethnic Tensions in the Balkans
  • International agreement banning poison gas
  • Use of airplanes and submarines for military purposes
  • Arab-Israeli conflict
  • Which effect do you think is most important today?