WWI OverviewWS PPT 2014 - Nicholas Senn High School

WWI Notes
Europe in 1914
Alliances and the First World War:
Essential Background - Fact 1
World War I was all about the place of Germany in Europe
Alliances and the First World War:
Essential Background - Fact 2
France and Germany hated each other! When Germany became
united country in 1870-1, France went to war to try to stop it … but
Alliances and the First World War:
Essential Background Fact 2 (cont.)
France also lost Alsace-Lorraine in 1870-1.
The French never forgave the Germans. They wanted REVENGE.
Alliances and the First World War:
Germany in the Middle
Germany’s BIG problem was that it was IN THE MIDDLE.
That made it VULNERABLE if it came to a war.
Alliances and the First World War:
Three Emperors’ League, 1881
In the 19th century, Germany’s brilliant Chancellor, Bismarck,
solved this problem by keeping friends with RUSSIA and
AUSTRIA-HUNGARY (the Dreikaiserbund).
Alliances and the First World War:
Triple Alliance, 1882
Then Bismarck allied with Italy and Austria-Hungary (the TRIPLE
ALLIANCE, 1882).
Together with his friendship with Russia, this kept Germany safe.
Alliances and the First World War:
Germany encircled
But when Kaiser Wilhelm became Emperor, he dumped the Russian
alliance. He kept the Triple Alliance, but this did NOT solve the
problem of Germany’s encirclement.
Alliances and the First World War:
Franco-Russian Alliance, 1892
Instead, in 1892, Russia made an alliance with FRANCE.
Although it was only a DEFENSIVE alliance, it was Germany’s worst
Alliances and the First World War:
Webs of Alliances
There were many more alliances.
Alliances and the First World War:
Anglo-Japanese Naval Agreement, 1902
A very important one was the 1902 Anglo-Japanese naval
alliance, which freed up Great Britain from protecting its Empire in the
far east…
Alliances and the First World War:
Entente Cordiale, 1904
… which allowed Britain to make the Entente Cordiale (‘friendly
relationship’) with France in 1904.
Alliances and the First World War:
Triple Entente, 1907
In 1907 Russia joined Britain and France to make the Triple Entente.
So by 1914 Europe had divided into two massive superpower blocs.
People thought this BALANCE OF POWER would keep the peace.
Alliances and the First World War:
The Balkans
But Russia was also allied to Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria.
When trouble erupted in the Balkans in 1914, the nations found their
alliances dragged them into war…
Alliances and the First World War:
How the Alliances caused war
… like mountain climbers tied to the same rope.
(i.e. it is arguable that THE SYSTEM OF ALLIANCES CAUSED
1. The Alliance System
Triple Entente:
Triple Alliance:
Two Armed Camps!
Allied Powers:
Central Powers:
The Two Sides
Triple Alliance
Triple Entente
Allied Powers
Central Powers
Ottoman Empire
England, France, Russia,
United States, Italy,
Serbia, Belgium,
The Major Players: 1914-17
Allied Powers:
Central Powers:
Nicholas II
Wilhelm II [Ger]
George V [Br]
Victor Emmanuel
II [It]
Enver Pasha
Pres. Poincare [Fr]
Franz Josef [A-H]
Pan-Slavism in
the Balkans
“Powder Keg”
of Europe
The Balkans: The Restless Region
- Ottoman Empire declining
- Nationalism = powerful force in the
- Austria-Hungary takes over struggling
nations and vows to crush any efforts to
undermine authority
- Serbia – supported by Russia; wants to
break free from Austria-Hungary
The Crisis 1.
 28 June 1914
 Heir to Austrian
throne Franz
Ferdinand visits
 Capital of Bosnia,
recently grabbed by
 Hotbed of Slav
Seal of the
Black Hand
The Crisis 2.
 “Black Hand” terrorists
attack the Arch Duke
 Bomb attempt fails in
 Gavrilo Princip shoots
Archduke and wife in
the afternoon.
 Austrians blame Serbia
for supporting
The Crisis 3.
 Austrians, supported by
Germany, send Serbia a tough
 Serbia agrees to all but two
terms of the ultimatum.
 Russia mobilises her troops to
support Serbia
 Germany demands that Russia
stands her armies down.
 Germany declares war on
“Demands must be
put to Serbia that
would be wholly
impossible for them
to accept …”
Why did Britain get involved?
• Britain had Ententes
with France and
• Only “friendly
agreements” but
French and Russians
given impression
Britain would fight.
• The Schlieffen Plan
Sir Edward Grey
British Foreign Secretary …
“There’s some devilry going
on in Berlin”
The Schlieffen Plan
 Germany’s military
plan to defeat France
and Russia.
 “Knock out blow”
aimed at France first.
 Avoid French defences
by invasion of
 Germans thought
Britain would not
Britain’s Reaction
 1838- UK had signed a
Treaty to protect Belgium.
 Britain also scared of
Germany controlling
Channel ports.
 Did not want Germany to
defeat France and
dominate Europe. Britain
 UK issued ultimatum to
Germany to withdraw
troops from Belgium. War
declared August 4 1914
Australian Poster
American Poster
Financing the War
German Poster
Think of Your Children!
The Machine Gun
It was used by both sides, hundreds of rounds
a minute could be shot by one person.
Chemical Weapons
WWI was the first major war to use chemical
Mustard Gas and Chlorine Gas were the two
most popular weapons: They caused
suffocation, blindness, and death
Soldiers would protect themselves
using Gas Masks
Trench Warfare
“No Man’s Land”
Krupp’s “Big Bertha” Gun
The U-boat (Submarine)
secret weapon
during the war
Sank dozens of
British ships,
controlled the
Why would the British think the Uboat was breaking the rules of War ?
Both sides used aircraft for observation, limited
bombing, and air battles
Airplanes were slow, clumsy, and unreliable,
The most famous German pilot was Baron von
Richthofen (The Red Baron)
Red Baron
Flame Throwers
The Western Front:
A “War of Attrition”
A Multi-Front War
The Western Front
Verdun – February, 1916
e German offensive.
e Each side had 500,000 casualties.
The Somme – July, 1916
e 60,000 British soldiers killed in one day.
e Over 1,000,000 killed in 5 months.
War Is HELL !!
Sacrifices in War
Eastern Front
• Russians and Serbs vs. Germans and Austria-
• War more mobile but still a stalemate
• Russia’s disadvantage
• Not Industrialized
• Short on Supplies
• Russia’s advantage
• People
Eastern Front: Battles
• Battle of Tannenberg:
• August 1914- First major eastern
• Russia was badly defeated and
pushed back.
• Russia lost millions of men
against Germany, undersupplied,
under gunned
Other Fronts
• Japan, Australia, India join Allies
• Ottoman Turks, Bulgaria join Central Powers
• Gallipoli Campaign in the Ottoman Empire
• Battles occur in Africa and Asia for Colonial
America Joins the War
US Road to War
• British Blockade
• did not allow products to leave or
enter Germany
• German U-Boat Response
• counter to blockade, destroy all
boats headed for British shores
President Woodrow Wilson
Charles Evans Hughes
1916 Election
1916 Presidential Election
And the Winner is…
Woodrow Wilson
“he kept us out
of the war”
The Sinking
of the Lusitania
128 U.S. civilians were killed
May 7th 1915
Sinking of the Lusitania
Sussex Pledge
President Wilson addressed Congress in April 1916 and
issued an ultimatum to the Germans: End the attack on
unarmed ships or risk the severing of diplomatic
Germany responded to Wilson's demands on May 4 with
what is called the "Sussex Pledge." German submarine
policy would henceforth be governed by promises to:
• end the sinking of passenger ships
• search merchant ships for contraband and make
provisions for passengers and crews before sinking
merchant ships
The German guarantees were generally honored until
the announcement of the resumption of unrestricted
submarine warfare in February 1917.
US Road to War
The Last Straw
Zimmerman Telegram 1917
US Declares War
• Senate Declares War April 4th 1917
• House of Representatives Declares War April
6th 1917
• Wilson’s reasoning for War
• make the world “Safe for Democracy”
War on the Homefront
• World War I as a Total War
• All Resources devoted to battlefront
• Gov’t took over factories to make Military goods
• All had to work (Women took place of men in
• Rationing- limit consumption of resources/goods
necessary for the war effort
• Propaganda- one-sided information to keep support
for the war
The Yanks
Are Coming!
Americans in the Trenches
Russia Exits the War
In March 1917, Nicholas II abdicates his
• the Russian Duma continues to fight.
• In October 1917: Lenin and the Bolsheviks
take command: The Soviet Union is created.
• Bolsheviks• March 1918: Soviets and Germans sign the
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, ending the war in the
The Russian Revolution of 1917 (1 of 2)
The Problems of the Provisional Government
It was hoped that a liberal-democratic regime would succeed the
Tsarist government but what really happened was a complex political
free-for-all that raged from March to November 1917
The liberals in Russia misjudged the popular mood and decided to
continue the war in April 1917
Failing to achieve any land reform or fix the economy in shambles,
and continuing to oppress minorities in Russia further weakened the
popularity of the Provisional Government
Lenin and the Rise of Bolshevism
Lenin had adapted the socialistic theories of Marx to the Russian
conditions and forged a tightly knit and highly disciplined group of
revolutionaries capable of surviving Tsarist oppression
Bolsheviks saw the elimination of private property and the dictatorship
of the proletariat as the best way of solving Russia’s problems
The Bolsheviks envisioned their takeover as a spark to revolution
elsewhere in war-torn Europe.
The Russian Revolution of 1917 (2 of 2)
Lenin’s Opportunity
In April 1917 Germans helped Lenin return to Russia hoping he
would lead a revolution
He promoted his popular slogan: “Peace, Land, and Bread.”
Seizing power in November 1917, Lenin allowed the elections
for the proposed Constituent Assembly to be held in January
1818 but then the Bolsheviks only got 24% of the vote, he
disbanded the Assembly after only one meeting
The Bolsheviks Survive
Lenin changed the name of the party to the Communist Party
and negotiated the treaty with the Germans in March 1918 that
ended the war
Red Revolution
Ending the War 1917-1918
• US Enters the War in April of 1917
• March 1918 Russia and Germany sign the
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
• Germans now use all resources on
Western Front
• March of 1918 Germany begins a massive
attack on France
Ending the War (1918)
The Tide Turns
German troops fatigued
US had 140,000 “fresh” troops
2nd Battle of the Marne (June 1918)
Central Powers Crumble
• Revolutions in Austria Hungary
• Ottoman Empire surrenders
• German soldiers mutiny, public turns against
Kaiser Wilhelm II
Ending the War (1918)
• Kaiser Wilhelm abdicates on November
9th 1918
• 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th
month in 1918 Germany agrees to a
• 8.5 million soldiers dead
• 21 million soldiers wounded
• Cost of 338 billion dollars
World War I Casualties
Great Britain
Effects of World War I
Before World War I feeling of optimism and progress of
Human Kind
After the War feelings of pessimism
New forms of Art, Literature, Philosophy and Science
(ex. Surrealism, “Lost” Generation, Psychoanalysis,
The War and European
The war contributed to the spiritual problems and crises that
had fostered it and called into question the nature of
Intellectuals were disillusioned and demoralized as science
once viewed the crowning glory of human capabilities, had
merely helped develop more efficient means of slaughter
Helped create a generation of people who matured during
the war and who were fascinated with violence and
contemptuous of life
First of the “total wars” illustrating the capabilities and
dangers of mass mobilization
The Big Four
President Woodrow Wilson
David Lloyd George-GB
Georges Clemenceau-France
Vittorio Orlando-Italy
Treaty of Versailles
Ending the War
The Paris Peace Conference
Meeting of the “Big Four” at the Paris Peace
Wilson Proposes his “14 points”
“Big Four” create Treaty of Versailles
• War Guilt Clause
• Break up of German, Austrian, Russian and
Ottoman Empire
• Reparations
• Legacy of bitterness and betrayal
The Peace Conference (1 of 2)
Wilson’s Hope for a New World
Wilson saw the war as against autocracy and hoped it would lead to a
liberal-democratic world without war
He supported self-determination for people
But he opposed any victor’s justice being applied to Germany
Problems of Peacemaking
Wilson’s diplomacy was undermined by the lack of support he
received in America itself
France, which had fought two wars against Germany, wanted
Germany punished and French security guaranteed
The creation of newly independent nations were fraught with ethnicminority issues themselves
Various secret treaties were a problems as well
Many nations and peoples had unrealistic expectations of the
The Peace Conference (2 of 2)
The Settlement
France gained some territory and Germany was significantly
demilitarized but France did not get all that it wanted
An independent Poland was created and Germany territory was
separated in the process
Victorious nations got German colonies and Ottoman territory under
the aegis of being mandates of the League of Nations
Germany was declared to be solely responsible for the war and forced
to pay large reparations
Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia were created out of Austria-Hungary
Assessment and Problems
The Germans saw the peace as to harsh as did critics in other
It left Germany weakened but not powerless
Treaty of Versailles
The following land was taken away from Germany :
Alsace-Lorraine (given to France)
Eupen and Malmedy (given to Belgium)
Northern Schleswig (given to Denmark)
Hultschin (given to Czechoslovakia)
West Prussia, Posen and Upper Silesia (given to Poland)
The Saar, Danzig and Memel were put under the control of the League of Nations
and the people of these regions would be allowed to vote to stay in Germany or not
in a future referendum.
The League of Nations also took control of Germany's overseas colonies.
Germany had to return to Russia land taken in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. Some
of this land was made into new states : Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. An enlarged
Poland also received some of this land
Treaty of Versailles
Germany’s army was reduced to 100,000 men; the army
was not allowed tanks
Germany was not allowed an airforce
Germany was allowed only 6 capital naval ships and
The west of the Rhineland and 50 kms east of the River
Rhine was made into a demilitarised zone (DMZ). No
German soldier or weapon was allowed into this zone. The
Allies were to keep an army of occupation on the west
bank of the Rhine for 15 years.
Treaty of Versailles
The loss of vital industrial territory would be
a severe blow to Germany’s economy. Coal
from the Saar and Upper Silesia in particular
was a vital economic loss.
Combined with the financial penalties linked
to reparations($33 billion), it seemed clear to
Germany that the Allies wanted nothing else
but to bankrupt them.
Germany was also forbidden to unite with
Austria to form one superstate.
Treaty of Versailles
1. Germany had to admit full responsibility for starting the
war. This was Clause 231 - the infamous "War Guilt
2. Germany, as it was responsible for starting the war as
stated in clause 231, was therefore responsible for all the
war damage caused by the First World War. Therefore,
they had to pay reparations, the bulk of which would go to
France and Belgium to pay for the damage done to both
countries by the war. The figure was eventually put at $33
billion .
3. A League of Nations was set up to keep world peace.
League of Nations
-Five permanent members
-G.B., France, Italy, U.S., Japan
-Four non-permanent members that rotated
-all members must submit disputes for investigation,
arbitration and settlement
-if member nation ignored, League could take action
What type of action?
Economic sanctions
-France wanted an international army but US and GB
did not
-Germany and the Soviet Union were not allowed to
join right away
-U.S. never joined
Other Treaties
Austria-Hungary no longer existed
• wanted to be part of Germany
• lots of Germans in the Sudetenland area
Yugoslavia (Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes)
• formed from Serbia, Montenegro and part of A-H
All these countries were small and weak and could easily be taken over.
Germany had to give land back to Russia from Brest-Litovsk Treaty
due to Civil War, Bolsheviks could not deal with this at the time so
Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine became independent
Turkey lost all it’s Middle Eastern colonies
Syria and Jordan went to France
Palestine, Transjordan and Iraq went to GB
Saudi Arabia became independent
Turkey did become a republic(democracy) after WW I

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