The Great War

The Great War
Long Term Causes
• The 3-“ims”:
– Nationalism- belief that national concerns are more
important than global ones
– Imperialism - nations compete for control of colonies,
raw materials, and markets
– Militarism - buildup of the military, military aggression
Long Term Causes
• The Alliance System
– European nations make alliances promising to
protect each other if attacked - Often enter into
alliances in an attempt to avoid war
• Brought many nations into war
• When a nation went to war, their allies and their
enemies’ allies joined as well
– Triple Entente: France, Britain, Russia (also had
alliance with Serbia)
– Triple Alliance: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy
“The Spark”
• Europe wanted control of
the Balkan Peninsula
because it was surrounded
by several seas (ports for
trade and resources)
• Russia wanted an outlet
to the Mediterranean Sea
• Germany wanted to
extend their railroad to
the Ottoman Empire
• Austria-Hungary
resented Serbia for
encouraging Bosnia to
reject Austrian rule (after
they had annexed
The Powder Keg
• The Balkans were nicknamed “The Powder Keg of
– incited by the Austria-Hungarian annexation of the former
Turkish province of Bosnia
– Serbia threatened war on Austria-Hungary. Russia had
pledged their support to Serbia, so they began to mobilize,
which caused Germany, allied with Austria-Hungary, to
threaten war on Russia. (Russia backed down)
• June 28, 1914—
Archduke Franz
Ferdinand (heir to the
Austrian throne) and his
wife Sophie were
assassinated by Gavrilo
– Princip was a Serbian
nationalist and member of
the Black Hand Society
– Radical nationalist group
that favored an alliance
between Bosnia and
– Opposed Austria-Hungary’s
annexation of Bosnia
• Austria-Hungary blamed Serbia (for the
assassination) and issued an ultimatum (answer
within 48 hours)
– Serbia was to suppress all anti-Austrian
– Austrian police would help control rebellions in Serbia
– Austrian courts would help prosecute accused
conspirators in Serbia
– Serbia rejected the proposal
• Germany offered AustriaHungary unconditional
support if they declared
war (known as the blank
• July 28, 1914—AustriaHungary declares war on
Serbia (exactly one month
after the assassination)
• The Alliance system of the
previous years begins
dragging other nations into
the war as well
– turned into the domino effect
Nations Take Sides
• Allies: France, Britain, Russia,
Japan (previously had a treaty
with Britain), Italy (changed
sides…possibly because they
were losing and wanted a port
in Austria Hungary), USA
(joined in 1917)
• Australia, Belgium, Greece,
India, Montenegro, New
Zealand, Portugal, Romania,
Serbia, South Africa, Etc...
• (Approximately 25 nations)
• Central Powers: AustriaHungary, Bulgaria, Germany,
Ottoman Empire
Central Powers
France Premier Georges Clemenceau
Austria-HungaryEmperor Franz Joseph I
Great Britain Prime Minister David
Lloyd George and King George V
Bulgaria Czar Ferdinand I
Germany Kaiser Wilhelm II
Russia Czar Nicholas II
Italy Prime Minister Vittorio Orlando
and King Victor Emmanuel III
Japan Emperor Yoshihito
United States President Woodrow
Ottoman Empire Minister of War Enver
American Neutrality
• US remains neutral
– See the war as a European
conflict that didn’t threaten US
lives or property
– But ties to homelands divide many
Americans (example - GermanAmericans generally supported
the Central Powers, and FrenchAmericans generally supported
the Allies)
– 3 factors increase US support for
• Common ties with Britain (language
and ancestry)
• Stronger economic ties to the Allies
(through trade)
• Germany’s invasion of neutral
War Before US Involvement
• Schlieffen Plan=Germany’s plan to
avoid fighting a 2-front war
• Western Front=Germany’s border
with France
– 500 miles of trenches
• Eastern Front=Germany’s border
with Russia
• Trench Warfare:
– Exchange heavy casualties for very
little land gains
– Battle of Verdun--gained only 4 miles
in 10 months
– Battle of the Somme--1/2 million
casualties, gained only 5 miles
• Horrible Conditions: muddy, lice
and rat-infested, disease, trench
America Enters the War
• Unrestricted
Submarine Warfare:
• German u-boats
would sink any ship in
Allied waters
– one reason is to limit
trade, by doing this
you hurt the enemies
economy thus hurting
them in war.
America Enters the War
• The Sinking of The Lusitania:
– May 7, 1915—British passenger ship was sunk
by a German u-boat (on its way from New York to
– 1,200 people were killed (including 128
America Enters the War
– Germany claimed the
Lusitania was carrying war
materials (we denied it,
but it was later revealed to
be true)
– US remained neutral, but
public opinion began
turning in favor of war
(especially when Germany
sank 4 US merchant
– Germany temporarily
stops Unrestricted
Submarine Warfare
America Enters the War
• The Zimmermann Note:
– January 1917—Britain
intercepted a telegram
from Germany to Mexico
– Germany asked Mexico
to invade the US to keep
us out of the war
– Germany would return to
them lands lost during
the Mexican War
• Present-day Arizona,
New Mexico, and Texas
• April 4, 1917—US
declares war on
American Expeditionary Force
• US soldiers—nicknamed
– Turn the tide of the war
because of their freshness
and enthusiasm (the Allies
were losing the war)
– Other Allies were worn out
after 3 years of fighting
– Russia dropped out
because of a revolution –
Provisional government
and the Bolshevik
American Expeditionary Force
• Commanded by
General John J.
– Originally used as
replacements (for other
– Pershing wanted the US
to be an independent
force - it would give us a
greater voice at the
peace talks
– Opposed fighting a
defensive war
Weapons of the War
Machine Guns – Firepower of 100 guns
The Zeppelin Used for bombing and
Weapons of War
Poison Gas
Gas Masks
Weapons of the War
Barbed Wire
Weapons of the War
Big Bertha
The War at Home
• Convert to a war economy
– War Industries Board—
required companies to mass
produce to increase
– Citizens are expected to cut
out frivolous items such as
long dresses, heeled shoes,
silk stockings, etc
– Also expected to save food
and even preserve fruits and
many to plant victory
Even changed the name of
The War at Home
• National War Labor Board solve disputes between
workers and management
– keep production running
and running smoothly
– promised to keep minimum
wage and short hours in
order to disallow strikes
The War at Home
• Encouraged women to join the workforce
(because men were needed to fight)
• Women work on production lines building
tanks, guns, and other war materials
The War at Home
• Committee on Public Information
1st propaganda agency
Goal is to “sell” the war
Produce posters and pamphlets explaining the war
Sell war bonds (or liberty bonds)
Propaganda encouraged Americans to support the
Allies and hate the Central Powers
The War at Home
• Opportunities for Minorities
– African Americans join the army to show patriotism (hoping
to reduce racial inequality)
– President Wilson calls for the 19th amendment to reward
women for their role in the war (grants the right to vote)
The Great Migration
• Due to Jim Crow laws,
African Americans in
the south trickled
North, but during WWI
this escalated.
• Known as The Great
Migration, hundreds of
thousands African
Americans moved to
cities in the north.
The Great Migration
• Reasons behind the
– Escape Jim Crow laws
– The boll weevil infestation
destroying cotton
– More job opportunities in
the North
• Less immigration
• War left many jobs open
– Northern manufactures sent
recruiting agents to
distribute free railroad
passes through the south.
Espionage and Sedition Acts
• June 1917 the
Espionage and Sedition
Acts were passed
– A person could be fined
$10,000 and sentenced
up to 20 years in jail
• Interfering with the war
• Saying anything disloyal,
profane, or abusive about
the govt. or the war effort
Espionage and Sedition Acts
– Led to over 2,000 prosecutions, about half were
– Targeted socialists and labor leaders
• Eugene Debs was handed a 10 year prison sentence for
speaking out against the war and the draft
The Flu!
• The Influenza
– 1918—¼ in the US
contract the flu
– 500,000 die within a
year in the US alone
(40 million worldwide)
– The epidemic shut
down factories, mines,
telephone service, etc.
Armistice Day
• Germany runs out of
money, their allies pull
out of the war, and
they are too
exhausted to continue
– Sign armistice on
November 11, 1918
– 11th day of the 11th
month at the 11th hour
Now for some foreshadowing…
• During the war several
revolutions broke out in
Germany led by radical
socialists (many Jewish)
– takes away from the
war effort
• Same groups helped and
encouraged strikes in
factories – hurt the war
• Both of these actions
caused Germany to hate
communism and Jews.
The people associated
the two together.
The Fourteen Points
• Wilson’s plan for peace:
End secret treaties and alliances
Allow free trade and freedom of the seas
Reduce military forces
Boundary changes(to keep one country from getting
too much territory/power)
– Self-determination (they choose their own form of
– Create a League of Nations (Wilson believed the
League of Nations was the most important part of his
proposed peace agreement)
• Purpose was to prevent war through diplomacy
• Many Americans feared it would allow other nations to restrict
our actions and our ability to defend ourselves
The Treaty of Versailles
• “The Big Four”
– Georges Clemenceau
– David Lloyd George
– Vittorio Orlando Italy
– Woodrow Wilson USA
• Wilson wanted the treaty to
be lenient, but Britain and
France wanted Germany
• Signed June 28, 1919
– Officially ends the Great War
– Signed 5 years to the day
after the assassination of
Franz Ferdinand
The Treaty of Versailles
• Major provisions:
– New nations Austria,
Hungary, Poland,
Czechoslovakia, and
Yugoslavia (most taken from
– League of Nations peace
keeping organization
– Demilitarized Germany
greatly reduced army, not
allowed a navy or air force
– War reparations Germany
was forced to pay $33 billion to
the Allies (US protested)
– War Guilt Clause Germany
was forced to accept full blame
for the war (again US
The Treaty of Versailles
• Called the “Peace built on Quicksand”
– Supposed to bring peace, but creates more anger and
– Became a major cause of World War II
• Italy and Japan felt cheated in the land divisions
• Russia was ignored
• Too harsh on Germany - led to the rise of Hitler; people were
looking for someone to pull them out of their disaster
• 1 mark
• 163 marks
• 200,000,000,000 marks
Legacy of the War
Lasted 4 years
Involved more than 30 nations
22 million dead – half are civilians
20 million wounded
10 million refugees (a person who
flees to escape conflict or disaster)
$350 billion in war damages/debt
European lands and economies are
United States
Battle casualties=48,000
Disease casualties=62,000
Return to isolationism
Women must give up jobs to
returning soldiers
US becomes a world power (and the
only nation that profits from the

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