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The M.A.I.N. Causes of WWI.

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Presentation on theme: "The M.A.I.N. Causes of WWI."— Presentation transcript:

1 The M.A.I.N. Causes of WWI

2 1. MILITARISM “I and the army were born for one another.”
-Kaiser Wilhelm Militarism- policy of glorifying ones armies

3 MILITARISM What is it? Policy of glorifying military power and keeping a standing army always prepared for war Armed forces as tool of diplomacy Which European country is strongest? From mid-15th century to start of 20th century, Great Britain because of navy BUT by 1890, Germany has largest army reserve and has begun building navy to rival that of Great Britain


5 ALLIANCES What is it? European nations signed that committed them to support one another if attacked Why did nations agree to this? Security through balance of power with peacetime alliances Triple Entente (Great Britain, France, Russia) Triple Alliance (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Empire) BUT alliances are like “dominos” – once one country becomes involved, their allies have no choice but to fight!

6 TRIPLE ENTENTE TRIPLE ALLIANCE The Triple Entente will become the Allies and the Triple Alliance will become the Central Powers!

7 3. IMPERIALISM The battle over land and resources in Africa led to a bitter rivalry among European nations. Possessions of colonies displayed nationalism, militarism, and prestige.

8 How is Imperialism related to Militarism?
What is it? Policy of extending a nation’s authority over other countries by social, economic, political, or military means Why is this significant? European nations were competing for raw materials and new markets in Africa and Asia EX: Great Britain vs. Germany vs. France How is Imperialism related to Militarism?

9 4. NATIONALISM There were several reasons for the growing nationalism in Europe. There was increased competition between nations for materials and markets, the glory of having the best military and also having colonial assets.

10 NATIONALISM What is it? Belief that people should be loyal mainly to their nation National interests and national unity should be placed ahead of global cooperation Foreign affairs should be guided by self-interest Impact? France and Germany are competitors – won’t become Allies! Russia’s role as protector leads them into the war Ethnic groups want their own nations

11 M.A.I.N. Not sure how you’ll remember all of this? Just remember that these are the MAIN causes of WWI! M – Militarism A – Alliances I – Imperialism N – Nationalism

12 The Spark: An Assassination
The Balkan region was considered “the powder keg of Europe” Lots of nationalists feelings and ethnic uprisings Russia: access to the Mediterranean Sea Germany: a rail link to the Ottoman Empire Austria-Hungary: accused Serbia of undermining its rule over Bosnia June of 1914: Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, gunned down by a Serbian radical The Archduke is assassinated in Sarajevo in June 1914

13 History Channel Video Clip!
The Alliances Fall History Channel Video Clip! Austria-Hungary (with prodding from Germany) declares war on Serbia As a Serbian ally, Russia declares war on Austria-Hungary Germany declares war on Russia France declares war on Austria-Hungary and Germany Germany invades Belgium to knock France out of the War Great Britain declare wars on Austria-Hungary and Germany

14 The Fighting Begins The Alliance system pulled one nation after another into the conflict – The Great War had begun August 3, 1914: Germany invaded Belgium Plan called for a quick strike through Belgium to Paris, France Next, Germany would attack Russia Designed to prevent a two-front war for Germany However - Great Britain declares war on Germany upon the Belgian invasion and France does not easily fall The Schlieffen Plan

15 The War Becomes A Stalemate
Unable to save Belgium, the Allies retreated halted the German advance in September of 1914 By spring 1915, two systems of trenches crossed France from Belgium to Switzerland 3 types of trenches: front line, support, and reserve Between enemy trenches was “no man’s land” – barren expanse of mud and barbed wire Armies fought to gain only yards of ground in trench warfare British soldiers standing in mud History Channel Video Clip!

16 The conditions in these trenches were horrific; aside from the fear of bombardment, soldiers also had to contend with the mud, flooding and disease associated with living in such a harsh environment.

17 Fighting in 1914

18 The World War I Battlefield
New Weapons Neither side able to make significant advances Each side turned to new weapons like poison gas Value limited, both sides developed gas masks Rapid-fire machine guns in wide use Artillery and high-explosive shells, enormous destructive power History Channel Video Clip!

19 New Problems of War Troops amidst filth, pests, polluted water, poison gas, dead bodies Physical problems include dysentery, trench foot, trench mouth New weapons and tactics lead to horrific injuries Constant bombardment, battle fatigue produce “shell shock”

20 America questions neutrality
Section 2 America questions neutrality

21 Prelude to War – Election of 1912
William Taft - incumbent, Republican laissez-faire, Gilded Age politics Woodrow Wilson - surprise candidate, Democrat progressivist, pro-small business and competition Teddy Roosevelt - progressive “Bull Moose” party, best showing ever by 3rd party militant anti-trust politics Eugene Debs - socialist, won 6% of the vote - the most votes won by a socialist candidate in US history peaceful overthrow of capitalism

22 Divided Loyalties Socialists (overthrow capitalism), pacifists, many ordinary people against the U.S. entering war Naturalized citizens concerned about the war’s effect on their country of birth Anglophiliacs: people with a strong admiration or enthusiasm for England, its people, and all things English

23 The Economics of War U.S. had loaned extensive $$ to Western Europe
U.S. has stronger economic ties with Allies than with Central Powers Even though U.S. was officially neutral: U.S. traded heavily with Britain and France Complied with a British embargo on trading with Germany

24 United States Neutrality
Germany using “unrestricted submarine warfare” Any ship traveling in waters around Great Britain was subject to attack by U-boats Initially U-boats attacked only military and merchant ships May 7, 1915: Passenger ship Lusitania struck by German torpedo and sinks in 18 minutes 1,198 of the 1,959 passengers go down with the ship, including 120 Americans Germany agreed to stop attacking passenger ships if U.S. stopped trading with Britain History Channel Video Clip!

25 The Zimmerman Note February 1917 - discovery of Zimmermann Note
Secret message from German diplomat Arthur Zimmerman to the Mexican government Germany proposed Mexico attack the U.S. Promised the Mexican government control of Texas, Arizona and New Mexico, territory that had once belonged to Mexico Germans hoped that a war with Mexico would keep U.S. out of war in Europe American public called for war against Germany

26 A Declaration of War Germany asks U.S. to get Britain to end food blockade otherwise will renew unrestricted submarine war Britain declines Kaiser announces U-boats will sink all ships in British waters Four unarmed American merchant ships sunk April 2, 1917: U.S. declares war

27 American power tips the balance
The United States mobilizes a large army and navy to help the Allies achieve victory. American power tips the balance

28 Mobilizing An Army Selective Service Act - men register and are randomly chosen for service African Americans are put in segregated units; excluded from navy, marines Women in put into Army, Navy, and Marines as nurses, secretaries, and phone operators

29 U.S. Naval Contributions
Convoy system—destroyers escort merchant ships across Atlantic losses from U-boat attacks drop dramatically Navy helps lay mines across North Sea, keeps U-boats out of Atlantic By 1918: Germans have difficulty replacing boats and trained submariners

30 The “Doughboys” After 2.5 years of fighting, Allied forces are exhausted and demoralized U.S. troops bring numbers, enthusiasm, and supplies “Doughboys” greatly impressed by European cities, especially Paris, but horrified by the battle conditions Name originated during the Spanish American war where infantry soldiers were often coated in a white dust, making them look like dough boys in a bakery

31 Allies Stop German Advance
Russian Revolution and overthrow of the Tsar results in major changes Russia pulls out of war 1917 Germans shift entire focus to Western Front come within 50 miles of Paris Americans help stop German advance, turn tide against Central Powers Sent Leon Trotsky to negotiate peace with Central Powers Russia’s army was virtually powerless at this point Trotsky had to accept an agreement that was very harsh on Russia Russia gained peace but they gave up large parts of their empire

32 WWI spurs social, political, and economic changes in the U.S.
The war at home

33 Changing the Economy Economy shifts from producing consumer goods to war supplies Congress gives Wilson direct control of much of the economy War Industries Board is main regulatory body mass-production, standardization of products Conservation measures adopted by public in every aspect of life

34 A New War Economy Industrial wages rise but so do costs of food and housing Large corporations make enormous profits Unions boom from dangerous conditions, child labor, unfair pay Wilson creates National War Labor Board to settle disputes

35 War Financing U.S. spends $35.5 billion on war effort
1/3 paid through taxes, 2/3 borrowed through sale of war bonds

36 The Committee on Public Information
Propaganda—biased communication designed to influence people Former muckraker heads Committee on Public Information Visual works and printed matter to promote war Get volunteers to speak about war, distribute materials





41 Women in the War Many women take jobs in heavy industry previously held by men Many do volunteer work for war effort Some active in peace movement Women’s effort bolsters support for suffrage - 19th Amendment finally passes

42 Anti-Immigrant Hysteria
Attacks on immigrants increase, especially those from Germany, Austria-Hungary Espionage and Sedition Acts passed person can be fined, imprisoned for interfering with war effort, speaking against government Violates 1st Amendment; used to prosecute loosely defined antiwar activities

43 With the fall of Germany, the Allies must decide on peace terms
The war ends

44 The Collapse of Germany - 1918
The End of WWI Nov 3, 1918: Austria-Hungary surrenders German soldiers and sailors rebel, socialists establish a new German Republic November 11, 1918: Germany signs armistice (truce) The Final Toll World War I bloodiest war in history to date More than half of the 22 million deaths are civilians 20 million more are wounded 10 million people become refugees


46 Wilson’s Fourteen Points
President Woodrow Wilson presents a plan for peace: 1-5: why countries could declare war 6-13: new boundary changes Self-determination - ethnic groups, not the winning countries, would decide what nation to belong to 14: creates the League of Nations International organization for nations to discuss and settle their problems without going to war “Collective Security”

47 An Uneasy Peace Leaders of four major Allied countries all had different ideas of peace treaty France: punish Germany; reparations British: punish Germany, but not weaken it Italy: gain territory (mostly ignored during peace talks) US: Wilson’s 14 Points

48 The Treaty of Versailles - 1919
$ Several issues that needed to be dealt with: Debt Military Threats Territorial Disputes Blame

49 $ Issue #1: DEBT Britain and France heavily in debt
Did not want to pay– felt they weren’t responsible Treaty Solution: Reparations Germany and Central Powers held responsible for ALL financial losses Germany ordered to pay reparations in excess of 6.6 Billion!!

Many feared another Great War Treaty Solution: Rhineland (German industrial center) demilitarized German army capped at 100,000 men Volunteers only German Navy destroyed Germany use of tanks and heavy artillery FORBIDDEN League of Nations created

51 What country ISN’T in the League of Nations?

Many areas of Europe were in political turmoil and some empires no longer existed Treaty Solutions: Germany lost 13.5% of its total land France gains back Alsace-Lorraine 15 new nations are created


54 People wanted to be able to put the blame somewhere.
Issue #4: BLAME People wanted to be able to put the blame somewhere. Treaty Solution: The War-Guilt Clause Germany had to accept the blame for the entire war Had to admit that they were solely responsible for atrocities committed during the war Article 231 widely known as the war guilt clause put entire blame of the war on Germany by ways of German aggression and agitation of other nations.

55 Signing of the Treaty Hall of Mirrors in Versailles. The Treaty of Versailles was only one of the treaties signed at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919.

56 Weaknesses of Treaty Germany couldn‘t pay back reparations
Germany hated the war guilt clause Russia felt ignored Not invited to meeting; had suffered the highest number of causalities Lost more territory than Germany and was determined to get it back U.S. Senate voted down membership in the League of Nations Most Americans wanted nothing to do with Europe’s problems

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