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The Great War. Europe in 1914 There were a series of problems in Europe. The countries of Europe were in competition for land, resources and power (arms.

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Presentation on theme: "The Great War. Europe in 1914 There were a series of problems in Europe. The countries of Europe were in competition for land, resources and power (arms."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Great War

2 Europe in 1914 There were a series of problems in Europe. The countries of Europe were in competition for land, resources and power (arms race, race for colonies, rise of nationalism, secret alliances) A major issue centered around the concept of the Balance of Power and the Alliance System. There were two major alliances in Europe: 1)Triple Alliance- Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy 2)Triple Entente- Great Britain, France, Russia

3 The Spark On June 28, 1914, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the thrown of Austria- Hungary, visited Sarajevo, the capital of the Balkan kingdom of Bosnia. A 19 year old named Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian student who was a member of the Black Hand (a nationalist group) shot Ferdinand. The assassin didnt like Austria-Hungarian rule and wanted the Slavs to unite and form their own country.

4 Ferdinand and Princip

5 The Powder Keg Explodes The Austria-Hungarians blamed the Serbian government for the assassination. and prepared for war versus Serbia. The Russian, who declared themselves the protectors of the Slavs, mobilized to counter the Austria-Hungarian threat by aiding Serbia. Germany comes to the help of Austria-Hungary. Germany asks France which side they were on and then declares war on them.

6 The Guns of August On August 3, 1914, the Germans struck at France through the neutral country of Belgium. The Great War had begun. Because the attack violated a treaty with Great Britain, France and Russia, Great Britain declares war on Germany and Austria-Hungary. Italy who is an alliance with Germany and A-H decides to leave the Entente and join the other side. Romania, Greece and Japan also join the Allies.

7 The Sides? Central Powers Germany Austria-Hungary Bulgaria Ottoman Empire (Turkey) Allies Great Britain France Russia Italy Romania Greece Japan


9 Why did it happen? Imperialism Colonialism The Alliance System and the Balance of Power Extreme Nationalism The Arms Race and Militarism

10 The War The war itself was horrible. Many soldiers who were excited to go to war discovered that modern war was disastrous. There were new weapons, poison gas, and the eventual stalemate was fought in trench warfare. The Americans were shocked and wanted nothing to do with it.

11 World War I

12 US Official Response Neutrality The US wanted to continue life as usual. We had trade with all of these nations. In 1914, we had $170 million with the Central Powers and $825 with the Allies. Due to our neutrality, we had problems. The British and Germans did not want use trading with the enemy.

13 Problems Because the British had a blockade of Germany, the Germans decided to upset Allied shipping, including US trade to Europe. They used U- Boats. On February 14, 1915, the Germans announced they would sink without warning any Allied ships found in the waters around the British Isles. President Wilson warns the Germans if an American ship is sunk or an American killed, the US would consider it an indefensible violation of neutral rights.

14 U Boat

15 Lusitania May 1, 1915, the British luxury liner sailed from NY with 1257 passengers. May 7, 1915, the Germans torpedoed the liner off the Irish coast. The ship sank in 30 minutes died-128 Americans.

16 Lusitania reaction The Americans are upset and sends a message: The US expects the Germans to make reparations so far as reparations is possible for injuries which are without measure and take immediate steps to prevent the recurrence of anything so obviously subversive of the principles of warfare. Eighteen days later, the Germans said, too bad, we warned you. Wilson responses with a strong not and the Germans do lay off.

17 Sussex August 1915 The attacks begin again. On March 24, 1916, the Sussex is torpedoed in the English Channel. The ship did not sink, but Americans were killed. Wilson warns the Germans again. The Sussex Pledge: the Germans promise to end surprise attacks.

18 Pacifism Many in the US were against entering the war. Henry Ford argued against the war. Theodore Roosevelt demanded the US get ready. In 1916, Congress started to prepare. The American people: One of the most popular songs of 1915 was I Didnt Raise My Son To Be A Soldier

19 Election of 1916 Wilson (D) v Charles Evan Hughes (R) Wilson wins on the slogan: He kept us out of war On January 22, 1917, Wilson tries to get the Germans to cooperate on a peace: peace without victory. No one wanted peace. The Allies wanted to humiliate the Germans and the Germans wanted territory. On January 31, 1917, the Germans announced unrestricted submarine warfare.

20 The US enters the war Why did the Americans finally enter the war? 1)Submarine warfare returned. Why did the Germans do it? They thought they could win the war before we could get there. 2)The Zimmerman Note. The German foreign minister had written to the Mexico suggesting they ally and attack the US. In return, they could get back New Mexico, Texas and Arizona. 3)We wanted to make the world safe for democracy.

21 The US at War March 1917, more Americans are killed in an attack on the seas. On April 2, 1917, the president asks for a declaration of war. Congress votes on April 6 th : yes in the House; 82-6 yes in the Senate. We are at war.

22 We are at war, but not ready 200,000 in the army, but few tanks or airplanes, little training, the worlds 3 rd largest navy, but 60% needed repairs and only 10% of the needed people to staff the ships Congress passed the Selective Service Act (4.8 million) War Industries Board Fuel Administration: Put in Daylight Savings Time Food Administration (Herbert Hoover) Liberty Bonds





27 Preparation The war cost 1 million dollars per hour for two years. (31.5 billion) This would have been enough to operate the government from 1791 to 1914.

28 Civil Liberties Some lost their rights for national security. Espionage Act of 1917: You could be fined and serve 20 years in jail for anyone who aided the enemy, interfered with the draft, encourage disloyal behavior or refused to serve in the armed forces. Sedition Act: Made it a crime to write, print, publish or say anything negative about the government, Constitution, the flag, or uniforms in the service go to jail-450 were conscientious objectors

29 Committee on Public Information April 14, 1917, Wilson set up this committee. It declared Germans to be Huns Bach, Beethoven could no longer be played paintings by Germans were taken down courses on German language were eliminated food were renamed pressure was place on hyphenated Americans


31 World War I On the seas: the US used the Convoy Technique The Army, the American Expeditionary Force under the leadership of John J Pershing went to fight. About the time we arrive, the Russians sign the Treaty of Brest Litovsk and leave the war to fight their own civil war as the communist take control of Russia.

32 Americans in the war When the Americans arrive to fight in May of 1918, the Germans were only 50 miles from Paris. Battles: Cantigny (1 st US victory every in Europe); Marne River; Chateau-Thierry; Saint Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne (Lost Battalion) On November 6, 1918, Wilson asks Europe for an armistice. On November 11, 1918 the armistice takes effect.

33 War Results See supplement

34 Wilsons 14 Points international recognition of freedom of the seas and trade limitation of arms end of secret alliances settlement of colonial claims self-determination League of Nations Promised the world a peace without victory

35 Paris Peace Conference Obstacle: Most of the countries wanted territory and to punish the Germans. (guilt, land, money and revenge) Wilson surrenders most all of his points. He believes he needs most of all the Leagues of Nations.

36 Treaty of Versailles Clemenceau, George, Wilson, Orlando 1)Germany had to sign an admission of guilt 2)Germany lost its territory 3)Reparations would be taken from Germany in the amount of $56 million 4) New nations The American Congress does not want to be a part of this treaty or the League (Henry Cabot Lodge) and does not sign the treaty.


38 The fight over the treaty When Congress refuses to agree to the treaty, Wilson goes on a countrywide tour trying to convince Americans to support it. It destroys his health. He has a stroke. The treaty is defeated.

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