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World War I 1914-1918 It was "The War To End All Wars," - a senseless slaughter that set the stage for the bloodiest century in human history.

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Presentation on theme: "World War I 1914-1918 It was "The War To End All Wars," - a senseless slaughter that set the stage for the bloodiest century in human history."— Presentation transcript:

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2 World War I It was "The War To End All Wars," - a senseless slaughter that set the stage for the bloodiest century in human history.

3 The Great War

4 I. Setting the Stage

5 An Uneasy Peace  At the turn of the 20 th Century, the nations of Europe had been at peace with one another for nearly 30 years.  However, below the surface, several forces were at work that would help propel Europe into war.

6 Long-Term Causes of WWI  1. Nationalism, or a deep devotion to one’s nation.  Nationalism can serve as a unifying force within a country. However, it can also cause intense competition between nations, with each seeking to overpower the other.  What kinds of things can nations compete over?

7 Long-Term Causes of WWI  2. Imperialism, or larger nations controlling weaker nations and territories.  The nations of Europe competed fiercely for colonies in Asia and Africa which sometimes pushed them to the brink of war.

8 Long-Term Causes of WWI  3. Militarism, the the development of armed forces and their use as a tool for diplomacy.  The nations of Europe believed that to be truly great, they needed to have a powerful military.

9 Long-Term Causes of WWI  4. Alliance System, treaties of countries to support one another in case of attack.  The Triple Alliance joined Germany, Italy and Austria-Hungary.  In turn, Britain, France, and Russia join the Triple Entente.  A dispute between two rival powers could draw the entire continent into war.

10 An Assassination Leads to War  Nowhere was that dispute more likely to occur than on the Balkan Peninsula.  This mountain peninsula in the southeastern corner of Europe was home to an assortment of ethnic groups.  With a long history of nationalist uprisings and ethnic clashes, the Balkans were known as the “powder keg” of Europe.

11 An Assassination Leads to War  On June 28, 1914, the heir to the Austrian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated by a Serbian rebel.  Austria-Hungary declared what it expected to be a “bright, brisk little war” against Serbia.

12 An Assassination Leads to War  A war between Austria and Serbia meant a war between Austria and Russia, Serbia's traditional ally.  That meant war between Russia and Germany.  And that meant war between Germany and France.  And that meant war between Germany and Great Britain.  In a flash, the whole continent was at war.

13 II. War Consumes Europe

14 The Schlieffen Plan  Germany quickly put its military plan into effect.  Under the Schlieffen Plan, a large part of the German army would race west, to defeat France, and then fight Russia in the east.  The German army would avoid France’s line fortifications by sweeping west through neutral Belgium and then turning in a huge arc south into France. The French army would be destroyed defending Paris.

15 Europeans Take Sides  By mid-August 1914, the battle lines were clearly drawn.  Central Powers – Germany, Austria- Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire  Allies – Great Britain, France, Russia, Japan, and Italy.

16 Europeans Take Sides

17  In the late summer of 1914, millions of soldiers marched happily off to battle, convinced that the war would be short.

18 A Bloody Stalemate  German plans for the Western Front soon began unraveling.  As the German right flank drove deeper, it separated from the rest of the invading force.  Recognizing their vulnerability, the Germans pulled up twenty- five miles short of Paris.  Now, it was France’s chance to attack.  What followed was the Battle of the Marne where the German advance was stopped.

19 A Bloody Stalemate  As a result of the Battle of Marne, Germany’s lightning-quick strike instead turned into a long and bloody stalemate along the battlefields of France.  The deadlocked region in northern France became known as the Western Front.  A quick victory in the west no longer seemed possible for Germany.  They were going to have to fight a long war on two fronts.

20 War in the Trenches  When the German advance was stopped, two lines of deep trenches zigzagged from the English Channel to Switzerland.  Trenches were rat- infested, muddy, and filled with shell craters and barbed-wire.  Armies traded huge losses for pitifully small land gains.

21 War in the Trenches  The space between the opposing trenches won the grim name of, “no man’s land.”  When officers ordered an attack, the men went “over the top” of their trenches.  They were usually met with murderous rounds of machine gun fire.  Artillery fire and poison gas brought death right into the trenches.

22 New Weapons of War  Machine Guns  Firepower increased from several rounds per minute to 600 rounds per minute.  Because the gun could wipe out waves of attackers and make it difficult for forces to advance, it helped create a stalemate.

23 New Weapons of War  Tanks  First developed by the British were used to clear a path through barbed wire for the infantry.  The first tanks were slow and clumsy. The tank’s top speed was 4 mph.

24 New Weapons of War  Poison Gas  Introduced by the Germans, the greenish-yellow fog of chlorine blinded and caused death by choking.  Soldiers wore gas masks to protect themselves.

25 New Weapons of War  Airplanes  Originally, planes were used for taking photographs of enemy lines.  Soon, both sides used them to drop bombs.  Guns soon were attached to the planes, and pilots fought each other in the air.

26 New Weapons of War  Submarines  German submarines, known as U-boats, eventually waged unrestricted warfare on Allied ships.  The U-boat’s primary weapon was the torpedo, a self- propelled underwater missile.

27 New Weapons of War  New tools of war had not delivered the fast- moving war many had expected.  All this new technology did was kill huge numbers of people more effectively.  In February 1916, the Germans launched a massive attack against the French near Verdun. Each side lost more than 300,000 men.  In July of 1916, the British army attached the Germans in Verdun. On the first day more than 20,000 British soldiers were killed.  By the time the battle ended, each side had suffered over half a million casualties.

28 The Eastern Front  Even as the war on the Western Front claimed thousands of lives, both sides were sending millions more men to fight on the Eastern Front, along the German and Russian border.  Without modern technology, the Russian army was barely able to hang on.

29 The Eastern Front  By 1916, Russia’s war effort was near collapse.  They had yet to become industrialized, so they were continually short on food, guns, ammunition, clothes, boots, and blankets.  The Russian army did have one asset – its numbers. Throughout the war, Russia suffered enormous battlefield losses.

30 III. War Affects the World

31 The World at War  By early 1915, it was apparent to all the warring nations that swift victory had eluded them.  As war on both European fronts promised to be a grim, drawn-out affair, all the Great Powers looked for new allies to tip the balance.  They also sought new war fronts on which to achieve victory.

32 The World at War

33 The U. S. Role  At first, the U.S. was neutral, selling goods to both the Allies and the Central Powers.  Then, on May 7, 1915, the British liner, Lusitania is sunk by a German U-boat, killing 1,198 people, including 128 Americans.

34 The U. S. Role  By 1917, failed crops and a British naval blockade, caused severe food shortages in Germany  They were desperate to strike back.  The Germans announced that their submarines would sink without warning any ship in the waters around Britain, a policy called unrestricted submarine warfare.  Ignoring warnings by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, German U-boats sank three American ships.

35 The U. S. Role  In February 1917, a German telegram, known as the Zimmerman note, was intercepted which suggested an alliance between Germany and Mexico.  It said if war with the U.S. broke out, Germany would support Mexico in recovering its “lost territory in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.”  On April 2, 1917 President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war.

36 The U. S. Role  Only about 200,000 men were in service at that time.  American officers had little combat experience.  Almost all of the army’s weapons were outdated.  The Selective Service Act passed in May 1917 drafted 3 million men chosen by lottery.

37 War Affects the Home Front  World War I soon became a total war, the countries devoted all their resources to the war effort.  In Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Russia, and France, the entire force of government was dedicated to winning the conflict.

38 War Affects the Home Front  In each country, the wartime government took control of the economy.  Governments told factories what to produce and how much.  Nearly every able- bodied civilian was put to work.

39 War Affects the Home Front  So many goods were in short-supply that governments turned to rationing.  Rationing is a system where people can only buy small amounts of goods, such as butter and shoes.

40 War Affects the Home Front  Governments also censored news about the war.  Many leaders feared that honest reporting of the war would turn people against it.  Governments also used propaganda – one sided information designed to persuade support for the war.

41 The War’s Impact on Women  Thousands of women replaced men in factories, offices, and shops.  Women built tanks and munitions, plowed fields, paved streets, and ran hospitals.  Although most women left the work force when the war ended, they changed many people’s views of what women were capable of doing.

42 IV. A Flawed Peace

43 The War Ends  Although there were no Allied forces on German soil or no decisive battle that had been fought, the German war machine and economy were too exhausted to continue.  So on Nov. 11, 1918, the two sides signed an armistice, an agreement to stop fighting.

44 The War Ends

45 The Treaty of Versailles  On January 18, 1919, a conference to establish the terms of peace began at the Palace of Versailles, outside Paris.  Delegates from 32 countries attended the talks.

46 The Treaty of Versailles  U.S. Pres. Wilson presented a plan for peace known as the Fourteen Points.  The plan called for liberty and self- determination for all.  The Allies rejected his plan.

47 The Treaty of Versailles  Britain and France were more concerned with national security.  They wanted to strip Germany of its war- making power.  They also wanted Germany to pay for the suffering the war had caused.

48 The Treaty of Versailles  The Treaty of Versailles, signed on June 28, 1919, called for the following:  A League of Nations whose goal would be to keep peace among nations.

49 The Treaty of Versailles  The establishment of new nations including Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Yugoslavia.  New territories for Britain and France in the Middle East.

50 The Treaty of Versailles  Limited Germany’s military and forced them to pay reparations in the amount of $33 billion.  Forced Germany to acknowledge that it alone was responsible for the war.

51 Results of the Treaty of Versailles  In the end, the Treaty of Versailles did little to build a lasting peace.  The U.S., considered after the war to be the dominant nation in the world, rejected the treaty.  Sowed seeds that led to the 2 nd World War.

52 Results of the Treaty of Versailles  The treaty humiliated Germany.  Other nations were no less responsible for the start of the war.  A severe economic depression made it impossible for Germany to pay the reparations.  The German mark became practically worthless.

53 Results of the Treaty of Versailles  Russia felt ignored.  They fought with the allies for three years and suffered higher casualties than any other nation.  The new government, the U.S.S.R. became determined to regain the territory it lost.

54 The Legacy  Both sides paid a tremendous price in terms of human life.  8.5 million dead  21 million wounded  An entire generation of Europeans were wiped out became known as the Lost Generation.  In addition, over $300 billion dollars were spent fighting the war, a staggering amount for that time.  The Great War shook European society to its foundations


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