Nationalism was very powerful in Europe in the late 1800s. The right to self-determination, the idea that people who belong to a nation should have their own country and government, was a basic idea of nationalism. This led to the crisis in the Balkans where different groups within the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires began to seek independence.
A Continent Goes To War June 1914 – the heir to the Austo- Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand visits Bosnian city of Sarajevo with his wife Sophia. He is assassinated by Gavrilio Princip, a terrorist from the Black Hand (group that wants to rid itself of Austrian rule) Ferdinand and his wife are killed
Archduke and His wife the day of Assassination in Sarajevo
Germany’s plan German is trying to avoid fighting a war on two fronts. Comes up with Schlieffen Plan (France first, then Russia) Knock out France in first 6 weeks, then hit Russia (take Russia some time to mobilize)
Germany’s Plan Fails Germany and France became locked in a stalemate along hundreds of miles of trenches. Stalemate lasted 3 years. Central Powers had greater success on the Eastern Front, capturing hundreds of miles of territory and hundreds of thousands of prisoners.
New Weapons of war Machine gun Barbwire Tanks Airplanes Submarines Poison gas
American Neutrality Wilson declared the United States to be neutral. He did not want his country pulled into a foreign war. Americans showed support for one side or the other with many immigrants supporting their homelands. Most favored the Allied cause.
Pro-British Sentiment Pres. Wilson’s cabinet was pro-British, believing that an Allied victory would preserve an international balance of power. The British skillfully used propaganda, or information used to influence opinion, to gain American support.
Propaganda Governments used propaganda to influence public opinion
The British Blockade The British navy blockaded Germany to keep it from getting supplies. The British redefined contraband, or prohibited materials, to stop neutral parties from shipping food to Germany. To get around the blockade, Germany deployed submarines known as U-boats.
The British Blockade Germany threatened to sink any ship that entered the waters around Britain. Attacking civilian ships without warning violated an international treaty and outraged the United States. The Lusitania, a British passenger liner, was hit by the Germans, killing almost 1,200 passengers. (128 Americans)
The British Blockade Americans instructed Germany to stop U- boat strikes. Germany did not want the U.S. to join the war and strengthen the Allies. The Sussex Pledge, a promise made by Germany to stop sinking merchant ships, kept the U.S. out of the war for a bit longer.
The U.S. Declares War A German official, Arthur Zimmerman, cabled the German ambassador in Mexico, proposing that Mexico ally itself with Germany. In return, Mexico would regain territory it had earlier lost to the U.S. Telegram was intercepted by the British and leaked to American newspapers.
"On the first of February we intend to begin submarine warfare unrestricted. In spite of this, it is our intention to endeavor to keep neutral the United States of America. If this attempt is not successful, we propose an alliance on the following basis with Mexico: That we shall make war together and together make peace. We shall give general financial support, and it is understood that Mexico is to reconquer the lost territory in New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona. The details are left to you for settlement. You are instructed to inform the President of Mexico of the above in the greatest confidence as soon as it is certain that there will be an outbreak of war with the United States and suggest that the President of Mexico, on his own initiative, should communicate with Japan suggesting adherence at once to this plan; at the same time, offer to mediate between Germany and Japan. Please call to the attention of the President of Mexico that the employment of ruthless submarine warfare now promises to compel England to make peace in a few months. Zimmerman"
The U.S. Declares War February 1917 – Germany went back to unrestricted submarine warfare and, soon after, sank six American merchant ships. April 6, 1917 – United States declared war against Germany.
Declaration of War WHEREAS, The Imperial German Government has committed repeated acts of war against the Government and the people of the United States of America; therefore, be it Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the state of war between the United States and the Imperial German Government, which has thus been thrust upon the United States, is hereby formally declared; and That the President be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to employ the entire naval and military forces of the United States and the resources of the Government to carry on war against the Imperial German Government; and to bring the conflict to a successful termination all the resources of the country are hereby pledged by the Congress of the United States.
Russia Leaves the War Although Russia supported the war effort, their gov’t wasn’t equipped to handle the major problems of the nation.
Russia Leaves the War 1917 – Vladimir Lenin, leader of the Bolshevik Party, overthrew the gov’t & replaced it with a Communist one.
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk Lenin pulled Russia out of the war and agreed with Germany to sign the T of B-L, removing German armies from Russian lands in exchange for territory. This closed the Eastern Front for Germany.
The War Ends Fighting raged along the Western Front. Revolution engulfed Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Turks surrendered. Faced with surrender of their allies and a naval mutiny at Kiel, the people of Berlin rose in rebellion on Nov. 9 and forced the German emperor down.
The War Ends At the 11 th hour on the 11 th day of the 11 th month, 1918, the fighting stopped. Germany signed an armistice, or cease- fire that ended the war.
A Flawed Peace January 1919 – leaders of the victorious Allied nations met to resolve the issues caused by the war. Wilson’s plan – Fourteen Points – addressed “the principle of justice to all people and nationalities.”
Fourteen Points Proposed: Eliminating the general causes of the war through free trade and disarmament. Open diplomacy instead of secret agreements. The right to self-determination. Required the evacuation of Central Powers from all countries invaded during the war. 14 th pt – League of Nations, called for member nations to help preserve peace and prevent future wars.
Treaty of Versailles Other Allied gov’t’s felt that Wilson’s plan was too lenient toward Germany. The TOV, signed by Germany weakened Wilson’s proposal. Treaty stripped Germany of its armed forces and made it pay reparations, or war damages to the Allies.
The U.S. Senate Rejects the Treaty The TOV and the League of Nations were opposed by many U.S. lawmakers. The “Reservationists,” led by Henry Cabot Lodge, supported the League but wanted to change the treaty with amendments that would preserve the nation’s freedom to act independently.
Wilson Dies Wilson, exhausted by trying to sell his plan to Americans, suffered a stroke. The Senate refused to ratify the treaty. Instead, the U.S. negotiated separate peace treaties with each of the Central Powers.