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The Great War Chronology of Events Leading to and During World War I.

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Presentation on theme: "The Great War Chronology of Events Leading to and During World War I."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Great War Chronology of Events Leading to and During World War I

2 Overview Historical Background: 19th Century Europe The Outbreak of War The Course of the War Versailles and Peace

3 The Great War US war fatalities in Iraq ( 2003 - present ): 4,713 US war fatalities in Vietnam ( 1963-1973 ): 58,209 US war fatalities in WWI ( 1917-1918 ): 116,516

4 WW1 Fatalities (1914-1918) CountryMilitaryCivilianTotal Belgium42,98762,000104,987 United Kingdom 885,138109,000994,138 Italy651,010589,0001,240,000 France1,397,800300,0001,697,800 Russia1,811,0001,500,0003,311,000

5 WW1 Fatalities (1914-1918) CountryMilitaryCivilianTotal Austria- Hungary 1,100,000467,0001,567,000 Germany2,036,897426,0002,463,897 Bulgaria87,500100,000187,500 Ottoman Empire 800,0004,200,0005,000,000 Total:4,024,3975,193,0009,217,397

6 WW1 Casualties (1914-1918) Total Casaulties (Killed and Wounded), all sides: –Military Deaths: 9,720,453 –Civilian Deaths: 8,871,248 Total Death: 18,591,701 –Military Wounded: 21,288,813

7 WW 1 Casualties 1918 global flu pandemic 1/4th of US population afflicted, 1/5th of global population Estimated death from pandemic: 21,500,000

8 Overview World War I innovations: –first use of machine gun –first use of chemical weapons –first use of tanks –first use of aerial bombardment of civilian populations –first genocide (Armenians by Turks)

9 Chronology: Deep Roots Picking up our political narrative from 1830 and the abortive revolutions and restorations around Europe Keep in mind the two interrelated ideas of nationalism and class coming to the fore in 19th century thought Rising bourgeoisie across much of Europe, but especially in France, puts pressure on aristocracy for greater role in government

10 Chronology: Deep Roots Only option is some form of democracy, which, of course, means reaching out to working class to some extent In removing the aristocracy and landed gentry as the center of political power, nationalism assumes a central role in helping to organize and unite a disparate population (it cuts across class lines)

11 Chronology: Deep Roots By a nation we mean a people who share: –common language (or dialects of common language) –common customs and traditions –common interests –common identity (a “sense” of themselves as a unified whole)

12 Chronology: Deep Roots Note that this defintion does not include a specifically political component; that is, no mention is made of a government A state would be an –association of persons –living in a determinate part of the world –legally organized for their own government

13 Chronology: Deep Roots In other words, it would be possible to have –a single nation in a single state (e.g, Japan) – nations without a state (e.g., the Kurds today) – states with multiple nations (e.g., the UK today) Mid 19th century Europe had a quite a few states composed of multiple nations



16 Chronology: Deep Roots An abortive string of democratic and socialist revolutions spread across Europe again in 1848 (starting in Sicily, they spread to all major European powers with the exception of Russia, England, Poland, the Netherlands, and the Ottoman Empire [Turkey])

17 Chronology: Deep Roots In France, the Second Republic begins with the successful February revolution, but by 1851 Louis Bonaparte gains power and rules as Napoleon III.

18 Germany as we know it today did not exist as a sovereign unified state until the end of the 19th century It took 3, relatively quick wars to accomplish that 19th Century Background

19 By the end of the Napoleonic era, “Germany” was a loose confederation comprising at least: 4 kingdoms 6 grand duchies 5 duchies 7 principalities 19th Century Background

20 Wars of German Unification ‣ 1864 Danish- Prussian War ‣ 1866 Austro- Prussian War ‣ Franco-Prussian War 1870-1871 19th Century Background Otto von Bismarck

21 The longest of these wars (Franco-Prussian) lasted 6 months Casualties were relatively minor and all three advanced important political objectives for the victor (Prussia) German unification culminated with Kaiser Wilhelm I crowned as the leader of the state In France, end of Napoleon III (2nd French Empire) and creation of the Third French Republic 19th Century Background


23 Austria-Hungary was in some sense the mirror image of “Germany” in that it comprised multiple nations within a single state, including: ethnic Germans, Hungarians, Serbs, Croats, Czechs, Romanians, Slavs Franz-Joseph became Emperor of Austria/King of Hungary in 1848 and would rule until his death in 1916 Habsburg line ends with his death 19th Century Background

24 Despite its longevity, Franz Joseph’s rule was difficult, presiding over significant loss of empire prior to WWI: -lost 2 major wars (France, 1848; Prussia 1866) -lost most of its Italian possessions (e.g., Lombardy and Venetia) following Italian unification -lost alliance with Russia as a result of not supporting Russia in Crimea War 19th Century Background

25 –His brother, Maximilian, was installed as emperor of Mexico by Napoleon III at the request of some Mexican monarchists –He was executed during a Mexican Revolution (1867) 19th Century Background

26 His wife, Elizabeth of Bavaria, was assassinated on 10 September 1897 19th Century Background Empress Elizabeth Assassin Luigi Lucheni

27 19th Century Background His nephew and heir, Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated on 14 June 1914 by Serbian nationalists opposed to Austrian-Hungarian rule in Sarajevo (the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovenia, a province within the empire Archduke Assassin Gavrilo Princip

28 19th Century Background Russia -Under rule of the Romanov family line -Probably the least developed economically of the “great” European powers -Volatile combination of autocratic rule at top, fairly well organized and well led radical political movements at bottom, and welter of ethnic and protonationalist forces

29 19th Century Background Following loss in Crimean War, Tsar Alexander II embarked on some liberalization Serfs were freed in 1861, essentially ending the last feudal regime in Europe Despite the reforms (or perhaps because of them), numerous assassination attempts on Alexander II

30 19th Century Background On March 13, 1881 Alexander was assassinated (bomb explosions) by revolutionaries on return from watching a military parade

31 Alexander III assumed throne after the assassination, and ushered in a new era of autocratic rule. Dies of kidney failure a few years later (1894) His son Tsar Nicholas II ascended to throne and rules until 1917 19th Century Background Coronation of Tsar Nicholas II, 1896

32 19th Century Background During Nicholas reign, Russia suffers defeat in Russo-Japanese war (1904-1905), the first time a modern European power loses to an Asian power The loss helps spark an unsuccessful revolution in 1905 led by mutinous soldiers and radical anti- tsarist groups

33 19th Century Backgroud Nicholas attempts to stay ahead of political unrest with combination of crackdowns on radicals and liberal reforms, neither of which were successful in the long run For example, introduced a legislature (the “Duma”) with universal male suffrage (25 years and older) but had 4 electoral colleges and a weighted voting system (aristocratic votes counted more than peasant or worker voters)

34 19th Century Background Ottoman Empire (Turkey) One of the oldest ongoing political units in Europe, lasting from 1299 to 1923 In 19th Century, Ottoman Empire was much like Austrian-Hungarian empire in that contained a huge variety of ethnic groups organized under single sovereign, with semi- autonomous regions

35 19th Century Background A revolt in 1908 (led by the “Young Turks”) brought about some liberal reforms (including instituting a parliament), but also stoked nationalist sentiments among other ethnic groups within the Empire Sultan Abdul Hamid II, the Ottoman ruler attempted to stage a counter revolution and abandon the reforms. Instead he was deposed and exiled Sultan Abdul Hamid II

36 19th Century Background Ismaiel Enver (Enver Pasha) emerges as new ruler and seeks to navigate a course that protects Ottoman rule from further European encroachments, particularly Russia As a result, he concludes a secret treaty with Germany in 1914 Enver Pasha

37 Prelude to War So, by the turn of the century, we have a series of essentially monarchical regimes clinging to power with... Burgeoning nationalist movements, and... Fairly severe economic and social stresses brought on by capitalist expansion

38 Prelude to War To help placate working class at home, by late 19th century the European powers were engaged in a scramble to claim other lands in Asia and Africa

39 Prelude to War As part of the legacy of the 19th century conflicts, political leaders across Europe had important and significant underlying resentments towards each other -e.g., France vs. Germany, Russia vs. Austria- Hungary, Russia vs Turkey, Britain vs. Germany, etc.

40 Prelude to War In the interests of promoting security, the leaders of the major European powers enter into series of (often secret) defensive pacts that call for signatory states to come to the defense of other states: Austria-Hungary and Germany (1879-1918) A-H/Germany/Italy (1882-1915) A-H/Germany/Romania (1883-1916) France/Russia (1894-1917) Bulgaria/Russia (1902-1913) France/UK (1904-1918) UK/Russia (1907-1917) UK/Russia/France (1907-1917) Turkey/Germany (1914-1918)

41 Prelude to War Lessons from 19th Century War -War can advance political objectives -War can be quick and relatively low cost -Key to success is rapid military mobilization -Military doctrine for Germany in particular calls for rapid strike west to knock out France, then go east against Russia


43 Outbreak of War On 28 June 1914 Archduke Franz Ferdinand is travelling in Bosnia (celebrating his 14th wedding anniversary) and is assassinated by Serbian nationalist 28 June was also St.Vitus Day, a holiday memorializing a Serbian defeat by Turkish forces in 1389

44 Outbreak of War Serbia leadership disavows any involvement in the assassination and sends condolences to Vienna Kaiser Wilhelm II in Germany urges caution for Austria Austria nonetheless begins mobilization and issues ultimatum to Serbia on 22 July 1914 demanding a response in 48 hours22 July 1914

45 Outbreak of War Serbia leadership rejects ultimatum with 5 minutes to spare, and begins mobilization to prepare for Austrian-Hungarian attack On 26 July, Russia, an ally of Serbia, begins pre-mobilization to dissuade Austria from attacking Serbia 28 July (one month after the assassination) Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia

46 Outbreak of War On 31 July, Russia starts full mobilization Germany, getting reports of Russian mobilization, begins to mobilize to protect Austria Germany threatens Russia with war unless it halts mobilization, Russia refuses to halt 1 August, Germany declares war on Russia 3 August, Germany declares war on France

47 Outbreak of War Germany asks neutral Belgium for “right of access,” Belgium refuses and Germany invades Belgium en route to France 4 August Britain demands Germany leave Belgium under threat of war Germany refuses and Britain declares war on Germany

48 Outbreak of War Main forces arrayed against each other: Triple Alliance: Austria-Hungary, Germany, Ottoman Empire Triple Entente: UK, France, Russia But both groups tried to bring allies on board and war quickly spread beyond Europe, including the Middle East, North Africa, South Africa, and India

49 The War Rather than the quick strikes that characterized 19th century conflict, this war quickly settled into a defensive struggle Both sides dug trench lines, and the latest military technology -- machine guns -- favored defensive positions

50 The War War drags on for 4 years with little progress on any fronts for either side, but

51 The War Internal revolutions in Russia (Bolshevik topple the tsar in 1917 and Russia concludes peace treaty with Germany

52 The War And the UK, with the Irish Easter Rising of 1916 Irish nationalist forces seize government buildings in Dublin and declare independence for Ireland

53 The War US enters war in 1917 on side of UK and France and the infusion of new troops breaks the deadlock on the Western Front German troops begin to pull back in fall of 1918

54 Peace On 29 September, Bulgaria became the first of the central powers to sign an armistice On 30 September, the Ottoman Empire surrendered On 9 November, an internal revolution in Germany deposes Kaiser Wilhelm and a republic is declared On 11 November, general armistice is signed ending the fighting

55 Peace Formal peace negotiations commence on 18 January at Versailles and after six months of negotiating, the Treaty of Versailles is signed, formally ending the war between Germany and the rest of Europe

56 Peace Treaty includes provisions in which Germany acknowledges that it bears sole responsiblity for the war Germany agrees to pay retributions for the costs of the war Germany agrees to arms limitations regarding the size of its military Germany cedes all its colonial territories and significant territory (e.g., East Prussia, Alsace-Lorraine) to other European powers (e.g, France and Poland)

57 Peace Also created a series of nation-states in what was left of the Austrian-Hungarian and Ottoman empires Created League of Nations

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