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World War I 1914-1918.

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1 World War I

2 Causes of the War In June of 1914, Archduke Ferdinand, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, was visiting Bosnia. Austria-Hungary had taken over the tiny region, and the people weren’t happy about it. Neither was Bosnia’s neighbor, Serbia. It seems that the Serbians wanted Bosnia as well.

3 Causes of World War I A Serbian nationalist, Gavrilo Princip, assassinated the Archduke and his wife. Austria-Hungary was outraged and blamed Serbia for the murder. They demanded that Serbia apologize and turn over the assassin to be tried in Austria-Hungary. Serbia made an effort to apologize, but in July, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia.

4 Causes of World War I Russia had an agreement with Serbia, so the Russians declared war on Austria-Hungary. Germany, an ally of Austria-Hungary, declared war on Russia and then on France, Russia’s ally. Germany invaded the neutral country of Belgium to attack France from the north. Because of this invasion of Belgium, England declared war on Germany and its allies. Suddenly most of Europe was at war!

5 Long Term Causes of World War I: imperialism, nationalism, militarism, and alliances.
Imperialism: By the late 19th century and early 20th century, the major powers had become industrialized. Industrialized nations need raw materials for their factories and a market for their goods. To find those raw materials and markets, countries established colonies in other parts of the world. Another name for colonization is imperialism. This whole time period is sometimes called the Age of Imperialism. Conflicts arose among nations over raw materials and markets. In other words, the powerful nations argued over control of the weak ones. Disagreements arose over Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.


7 Nationalism The early 20th century also saw a tremendous increase in nationalism, or national pride. The people from each country of Europe were proud of their nation and their cultural heritage. Over time, groups with a common heritage gathered in other countries. Because of intense nationalism, Germany wanted to unite all the areas of Europe with German-speaking people. Russia wanted to do the same. The problem was that in order to make these people part of Germany or Russia, the territories would have to be taken away from other countries. And of course, the national pride of the little countries wasn’t going to let that happen without a fight. France was still angry at Germany over territory the Germans took in an 1870s war. The French wanted the area back. They, too, were willing to fight for their national pride. Nationalism increased the tension among the nations of Europe to the point that it didn’t take much to set them at war with each other.

8 Militarism Militarism is being prepared and willing to fight. In response to all the tension among the nations, the countries of Europe were creating huge stockpiles of weapons and ammunition. To go along with all those guns and bullets, each country had large numbers of men in the military. All the major nations of Europe except England made military service mandatory for all young men. But militarism is more than simply having all the tools of war. It’s also the willingness to use them. Having a mind set of militarism means that a nation sees war as the best way to settle differences rather than diplomacy. During the early 20th century, most of Europe was both able and willing to fight.

9 Alliances The alliances that the European nations made with one another were a major factor in drawing so many countries into war. To protect against the threat of war, Germany made an agreement with Austria-Hungary and with Italy that if any of them were attacked, the others would help. Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy became known as the Triple Alliance.


11 Alliances To counter the Triple Alliance, France, Russia, and Great Britain formed the Triple Entente. Entente means “understanding” in French. These countries had the same agreement; if any one of them was attacked, the others would come to its aid. There were other agreements, such as the one between Russia and Serbia, but the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente were the two main ones. The major powers of Europe were divided into opposing sides. With the guns of Europe all aimed at each other, all that remained was for someone to pull the trigger. The shot fired by a Serbian national at the Archduke of Austria was all it took.


13 The War Begins: War Plans
Even before the war began, some European nations already had plans in place in case war did start Germany: Germany knew that since France and Russia were allies, Germans would have to fight both at the same time if war broke out. Germany’s plan was to go through the Netherlands and Belgium to attack France from the north. A second army would attack France across their common border. Their idea was to surround Paris and force the French to surrender before the Russians could attack Germany from the east. The Germans also expected England to withdraw from the war if France surrendered. After defeating the French, the Germans could then use all their forces against Russia.

14 War Plans France: In case of war, France also had a plan. They intended to attack Germany across the French-German border and let the French Pride of its forces overcome the Germans. Unfortunately, the German attack from the north caused the French to abandon their attack on Germany, and instead, they returned to France to defend Paris.

15 The Western Front Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) were called the Central Powers. France, Russia and England were called the Allies. On August 14, 1914, once all the declarations of war had been made, Germany set its plan in motion. German commanders, however, changed the original plan and invaded only Belgium. The new plan called for a quick victory of the tiny country before moving on to France. The Belgians didn’t like being invaded and put up quite a fight. This unexpected resistance allowed the Allies time to adjust to the German plan. The Germans were stopped 40 miles from Paris.

16 The Western Front These battles to the west of Germany were called the Western Front. Once the Allies stopped the Germans short of Paris, this front became a stalemate. Neither the Germans nor the Allies could push each other back. Both sides dug trenches and faced each other in what would become four years of trench warfare.

17 Trench Warfare The Germans could not advance against the Allies, but they did not want to lose the territory they had already gained. So the German army dug huge ditches to help protect the troops from enemy fire. The Allies did the same. Now two great armies faced each other from over 400 miles of trenches in the French countryside. The trenches extended from the North Sea to the Swiss border.

18 Trench Warfare The area between the trenches was called no man’s land. With a new invention, the machine gun, it was easy to defend against an attack across no man’s land. To make it even more difficult for either side to cross between the trenches, barbed wire was also used.

19 Digging Trenches These British trenches from Sanctuary Wood near Ypres, Belgium are now preserved in a private museum. Ypres was the site of three major battles during the war.

20 Trench Foot and Trench Mouth
Many soldiers fighting in the First World War suffered from trench foot. This was an infection of the feet caused by cold, wet and unsanitary conditions. In the trenches men stood for hours on end in waterlogged trenches without being able to remove wet socks or boots. The feet would gradually go numb and the skin would turn red or blue. If untreated, trench foot could turn gangrenous and result in amputation. Trench foot was a particular problem in the early stages of the war. For example, during the winter of over 20,000 men in the British Army were treated for trench foot. The only remedy for trench foot was for the soldiers to dry their feet and change their socks several times a day. By the end of 1915 British soldiers in the trenches had to have three pairs of socks with them and were under orders to change their socks at least twice a day. As well as drying their feet, soldiers were told to cover their feet with a grease made from whale-oil. It has been estimated that a battalion at the front would use ten gallons of whale-oil every day.

21 Leather Boots for Trench Foot
Thick leather boots helped to protect the feet. Prolonged exposure to damp and cold brought on “trench foot,” which could result in amputation.

22 Life in the Trenches Life in the trenches was torturous. They were infested with large numbers of rats, which thrived on dead bodies and filthy conditions.

23 Attrition on the Western Front
Casualties are soldiers who were lost by being killed, wounded, or captured by the enemy. Attrition is the process of reducing or weakening an opposing army by causing as many casualties as possible. Attrition was the goal of both sides in the trenches, and casualties on both sides were enormous.

24 What does “over the top” mean, and why was it so deadly on the Western Front?
“Over the top” was the term used to describe an attack across no man’s land to attempt to take over an enemy position. The troops were literally running into a wall of bullets from the other side. It’s a wonder anyone survived the war.

25 Singing Carols On Christmas Eve, 1914, enemy soldiers on the Western Front sung Christmas carols to each other as a friendly gesture, and observed a truce on the following day.

26 Chemical Weapons Because bullets alone were not causing enough casualties, the Germans used a new weapon in April, This weapon was called poison gas. They released cylinders of chlorine gas, a chemical that irritates the lungs and can cause suffocation. The greenish-yellow gas drifted across no man’s land into the Allied trenches. Thousands died of chlorine poisoning.

27 Chemical Weapons The use of chlorine spread panic along the Allied lines. The Germans did not expect the gas to work so well, and they did not have enough troops ready to take full advantage of their new weapon’s success. In time, other types of poison gases were used, such as mustard gas, which destroys skin, eye, and lung tissue.

28 Chemical Weapons The Germans were not the only ones to use poison gases. The Allies used them as well. Poison gas did not have as great an impact as it was hoped. Out of the total casualties of the war, deaths due to poison gas were not that many. Both sides quickly adapted; they developed gas masks that could filter out the poisons and protect soldiers from a gas attack.

29 Tanks The British had some surprises of their own, and in September 1915, the tank was first used in battle against the Germans. A tank was an armored vehicle that moved on treads and that was equipped with a cannon. The first tanks could not cross a trench more than five feet wide and were likely to break down on the way to the battlefield. But the great lumbering machines did scare the German army a bit.

30 How did tanks get their name?
Tanks were originally called “land ships,” but to keep the new weapon a secret, they were called “water tanks” instead. Later it was shortened to just “tank.”

31 Airplanes The Wright Brothers successfully “flew” the first airplane in At the time WWI had started, the airplane was still a new technology. The French had an early interest in airplanes as a weapon of war, and they began to train pilots. At the beginning of the war, both sides used airplanes to fly over the trenches to see what the enemy was doing. But both sides soon found other uses for airplanes.

32 Airplanes Later in the war, airplanes were equipped with machine guns, and they fought each other in the skies. Such aerial battles were called dogfights. Once a pilot had shot down five enemy airplanes, he was called an ace. Top aces in WWI shot down over 70 planes each. A German pilot by the name of Manfred von Richthofen earned the nickname the “Red Baron.” He shot down more than 80 Allied planes.

33 The Red Baron

34 Communications: The Missile Message
Enemy fire often cut telephone lines, so both sides used shells and rockets, such as this one, to send written messages to the front line troops.

35 What did pigeons have to do with WWI?
This message container was strapped to carrier pigeons for the purpose of carrying information to and from the front lines.

36 German Field Phone Telephones were the main communication between the front line and headquarters. They also relayed Morse Code messages.

37 Alsatian Besides carrier pigeons, the German Army also trained Alsatian “war dogs” to carry messages in containers attached to their collar between the trenches.

38 American Neutrality As WWI began, the United States had no interest in “Europe’s War.” America wanted to be left alone to do its own thing. The U.S. chose isolationism, which was a choice not to form alliances with other countries. The official position of the government toward the war was neutrality, meaning it did not intend to take sides in the war. In fact, America hoped to be able to trade with the Allies and the Central Powers.

39 American Neutrality Trading with both sides soon became a tricky business. Both Great Britain and Germany tried to stop American ships from reaching the other country. Britain used its powerful navy to stop and search ships headed for Germany. Sometimes the English would seize the cargo if they thought it would help the German effort. The Germans used their submarines, called U-boats, to sink ships headed for England. The policies of both Britain and Germany angered Americans, but the U-boat attacks eventually helped convince America to enter the war on the side of the Allies.

40 Taking Sides Maintaining neutrality was difficult for the United States. Thousands of German immigrants in the U.S. had sympathy for their “Father Land.” Thousands more Irish immigrants were angry at Britain over the British occupation of their country. The Irish took every opportunity they could to “twist the lion’s tail.” This phrase means to harass England as much as possible. The Germans and the Irish, as well as others, favored the Central Powers, but the majority of Americans still felt a connection to England and France. These Americans wanted the U.S. to favor the Allies. President Wilson did not want the United States involved in the war at all, so he walked the thin line of neutrality for as long as he could.

41 Submarine Warfare By 1915, the Germans were already feeling the “pinch” of a British blockade. Germany was finding it difficult to buy and transport enough food. Germany decided to step up the U-boat attacks in order to do the same to Britain. The Germans began to practice unrestricted submarine warfare. That means U-boats would sink any ship in the war zone around Great Britain without warning!

42 Sinking the Lusitania That same year, a German U-boat sank the British passenger ship, Lusitania off the coast of Ireland. Twelve hundred passengers died, including 128 Americans. Many in the United States thought the sinking should be enough to declare war, but others thought the American passengers should have known the risk. Germany had been running newspaper ads in the U.S. warning Americans not to travel on Allied ships.

43 The Sussex Pledge In 1916, another U-boat sank the French passenger ship Sussex. Americans were injured but not killed. President Wilson issued the strongest protest to the Germans. He insisted that the German government stop submarine warfare or risk war with the U.S. The German response was called the Sussex Pledge. In it, the Germans promised to change their submarine warfare policy.

44 The Sussex Pledge Germany would not sink non-military ships.
Merchant ships would be searched and sunk only if they were transporting military supplies. Merchant ships with military supplies would only be sunk after the crew was safely removed.

45 The Sussex Pledge The Sussex Pledge gave both sides what they wanted. Americans wanted to stay out of the war, and stopping unrestricted submarine warfare helped Americans do just that. Germany wanted a little more time before the United States entered the war, and their pledge was the only way to get that time. In January 1917, Germany decided to take a risk by resuming unrestricted submarine warfare. The Germans knew America would probably declare war, but they hoped to “starve” the Allies into ending the war before Americans could mobilize (get ready for war).

46 The Zimmerman Note As if the resuming of unrestricted submarine warfare wasn’t enough, Americans were further provoked by an intercepted German message to Mexico. In March 1917, the German Ambassador Arthur Zimmerman sent a coded telegram to Mexico. In this Zimmerman Note, Germany asked Mexico to join the Central Powers if the U.S. entered the war. In return, the Germans promised to restore the Southwestern U.S. and Texas to Mexico when America was defeated. The note was published in the newspaper, and Americans were outraged at what Germany was suggesting. Now it was time for war!!

47 America Declares War On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson stood before Congress and asked for a declaration of war against Germany. “It is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people into war, into the most terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilization itself seeming to be in the balance. But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts-for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own governments, for the rights and liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free.” Woodrow Wilson War Message to Congress, 1917

48 America Declares War In a moving message, Wilson outlined the reasons why the military leaders of Germany could never be friends of the United States. He emphasized that our fight was not with the German people but only with their leaders. He also said that Americans should go to war to protect their freedom and the freedom of smaller nations. Four days later, the Congress issued a declaration of war against Germany.

49 Mobilizing for War It’s one thing to declare war; it’s quite another to get ready to fight. Here’s a brief history of how the U.S. geared up for war. In April 1917, the U.S. had only 200,000 men in the military and little equipment to give them. In May 1917, the Selective Service Act was passed. The act required all men between the ages of 21 and 30 register for the draft. The age range for the draft was later adjusted to include men 18 to 45. In June, nearly 10 million men registered for the draft. In all, a total of 2.8 million men were drafted into the military and another 2 million and women volunteered for military service. Three months after war was declared, the first American troops arrived in France.

50 World War I Draft Card

51 The Lottery On July 20, 1917, Secretary of War Newton D. Baker, blindfolded, drew the first draft number in the lottery to be called up: Number 258. Those drafted were to serve in the American forces during world War I.

52 Americans in the War The first American troops to arrive in Europe were used as replacements in French and British units. But as American troop strength grew, General Pershing insisted that his American Expeditionary Forces, or AEF, be given their own section to hold on the Western Front. It was not long until the Allied Supreme Commander granted the General’s request.

53 American in the War As the Americans were entering the war, the Russian Revolution was also taking place, and it eventually replaced the former government in Russia. The new Communist government took the Russians out of the war, and Russia signed a separate peace agreement with Germany. The German troops from the Eastern Front (where they had been fighting with Russia) were now transported to the Western Front to prepare for one last offensive to defeat the Allies.

54 Americans Enter the War
As Germany received reinforcements from the Eastern Front, they began their final assault in the spring of The doughboys, as the Americans were called, were ready to help turn back the Germans. With American help, the Allies successfully stopped the Germans and forced them into a retreat that did not stop until the war ended. Without the Americans, this great surge by the Germans might well have succeeded. The Germans got close enough to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower in the distance.

55 The Armistice Realizing the war was lost, the Germans asked for an armistice. That’s when both sides agree to stop fighting. On the eleventh month, the eleventh day, and the eleventh hour, the guns fell silent. The date is November 11, 1918 at 11 a.m. The war was over, but the political fighting had just begun.

56 The Home Front While the AEF was fighting the war in France, the rest of America was contributing to the war effort at home. What goes on back home is called the home front. And there was plenty going on.

57 Industry Now that the U.S. was in a war, American industries needed to supply the troops. Most industries were placed under the direction of government agencies. The most important of these was the War Industries Board. The idea was to organize U.S. manufacturing as though it were a single factory. The government decided how raw materials were used and what prices of the products would be. Labor unions went along with the war effort and hoped to get something good out of their cooperation. Union membership doubled during the war. The unions did manage to get a federal law passed during this time for an eight hour workday, which big business had always done.

58 Women As men were drafted or volunteered for the military, new work opportunities opened up for women who were hired as replacements. Women were suddenly welcomed into jobs that had been closed to them. Women factory workers became a vital part of the war effort in war industries.

59 Women During this time, women began to wonder why they could work as men but could not vote as men did. During the war, supporters of women’s suffrage strived to convince the nation to let women vote. Suffragettes saw their efforts pay off when the 19th Amendment was passed in 1919 and ratified in This amendment gave women the right to vote.

60 African Americans Although the South still denied the rights of African Americans when possible, blacks found new opportunities during the war. Job opportunities and higher wages caused many African Americans to leave the farms in the South for factory jobs in the North. This mass movement of African Americans continued even after the war. It became known as the Great Migration, and by 1950, more than a million blacks had left the rural South to find a better place in the North or in the West. By the end of the war, more than 100,000 blacks who initially took unskilled jobs had become skilled workers or factory supervisors.

61 The War Economy As the protector of freedom in the world, the U.S. also had to feed itself and the Allies. To have more for the war effort, the U.S. Food Administration encouraged voluntary conservation of food resources rather than making rules. Headed by Herbert Hoover, the Food Administration encouraged Americans to eat less and to grow their own vegetables in victory gardens.

62 The War Economy American farm production increased by 25% and food shipments to the Allies increased dramatically. Other agencies imitated Hoover’s voluntary approach and encouraged Americans to conserve heating oil and gasoline.

63 The War Economy To pay for the war, the Treasury Department sold war bonds, which were also called Liberty Loans. A war bond is basically a loan from the American people to the government. A person could buy a bond or certificate that said the government would pay back the money with interest. About $21 billion, or two-thirds of the cost of the war to the U.S., was raised by selling bonds. Additional money was collected by raising taxes. A new tax was authorized by the 16th Amendment, which was ratified in It’s called the income tax, and if you do not know about it already, just wait until you get your first paycheck.

64 WWI Propaganda

65 WWI Propaganda

66 Wilson’s Fourteen Points
President Wilson and the U.S. had helped to win the war. Now what could they do to win the peace? The President hoped to create peace based on his Fourteen Points, but the rest of the Allies had other plans. In January 1918, President Wilson gave a speech that outlined his ideas for a lasting peace in the world. The list from that speech became known as the Fourteen Points. Here’s a summary of what he suggested:

67 Summary of Wilson’s Fourteen Points
No more secret alliances A reduction in armaments Freedom of the seas A fair settlement of the dispute over colonies Removal of economic barriers among nations A world organization that would provide a system of security for all nations These were noble suggestions. They addressed all the issues that Wilson believed had started the war in the first place. They might have worked if they had been given the chance. But precious few of Wilson’s suggestions were used in the treaty to end World War I.

68 The Treaty of Versailles
Negotiators gathered at Versailles in France to begin the talks for a treaty, and the agreement that they wrote was called the Treaty of Versailles. Twenty-seven nations were represented, but the rulers of the four main Allies, France, Great Britain, Italy, and the U.S., dominated the conference. The leaders of those nations were referred to as the “Big Four.” None of the Central Powers were allowed to attend, and all the meetings were held in secret.

69 The Treaty of Versailles
President Wilson came to France with hopes of crafting a lasting peace, but the other Allies had a different agenda. It soon became obvious that the rest of the Allies wanted revenge for the war. One by one, Wilson’s Fourteen Points were discarded until only one remained, which was a world organization to promote peace. It would be called the League of Nations. Because of the harsh terms of the Treaty of Versailles, it would take only twenty years for the world to be at war again.

70 The Treaty of Versailles
Germany must……. Take full blame for the war Surrender territory to surrounding nations Give up its colonies Reduce the size of its military Pay reparations for the war (pay for expenses and damages) Germans were angry at the terms of the treaty, but in June 1919, Germany signed the treaty anyway. Unfortunately, the harsh terms of the treaty and the damage done to Germany itself led to another war. That war would be called World War II.

71 America Rejects World Leadership
When Wilson returned with the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, he submitted it to the Senate for approval. But after much heated debate, the Senate decided not approve the treaty. Why? Good old American politics seemed to get in the way. Several reasons have been suggested. Maybe it was because the Republicans were not consulted about the treaty. Or maybe there was language in the treaty that threatened the sovereignty of the U.S. No matter what you choose for the reason, the Senate flatly rejected the Treaty of Versailles and signed a separate treaty with Germany (The Treaty of Berlin).

72 America Rejects World Leadership
The Treaty of Versailles established the League of Nations, President Wilson’s idea. By rejecting the treaty, the United States also rejected joining the League of Nations. The League of Nations made an attempt to maintain world peace, but without the participation of the U.S., it was destined to fail. Furthermore, by rejecting the treaty and the League of Nations, the U.S. also rejected a chance for world leadership. America was sick of war and wanted no part in keeping the peace. Instead, the U.S. chose to return to isolationism of the past. If the U.S. had supported the League of Nations, could World War II have been avoided? We’ll never know.

73 After the War After the war, many thousands of American soldiers returned to the U.S. Once home, they needed to find employment. These soldiers were now competing for jobs against women, African Americans, and the immigrants who had taken their places during the war. This competition, combined with inflation and a fear of communism, led to social problems immediately after the war.

74 Labor Unrest We mentioned earlier that during the war, labor union membership greatly increased. But even though labor unions grew stronger, Americans united in the war effort, and there was very little “fighting” between employers and employees. Labor strikes during wartime were viewed as “unpatriotic.” Once the war was over, the War Industries Board stepped aside. During the war, many companies were forced to pay higher wages. After the war, they wanted to lower them again to offset inflation. Of course, employees and their labor unions were not happy about the lower wages. The labor unions fought to keep all the gains they had made during the war, including the higher wages.

75 Labor Unrest The labor unions began to demand more from employers, and with larger memberships, they were able to organize strikes. In 1919 alone, there were more than 3,600 strikes. Most of the strikes accomplished very little. Here are the four largest ones.

76 Major Strikes of 1919 Seattle Strike -The strike started with shipyard workers and was supported by other unions. State militia broke up the strike. Boston Strike -The governor fired 1,100 striking policemen and replaced them with unemployed Army veterans. Steel Industry Strike -Replacement workers were hired, and the strike collapsed. Coal Industry Strike -The government got an injunction (court order) to stop the strike.

77 Red Scare After the Bolsheviks (communists) took control of Russia, communism became very popular among the poor and needy of Europe. In the communist system, the workers own the factories. Everyone has a job regardless of job performance, and everyone gets paid what they need to live. Unfortunately in a communist system, there’s no reason to work hard.

78 Red Scare Many Americans suspected a link between labor unrest and political radicals. The strikes helped fuel fears of a communist take-over of the U.S. Even though union leaders had no real connection to communists, Americans suspected that they did. Communists were called “Reds.” The Red Scare, also called the Red Hysteria, was the fear that a communist revolution would come to America as it had to Russia in 1917.

79 Red Scare In 1919, a series of bombings across the U.S. was blamed on anarchists. To put a stop to this wave of terrorism, federal and local law enforcement led a series of raids against political radicals and anarchists. These raids were called the Palmer Raids, and they were aimed at immigrants suspected of being communists. (The raids were authorized by the U.S. Attorney General, Mitchell Palmer. So the raids became known as the Palmer Raids.) Around 6,000 people were arrested, and over 600 were deported, many without a trial.

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