Presentation on theme: "Ch. 19, Sec. 2 World War I, 1914 - 1920 Investigate the reasons why the US joined the fighting in World War I."— Presentation transcript:
Ch. 19, Sec. 2 World War I, 1914 - 1920 Investigate the reasons why the US joined the fighting in World War I.
War Breaks Out In Europe! While the United States was busy forming its own overseas empire, the countries of Europe were busy expanding theirs. This competition, along with several other factors, poisoned the relationships among these nations which eventually led to a full-blown war. By mid-1914, all of Europe was a powder-keg waiting for a spark. That spark came on June 28 th, 1914, when the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated by a young Serbian nationalist in Sarajevo. Almost overnight, all of Europe was plunged into a mammoth world war.
Major Causes of World War I A single action, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, started World War I. 1. Imperialism – The policy by which stronger nations extend their influence and control over smaller, weaker nations. All of Europe was guilty. 2. Nationalism – Pride on ones country. Nationalism can also be destructive as people begin to see themselves as better and more advanced than others. 3. Militarism – The belief that a nation needs a large military to suit all of its needs. In the years before the war, all of Europe was engaged in an arms race. 4. Alliances – Binding treaties between one or more countries. By 1914, nearly every country in Europe had signed a secret type of treaty with another.
The Germans almost won the war at the First Battle of the Marne. Using the von Schlieffen Plan, the German armies had gone wide to the right and almost captured the city of Paris, thus knocking the French out of the war in the beginning stages.
Trench Warfare The First World War was largely characterized by Trench Warfare. At the start of the war, both sides thought that the conflict would be quick and decided by one or two large and glorious battles. None of the combatants could have possibly imagined that the fighting that took place on the Western Front would literally turn the landscape into a Hell on Earth. Both the Central Powers and the Allies would stay stuck in the mud, fighting one another over the same ground for more than three years after the First Battle of the Marne in September, 1914. There was literally one continuous trench or underground ditch/fortification from the North Sea to the Swiss border. This style of fighting was caused by the Machine Gun and several other major improvements in warfare.
The soldiers unlucky enough to fight in the trenches found themselves huddled at the bottom of wet, rat- infested ditches. Artillery fire and machine guns were constantly shooting back and forth, day and night, 365 days a year. Once in a while, an attack would be launched, with thousands upon thousands of Allied or German soldiers crossing through the barbed-wire into No Mans Land, where they were then murdered by the machine gun and rifle fire.
A War of New Technology World War I was a testing ground of new technology that did nothing more than raise the numbers of killed and wounded soldiers on the battlefield. Tanks Poison Gas Airplanes Barbed Wire U-Boats (Submarines)
Used by both sides, Poison Gas was perhaps the most feared and brutal weapon of the war. The two most used types were Mustard and Chlorine Gas, both of which would burn any exposed skin and melt the eyes, lungs, and nasal passages.
U Boats - Submarines The Germans mastered the art of Submarine Warfare. During the war, German U-Boats, operating in what were called Wolfpacks, sunk over 11 million tons of Allied shipping and supplies. Un-restriced submarine warfare was one reason why the Americans joined the Allies.
Americas Path to War When the war began in Europe in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson announced that the United States would follow a policy of neutrality, or refuse to take sides in the war. Over time, however, German submarine attacks began to shift American support in favor of the Allies. The most horrendous of these was the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915. The Zimmerman Telegraph also caused the Americans to support the Allies. In February, 1917, British and American intelligence agencies discovered this message from Germany to Mexico. The telegraph stated if Mexico would join with the Germans, then they would help them invade the Southern United States!
Revolution in Russia! Events in Russia, beginning in early 1917, made the U.S. entry into the war more urgent for the Allies. The Russian leader, Czar Nicholas II was being badly beaten by the Germans on the Eastern Front and was forced to give up power by a revolution. This action within Russia came to be known as the, Russian Revolution. The revolution was led by Vladimir Lenin, the leader of the growing Russian Communist Party. Communism- A political system in which the government owns key parts of the economy and there is no private property.
Because the war had all but devastated Russia, Lenin began peace talks with Germany immediately. In March, 1918, Russia withdrew from the war altogether by signing the Treaty of Brest- Litosvk. Thousands of German soldiers were now redeployed from Russia to the Western Front in France against the French and British. Vladimir Lenin
Describe in-detail at least three underlying causes of World War I. Examine how Trench Warfare differed from earlier conflicts that had been fought in the world. What three events led President Wilson to ask for a declaration of war in April of 1917?