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World War I
Worldwide impact
World War I (1914-1918)
• World War I (1914-1918) was caused by
competition among industrial nations in
Europe and a failure of diplomacy. The war
transformed European and American life,
wrecked the economies of Europe, and
planted the seeds for a second world war.
• What were the factors that produced World
War I?
• What were the major events of the war?
• Who were the major leaders?
• What were the outcomes and global effects of
World War I?
• What were the terms of the Treaty of
• The alliance system in Europe started with
• Prussia wanted to unite the German states
into a German nation
• Germany united (allied) with Austria-Hungary
and Italy
• France and Germany were enemies and so
France allied with Russia
• Great Britain remained neutral until Germany
started to build up its navy
• Great Britain loosely allied with France and Russia
forming the Triple Entente
• Nationalism – intense pride for one’s homeland
was a powerful idea in Europe
• Self-determination – the idea that people who
belong to a nation should have their own country
and government, was a basic idea of nationalism
“Balkan Powder Keg”
• In the Balkans, many ethnic
groups fought to gain political
unity and self-rule
• This led to conflicts between
Austria-Hungry and
neighboring groups in the
Balkan regions
– Russia supports “Serbs/Slavs”
• This will end up being the
“straw that breaks the camel
– Assassination of
Archduke Ferdinand
• A small country called Serbia, allied with
Russia, wanted a unified Balkan nation
• A Serb national assassinated Archduke Franz
• This assassination forced Austria-Hungary to
declare war with Germany siding with them
• Russia, allied with Serbia, declared war with
France siding with them (France wanted
Germany defeated)
MAIN causes of WW I
Militarism / Alliances / Imperialism / Nationalism
Spark: Archduke Ferdinand (Austria) assassinated
What is Militarism?
• A rise in military expenditure,
• Increase in the size of land military and naval forces
• More influence of the military men upon the policies
of the civilian government,
• But note that militarism is also a government's
attitude of mind, seeing war as a valid means of
foreign policy.
– (GERMANY was especially militaristic.)
– Think of Otto Von Bismarck and Realpolitik
Causes of World War I
• Militarism
• Alliances that divided Europe into competing
• Imperialism: The domination of the political,
economic or cultural life of another country
• Nationalistic feelings
• Diplomatic failures
• Competition over colonies
World War I
The war began in Europe in 1914:
Central Powers
Germany and AustriaHungary
Britain, France,
and Russia.
Major Events
• Assassination of Austria’s Archduke Ferdinand,
he was shot by a Serbian nationalist.
• United States enters the war - 1917
• Russia leaves the war – 1917 (Communist
Revolution led by Lenin)
Major leaders
• Woodrow Wilson – President of United States
• Kaiser Wilhelm II – German leader
• Tsar Nicholas II – Russian leader
The War
Western Front: France
Trench Warfare
Eastern Front: Russia
Drop out of war in 1917 after
Bolshevik Revolution
Advanced Weapons
Trench Warfare
Trench Warfare
“No Man’s
United States enters the War
Loyalty to England
German “unrestricted
submarine warfare”
Lusitania: 1100 people dead /
120 Americans
Zimmerman Telegram
Germany to
ask Mexico
to attack the
The Yanks
Are Coming!
“To Make The
World Safe For
11 a.m., November 11, 1918
End of WW I
►World War I was over. The killing had stopped. The
terms of peace, however, still had to be worked out.
On January 18, 1919, a conference to establish those
terms began at the Palace of Versailles, outside
Paris. Attending the talks, known as the Paris Peace
Conference, were delegates representing 32
countries. For one year, this conference would be the
scene of vigorous, often bitter debate. The Allied
powers struggled to solve their conflicting aims in
various peace treaties.
Key Leaders Come Together
►This group of leaders
was known as the Big
Four dominated the
peace talks in Paris at
United States
►President Woodrow
►Georges Clemenceau
Great Britain
►Prime Minister, David
Lloyd George
►Vittorio Orlando
Outcomes and global effect
• Colonies’ participation in the war, which
increased demands for independence
• End of the Russian Imperial, Ottoman,
German, and Austro-Hungarian empires
• Enormous cost of the war in lives, property,
and social disruption
Wilson’s Plan for Peace
►Wilson proposes Fourteen Points—an outline
for lasting world peace.
►Calls for free trade and an end to alliances
and military buildups
►Promotes self-determination—right of people
to govern their own nation
►Envisions international peace-keeping body to
settle world disputes
Treaty of Versailles
• Forced Germany to accept responsibility for
war and loss of territory and to pay
• Limited the German military
• League of Nations
The Versailles Treaty
►Britain and France oppose Wilson’s ideas and want
to punish Germany.
►Allies and Germany sign an accord—the Treaty of
Versailles—in June 1919.
– Creates League of Nations—international organization to
keep peace.
– Blames Germans for war, forces Germany to pay damages
(reparations) to nations.
– League to rule German colonies until deemed ready for
Treaty of Versailles (Verse-EYE)
• The French and
English insisted on
punishment of
• A League of Nations
was created.
• National boundaries
were redrawn,
creating many new
Wilson’s 14 Points
• Wilson’s goals
for the world
after the war
• “War to end all
Principles of 14 Points
Self determination
Arms reduction
Non punishment
Free Seas
No secret treaties
Free trade
14th Point
• League of Nations
• Settle conflicts
before they turn
into war
• Wilson’s most
important point
• Most controversial
Treaty of Versailles
• Germany
– Full blame for war
– Demilitarized
– $30 Billion bill
• League of Nations
– No Germany
– No U.S.
1917 Revolution and Rise of
• Tsarist Russia entered World War I as an absolute
monarchy with sharp class divisions between
the nobility and the peasants. The grievances of
workers and peasants were not resolved by the
Tsar. Inadequate administration in World War I
led to revolution and an unsuccessful provisional
government. A second revolution by the
Bolsheviks created the communist state that
ultimately became the U.S.S.R.
• Why did Russia erupt in revolution while
fighting in World War I?
• How did communism rise in Russia?
Causes of 1917 Revolutions
Defeat in war with Japan in 1905
Landless peasantry
Incompetence of Tsar Nicholas II
Military defeats and high casualties in World
War I.
Russian Revolution
– Czar Nicholas II’s reforms were too little too late
– No industrial power = no national power
– Loss to the Japanese was humiliating
announcement of weakness
– WWI participation sucked Russia dry and made
civil war inevitable
– Weak resistance to well organized and mobilized
Bolshevik radicals
– Total abdication and assassination end the
Romanov Dynasty
Rise of communism
Bolshevik Revolution and civil war
Vladimir Lenin’s New Economic Policy (NEP)
Joseph Stalin, Lenin’s successor
According to communism, history is dominated
by the struggle between the bourgeoisie and the
proletariat – the upper class and the laborer.
• Karl Marx, a German economist/philosopher is
credited with the idea of communism.
Vladimir Lenin
• Marxist
• NEP allowed some
capitalism and
helped Soviet
economy recover
from early
• Dies of stroke, 1924
Leon Trotsky
• Co-founder with Lenin
• Organized and trained the
• Practice of decimation made
Red Army “effective”
• Rival of Stalin’
• Assassinated in Mexico with
an ice-pick
Understanding the League of Nations
and the mandate system
• After World War I, international organizations
and agreements were established to avoid
future conflicts.
• What was the League of Nations and why did
it fail?
• Why was the mandate system created?
League of Nations
International cooperative organization
Established to prevent future wars
United States not a member
Failure of League because it did not have
power to enforce its decisions
The mandate system
• During World War I, Great Britain and France agreed
to divide large portions of the Ottoman Empire in
the Middle East between themselves.
• After the war, the “mandate system” gave Great
Britain and France control over the lands that
became Iraq, Transjordan, and Palestine (British
controlled) and Syria and Lebanon (French
• The division of the Ottoman Empire through the
mandate system planted the seeds for future
conflicts in the Middle East.
Europe Pre-World War I
New European Countries Post World War I
Finland-land lost by Russia
Estonia-land lost by Russia
Latvia-land lost by Russia
Lithuania-land lost by Russia
Poland-restored from land lost by
Germany and Russia
Austria Hungary
Romania-gained land
Mandates in Africa and Middle East
1. French Mandate of Syria
2. French Mandate of
3. British Mandate of
4. British Mandate of
5. British Mandate of Iraq
6. British Togoland
7. French Togoland
8. British Cameroon
9. French Cameroon
10. Ruanda-Urundi
11. Tanganyika
12. South-West Africa
“A Peace Built on Quicksand”
►Treaty of Versailles creates feelings of bitterness on
both sides
►German people feel bitter and betrayed after taking
blame for war
►America never ratifies Treaty of Versailles
– Many Americans oppose League of Nations and
involvement with Europe
►Some former colonies express anger over not
winning independence
►Japan, Italy criticize agreement; gain less land than
they want