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The Great War

The Great War

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The Great War

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  1. The Great War Explosion

  2. Focus Question: • Explain how the following quote corresponds with U.S. foreign policy ideas: “To make the world safe for democracy” -- Woodrow Wilson, April 1917

  3. EXPLOSION • The world erupted into war in August 1914 • Led to more than 37 million casualties • Decimated a generation in Europe

  4. Great Power Politics • The World dominated by the Great Powers • Great Powers: Nations capable of defeating any one other nation Austria-Hungary Britain France Germany Italy Russia United States Jockeying for supremacy likely

  5. Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand • War was set off with the assassination of Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914. • Heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary • Shot in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina • Killed by a Serbian nationalist • Catalyst of the War

  6. Causes of the Great War

  7. Militarism • Trust in the military • Glorify military glory • Promoted an arms race to “prove supremacy” • More troops, more guns, more ships • Pushed rivals to develop more troops, more ships, more guns

  8. Imperialism • Available territories had dried up • Need for new territories did not • Desire for the territories of other nations • Equality of power

  9. Nationalism • Intense devotion to one’s country fostered • Desire of Great Powers to dominate • Desire for small nations to gain independence • Destablilized the situation

  10. Entangling Alliances • Defensive alliances • If another attacked an ally, the others were to help • Europe divided into two armed camps • Triple Alliance • Triple Entente • Smaller nations tied to Great Powers

  11. War! • World War 1 (the Great War) -- July 28, 1914 • Snowballed into tragedy • Europe torn between the Allies and the Central Powers

  12. Stalemate! • The Great War bogged into stalemate • Russian numbers too great in the East • Trench warfare in the West • Casualties mounted

  13. Neutrality • Initial intent was to remain neutral • U.S. interests were not at risk • U.S. public opinion torn • Isolationist tendencies • U.S. militarily unprepared • Wilson as a peacemaker

  14. However . . . • U.S. drawn toward the Allies • German violation of neutral rights (Belgium) • Trade imbalance • American bank loans to the Allies • German U-Boat campaign

  15. U-Boat Campaign • World War I saw the first mass use of submarines (Unterseeboot) • Germany targeted military and supply ships

  16. U.S. Opinion inflamed • Civilians killed when passenger liners attached • Lusitania • Sussex • Wilson threatened to cut ties with Germany • Sussex Pledge (May 1916) • Germany agreed to stop targeting certain ships

  17. Preparations • Influential Americans proposed entering the war in 1915 • National Defense Act passed in June, 1916 • Saw a rapid growth of the military • Increased Army to 175,000 troops • 50 new warships for the Navy

  18. 1916 Presidential Campaign • Seen as a referendum on U.S. policy • Wilson promoted Progressive causes • Anti-War Sentiments strong • “He Kept Us Out of the War”

  19. U.S. Declares War – April 1917 • Zimmermann Telegram • Germany to start “unrestricted submarine warfare” in February 1917 • Germany attempts alliance with Mexico • Plan was for Mexico to declare war on the U.S. • U.S. Merchant ships sunk by U-boats • Spectre of U.S. economicdifficulties

  20. Not a Bang, but a Whimper • The War ended on November 11, 1918 • German troops simply gave up • Could not match numbers of the Allies • Allied troops did not set foot in Germany during the War