Lecture Notes for US & World War I, 1900-1919

Lecture Notes for US & World War I, 1900-1919 - Lecture...

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1 Order, 1900-1919 Introduction Slide 2 First World War or the Great War was a global military conflict that took place mostly in Europe between 1914 and 1918. It was a total war which left millions dead and shaped the modern world. The Allied Powers, led by France, Russia, the United Kingdom, Italy, and later the United States, defeated the Central Powers: Austria-Hungary, Germany, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire. Much of the fighting in World War I took place along the Western Front, within a system of opposing manned trenches and fortifications (separated by a "no man's land") running from the North Sea to the border of Switzerland. On the Eastern Front, the vast eastern plains and limited rail network prevented a trench warfare stalemate from developing, although the scale of the conflict was just as large. Hostilities also occurred on and under the sea and — for the first time — from the air. More than 9 million soldiers died on the various battlefields, and millions more civilians suffered. The war caused the disintegration of four empires: the Austro-Hungarian, German, Ottoman, and Russian. Germany lost its overseas empire, and states such as Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia were created, or recreated, as was the case with Poland. World War I created a decisive break with the old world order that had emerged after the Napoleonic Wars, which was modified by the mid-19th century’s nationalistic revolutions. The results of World War I would be important factors in the development of World War II 21 years later. Slide 3 Woodrow Wilson had become president in 1912 in a landslide victory against Theodore Roosevelt. Wilson, a democrat, held a PhD in History, had been a professor of Political Science at Princeton and later the President of the University. He was committed to reform and was elected governor of New Jersey in 1910. He had become president w/o any experience in foreign affairs. However, Woodrow Wilson had definite ideas about how the nation should behave in world affairs. Wilson believed that the US should set an example to the world because of its commitment to democracy and capitalism.
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2 By 1914 major European nations were on edge. In the summer when the First World War erupted, German and Austria Hungary dominated the center of the European land mass with France, Great Britain and Russia offering balance around the former Holy Roman Empire. Once the fighting began, the system of alliances drew most of Europe and her colonies into conflict. In May 1915, a German submarine fired a torpedo into the British liner Lusitania off the Irish coast. The vessel sank quickly killing 1200 passengers including 128 Americans. This event shocked the Western World. Wilson reacted by stating Germany needed to be held accountable for this action, but decided however the US should continue to remain neutral. Wilson was not yet ready to enter the war. Slide 4
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Lecture Notes for US & World War I, 1900-1919 - Lecture...

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