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Unformatted text preview: WAR
1914-1918 Why War?
• Origins and conduct of WW1 set the pattern
for 20th century conflicts.
• The war destroyed 4 great multinational
• Tsarist Russia
• Ottoman Empire
• German Empire
• Beginning of the end of European
hegemony and the beginning of the era of the
superpowers (US vs. USSR)
• Produced doubts about liberal democracy.
• Gave credence to fascism, communism and
• First instances of genocide.
• Total War: militarization and mobilization of
• Individual rights become subordinate to
• heavy use of propaganda
heavy Wars and Conflicts 1859-1913
• War of Italian Liberation, 1859
• Austro-Prussian War, 1866
• Franco-Prussian War, 1870-71
• Russo-Turkish War, 1875-78
• Fashoda (East Africa), 1894
• Sino-Japanese War, 1895
• Spanish-American War, 1898
• Boer War (South Africa), 1902
• Russo-Japanese War, 1904
• Moroccan Crises of 1905, 1911
• Balkan Crises and Wars, 1908Balkan
9, 1911-12, 1913 Moroccan Crises, 1905 Long Term
Causes of the
• Alliance System
• Arms Race
• Social and
• Entente Cordiale
• Triple Alliance
• Italy (did not
join the Central
because of the
secret Treaty of
London.) Arms Race
Arms Militarism Among European Nation-States
• Militarism in society grew out of the
conviction that the army was essential to
the protection and future of the nation. If
you didn’t support the army you were
unpatriotic and an enemy of the nation.
• The military became the model for how
society should function: discipline,
regulation, hierarchy, honor, glory,
• Modern urban life had become disordered
and chaotic, challenged the tradition beliefs
• Militarism was appealing to conservatives
who were critics of modernization.
• Social Darwinism: war was a way of
cleansing society, of making it more
“racially pure.” War was part of hygiene
• It was “fun” and exciting, appealed to
youth. War by Timetable
• European armies on the eve of war
• Most soldiers were conscripted, lured by
duty and patriotism
• “Doctrine of the Offensive”: wars before WW1
were short, victory went to the offenders
• Russo-Japanese War went to the Japanese
because of their “fighting spirit,” though Russia
had a superior military.
• The war planners thought long wars
impossible, stockpiles would run out, economies
could not replenish supplies.
• Military planners wanted civilians out of the
war planning process.
• Use of machine gun was not considered in the
planning, it offended the aristocratic soldier
depersonalized battle, removed face-to-face
conflict. New War Technologies
• Mustard and chlorine gas:
designed to fill the trenches;
caused much suffering.
• Submarine: very effective; sank
• Tank: could go through wire and
• Airplane: Use of the Fokker to
sync machine gun with propeller.
• Zeppelin: air raids
• Medicine: vaccines
Medicine: Balkan States
Balkan • Balkan peoples were largely successful in achieving their independence
from the Ottoman Empire.
• Increased independence sparked nationalist rivalries.
• The Russians, the Ottomans, and the Austro-Hungarians each wanted
influence in the region, and exaggerated the conflicts.
influence Balkans in 1878 Balkans in 1912 June 28, 1914: Assassination of
Archduke Francis Ferdinand
Archduke July Crisis
• June 28 assassination of Archduke Franz
Ferdinand by Serbian “Black Hand”
• July 5 Germany’s “blank check” to A-H
• July 23 Austrian 48-hr ultimatum to Serbia
• July 25 Serbia accepts ultimatum with
• July 26 A-H rejects British offer of
• July 28 A-H declaration of war against
• July 29 Germany tries to secure British
• July 30 Russia orders general mobilization
• August 1 France and Germany mobilize;
Germany declares war on Russia
• August 2 Germany invades Luxembourg
• August 3 Germany invades Belgium;
declares war on France
• August 4 Britain declares war on Germany
• August 5 A-H declares war on Russia
August Kaiser Wilhelm II
r.1888-1918) Schlieffen Plan and Plan XVII
• France had amassed soldiers along
Germany’s border, creating an obstacle to
• Belgium was neutral and protected by
Britain in the event of an attack.
• Alfred von Schlieffen devised the plan
which would allow for a two-front war:
• A quick blow to the west and invasion
and occupation of France in 6 weeks.
• A light army remains in France and
the bulk of the army heads east to fight
• France had its own plan. It necessitated a
quick offensive blow to the center, dividing
German forces in conjunction with Russian
pressure in the east.
• The idea was that Germany would
surrender in a matter of weeks.
• Both the Schlieffen Plan and Plan XVII did
not take into consideration the alliance
system. The “Rape of Belgium”
The European Fronts
• Failure of the Schlieffen Plan
led to a trench war.
• “Race to the Sea”
• Stalemate 1915-1918
• War of Attrition: competing
sides willing to sacrifice the
maximum number of soldiers in
continuous battle designed to
wear down the enemy.
• Verdun Feb-July 1916, German
attack; Germany loses 100,000;
France loses 120,000
• Somme July-Dec 1916, British
attack; British lose 400,000; gain
6 only miles
• Ypres 1917, British lose
400,000; French lose 50,000
400,000; The Western Front
The Trench Warfare
Trench Fraternizing with
• On some occasions ordinary
soldiers resisted the orders of their
superiors and refused to engage in
battle, and even fraternized with the
• One memorable incident was the
“Christmas Truce of 1914” when for
a few hours, soldiers agreed to lay
down their weapons. Initiated by the
Germans, soldiers played soccer,
laughed and joked in the “no man’s
land” dividing the trenches.
• By 1915, army superiors put an
end to fraternizing with the enemy.
end The Great War as a World War
World The Great War as a
• The war was fought for empires, but
also relied on colonial populations to
supply soldiers on the battlefields.
• Soldiers from all of the European
empires fought in the war. Most
were conscripted and were placed at
the front lines where the fighting was
• Fighting not only took place in
Europe, but also in Africa, Southeast
Asia, the Middle East, and on the
oceans. “Total War” “Total War”
• Because it was largely a
technological war, this required
a reorganization of industries to
manufacture munitions and
supplies, and also a
mobilization of citizens in the
• The creation of a “home front”
in the service of “total war”
meant that entire societies
were directly involved in the
• Women worked in civilian jobs
that traditionally were held by
• Every nation used
propaganda to promote its
cause Women and War
Women • During wartime women
worked in munitions factories
and other jobs because men
were off fighting on the front
• Employing women was
controversial because many
soldiers worried that their jobs
would be gone when the war
ended. Also, many men
worried that the blurred
distinction between public and
private spheres would have
socially devastating effects on
relations between men and
• For many women, especially
feminists, it meant proving to
men that they could perform
jobs just as well as men could.
and • Women were also seen
by war planners as a key
for the mobilization of male
• In Britain, the “White
Feather” movement was
very controversial: women
would hand to men who
were not in uniform a white
feather, implying cowardice
because they were not
fighting at the front.
• Images of women were
often used as the subjects
of propaganda posters in
order to persuade them to
get their men to sign up for
the military. Some implied
that women would offer
sexual favors to enlisted
men. Women and War
Women French War
Propaganda German War Propaganda
German British War Propaganda
British War Propaganda
to Conserve Food
to US War
Propaganda Genocide in Armenia
• The Ottoman Empire joined the war
on the side of the Central Powers in
• The empire was composed of several
large ethnic-religious populations.
Many Kurds did not abide by the
Sultan’s orders; Arabs, Armenians, and
Greeks wanted autonomy.
• In 1915 the Young Turks who ruled
the Ottomans, declared that the
Armenians in Eastern Anatolia had
been collaborating with the Russians
and rebelling against the Turks.
• in April the Turks began deporting
Armenians and executing women and
children in the eastern provinces.
• 1.5 million Armenians lost their lives
from firing squads, hunger and disease
in the 20th century’s first case of
genocide. Telegram from
Morgenthau to the
US State Dept.,
massacre as “race
extermination.” Discontent with the War
• By 1917, Europe lay in ruins. Millions of
soldiers had lost their lives, many more
civilians were suffering from the war’s
effects. The pre-war support for the war
had dwindled and discontent raged
• Citizens began to revolt in European
cities. High prices and food shortages
provoked riots. Tenants went on rent
strikes. Factory and white-collar workers
walked off of their jobs. Women workers
protested the long hours they had to work.
• The emperor of Austria-Hungary secretly
asked the Allies for a negotiated peace
• US President Woodrow Wilson further
weakened the drive for war among the
Central Powers by introducing his
Fourteen Wilson’s Fourteen Points, 1918
• In early 1917, Germany unsuccessfully tried to enlist
Mexico on the side of the Central Powers (the
Zimmerman Telegram). They also resumed submarine
attacks on ships carrying supplies from the US to
• The US Congress had wanted to stay out of the war,
but Wilson argued that the Central Powers were a
direct threat. He claimed that the US should enter the
war in order “to make the world safe for democracy.”
• By 1918, Wilson had proposed his Fourteen Points as
his vision of post war peace.
• The main principle was the right to selfselfdetermination among former European colonies.
• Other important ideas were the public diplomacy,
removal of trade barriers, arms reductions, return of
Alsace-Lorraine back to France, creation of an
independent Poland, and the establishment of a
League of Nations for the purpose of maintaining
peace (the blueprint was the Treaty of Westphalia).
peace Bolshevik Revolution, 1917
Bolshevik Bolshevik Revolution, 1917
Bolshevik • Meanwhile, exiled Russian socialist Vladimir
Lenin had proposed his own solution for getting
Russia out of the war.
• Russia had sustained the most casualties: 7.5
million by 1917. Because Russia was still largely
an agrarian society--having ended serfdom in the
19th century--most Russian peasants suffered
immensely from the hardships caused by war.
• in February, female textile workers and
housewives took to the streets demanding food
and to mark International Women’s Day. The
following day, 200,000 protesters joined them, but
Russian soldiers fired on them killing hundreds.
• Tsar Nicholas II relied on Grigori Rasputin, holy
man and charlatan, for disastrous advice that did
little to help the Russians.
• In March 1917 again riots erupted and Nicholas
abdicated the throne, ending the 300 year
Romanov dynasty. Nicholas and his family were
killed. “Peace, Land, and Bread”
• A Provisional Government was established, composed of moderates
who wanted to manage the war more efficiently.
• Spontaneously elected soviets, or councils of workers and soldiers,
competed with the government for political support of the population.
• In April, Lenin was granted safe passage through Germany to join in
the political events that were unfolding in Russia.
• Lenin’s group of socialists were called Bolsheviks: Marxists who
believed that a communist state did not have to pass through the
economic stage of capitalism. The majority, or Mensheviks, argued
that Russia would have to develop a capitalist industry before a
communist state of proletariats could emerge.
• In his radical April Theses, Lenin declared that Russia should pull out
of the war because it was an imperialist war, and that the Provisional
Government should be abolished and workers’ soviets should rule
Russia. All private land should be nationalized. Lenin believed that
WW1 would mark the end of bourgeois capitalism, and that
communism would emerge victorious, in Russia first then elsewhere.
• Slogans: “All power to the soviets” and “peace, land, and bread.”
Slogans: October 1917
• Aleksandr Kerensky, the leader of the
PG, was unsuccessful in getting support
from the tired, hungry and war-weary
Russian soldiers, workers and peasants.
• On October 24, Bolshevik troops and
armed workers called Red Guards took
control of bridges and railways stations.
• Kerensky fled, and on October 25, 1917,
Lenin’s Bolsheviks marched unimpeded
into the Winter Palace. Lenin declared
the PG overthrown, and that the task now
was to build a “proletarian socialist state.”
• In January, 1918, when elections failed
to give the Bolsheviks a plurality, the
Bolsheviks took over the government by
• In the winter 1918/1919, the Bolsheviks
nationalized peasant land in order to
restore production. Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, 1918
• In March of 1918, Leon Trotsky,
People’s Commissar and leader of the
Red Army, made a deal with Germany to
end the fighting in the east.
• The treaty granted Germany the Baltic
states, Poland, Finland, and much of the
Ukraine south of Kiev, partially fulfilling
the German goal of conquering
• The Bolsheviks relocated the Russian
capital to Moscow because Petrograd
was too close to German-controlled
• The treaty also meant the Bolsheviks
had achieved Lenin’s goal of ending the
Russian participation in the imperialist
war. Russian Civil War, 1917-1922
• Not all Russians embraced
communism, and in 1917 civil war broke
out between a loosely-allied group of
non-communists (White Army) and the
Bolsheviks (Red Army).
• Among the Whites were tsarist military
supporters, landlords, aristocrats, any
soldiers they could get, dispossessed
businessmen, liberal intelligentsia, nonbusinessmen,
Russian nationalists. The French,
British--once allies of Tsarist Russia-British--once
along with the US and Japan, sent
troops to fight the Reds. The first and
only time US soldiers fought communists
on Russian soil.
• Ultimately the resistance failed.
Ultimately War Communism
• Trotsky and Lenin introduced War
Communism where workers and
troops moved throughout the
countryside confiscating land and
• The secret police force, the Cheka,
set up detention camps for political
resisters, and black marketeers,
many of whom were killed without
• Lenin also expanded the centralized
bureaucracy, undermining the
authority of the soviets, democracy,
and contrary to the Marxist goal of
the “withering away of the state.”
the Revolution in Germany
• By the spring of 1918 the Central Powers had been weakened. The
German army suffered over two million casualties in the spring and
• In October, the German command convinced inexperienced politicians to
form a new government, setting them up for responsibility for the war.
These politicians claimed that they could still win the war and that it was
only the weak civilians who wanted to end it.
• A final sea battle was suggested, but German sailors decided it was
suicide and mutinied against their officers.
• This sparked uprising throughout Germany. On November 9, 1918,
Kaiser Wilhelm II fled Germany.
• Germans declared themselves a republic and on November 11, 1918,
armistice was signed by all of the belligerent powers.
• Meanwhile, the reverberations of the Bolshevik Revolution were
spreading across a war-torn Europe. Many soldiers formed volunteer
armies. Germany was unstable.
• Various socialist groups competed with the Social Democrats who
formed the new German parliamentary government.
formed Revolution in Germany
• One group, the Sparticists, was led by Karl
Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg. Unlike the
Bolsheviks, who argued that the party should
lead the workers, the Sparticists supported
uprisings allowing the workers to get direct
political experience. But like Lenin, they
despised parliamentary politics.
• Social Democratic leader Friedrich Ebert called
on young German soldiers and the Freikorps
paramilitary groups to suppress the Sparticists.
• In February 1919 the Weimar Republic was
formed and the political right resisted the new
republic and favored a monarchy.
• German socialism was crushed as the
Freikorps kidnapped Liebknecht and Luxemburg,
and tortured and killed them in 1919.
and Paris Peace Conference
Versailles, 1919 Paris Peace Conference, 1919
• At the talks, the spread of communism was
the big worry.
• But first, the leaders had to deal with a warBut
ravaged Europe, what to do with Germany.
• The French were angry because they lost
1.3 million soldiers, and suffered heavy
damage to infrastructure.
• The British wanted severe penalties on
• The Italians wanted territory promised them
in the Treaty of London.
• The US, who emerged from the war
stronger than ever before, wanted support for
Wilson’s 14 Points, including right to selfWilson’s
determination among peoples in the defeated
empires of Austria-Hungary, Germany, and
the Ottoman Empire, and approval of the
League of Nations.
League Paris Peace Conference, 1919
• France and Britain wanted heavy penalties to be placed on Germany, who
did not have a voice at the talks. Wilson recognized that Germany was still
the most powerful nation-state in Europe, and felt that the goal should be to
balance power rather than inflict heavy war reparations. It could also lead to
a rise of German vengefulness.
• In the end, Germany lost much territory to a new state of Poland, which
acted as a buffer between Germany and Russia, and also handed back
Alsace-Lorraine back to France who placed an occupying army in the region.
German had to pay heavy war debts which caused an economic crisis in the
• Austria and Hungary were divided and the Balkans were split into several
new states: Czechoslovakia, and the Kingdom ot the Serbs, Croats, and
Slovenes, later named Yugoslavia.
• Poland was formed out of territory from Russia, Germany, and A-H.
• The former Ottoman Empire now became Turkey on the Anatolian
Peninsula. New states of Syria, Palestine, Trans-Jordan, and Iraq were
created as “mandates” of Britain and France. These peoples were denied
self-determination as Wilson defined it. They resisted the continued
imperialism of Europe.
imperialism Europe and
the Middle East, 1919 Aftermath of the Great War Terms
• “Doctrine of the Offensive”
• Black Hand
• Schlieffen Plan
• “Total War”
• Provisional Government
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