Focus Questions
• Q: What were the long-range and immediate
causes of World War I?
• Nationalism: Archduke Ferdinand
• Myth of Glorious War
• Militarism & Submarine War fare
• conscription
• Imperial Rivalry: Treaty of Versailles,
Mandates, Paris Peace Conference
• Internal Dissent & Propaganda: Defense of the
Realm Act
Imperial Rivalry
• Greater Factor’s in rise of WWI competition
Economic rivalries
Military Expansion
Diplomatic maneuvering
International tensions
• Britain and Germany - struggle for
world supremacy
• Myth of the swift and decisive war
Factors that led to WWI
 Imperial Rivalry (colonies, trade, expansion)
The Alliance System
Central Powers:
 German, Austria-Hungary (Triple alliance)
Italy alliance (1884) Ottomans joined in 1914
France and Russia - 1894 Alliance
Britain and France – Entente Cordiale 1904
Russia & Britain – Entente 1907
Britain, France and Russia (Triple Entente)
Colonial Soldiers: (Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand,
South Africa)
Japan joined between 1914 – 1918
Italy joined on the ally side in 1915
America joined in 1917
Factors that led to WWI
Slavic minorities in the Balkans
Socialist Labor Movements
War deflects from internal revolution
Nationalism & Imperial Rivalry
• Rivalry between Austria-Hungary and Russia
to dominate Balkan states
– Serbia – supported by Russia
• Desire to create an independent Slavic state
– Austria – wanted to maintain empire
• The Assassination of Francis Ferdinand, June
28, 1914, Sarajevo
– Bosnian activist dedicated to realization of pan
Slavic kingdom
Factors that led to WWI
• Militarism & total war
– Conscription (obligatory military service)
• Million man armies
• New war technology
• Influence of military leaders
– Military decisions taking precedence over political decisions
or diplomacy
The Schlieffen
based on the assumption of
a 2 front war with France
and Russia
rapid invasion of France by
Germany through neutral
Summer 1914 - 1915
• The Great War
• Illusions
– Propaganda encouraged nationalism
– Belief in swift and glorious war
• Stalemate
– Trench Warfare immobilized French & German
armies for 4 years
– 1915 Russia ended participation with 2.5 million
killed, captured or wounded
The Excitement of War
© Courtesy of Archives Larousse (Moreau), Librairie Larousse, Paris, France
Myth of Victorious War
• In the first 3 months of the war
– (August 1914) the original British army was
wiped out.
– The British press
• Impression of victory
– German press
• “All quiet on the western front.”
– 1917 the French military
• Mutinies
Unprecedented Warfare
• Victory Not Swift
• Two camps evenly matched
• New technologies and methods
of warfare
• Tanks
• trench warfare
– rat infested –disease
• airplanes
• barbed wire
German’s in a Machine Gun Nest
– Mortar batteries
– Heavy artillery
– Chemical warfare (1915)
© Getty Images
The Great
Trenches –
10 months
700,000 men
dead in Verdun
over a few miles
© Getty Images
World War I, 1914–1918
British troops wait for the signal to
© Archives Charmet/The Bridgeman Art Library
Devastation & Carnage
• 8.5 million soldiers died, with 17 million wounded
• total casualties military and civilian reached 37
• Europe lost an entire generation of young men,
leaving behind an entire nation of young widows.
The Widening of the War
• 1. A Global Conflict
– 1914 central powers included:
– Ottoman empire, Germany, Bulgaria & AustriaHungary
– 1914 Russia, GB, France and Japan allied
Soldiers from Around the World
•Colonial Soldiers: 80-100,000’s Africans killed or
injured in Europe or died as laborers
© Bettmann/CORBIS
Imperial Spoils of War
German Possessions
in Africa, 1914
1914-1916 GB moved to take German possessions in Africa
(Togoland, Cameroons, Southwest Africa and German East Africa)
Imperial Spoils of War
Japan seized German
territories in Asia:
China, Marshal, Mariana and
Caroline Islands
New Zealand & Australia
New Guinea & Bismarck
German Possessions in
the Pacific, 1914
Sykes–Picot Agreement, 1916
• a secret agreement between France & the UK
• Defined proposed spheres of influence in the
Arab provinces of the Ottoman empire
– areas of future British and French control or
Middle East
in 1919
Factors of America’s entering into War
1. Strong economic ties with Britain
• 800 million dollars a year in exports
• 170 million to Germany and Austria-Hungary
2. Shared culture and language
3. Economic Boom for the United states in providing
food, clothing and war supplies and equipment to
France and Britain
• American business and investors had a direct stake in an
Allied victory
Critical Perspectives
• Anti-Imperialist and Socialist: Imperialist
– advanced capitalist countries of Europe were
fighting over boundaries, colonies, spheres of
• Alsace-Lorraine, The Balkans, Africa and the
middle east.
• Imperialist: Economic necessity
– 1914 recession in the U.S.
• business depressed, farm prices deflated,
employment serious,…
War Profits
• 1915 war orders for the allies stimulated the
– by April 1917 more than 2 billion worth of goods
had been sold to the allies. Prosperity depended
on foreign markets
• 1897: 700 Million in exports
• by 1914 3 ½ billion in exports
– Even secretary of State, an anti-imperialist William Jennings
Bryan advocated the righteous conquest of foreign markets.
Factors Continued…
4. British Blockade on German Ports (attempt to starve
Germans into submission)
• America did not challenge its right to trade with Germany
• Violated American neutrality
• protested the blockade, created a recession in the US.
5. U-boat or submarine warfare
• Combat British control of the seas
• Flow of US goods to the allies.
Lusitania, 1915
• Significance of the sinking of the Lusitania
– Brought public opinion in line with government
– People supported a war they collectively did not
– In 1915 Germany suspended submarine warfare,
Germanys return to submarine warfare in 1917
led to Americas entry into the war
Germany’s Escalation of Aggression
• Beginning in 1918, Germany’s aggression
against the allies began to escalate
– United States entered into the war to reinforce
British lines
• Allied powers won
• Germany asked for an armistice to be followed
by peace negotiations based on Wilson’s 14
Wilson’s 14 points
• “Peace without victory” campaign won him
re-election in 1916.
– Culminated 14 points policy
– Proposed a new world order
• All nations, weak and powerful, could participate as
equals in the world.
Paris Peace Conference
• Wilson led the American delegation of the
Paris Peace Conference
• 14 points
– Code of conduct that embraced free trade,
freedom of the seas, open diplomacy,
disarmaments, and resolution of disputes
through mediation
League of Nations
• function as an international parliament and
• establish rules of international behavior
• resolve disputes between nations through rational
and peaceful means
• nine member executive council
• power to punish aggressor nations through
economic isolation and military retaliation
• Due to opposition, congress failed to ratify the treaty
The Big Three
• Conference controlled by
• Wilson
• David Lloyd George of Britain
• Georges Clemenceau of France
• France and Britain refused to include most of
the 14 points into the peace treaty. They
wanted to punish Germany.
The Big Four at Paris
•David Lloyd George of Britain, Vittorio Orlando
of Italy, Georges Clemenceau of France, and
Woodrow Wilson of the United States
© Getty Images
Treaty of Versailles (1919)
• Awarded portions of Germany to Denmark,
Poland and Czechoslovakia
– German territorial losses included the return of
Alsace and Lorraine to France and sections of
Prussia to the new Polish state.
– German land west and as far as 30 miles east of
the Rhine was established as a demilitarized zone
• disarmed Germany (all but 100,000)
• forced admission of responsibility for the war
• reparations of 33 billion dollars
Territorial Changes in Europe and the
Middle East After World War I
The Home Front: The Impact of Total
• 1. Political Centralization and
Economic Regimentation
– Draft/conscription
– Mobilization of all resources
– Price, wage, rent controls
– Rationing
– Nationalization of transportation systems
and industries
Socialist party Gains
• America,
– 1917 up to 20,000 farmers protested the war, the
draft and profiteering.
– It began to gain in strength rapidly.
– Politically in municipal elections of 1917
socialists made gains.
The Home Front: The Impact of Total
• 2. Public Order and Public Opinion
– By 1916 casualties decreased public opinion
– Government responded with expansion of police
powers and Propaganda against mounting
• Britain DORA Defense of the Realm Act
– Public authorities arrested dissenters as traitors
– Newspapers censored
– Publications suspended
pressured men to
•By 1916 Britain
resorted to
compulsory military
The Art Archive/Gianni Dagli Orti
Quieting Dissent
• France,
– 1917 suspended civil Liberties
• America,
– CPI (Committee of Public Information) campaigns
of 1917 and 1918
– Espionage Act 1917
– Sedition Act of 1918
Suppressing Dissent
• Espionage Act 1917
– Heavy fines and 20 years in prison in
obstructing the war effort
• Sedition Act 1918
– based on state laws designed to
suppress labor radicals
• severe penalties for speaking or writing
against the draft, bond sales, or war
production or for criticizing government
personnel or policies
• Prosecuted for writing or uttering any
statement that could be construed as
profaning the flag, constitution or
Committee on Public Information
• 1917 Wilson - CPI
– George Creel
• Goal “fight for the minds of men, for the
conquest of heir convictions”
• publicize and popularize the war
• unprecedented propaganda campaign
– “to make the world safe for democracy”
– Self-determination of Nations
Renewed Protest
• Demanding U.S. live up to its ideals at home
– Industrial democracy
– Women’s suffrage
– Deliverance of African Americans from second class
– Ethnic groups – opportunity for success
The Home Front: The Impact of Total
• 3. Women in the War Effort
– Women assumed men’s jobs
– 1, 345, 000 women entered workforce in Britain
• 1919 650, 000 unemployed, wages decreased for
those who remained
– 1918 in Germany 38% of Krupp armaments
workers were women
• Suffrage extended to women in Germany, Austria,
Britain and America following the war
Wilson’s 14 Points & Paris Peace
Wilson’s 14 points
– “self-determination” of nations
• 1919, Paris Peace Conference
– “Big Three”
• George Lloyd
• George Clemenceau
• Woodrow Wilson
• League of Nations
• Great Britain & France
– Right to rule former territories
as mandates
» German Territories in
» Ottoman Turkish lands
in the Middle East
A Mandates
• Middle East
• Almost ready for
– Advanced politically
and economically
enough for provisional
independence to be
• Iraq, Syria, Palestine,
• Balfour declaration 1917
& creation of Israel
B Mandates
Needed Several
generations of
Classification was constructed by
European and United States
Based on perceptions of
degree of inferiority of
particular non-Western
The degree of deviance
from Western Standards
Togoland (French West Africa)
Kamerun (French & British mandates)
German East Africa (British Tanganyika,
Rwanda, Burundi)
Intellectual Currents
• Social Darwinism
– Herbert Spencer
• Darwin’s theory of biological
evolution applied to
competition among cultures,
nations, people
• White Mans Burden
– Rudyard Kipling
• Anglo Saxon Movement
– Woodrow Wilson
– Kaiser Wilhelm II
C mandates To Britain
Pacific unprepared for independence in the
foreseeable future
Nambia given class C mandate to the Union of South
Africa in 1922
New Guinea mandated to Australia
Western Samoa to New Zealand
North- Western Pacific Isand to Japan