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World War I

European Perspective
by

Geoff Cleveland

on 2 May 2016

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Transcript of World War I

WWI
Lasted from July 28, 1914 till November 11, 1918
WWI
: Called the Great War
Early 1900's
Europe was divided into a number of Sovereign nation-states
Most countries were monarchies, many of them being constitutional Monarchies
Industrial Nation-States
1914
: Britain, France, and Germany controlled about 80% of the world's inhabited surface
Britain, France, and Germany possessed about half of the world's industrial might.
British, French, and German merchants controlled half the world's international trade
Four factors that influenced the start of the Great War?
Imperialism:
Developed nations taking over less developed areas
Militarism:
Glorification of armed strength
Nationalism:
Strong identification of a group of people through the gain of political power
Alliances:
An agreement between two or more parties
National groups did not have their own states, or not one that included the territories they wanted.
Poles
Ukrainians
Croatians
Serbs
Czechs
Germany has a rapid rise as an industrial and military power
Germany concerned about its borders
Three Emperor's league:
Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia
Triple Alliance:
Germany, Italy, Austria-Hungary
Triple Entente/Allied Powers:
Military alliance between Russia, Great Britain, and France
Serbia
1878: Congress of Berlin recognizes Serbia's independence
Serbia wants to gain territories of Bosnia and Herzegovina because they wanted an outlet to the Adriatic Sea
Bosnia and Herzegovina are protectorates of Austria-Hungary
Russia supports Serbia
Britain does not want Russia to gain access to the Mediterranean Sea
Germany wants to bring the Ottoman Empire into the Triple Alliance
The plan is to extend Germany into the Balkans and the Middle East via a Railroad
Britain and Russia become stronger allies because they do not want Germany to grow
Archduke Francis Ferdinand, who was the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary was visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina
Serbian Terrorist shot Ferdinand and his wife
Serbian revolutionaries considered Austria as the enemy of Serbia
Serbian officials accused of terrorism
Austria-Hungary makes demands
1) Serbian Government must suppress all groups that oppose the Austro-Hungarian Government
2) Serbia must dismiss school teachers and ban books that did not support Austria-Hungary
3) Serbia must dismiss government officials who spoke out against Austria-Hungary
4) Austria-Hungary officials must be allowed to participate in the trials of those accused in the assassination
Serbia accepts only first three terms

July 28th, 1914: Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia
Russia sends troops to the border of Austria-Hungary and Germany
Germany is an ally of Austria-Hungary so it mobilizes its troops
August 1, 1914: Germany declares war on Russia
France and Britain mobilize their troops
Germany declares war on France on August 3rd
August 4th: Germany marches through a neutral Belgium on their way to France
Great Britain declares war on Germany
Japan joins forces with Great Britain and France because they think they can gain German possessions in China and the Pacific
Italy
All the nations of the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente are at war except Italy
Claims that Austro-Hungarians acted as aggressors and thus the Triple Alliance was nullified
May 1915: Italy signs a secret treaty with Great Britain, France and Russia which guarantees Italy a share of the spoils after the expected defeat of Germany and Austria-Hungary
Italy proceeds to declare war on Germany and Austria-Hungary
October 1914: Ottoman Empire joins the Central Powers
Block allies from sending supplies to Russia
Central Powers
Allied Powers
Great Britain, France, and Russia
Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Empire
Had more soldiers and greater industrial capacity
Eventually made up of 32 countries
Territory extends from North Sea to the Middle East
WAR
Britain had the world's largest navy
Germany became the first country to use submarines in naval warfare (U-Boats)
New Weapons being used: Machine Guns and long-range artillery
Airplanes are being used to observe enemy troop movements
Airplane Dogfights
Dropping bombs on enemy targets
1916: Great Britain introduces the tank
Tear Gas
Mustard Gas
Chlorine Gas
Trench Warfare
British decide to block the North Sea so that merchant ships can't reach Germany
German U-Boats set up their own blockade around Great Britain
May 1915
German U-Boat Sinks the British Liner Lusitania off the coast of Ireland
Lusitania is carrying a cargo of war materials as well as passengers to England
1,200 People are killed, including 128 Americans
Up to this point; America has been supplying food, raw materials, and munitions to both sides
1917: Zimmerman Telegram
Arthur Zimmerman; a high official in the German foreign Ministry, sends a secret telegram to the German Ambassador in Mexico
This telegram details a proposed alliance between Germany and Mexico
Germany would offer assistance to help Mexico regain Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas if Mexico would join the Central Powers
The British intercept the telegram and decode it.
President Woodrow Wilson declares war on Germany on April 6, 1917
March 1918: Russia signs a peace treaty with Germany but gives up a lot of territory. Russia is desperate for peace amongst internal civil war
Treaty with Russia allows Germany to pull troops from the Eastern Front and concentrate on capturing Paris
American Forces arrive just as Germany is 37 miles from Paris
Bulgaria surrenders September of 1918
Ottoman Empire asks for Peace
October 1918: Austria-Hungary breaks up and forms separate governments
November 1918: Germany signs an armistice, an agreement to stop fighting
November 11, 1918
Germany had to cancel the treaty with the newly renamed Soviet Union
Reduction of Navy including all U-Boats
Turn over much of its munitions including release war prisoners
Withdrawal of German troops to behind their borders
Over 9 million dead
Over 21 Million Wounded
Historians say that the war cost about $300 Billion
January 1919: Victorious allied nations met at Versailles in what is known as the Paris Peace Conference
They met to discuss various Peace treaties that would re-shape Europe and enforce stiff penalties on Germany
In addition, any colonies that the Central Powers held in Asia or Africa would be handed over to the Allied Powers
Took 6 months to draw up the final treaty that we now know as the Treaty of Versailles
This treaty strictly dealt with Germany. Other Central Powers were dealt with in separate treaties
Germany had to pay Reparations
$442 Billion
Germany made its last payment in 2010
Treaty carves large chunks from German territory
Germany is allowed an army of just 100,000 men
Not allowed to manufacture heavy artillery, tanks, or airplanes
Could only have a few ships, but no subs
Have to abolish the military draft
A competition between countries to see who can create the most powerful weapons
AKA: Pride in one's country
Help each other in a time of need
But America will not challenge the British blockade
Germany is cutoff from receiving food, military supplies
Famine strikes in 1917 and an estimated 750,000 Germans starve to death
Winning the war was not a job for American Soldiers alone
Full transcript