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I. The Stage is Set

            A. Pressure for peace

1. Aletta Jacobs was the first woman doctor in the Netherlands, and argued that if women won the vote, they would be able to prevent wars.

2. The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom was one organization that gave women a way to voice their concerns.

3. The First Universal Peace Conference brought leaders of many nations in The Hague in the Netherlands to settle dispute between nations. They were known as The Hague Tribunal.

            B. Aggressive nationalism

                        1. Nationalism was strong in Germany and France.

2. German’s were proud of their new empire’s military power and industrial leadership.

                        3. France wanted to regain its position as Europe’s leading power

            C. Economic and imperial rivalries

1. The British felt threatened by Germany’s rapid economic growth. They had modern factories that outproduced Britain’s older ones by 1900.

2. In 1905 and in 1911, competition for colonies brought France and Germany to the brink of war.

3. Germany also wanted to keep France from imposing a protectorate on the Muslim kingdom of Morocco.

            D. Militarism and the arms race

                        1. Militarism, or the glorification of the military, rose in the late 1800’s.

                        2. The rise in militarism grew partly out of the ideas of Social Darwinism.

3. The German militarist Friedrich von Bernhard clamed that war was “a biological necessity of the first importance.”

            E. A tangle of alliances

1. In order to protect themselves, many great powers tried to protect themselves through alliances.

                        2. Nations signed treaties and pledged to defend each other.

3. In 1914, Germany and Austria-Hungary fought on the same side and became known as the Central Powers.

II. The guns of august

A.     A murder with millions of victims

1. A small revolutionary group in Serbia in 1914 heard the news one night that Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary would visit Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia, on June 28. Immediately, the group decided that Ferdinand must die.

2. A terrorist group, commonly known as the Black Hand, was created by Bosnian Serbs to organize all South Slav peoples into a single nation.

3. When it came time for action, two of three conspirators carrying bombs and pistols lost their nerve, but the third hurled his bomb at the archduke’s care. He injured an officer in another car.

B.     Peace unravels

1. Francis Joseph, the emperor of Austria, blamed Serbia when he heard of his nephew’s assassination.

2. Austria ordered Serbia to end all anti-Austrian agitation and punish any Serbia official involved in the murder plot in order to avoid war.

3. On July 28, Austria declared war on Serbia when they did not comply with all of their demands.

C.     Whose fault?

1. During the war, each side blamed the other. However, after the war, the victorious allies blamed Germany.

2. Austria wanted to punish Serbia for encouraging terrorism. Germany wanted to stand by Austria, its dependable ally. Russia saw Austria’s ultimatum to Serbia as an effort to oppress Slavic people. France feared that they would have to face Germany alone later if they did not support Russia. Britain felt committed to protect Belgium. They also feared Germany’s force.

3. On both sides of the war, the people were committed to the military and were eager to enlist.

III. A new kind of conflict

A.     The western front

1. Modern weapons during the time added to the destructiveness of the war.

2. In 1914, German artillery could shell enemy lines from a distance of 15 miles away.

3. By 1918, German artillery could shell the enemy lines from 70 miles away.

B.     Other European fronts

1. At the battle of Tannenberg, Russia suffered one of the worst defeats of the war.

2. As Russia was one of the least industrialized of the great powers, they were poorly equipped to fight in a modern war.

3. Many times, troops of the Russian army did not even have riffles, making it hard to compete.

C.     The war beyond Europe

1. Canada, Australia, and New Zealand sent troops to Britain’s aid from their small colonies in Africa and Asia.

2. Some people in the colonies volunteered eagerly and expected their service in the war would result in citizenship or independence. Others, however, had a different opinion.

3. Japan, an ally to Britain, used the war as an excuse to seize Germany outposts in China and islands in the Pacific. They also tried to impose a protectorate on China.


IV. Winning the war

A.     Effects of the stalemate

1. “Total war” s the channeling of a nation’s entire resources into a war effort

2. All of the warring nations, except Britain, imposed a draft.

3. Both sides waged a propaganda war, and showed the other side as barbaric.

B.     Women at work

1. When the men left to fight, the women took over their jobs and kept national economies going.

2. Many women worked in war industries and manufactured weapons and supplies.

3. Other women volunteered in the Women’s Land Army and went to the fields to grow their nation’s food.

C.     Collapsing morale

1. By 1917, Germany was sending boys as young as 15 years old to fight.

2. Britain was on the brink of bankruptcy.

3. Both sides were threatened by food shortages, long casualty lists, and the failure of generals to win promised victories that led to calls for peace.

D.     The United States declares war

1. After staying neutral for so long, the United States declared war on Germany in 1917.

2. One reason the US joined the war was the unrestricted submarine warfare. German submarines constantly attacked merchant and passenger ships carrying American citizens.

3. The US also had cultural ties, especial to Britain. They were sympathetic to France because it had a democratic government.

E.      Campaign to victory

1. In March of 1918, the Germans pushed the Allies back 40 miles by July.

2. The Allies slowly drove the German forces back across France and Belgium.

3. The new German government sought an armistice, or agreement to end the fighting, on November 11, 1918

V. Making the peace

A.     The costs of war

1. More than 8.5 people died during the war

2. About double the amount of people that died were people injured, and many of these people were handicapped for life.

3. More than 20 million people died in just a few months from the flue epidemic that spread soon after the war.

B.     The Paris peace conference

1. Wilson wanted the Fourteen Points to be the basis of the peace

2. Secret agreements made by the Allies during the war were one of the major issues at the Paris Peace Conference.

3. Many people who had been ruled before the war demanded national states of their own.

C.     The treaty of Versailles

1. In 1919, the peacemakers summoned representative of the new German Republic to the palace of Versailles outside of Paris to sign a treaty drawn up by the Allies.

2. In the treaty, it forced Germany to assume full blame for causing the war.

3. The treaty imposed huge reparations that would put the German economy under a huge burden.


D.     Other settlements

1. Britain and France gained mandates, or territories that were administered by western powers, over German colonies in Africa and Ottoman lands in the Middle East.

2. Italy was angry because it did not get all the lands promised in its secret treaty with the Allies.

3. Russia, who was excluded from the peace talks, resented the reestablishment of a Polish nation and three independent Baltic States on lands that had been part of the Russian empire.

E.      Hopes for global peace

1. More than 40 nations joined the League of Nations and agreed to negotiate disputes rather than resort to war.

2. Although Wilson’s dream had come true, the US refused to ratify the treaty and never joined the league.

3. The league was basically powerless in preventing aggression or war. However, it was a huge step in creating an organization dedicated in maintaining peace.