The Great War, or WorldWar I, was the first of itskind. It was the war toend all wars, involving allthe great world powers.World War I was theresult of leaders’aggression towards othercountries which wassupported by the risingnationalism of theEuropean nations.
International Disquiet Imperialism Nationalism Militarism Arms Race Alliances’ Economic Competition No International Peace Organization
June 28, 1914 Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the Austria-Hungarian throne, was assassinated in Sarajevo. The assassination sparked Europe into a frenzy and began a chain reaction that started the war. Germany declares war in August 1914.
The British ocean liner RMS Lusitania, famous for its luxurious accommodations and speed capability, primarily ferried people and goods across the Atlantic Ocean between the United States and Great Britain. Since the outbreak of World War I, ocean voyage had become dangerous. On May 7, 1915 a German U-boat launched a torpedo and sank the Lusitania within 15 min. Of the 1,959 people on board, 1,198 died. The toll of civilians killed in this disaster shocked the world. 128 of the dead were Americans.
Trench warfare is a form of land warfare using occupied fighting lines consisting largely of trenches, in which troops are significantly protected from the enemys small arms fire and are substantially sheltered from artillery.
Poison Gas Gas Masks Machine Guns Tanks Submarine German Zeppelins Military Plan Radio
AT dawn the ridge emerges massed and dunIn the wild purple of the glowring sun,Smouldering through spouts of drifting smokethat shroudThe menacing scarred slope; and, one by one,Tanks creep and topple forward to the wire.The barrage roars and lifts. Then, clumsilybowedWith bombs and guns and shovels and battle-gear,Men jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire.Lines of grey, muttering faces, masked withfear,They leave their trenches, going over the top,While time ticks blank and busy on theirwrists,And hope, with furtive eyes and grapplingfists,Flounders in mud. O Jesus, make it stop!-Siegfried SassoonAt Creiglockhart, July – November, 1917
the German Army opened the Western Front by first invading Luxembourg and Belgium, then gaining military control of important industrial regions in France. The tide of the advance was dramatically turned with the Battle of the Marne. Following the race to the sea, both sides dug in along a meandering line of fortified trenches, stretching from the North Sea to the Swiss frontier with France. This line remained essentially unchanged for most of the war.
“To such a task we can dedicate our lives and our fortunes, everything that we are and everything that we have, with the pride of those who know that the day has come when America is privileged to spend her blood and her might for the principles that gave her birth and happiness and the peace which she has treasured. God helping her, she can do no other.” - Woodrow Wilson Source: Source Records of the Great War,Vol. V, ed. Charles F. Horne,National Alumni 1923
Propaganda was used to spark emotion into the American People. Sometimes it would be fear, hope, or patriotism. Emotional appeals and simplistic caricatures of the enemy influenced many Americans. No matter what, propaganda posters made an impact on the choices Americans made during the war.
Women played a significant part in the war. Some worked as nurses to aid wounded solders. Some worked in factories and farms to take the place of men. Some volunteered for different causes and organizations, such as driving for the Motor Corps; and some even dresses as men to fight for their country. Some women supported the home front by preserving food, and growing gardens.
The final Allied push towards the German border began on October 17, 1918. Alliance between the Central Powers began to collapse. A German Republic was declared and peace feelers extended to the Allies. At 5 AM on the morning of November 11 an armistice was signed in a railroad car parked in a French forest near the front lines. The terms of the agreement called for the cessation of fighting along the entire Western Front to begin at precisely 11 AM that morning. After over four years of bloody conflict, the Great War was at an end.