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 PeaceOrganization
June 28, 1914 ArchdukeFrancis Ferdinand, heirto the Austria-Hungarianthrone, was assassinatedin Sarajevo. Theassassination sparkedEurope into a frenzy andbegan a chain reactionthat started the war.Germany declares war inAugust 1914.
The British ocean liner RMSLusitania, famous for its luxuriousaccommodations and speedcapability, primarily ferried peopleand goods across the Atlantic Oceanbetween the United States and GreatBritain. Since the outbreak of World WarI, ocean voyage had becomedangerous. On May 7, 1915 a German U-boatlaunched a torpedo and sank theLusitania within 15 min. Of the 1,959 people on board, 1,198died. The toll of civilians killed inthis disaster shocked the world. 128 of the dead were Americans.
Trench warfare is a formof land warfare usingoccupied fighting linesconsisting largely oftrenches, in which troopsare significantlyprotected from theenemys small arms fireand are substantiallysheltered 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 theWestern Front by first invadingLuxembourg and Belgium, thengaining military control ofimportant industrial regions inFrance. The tide of the advancewas dramatically turned with theBattle of the Marne. Followingthe race to the sea, both sidesdug in along a meandering lineof fortified trenches, stretchingfrom the North Sea to the Swissfrontier with France. This lineremained essentially unchangedfor most of the war.
“To such a task we can dedicate our lives and ourfortunes, everything that we are and everything thatwe have, with the pride of those who know that theday has come when America is privileged to spend herblood and her might for the principles that gave herbirth and happiness and the peace which she hastreasured. 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 tospark emotion into theAmerican People.Sometimes it would befear, hope, or patriotism.Emotional appeals andsimplistic caricatures of theenemy influenced manyAmericans. No matterwhat, propaganda postersmade an impact on thechoices Americans madeduring the war.
Women played a significantpart in the war. Some workedas nurses to aid woundedsolders. Some worked infactories and farms to takethe place of men. Somevolunteered for differentcauses andorganizations, such asdriving for the Motor Corps;and some even dresses as mento fight for their country.Some women supported thehome front by preservingfood, and growing gardens.
The final Allied push towards theGerman border began on October17, 1918. Alliance between the Central Powersbegan to collapse. A German Republic was declared andpeace feelers extended to the Allies. At 5 AM on the morning of November 11an armistice was signed in a railroad carparked in a French forest near the frontlines. The terms of the agreement called for thecessation of fighting along the entireWestern Front to begin at precisely 11 AMthat morning. After over four years of bloodyconflict, the Great War was at an end.