Leading up to World War I 3 things help bring the war to a start: 1. Nationalism- This means to have pride in one’s own country and to want certain freedoms or independence – relates to imperlialism 2. Militarism- This means the glorificationof war and the military. --Europe was experiencing an “arms race” --Military plans that were set in stone 3. Alliances- This term means agreements between nations to form a group. Due to all this tension, Europe was nicknamed the powder keg.
Formation of Alliances Alliances were formed in Europe by certain countries for trade and protection. It would be the formation of these alliances that would help to start World War I (WWI). There were only two European Alliances: Triple Alliance (Central Powers) Triple Entente (Allied Powers) 1. Germany 1. Britain (England) 2. Italy 2. France 3. Austria 3. Russia
England vs Germany Arms Race Britian’s “Two Power Standard”
During Wilson’s Presidency Tensions Begin Boiling in Europe
The “Balkans” were the real powder keg
The Start of WWI Due to growing tension, war in Europe was about to start. June 28th, 1914 Archduke Francis Ferdinand (the future king of Austria) was shot to death while visiting Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia. He was assassinated by GavriloPrincip who was a member of a secret nationalist group called the Black Hand.
Archduke Franz Ferdinand GavriloPrincip
The Car of Death
After the shooting, 15 people would go on to own the car. It would be involved in 6 separate accidents leading to 16 deaths.
World War I Begins After his assassination, all countries in Europe would be involved in WWI. Assassination was the first domino to fall…Austria declares war on the Serbs, Russia declares war on Austria, Germany then declares war on Russia and France (they knew they had to), etc US & Britain still not involved…but had eyes on the situation WWI marked an end to a long era of international peace. This would be the largest and most expensive war the world had ever seen.
Austria-Hungary invades Serbia to begin the war
The Schlieffen Plan
Germany was surrounded on two sides by enemies so they made a plan
Russia would be unorganized and slow to act…so take out France 1st
Send troops through neutral Belgium around French forces…capture Paris within 3 weeks
Then turn and focus all resources on Russia
The Schlieffan Plan
Britain had a semi-secret agreement with Belgium, and just like that Britain had entered the war
A couple things happen:
Britain quickly gets troops into France to help
Russia is faster than Germany thought and began invading…Germany sends troops to help
These factors keep Germany from capturing Paris…they get within 30 miles
Both sides in France dig trenches and a bloody stalemate lasts for the next 3 years on the western front
German supply train on its way to Paris“Trip to Paris”
US Remains Neutral
Now that England (our closest allie) was involved in the war, pressure was building for us to get involved as well
Woodrow Wilson did not want to get involved in the Great War
His cabinet urged him to side with Britain
US big business was also heavily invested in the Allies and pushed to support them
Britain also desperately wanted the US’s help and began using propaganda to draw us into war
Propaganda Propaganda is a technique for shaping public opinion and influencing people. 1. Newspapers4. Telegraph 2. Magazines 5. Radio 3. Telephone 6. Flyers Britain came up with creative ideas to get America involved. One of the lies was that Germany was using the bodies of dead soldiers as grass fertilizer.
USA still didn’t want to join…until a couple of unforeseen events made it impossible to not get involved.
Sinking of the Lusitania Germany issued a statement that any ship found off the waters of England was subject to getting sunk by U-boats. (under water boats or submarine) May 7th, 1915 the British passenger liner Lusitania was sunk by a U-boat. 1,200 people died including 128 Americans. Germany stated that the boat was carrying contraband from the United States.
1916 Presidential Election Wilson still refused to go to war but did give one last warning to the Germans called the Sussex Pledge Sussex Pledge – Germany agreed to certain conditions and US would keep out of war Wilson ran for reelection on a platform of being the peacetime president who kept the US out of war He won by a narrow margin
Zimmerman Telegram (Note) In early 1917 U.S. intelligence intercepted note from Germany to Mexico. It was written from the German foreign minister Arthur Zimmerman. Germany wanted Mexico to invade the U.S. and keep us busy. After Germany won in Europe, they would come help Mexico regain the “lost territory” of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona.
United States Goes to War Three major events led the U.S. into WWI 1. Lusitania 2. Zimmerman Note 3. American belief of propaganda April 2nd, 1917 President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war.