WWI Presentation Jacob Weier

The crisis in Morocco:

  • One the first major events to create tension in Europe was Germany's actions towards the French ally.
  • The first issue came when the Kaiser of Germany denounced the French influence and he tried to test the strength between France and Morocco.
  • The second crisis was when the Kaiser tried to provoke the British and French nations by stationing a German war ship of the coast of the city.
  • The German government claimed that it's goal was to protect the interests of German citizens in Morocco.

The Balkans:

  • Before the 19th and 20th centuries the Ottoman Empire controlled much of the region today known as the Balkans. However as the empire lost its control of these nations due to nationalism and Revolution other nations sought to take control of them.
  • Austro-Hungary and Russia were the ones who aimed to overtake this region and they used the Balkans as their battle ground.
  • Tensions rose between the two as Russia supported nationalism and independence of each nationality in the Balkans, however Austro-Hungarian empire wanted to expand its borders and conquer weaker lands like the Balkans.
  • Russia also strongly backed Serbian and Slav nationalism, they did this while Serbia was bitter and angry towards the annexation of its neighbor Bosnia.

It's like Crimea:

  • While tensions between France, Germany, and Britain were rising from their arms race; a different reason for tension was found between Russia and the Austro-Hungarian empire.
  • The tension in the east was over the Balkans, this lead to the Balkan war and was rooted in the annexation of Bosnia.
  • For some time beforehand Austria had administered two independent provinces in this region, but following a meeting in Berlin, Bosnia was annexed and taken into the empire.
  • Russia was outraged at this act but chose the peaceful route and avoided war, even while Serbia was furious over the well being of the Serbian population in Bosnia.
  • Russia was determined not to be made a fool of, this in turn means that when the Austrians declare war on Serbia they won't back down again.

Arms race:

  • Another factor that was a strong proponent in the start of world war 1 was the strong sense of militarism throughout the European continent.
  • Countries like France Russia and Austria-Hungary fought in non violent arms races, these were unspoken battles between nations to see who could build the strongest and most advanced military.
  • Specific instances would have been the naval arms race between Britain and Germany and the construction of dreadnoughts, and the increased conscription of men in France, Germany, and Britain.

My country tis of thee:

  • The next factor that aided in ww1's cause would have been the strong sense of nationalism throughout the world, not just in Europe.
  • Countries like Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, and Portugal had developed the idea that they must spread their culture and impose their power over those weaker than them.
  • This includes occupying and colonizing countries in the pacific and in Africa.
  • This nationalism lead to each country having a specific view of what the world should be and who should rule, it also helped divide the Europeans and raise tensions even higher.

The death of an archduke:

  • The as sanitation of archduke Ferdinand was the major event that sparked the war and lead the world into chaos.
  • When Serbian nationalists attacked the archduke of Austria they shot and killed him while he watched a play.
  • The assassination made Austro-Hungary cry out in fury over the death of their leader. They became so enraged they declared war on Serbia.
  • Their declaration of war was the official start of the war and lead to all of Europe being plunged into war.

Enemies and friends:

  • While Austria only declared war against Serbia, due to the system of ughout Europe, the entire continent was dragged in.
  • On the allied side, since Serbia was allied with Russia, russia was forced to come to Serbians aid, however Russia was in alliance with France and in turn France was allied with Great Britain, this was to be known as the triple Entente.
  • On the enemy side Austria- Hungary was allied with Germany, and both nations had managed to persuade Italy to enter the war, but the nation had a secret deal with France to remain neutral if France was ever attacked by Germany.

Submarine campaigns:

  • With the creation and then violation of the Sussex pledge the US was highly tempted to enter the war and declare war against Germany.
  • The Sussex pledge was an agreement made by Germany that all submarines would warn a ship before they attack it, this allowed for any passengers and merchants to escape before the ship sank.
  • However Germany refused to follow this plan after they realized that the US had passed through the British naval blockade and was supplying munitions to allied forces in Europe.

Zimmerman telegraph:

  • The Zimmerman plot was another crucial factor in Americas entry into the war, the plot was a telegraph meant for the Mexican government that was intercepted by British code crackers.
  • The plot was for Germany to urge Mexico to enter the war by declaring war on the US. In return Germany had promised to supply Mexico with troops and supplies to fight, as well as land once the allies lost.
  • However Mexico never received this letter as it was intercepted.
  • The news of this letter drove the US government and populous to the brink of war yet it would take one more event for congress to meet and officially join the fight.

The Lusitania:

  • The sinking of the Lusitania was what most historians see to be the final straw for the US and entering the conflict.
  • The Louisiana was one of the many ships that was not honored by the Sussex pledge, however the difference between this and any other merchant ship was that it was carrying US citizens.
  • At the time of its sinking the us was officially neutral but the Germans had found out that many supposed merchant ships were actually smuggling supllies to the allies.
  • Because of this Germany attacked and sank this passenger ship. The reason why this drove the us to fight was because the American people had no clue what was really inside the ship, they simply thought that this was an act of German aggression against the US.

American opinion and German atrocities:

  • While many reasons for the us entry were political, some did stand out as social and were a factor because of the people.
  • Before the Zimmerman plot and the sinking of the Lusitania, Americans didn't have a reason for war, however the US population was spurred after they learned of the German attack on Belgium.
  • Newspapers and journalists across the world wrote of how Germany had invaded the neutral Belgium, how they had destroyed whole villages, killed innocent people, and even claimed the territory as their own.
  • Americans were enfuriated by German actions in Europe and began to sympathize with the Triple entente alliance in Europe.
-Before the Great War, America had kept a relatively small army, when the call for American support came the government was surprised and unprepared. The population had been weary of joining the military and participating in war after the civil war left many families torn apart and in shambles. When America first entered the war they had hoped all their support would be from supplying the allies with munitions & arms as well as strong navy shelling from offshore.
-With the minuscule army Wilson feared that he would have to instate a draft, the draft was unpopular to the president, people and senate of the US. However Britain and France soon revealed they were desperate for men and needed saving from Germany. Wilson soon estates a draft yet the new issue became training the army and transforming simple farmers into top of the line soldiers
-With an raised and trained at break neck pace for America, the life of a soldier became clear for many Americans. Most soldiers saw little time at the front line, some Americans did experience the fringe at the beginning of American involvement, this was from British and French troops needing relief from the war front. Instead of being in trenches men were often used for manual labor, even when soldiers were at times of "rest" they had back breaking work loads to complete.
-When men did have to serve in the trenches life became hell for them, with the Germans having now almost 4 years experience building trenches, their lines were nearly impenetrable. The Americans had never experienced or seen the brutality of the front line, to many it looked the surface of the moon, pockmarked with craters and devoid of life. Mother Nature had also taken its toll on the battlefield, whenever rains came it would create mud sometimes as deep as a soldiers waist, these horrible conditions however, are still not all of the issues on the western front. Another problem was the rats and bodies. Rats ran rampant through the trenches, stealing bits of food and spreading disease to the soldiers already in a world of misery, with the rats was also the body problem, men killed in the trenches weren't frequently given proper burials and were instead buried near or in the trenches. These makeshift graves meant that artillery shells could easily upturn and reveal decaying bodies. The last issue with the front line was the confusing network of tunnels and trenches, while the Germans had organized and secure trenches, the Americans and French kept a confusing and expansive network that had to be negotiated by soldiers everyday.
-In 1914 a small German fleet had made its way to South American and had intentions of attacking crucial yet unguarded trade routes from the resource producing colonies in the region.
-After the German fleet, under the command of admiral Spree, had beaten the outgunned and outnumbered British squadron, the fleet was to move on and target the coal mines and British radio outpost in the Falkland Islands. The German fleet was preparing to raid the radio station and render the coaling operation there useless, however two ships being loaded with coal soon learned of their plans and set off to destroy the fleet.
  • The two ships were none other than Britain's highly capable and modern battle cruisers, the HMS Inflexible and the HMS Invincible.
  • These ships made their way from port Stanley unbeknown by the German fleet, soon Spree's fleet realized the danger they were in, they were trapped between the destructive Invincible & Inflexible, and the approaching Japanese naval fleet originally dispatched to aid at the battle of colonel.
The German fleet decided to take their chances with the British and hoped to possibly break through the two ships and flee to safety in the Mediterranean. The Germans were horrible outgunned and initially ran from the two cruisers, however Spree soon realized they would be outpaced by the faster ships and brought the fleet about to fight. Shortly after the ships were taking a toll and attempted to flee the British again, but this time only one escaped attack. This one ship was the light cruiser the Dresden, it roamed at large through the south Atlantic before the captain scuttled the ship and ran.
-The life of the soldiers during this battle would have varied to some degree. The British took pride in their navy and many boys and men took pride in being a member of her majesty's Royal fleet.-Many German sailor never left port because of the British dominance in the Atlantic. This lead to weariness and a refusal to fight which lead to the Kiel revolution
  • Their success came as a great morale boost for the British sailors and the Military as a whole for the allied forces, with the Germans broken and defeated they withdrew any hope of leading a naval campaign in the south Atlantic.
  • From this the fate of the German navy was sealed, they would be forced to keep their most powerful dreadnoughts and battle ships at port for fear of being surrounded by British and French ships.

After entering the war America soon became a sea of German hatred and American propaganda

  • Americans learned to hate the leader of Germany, the Kaiser
  • Many political cartoon were aimed at the fall of the Kaiser and the destruction of Germany as a whole.
  • The Kaiser was often portrayed in stereotypical German uniforms with spiked helmets but always smaller than the U.S.
  • Sentiments towards the German culture were also severed in the United States.
  • In places like schools German was no longer taught to kids, orchestras and radios were afraid to play or broadcast German composed pieces of music like Beethoven or Mozart.
  • Sauerkraut was now referred to as Liberty cabbage, German products were barred from entering the United States and any German owned companies couldn't sell anything. America learned to despise virtually all of their culture and traditions
  • While the military and people may have been ready to go to war, it's neither free or cheap. The government needed millions of dollars to fight in Europe and fund the war effort
  • To help reduce the costs the United States set up the liberty loan system, this system was a way for money to stream into the government. American people would be urged to purchase these Liberty loans with the promise of being fully reimbursed so long as the U.S won.
  • Every time the government needed more money to go into the war effort they went on a campaign, at the end of the campaign they would start spending the money, when the money was gone they would start another campaign.
  • With most of the men gone of to war or drafted the work force shriveled, however a booming industry would be needed to supply and support the war.
  • To supplement the lack of men, women were entering the work force for the first time, with their suffrage movement in full force women took many of the rolls that men previously occupied. They worked in factories, offices and almost every other line of work. It became the norm around the country and was satisfying for those women who hoped to be more in life than a homemaker and a wife
  • The beginning of World War One was the peak of opposition toward Americas entry and even the war in general.
  • Many argued that this violence was destroying years of hard work away from the violent and brash actions of the past, they called upon the us to either stay out of the issue entirely or act as a peace keeper and facilitate negotiations, or become the mother that stops two children from fighting by beating them both.
  • Many people were motivated to avoid war in the start of 1914, mothers were afraid to send their boys off to war to be slaughtered, young men didn't want to be sent off either. Many activists were outraged at their work being swiped away in a mater of days and hours, along with investors and business men fearing the impact this could have on their profits and on economic affairs around the world.
  • Once German aggression escalated and the submarine campaigns sank more and more American ships sympathies with peace faded.
  • With America in the thick of the war every aspect of life was needed to help in the war, this ranged from the American population being placed on ration stamps, to companies being forced to manufacture for the war effort, to people being encouraged to keep quiet about military plans, no matter how small.
  • Many people around the nation received ration stamps, these stamps would be used to "purchase" food from stores, however the stamps limited how much food people could obtain. Many were also encouraged to eat sparingly to save more rations and foods for the fighting men.
  • Everyone needed to give their part in fighting war, this meant companies were forced to change their production to products either necessary to winning the war or only the basic necessities for American back home. Fords plants began building heavier or armored cars rather than the model T. Radio companies now designed communication systems for the military crucial to the movement of troops.
  • With the Germans finally ready to lay down their weapons, Woodrow Wilson.lsoj was ready to stride into Europe, and galvanize his 14 points into the peace negotiations
  • Germany had been beaten back by the torrent of American soldiers that came to Europe, eventually it wasn't the skill or strength of Americas troops, rather their chipper spirit and massive numbers demoralized the German army to the point where they knew it was useless to fight.
  • While the U.S. only helped the war through the supplying of rations and men, Woodrow Wilson attempted to take the lead in the peace negotiations to prevent imperialism and hatred from affecting negotiations.
  • With Wilson at the head of peace negotiations he came prepared with a list of 14 points he hoped to include in the treaty of Versailles and other agreements
  • These 14 points were designed by the president with his strong sense of idealism in the hopes that he could prevent another war on this scale from happening again, he also wished that nations in Europe would cease with their imperialistic ways of government .
  • While european diplomats and leaders greeted Wilson and his willingness for peace, they welcomed him at an arms distance, they feared that his wilsonianism would spread into their countries. While wilsonianism may have proven effective in America these European leaders wanted to retain their almost colonial like power and prevent any uprising form the people.
  • The treaties and the peace negotiations finally sorted and decided, they were practically forced upon the unwilling German government
  • While Wilson had a grand plan for Europe and justice in the world he was barred from entering all of his point into the treaty of Versailles, the French, British, and Italian leaders were at a stalemate with Americas president for some time in the negotiations
  • With France and Britain immovable on their stance Wilson had to remove some of the smaller points to get the bigger ones across. This allowed France especially to slip some of their hatred towards Germany into the treaty
  • Wilson was forced to help negotiate with Russia and Italy directly over territorial disputes. He had to encourage Italy to release confiscated lands, coaxed Russia to support nationalism in their controlled territories, and even strongly opposed Japan's imperialism in the South Pacific.
  • Wilsons Creation of the League of Nations was a success however due to technicalities and the senate at home, it backfired and gave power back in the hands of imperialist Europe.
  • The LoN had admitted most major powers like France and Italy but Wilson was forced to leave Europe for a brief period of time to deal with the senate
  • While many nations were entering the super nation group America was not able to join right away. The rules of entering the organization had stated that the countries government must agree in whatever form it normally does. With senate in the republican favor they chose to oppose Wilson in any way possible, that included entering the League of Nations
  • Without the U.S. To keep other countries in check France and England continued their colonial ways in the Middle East by taking Syria and Saudi Arabia. After Japan broke basic rules in the code of conduct they were removed from the league, not ok long after that the organization entirely fell apart due to the U.S. beng unable to lead it in the right direction

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