World War I


"Causes of World War I"

Franz Ferdinand

1863 - 28 June 1914

Archduke Franz Ferdinand and presumed eventual heir of the Austria- Hungary empire was a liberal reformer who sought to establish a triple monarchy which which would include the Serbs as a third level of power in the empire. He was assassinated by a Bosnian- Serb revolutionary group fighting for slavick independence, in order to jojn a southern slavick country. This event sparked World War I, calling upon the crackdown from Austria on the Serbs. This resulted in Austria seeking Germany's support in crackdown, resulting in Serbia's ask for support from Russia.

Allied Powers in early 20th century

1900 - 1914

Triple Alliance: UK, France, Russia
The United Kingdom at this time was very satisfied with the status quo, holding a huge empire and the financial capital of the world. It was an isolationist country, despite the home rule movement in IR, holding a powerful navy as well. France was similarly comfortable with the status quo, with large holdings in SE Asia and Africa, along with a powerful land army. Russia was a doomed empire, though had a huge amount of land. It desired more land, port cities and influence.

World War I

1914 - 1918

Otherwise known as the "Great War," World War I was unprecedented in the sheer volume of countries involved, death and most highly mechanized war in world history. The first war in Europe since the Prussian War, there were five major factors that led to the war that "everyone fell into." Imperialism, Nationalism, Militarism, Propaganda and Alliance systems.

Italy joins Triple Entente


Switching back and forth throughout WWI and II, Italy was ambitious for more land in Africa and Europe.

USA joins Triple Entente


Though the United States heavily profited from selling materials to both sides of the war through 1917, because of such events as the 'triple whammy' president Wilson eventually entered the war. Joining the triple entente, the United States entered the war with the strong democratic sentiment and an End all war attitude. Such speeches as the Fourteen Point plan and other actions greatly influenced the outcome and course of the war.

"World War I- Conduct of the War"

Alfred Graf Von Shlieffen

1833 - 1913

This war strategist for Germany had a 42 day plan to win the war. The main point of strategy to complete this plan was to keep from having to fight a war on the Eastern AND western front. He wanted to take both Paris and St. Petersburg through a highly planned daily goals. This strategy did not work, partially because of the conflict with the Belgians in German's path to France.

Woodrow Wilson presidency

1913 - 1921

Woodrow Wilson, a liberal academic, was a major figure in the war, despite his 1916 platform of keeping the United States out of the war. Because of the US' isolationist ideals and lack of public support, the US delays entering the war until three events force its involvement. At the end of the war, Wilson's 14 point plan became a uniting speech, as well as winning him the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to enact the League of Nations.

Battle of the Marne

September 1914

Belgian guerrilla warfare working to fend off German invaders, working their way through Belgium to reach Paris. Belgium was a neutral power and would resist invasion, which ultimately served the Allied Forces. This point resulted in poor press for Germany, and a surge of propaganda spreading exaggerated stories and horrors by German soldiers.



Because the British were preventing Germany from receiving any supplies through a navy blockade, Germany began manufacturing submarines to shoot down boats entering the UK. In 1915, Germany shot down a passenger ship with 1000 passengers heading to the UK. This was bad press for Germany, even though the ship was smuggling ammunition. This resulted in a ban on h boat warfare on civilian boats.

War of Attrition Continues

1916 - 1917

Because of imperialistic ambition and a vision for victory blinding leaders, the war continued despite the lack of advance or progress for either side. This resulted in massive resistance towards the war, including a Russian revolt, strikes in France, eroding support on the homefront and lack of supplies for both soldiers and civilians.

Troop Inspections in the Trenches


World War I was fought in multiple trenches, spanning across to the enemy's own trenches. The attitude in the trenches was a far-sweeping "live and let live" ideology, resulting from both the horrific results of the violence of war, but also the poor living conditions for the soldiers. In 1916, there were troop inspections in the trenches, capturing some of the disgusting conditions and the effect it had on soldiers, including 'trench foot'.

War of attrition

1916 - 1917

Using new tactics of trench warfare, the war of attrition was a time period of bleeding the other side's resources without any true advances on either side. This included the battle of verdun and Somme.

Battle of Verdun

Feb 1916 - July 1916

The battle of verdun was a battle between the Germans and the French which resulted in many deaths but no progress for either side.

Battle of Somme

November 1916

This battle between Germany and the UK was horrific in sheer scope of death and was but one batter in the era of attrition, in which neither side made any progress.

The Triple Whammy


Three events forced the United States into World War I, despite its isolationist ideals. The first was Germany's resuming of the U-Boat attacks. The second was the Zimmerman Telegram of February 1917, in which the German foreign secretary sent a telegram to emissaries in Mexico promising Texas, New Mexico and Arizona back if they fought for the Central Powers. The telegram was intercepted by the British in Washington DC and given to Wilson. The last 'whammy' was the Russian Revolution. This forces Russia to secede from the war and enacts a brief democracy. These three events convince Wilson to enter the war, and on April 4, 1917, the United State issues a declaration of war. In June, 1917, troops are on the ground.

Germany's Spring offensive

March 1918

Germany launches a new offensive tactic which entails attacking the side of the trenches holding the resting allied soldiers. This is an effective tactic, but the German army lacks supplies. It is met with the British 100 days of counter-offensive.

"The Russian Revolution"

Ivan IV

1530 - 1584

Ivan IV or "Ivan the Terrible" was the first Czar of Russia and represents the 'old' Russia with complete despotism of state and church, as well as the old Russian values to the more modern czars of later centuries.

Peter 'The Great'

1682 - 1725

Peter 'The Great' was an enlightenment leader who wanted to incorporate Russia into Europe, but was still the self-proclaimed 'autocrat of all Russians." He established St. Petersburg as the new capital, he desired a warm water port to increase trade sans seasonal restrictions. He also ruled during an era of great expansion for Russia, increasing the scope of its growing empire. Although he was an enlightenment leader, his ways of ruling and the large population kept in serfdom showed the doomed nature of his empire.

Alexander II

1855 - 1881

Alexander the Great was a liberal reformer, responding to the times, though acting too late with too little. He liberated serfs in 1861, created local government, better education, a criminal justice system, and reformed the military. However, in March of 1881, he was assassinated by anarchists called the "People's Will."

Vladmir Lenin

1870 - 1924

Lenin was one of the 20th century's more consequential leaders, leading the second revolution of 1917, when Russia becomes the first communist state. He promised "peace, bread and land" to the huge population of Russian workers and peasants during a consuming war. He promised an end to war and the power placed in the hands of the soldiers, workers and peasants. He was the head of the Bolshevick party, desiring immediate change into a Marxist state.

Alexander Kerensky

1881 - 1970

Alexander Kerensky was part of the Provincial Government and part of the Soviet, a socialist group. He was a moderate socialist who kept Russia in WWI in order to gain a warm water port. He grew up in the same town as Lenin and instituted some change in Russia, but not enough to stop the revolution of November. Woodrow Wilson liked Kerensky, and after he was thrown out of office, he spent the rest of his life in the United States.

Alexander III Rule

1881 - 1894

The son of Alexander II, he responded with little liberalism, reacting to the assassination of his father, a reformer. He started a crackdown on all liberals and revolutions who disagreed with him or his policies, which resulted in the secret growth of revolutionaries. He also persecuted minorities throughout Russia, and authorized the pogroms of Western Russian Empire.

Nichollas II

1894 - 1917

The last czar before the revolution, Nichollas II was aloof, weak and ineffective. Despite attempts at minor reform, his mistreatment of peaceful protesters, his completely ineffective control of the military and his complete alienation from his people resulted in the overthrow of the last czar in 1917, ending Russia's involvement in the war and the establishment of the first communist state.

Crisis of 1905


Several events during 1905 revealed the weakness of the Caesaropapist system. The first was the Russo-Japanese war, in which the Japanese wins back the warm-water port that Russia claimed in China. The Russians also tries to establish the Trans-Serbian Railway, and again claim Port Arthur. The Japanese are much stronger militarily and was the first Asian country to defeat a European country in modern time. Secondly, Bloody Sunday was a peaceful protest in which workers were asking for better pay and rights, and the guard at the palace kills many peaceful protesters. Thirdly, there was great unrest in the military, and soldiers rise up in the Mutiny of Battleship Potemkin. The two result in a general strike in St. Petersberg, and assassinations of government officials. Lastly, the czar attempts to calm the people by issuing the October Manifesto in which a parliament is established. However, recommendations are made to the czar and he destroys the duma.

Nichollas II takes direct control of the military


So out of touch. He also has a mystic running the government during this time.



When Lenin seized control, he sent Trotsky to negotiate with Germans in a cease fire. Trotsky at first did not sign the treaty, granting much of Russia's resource-rich land to the Germans, but under Lenin's advisement, he did, reasoning that Russia would win the land back. The Treaty of Versailles eliminated the result of this treaty.

Russian Revolution

March 1917

The revolution begins in Petrograd, starting with riots and the army sides with the public revolutionaries. A provisional government is set up, which keeps Russia in the war until the Bolshevicks take power. The Bolshevick party favored immediate change and a rush to socialism, which the Menshevicks (in fact the majority) favored gradual change to socialism, following Marxist principals. Kerensky was put into power to keep revolutionary marxists at bay, because he was a moderate socialist. He kept Russia in the war, and one could argue that this action was what pushed Lenin into world prominence.

October Revolution

7 November 1917

Bolshevicks in power, despite democratic election saying otherwise. Leon Trotsky was sent to end the war through the Brest-Litsvok treaty, in which Germany receives the Western side of the Russian Empire for its resources.

"Consequences of WWI and the Treaty of Versailles"

Georges Clemenceau

1841 - 1929

At the time of the Treaty of Versailles, Georges Clemenceau was serving his second term as prime minister, a long standing person of power in the political realm of France and the world. He still saw Germany as a threat, coming from his experience in the Franco-Prussian war, and wanted to make Germany pay for the damage they wrought on his country. He also survived assassination attempts at the peace talks!

Woodrow Wilson

1856 - 1924

Woodrow Wilson was the president of the United States from 1912-1920 and also won the Nobel Peace prize for his work in developing the League of Nations. He was a strong liberal and academic from Virginia, and was a known idealist and old-fashioned leader. He was at first opposed to getting involved in the war, but after the Triple Whammy in 1917, he advocated for US' involvement in the war.

David Lloyd George

1863 - 1945

David George was Britain's prime minister, and was approaching the Treaty of Versailles as a major event before the election season and was wary of Britain's public opinion. He shared Clemenceau's distrust of Germany, but also understood that if they were to ravage Germany, all of Europe would be greatly effected. He was a mediating figure in the talks.

Sykes- Picot Agreement

1915 - 1916

This secret agreement between the French and English divided the Middle East into Neo-colonies, disregarding ethnicity or religion. The legacies of this agreement exist today because of the arbitrary borders and neo-colonial nature of rule.

Hussein- McMahon

1915 - 1916

This was a discussion among the Arab tribes and the British to try and reflect the interests of the Arab tribes to create Arab nation states.

Wilson's Fourteen Points Speech

January, 1918

Woodrow Wilson gave a speech to the US congress, heard by the entire world, detailing 14 points he sought to achieve in World War I. They detailed changes in secret alliances, nations' opportunity for independent development and the League of Nations, something Wilson would later go on to win the Nobel Peace Prize for. All points of this plan was to further democracy world-wide and to namely prevent another world war. Germany heard this speech, which comforted them, pushing them to declare armistice.

Flu of 1919

1918 - 1919

Because of the troop movement across Europe and soldier's damaged immune systems, a horrific flu spread across Europe, killing 25 million people in 6 months. This combined withe amount of death because of combat added to the loss of human life during this period.

Treaty of Versailles


The Treaty of Versailles were the 1919 peace talks regarding Germany and Austria-Hungary. It lasted almost a year, and included major international players including, US president Wilson, British prime minister David George, and French prime minister Georges Clemenceau, among others. The treaty was signed on June 28, 1919 and resulted in major territorial, economic and societal change for Germany, Austria-Hungary and the world. Many speculate the harsh treatment of Germany in the treaty created an opportunity for political extremism, starting WWII.

Treaty of Sevres

August 10 1920

The Treaty of Sevres dealt with the Ottoman Empire, and how to break up the huge empire among the Allied Forces. The divisions did not reflect ethnicity, religion or other factors which create functioning nation states. The Republic of Turkey refused to enact the treaty and resulted in the Treat of Lausanne.

The Republic of Turkey


After the overthrow of Sultan Mehmed VI, who was forced to sign the treaty of Sevres, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk claimed power and refused to enact the treaty. He fought for more land for the Turks and ushered in the Treaty of Lausanne, claiming more land for the Republic of Turkey.