Everyone was confident that a short war would lead to a decisive victory.
European society could continue.
The First World War was long and indecisive.
The military stalemate lasted four years.
The Great War was simply the shell-shocked generation of survivors.
Russia's war-weary people revolted against their tsar, Nicholas II, in March 1917, forcing him to abdicate.
The war against Germany continued despite the establishment of a government.
The second revolution was staged by the Communist Bolshevik Party and promised an end to the war.
The establishment of history's first Communist state was paid for by the Germans who forced a harsh peace on the Russians.
The event would have a profound effect on the course of the twentieth century.
The Allies of the Great War were aware of the importance of their decisions when they gathered in Paris in 1919 to write the peace.
Some came to Paris looking for revenge, others for the spoils of war, and a few for an idealistic end to war.
The process was complex and massive, but few left Paris satisfied with the results.
The delegates wanted peace and prosperity for a long time.
The First World War was the beginning of a break in world history.
The maps of Europe and southwest Asia were redrawn, nationalist movements took root and spread across Asia, America consolidated its position as a global power, and the world experienced a total war for the first time.
Europe's Great Powers were 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 This global war of unprecedented scope was made possible by Imperialism, which brought the conflict to the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
The young soldiers who went to war believed in the pre-1914 world of order and progress.
The world as they had taught it to us broke in pieces after the first bombardment.
The debate over the Great War's origins continues a century after it ended.
In the Versailles treaty, the victorious Allied powers said that Germany was to blame for the war.
The war's origins lie in the 19th century, and its immediate causes lie in the few years and months before the war, especially one particular morning in June 1914.
The glorification of the military as the supreme ideal of the state with all other interests is one of the major ideologies of the nineteenth century.
European concerns over national security, economies, welfare, identities, and overseas empires set nation against nation, alliance against alliance, and army against army until they all went to war at once.
The military is the supreme ideal of the state and all other interests are subservient to it.
Germany became the most powerful country in Europe in 1871 when it became a unified nation-state.
Chancellor Bismarck declared that Germany was a "satisfied" power with no territorial ambitions within Europe and only peace.
Keeping France isolated and without military allies was the first concern of the man.
His second concern was to prevent Germany from being dragged into a war between Austria-Hungary and Russia, as they sought to fill the power vacuum created in the Balkans by the Ottoman Empire's decline.
To ensure the balance of power in Europe and to prevent the outbreak of war, a series of treaties and alliances were brokered by Bismarck.
In 1890 Germany's new emperor, Wilhelm II, forced Bismarck to resign and then abandoned his efforts to ensure German security through promoting European peace and stability.
France courted the tsar, offering loans and arms, and signed a Franco-Russian Alliance in 1892, after the tsar refused to renew a non-aggression pact he had signed with Russia in 1887.
Great Britain's foreign policy became more important as France and Russia allied against Germany, Austria, and Italy.
The Germanic and Anglo-Saxon peoples were seen as natural allies by many Germans and Britons.
The good relations between Prussia and Great Britain that had existed since the mid-eighteenth century gave way to a bitter Anglo-German rivalry after 1890.
There were many reasons for this development.
Germany and Great Britain have a commercial rivalry in world markets and Kaiser Wilhelm expressed his intention to create a German empire.
The decision in 1900 to add a fleet of big-gun battleships to the navy heightened tensions, as German nationalist militarists saw a large navy as the legitimate mark of a great world power.
The British considered this expansion a challenge to their naval supremacy.
British leaders used alliances and agreements to shore up their position.
The United States and Britain had better relations in the 19th century, as well as an alliance with Japan and a settlement of all colonial disputes with France.
At the Algeciras Conference in 1906, Germany left the meeting empty-handed because it forced France and Britain closer together.
The crisis in Morocco was a diplomatic revolution.
Germany was viewed as a potential threat by Britain, France, Russia, and the United States.
German leaders began to suspect that there were plots to block Germany's development as a world power.
The Anglo-Russian Agreement was signed by Russia and Britain in 1907.
The alliance of Great Britain, France, and Russia in the First World War was a result of this treaty.
By the time war broke out, Europe was divided into two opposing alliances: the Triple Alliance of Britain, France, and Russia and the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy.
Italy joined the Entente in 1915.
Europe's leading nations were divided into two hostile blocs by 1909, ill-prepared to deal with upheaval in the Balkans.
One day the great European War will come out of some foolish thing in the Balkans, said the prescient Bismarck in 1897.
The Balkans war seemed inevitable by the early twentieth century.
Following the death of her father and two brothers in battle, Tringe Smajli took a vow of chastity, adopted male clothing, and joined Albanian rebels revolting against the Ottoman Empire in 1912.
She is a People's Hero of Albania.
The Serbians looked to Russia for support.
Austria annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1908 in order to block Serbian expansion.
Without Russia's support, Serbia could not do anything.
Austria-Hungary's leaders were dismayed by the sudden event, fearing that Austria-Hungary might be broken apart.
The Ottoman Empire lost a lot of territory after the Congress of Berlin in 1878.
Ethnic boundaries that did not follow political boundaries threatened Austria-Hungary by 1914.
On June 28, 1914, Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, during a state visit to the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo.
AustriaHungary's leaders held Serbia responsible and on July 23 presented Serbia with an ultimatum that included demands amounting to Austrian control of the Serbian state.
Austria declared war on Serbia on July 28.
In Austria-Hungary's fateful decision, Germany's support was of paramount importance.
Russia could not stand by and watch the Serbs and so war was likely between Austria and Russia.
Great Britain would remain neutral if Russia and France went to war.
Europe's military leaders had been drawing up war plans and timetables for a long time, and now these are the ones that dictate policy.
On July 28, as Austrian armies bombarded Belgrade, Nicholas II ordered a partial mobilize against Austria-Hungary.
Russia had assumed a war with Austria and was unable to mobilize against the other.
On July 29 Russia declared a general war.
A two-front war was prepared by the German general staff.
The Schlieffen plan called for first knocking out France with a lightning attack through neutral Belgium to capture Paris before turning on a slower-to-mobilize Russia.
German armies invaded Belgium.
On the following day, Great Britain declared war on Germany.
The majority of the population in each country supported the war in August 1914.
German soldiers were moving slowly along an enormous front instead of quickly capturing Paris.
The German line was attacked by the French at the Battle of the Marne.
The Germans were forced to fall back after France threw everything into the attack.
The war on the western front was concentrated in Belgium and northern France, while the war in the east encompassed an enormous territory.
The armies dug in behind rows of trenches, mines, and barbed wire.
There was a "no-man's land" of one hundred to three hundred yards between the two people.
A line of parallel zigzag trenches stretched from the Belgian coast to the Swiss frontier.
The slaughter on the western front began in earnest in November 1914.
After four years of battles, young soldiers went "over the top" of the trenches in attacks on the enemy's line.
Soldiers run with their feet cut off as we see men living with their skulls blown open.
There is a small piece of the convulsed earth that we lie on.
We have given the enemy no more than a few hundred yards of it.
Territorial gains were minuscule while the human cost was staggering.
The British and French gained 125 square miles at a cost of 600,000 dead or wounded in the Battle of the Somme in 1916.
The Germans lost half a million men.
Chemical gases, tanks, airplanes, flamethrowers, and the machine gun were some of the new weapons of war.
"I am staring at a picture of Hell," wrote British poet Siegfried Sassoon during the Somme offensive.
In World War I, fighting behind rows of trenches, mines, and barbed wire cost lives and limited gains in territory.
In August and September 1914, the Russians were defeated by the Germans at the Battles of Tannenberg and the Masurian Lakes.
2.5 million Russians were killed, wounded, or taken prisoner.
The neutral countries entered the war because of the changing tides of victory and hopes of territorial gains.
Italy became a member of the Triple Alliance in 1884.
In May 1915, Italy joined the Tripleente of Great Britain, France, and Russia in exchange for promises of Austrian territory.
Bulgaria joined the Triple Alliance in order to get back at Serbia.
John Nash was an English artist who served as a soldier with the First Battalion Artists' Rifles from 1916 to 1918 and then served as an official war artist in 1918.
The Artists' Rifles left their trench to attack Welsh Ridge in France on December 30, 1917.
Many of the casualties occurred during the first few minutes of the advance, but Nash was one of only twelve soldiers not wounded or killed by German shelling and gunfire.
The generation who experienced the Great War produced some of the best literature and poetry of the twentieth century.
Three of the most famous poems of the Great War were written by soldiers.
"The Soldier" is the most famous of the sonnets that he wrote in 1914.
On April 23, 1915, at the age of twenty-seven, he died while traveling with the British Mediterranean Expeditionary Force to Gallipoli.
"In Flanders Fields" was written by a Canadian doctor.
He died of pneumonia while working at a Canadian field hospital in northern France.
Owen wrote "Dulce et Decorum Est" in 1917.
He was killed in battle a week before the armistice.
That is for England.
A body of England's, breathing English air, Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home, is a rich dust concealed in that rich earth.
The larks, still singing, heard Scarce.
We are dead.
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, loved and were loved, and now we lie in the fields.
The torch is yours to hold high.
We will not sleep, though the poppies grow in the fields.
Towards our distant rest began to go downhill.
Many had lost their footwear.
There were gas shells behind.
It was like a man in fire or lime.
I saw him drown under the green sea.
The Ottoman Empire joined with Austria and Germany in October 1914.
The Turks were allowed by a German alliance to abandon the limitations on Ottoman sovereignty imposed by Europeans in the 19th century and also to settle old grievances with Russia.
The entry of the Ottoman Turks made the war a global one.
The British protected their rule in Egypt while Russia attacked the Ottomans.
The British tried to take Constantinople and the Dardanelles from the Ottoman Turks but were defeated.
Thousands of Australians and New Zealanders were killed on both sides.
Australia sent 329,000 men and economic aid to Britain during the war.
The casualty rate for New Zealanders in the war was one of the highest in the world.
New Zealand's native soldiers fought on the western front.
New Zealand became a nation after the end of the battle of the Somme and the landing at the cove on the Gallipolian peninsula, according to Ormond Burton, a New Zealand infantryman.
The British encouraged Arabs to revolt against their Turkish overlords.
The ruler of the Ottoman Empire's territory along the Red Sea was Hussein ibn-Ali.
In 1915 Hussein won vague British commitments for an independent Arab kingdom, with himself as king of the Arabs.
He joined forces with the British under T. E. Lawrence, who in 1917 led Arab tribesmen and Indian soldiers in a successful guerrilla war against the Turks on the Arabian peninsula.
In the Ottoman province of Iraq, Britain captured Baghdad in 1917.
The old Ottoman state was smashed in 1918 by British armies aided by imperial forces from Egypt, India, Australia, and New Zealand.
The war changed the Middle East.
On August 23, 1914, Japan joined the Tripleente and began attacking German-controlled colonies and territories in the Pacific.
Japan seized Germany's holdings in China.
Colonies in Africa and East Asia were affected by the war.
More than a million Africans and Asians served in the various armies of the warring powers, with more than double that number serving as porters.
31,000 Africans died on the western front due to being drawn primarily from French West Africa, and British South Africa.
Many of the men joined up to get clothes, food, and money.
Others did so because they were promised better lives when they came back.
Most were uneducated and had no idea what to expect.
One West African infantryman wrote that black African soldiers were very sad about the white man's war.
During the first year of the Great War, Indian soldiers served on the western front before being sent to the Middle East to fight in the Mesopotamian campaign.
Some men sit and play cards while others watch, in this posed piece, one of a series of photos of the Indian "martial races" distributed as postcards and used for slide-show lectures.
British and Indians were reassured by the photos that Britain took care of its soldiers.
The impact of the war on the colonial troops was profound.
Europeans were thought to be super because of fighting against and killing them.
New concepts like nationalism and individual freedoms were brought home to be used in future liberation struggles.
The United States declared war on Germany in April 1917.
The war at sea gave rise to American intervention.
Britain and France blockaded the Central Powers at the beginning of the war.
Germany launched a counterblockade using a new and deadly submarine.
More than a thousand people died.
President Wilson protested.
Germany was forced to restrict its submarine warfare for almost two years or face war with the United States.
The German military command resumed unrestricted submarine warfare early in 1917 because they were confident that improved submarines could starve Britain into submission before the United States could come to its rescue.
This was a big mistake.
The United States tipped the balance in favor of the Tripleente after declaring war on Germany.
The impact on civilians was larger than on the men in trenches.
Total war resulted in increased state power and promoted social equality.
It led to a growing antiwar movement.
Within months of the outbreak of the First World War, national unity governments began to plan and control economic and social life in order to wage.
The old distinction between soldiers on battlefields and civilians at home was blurred by these total-war economies.
The ability of central governments to manage and control economies went up and their powers went up along with it.
In World War I, a war in which the government plans and controls all aspects of economic and social life in order to make the greatest possible military effort.
Germany went furthest in developing a planned economy.
The War Raw Materials Board was set up by the German government in order to ration and distribute raw materials.
Food was rationed, and the board was able to produce synthetic rubber and synthetic nitrates for scarce war supplies.
The Reichstag was forced to accept the auxiliary service law after the Battles of Verdun and the Somme in 1916.
Women worked in war factories, mines, and steel mills.
France and Great Britain were aided by the fact that they could import materials from their colonies and the United States, which helped them mobilize less quickly and less completely than Germany.
The Experience of War World War I enlisted the efforts of both male and female adults and children, both at home and on the battlefield.
It was not a romantic endeavor, but a terrifying and painful experience for everyone involved.
Two different wartime experiences are offered in the documents below.
The first letter was written by a German soldier.
The diary of a woman from Austria.
Think about the different ways war was made real for these two people.
"So fare you well, for we must now be parted," was the first line of the soldier-song we often sang in the streets of the capital.
These words are even truer now, and they are to say farewell to you, to my dearest friends, and to all that I value and prize.
Souchez is a dangerous spot.
The blood has not yet flowed down the hill.
The 142nd attacked and took four trenches from the French.
We have been brought here to hold these trenches.
There is something strange about this hill-position.
Each time the company came back with a loss of twenty, thirty or more men, the other battalions were ordered here in support.
We had 22 killed and 27 wounded in the days when we had to stay here.
The shells are loud, the bullets whistle, the mud is filthy, and the shell-holes are so deep that one could bathe in them.
Everybody needs to be prepared for death.
I have attended funeral-parades where a number of dead were buried in one large grave.
The way one throws the dead bodies out of the trench and scatters dirt over the remains of those that have been torn to pieces is not good.
I left the house because I rebuked myself for being sentimental.
I tried to protect myself from the rain with galoshes, waterproof, and umbrella.
When I left the house at seven o'clock, I wanted to be in the front of the line.
The sale began.
The most determined, who had spent the night outside the gates of the hall, displayed their bounty to the waiting crowd: a ragged, quite freshly slaughtered piece of meat with the characteristic yellow fat.
The crowd became very uneasy and impatient, and before the police could prevent it, those standing in front organized an attack on the hall which the salesmen inside were powerless to repel.
Everyone took whatever he had and 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 800-361-3020 The stands were overturned and the police closed the gates.
Many of the people who had been there all night were angry and demanded their due, and the mounted police made a charge, causing a wild panic and much screaming and cursing.
I reached home with a broken umbrella and only one galosh.
During the last four years, we have grown accustomed to standing in lines and having to go home empty-handed.
Most of the time, those who are sent away give cause for police intervention.
One of the pale, tired women who have been waiting for hours collapses from exhaustion more and more often.
The scenes which took place inside and outside the large market hall seemed to me to be natural.
The patient apathy with which we housewives endure seemed to me to be blameworthy and incomprehensible.
New York: Ray Long & Richard Smith, 1932, pp.
The social impact of war was more profound than the economic impact.
The demand for workers at home was created by the military's need to put soldiers in the field.
momentous changes were brought about by this situation.
Increased power and prestige for labor unions was one of the changes.
In return for real participation in important decisions, unions cooperated with war governments.
The entry of socialist leaders into the war governments was paralleled by the entry of labor leaders.
Women's roles have changed a lot.
Women went to work in industry, transportation, and offices in every country.
I am going into a factory to make shells while you are at the front.
The women are shoveling thousands of shells into boxes to be shipped to France.
In all the warring nations, women worked in munitions factories, handling dangerous chemicals and operating dangerous machines.
Women who fought in the war were given the right to vote.
Women became highly visible as bank tellers, mail carriers, and even police officers.
Women changed their attitudes towards women.
After the war, Britain, Germany, the United States, and Austria granted the right to vote to the women who were let go.
There was a significant conservative backlash in the postwar years, but traditional views of gender remained remarkably resilient.
As the war progressed, many men became hostile towards women.
Some people were angry that mothers, wives, and girlfriends encouraged them to fight in the war.
Vera Brittain was marked by her wartime experiences.
The Great War struck Europe's young people with the greatest force.
Brittain bristled at small-town conventions and discrimination against women because he was raised in a wealthy business family.
She wanted to be a successful writer.
After finishing boarding school, Brittain passed Oxford's rigorous entry exams and won a scholarship to its women's college.
She fell in love with the best friend of her brother, Edward, as well as a brilliant student from a literary family.
All three, along with two more close friends, Victor Richardson and Geoffrey Thurlow, were prepared to enter Oxford in late 1914.
She wrote in her diary that she was worried that England would commit the "grossest treachery" toward France if it declared neutrality.
Brittain began to wonder if any victory or defeat could be worth the life of the man he was writing to.
Brittain redoubled her commitment to England's cause and volunteered as an army nurse.
She spent three years in military hospitals in London, Malta, and northern France, torn between the vision of noble sacrifice and the reality of human tragedy.
She lost her sexual inhibitions when she cared for mangled male bodies.
On Christmas Day, 1915, she was greeted with a telegram that she had been killed two days before.
Brittain's idealistic patriotism was overwhelmed by the first of several devastating blows.
The first two people to die from gruesome wounds were Geoffrey and Victor.
Vera felt a common humanity as the last great German offensive filled her war-zone hospital with wounded and dying German prisoners.
Edward died in action.
Review flashcards and saved quizzes
Getting your flashcards
You're all caught up!
Looks like there aren't any notifications for you to check up on. Come back when you see a red dot on the bell!