World War I

Unit 14: World War 1 (Ch. 27)
SSWH16 The student will demonstrate an understanding of longterm causes of World War I and its global impact.
a. Identify the causes of the war; include Balkan
nationalism, entangling alliances, and militarism.
b. Describe conditions on the war front for soldiers;
include the Battle of Verdun.
c. Explain the major decisions made in the Versailles
Treaty; include German reparations and the mandate
system that replaced Ottoman control.
d. Analyze the destabilization of Europe in the collapse of
the great empires; include the Romanov and Hapsburg
The Causes:
1) Nationalism
(devotion and
loyalty to one's
own country;
Much of the origin of
the war was based
on the desire of
the Slavic peoples
in Bosnia and
Herzegovina to no
longer be part of
Austria Hungary
but instead be part
of Serbia.
2) Imperialism
(the policy of
extending the rule
or authority of an
empire or nation
over foreign
countries, or of
acquiring and
holding colonies
and dependencies)
3) Militarism
(the glorification of armed
4) System of Alliances
Over time, countries throughout
Europe made mutual defense
agreements that would pull
them into battle. Thus, if one
country was attacked, allied
countries were bound to defend
Militarism & Arms Race
Total Defense Expenditures for the Great Powers [Ger.,
A-H, It., Fr., Br., Rus.]
in millions of £s.
1910-1914 Increase in
Defense Expenditures
1815 to 1839: After
the Congress of
The Ottoman
Empire, having
emerged from the
Middle Ages
predominant in the
Balkans, controlled
Serbia and Bosnia
and Herzegovina at
its northern
1914: Eve of the First World
The Turks were driven from
most of the Balkans in the
19th century and were
replaced by rivalrous
European powers. With
Russian patronage, an
independent Serbia was born
alongside an Austriancontrolled Bosnia, where a
Serbian nationalist ignited
World War I by assassinating
the Austrian crown prince.
The Spark:
The immediate cause of World
War I that made all the
aforementioned items come into
play (alliances, imperialism,
militarism, nationalism) was the
assassination of
Archduke Franz
Ferdinand and his wife,
of Austria-Hungary.
June 1914
June 28, 1914—the assassination of the heir to the
Austrian throne in Bosnia, capital of Sarajevo
He pulled the pistol from
his pocket, took a step
towards the car and fired
Austria declared war on Serbia
on July 28, 1914
Great War Begins
The Allied Powers:
Triple Entente
• Britain
• France
• Italy
• Russia
• United States
The Central
• Germany
• Austria-Hungary
• Ottoman Empire
• Bulgaria.
War in the West become
one of position instead of
movement—both sides
dug in behind a wall of
Battle of Verdun (in France near German border)
It was the longest single battle of WWI.
Lasted over 300 days
Flame throwers were used for 1st time
It is said that the French lost over 360,000
and the Germans nearly 340,000.
"You eat beside the dead; you drink beside the
dead, you relieve yourself beside the dead and
you sleep beside the dead.“ unknown French
The Trenches
The soldiers had very
little decent food,
and what food they
had was often
attacked by rats.
These rats were the
size of small rabbits
and badgers because
they had fed on the
decomposing bodies
of dead soldiers.
Many men killed in the trenches were buried almost
where they fell. Corpses and food litter attracted
rats. One pair of rats can produce 880 offspring in a
year and so the trenches were soon swarming with
• One soldier wrote: "The rats were huge. They were
so big they would eat a wounded man if he couldn't
defend himself." These rats became very bold and
would attempt to take food from the pockets of
sleeping men. Two or three rats would always be
found on a dead body. They usually went for the
eyes first and then they burrowed their way right
into the corpse.
Rats killed in one trench
Modern Warfare
• Neither soldiers nor officers were
prepared for the new, highly efficient
killing machines used in World War I.
• New weapons killed thousands of soldiers
who left their trenches to attack the
• The machine gun / hand grenade /
artillery / bayonet / poison gas / flame
thrower / submarine / airplane /barbed
wire /
Weapons of WWI
New Technology + old tactics = horrible losses
Trench knife
Trench Shovel-Germans
Gas Masks
German stick grenade
WWII grenade
Poison Gas
Chlorine Gas – 1915 Germans first used it
rags soaked in water or urine
Gas Mask
Mustard Gas-sulfuric acid gas - yellow
Mustard Gas
The most lethal of all the poisonous chemicals used during the war, it
was almost odorless and took twelve hours to take effect. Yperite was
so powerful that only small amounts had to be added to high explosive
shells to be effective. Once in the soil, mustard gas remained active for
several weeks.
The skin of victims of mustard gas blistered, the eyes became very sore
and they began to vomit. Mustard gas caused internal and external
bleeding and attacked the bronchial tubes, stripping off the mucous
British-first tanks
Early tank-Little Willie 1915
French Tank
German Tank – lagged behind Allies in
tank development
Both sides used bolt action
rifles for the infantry
In the beginning they surfaced
to warn the other ship
1918 depth charges improved
Dog Fight
The Russian Revolution 1917
•until March 1917, Russia was a monarchy, last
headed by Czar Nicholas II
•big revolution in March 1917
•from March-November 1917, a temporary
government was put into place
•smaller/"nearly bloodless" revolution in November
1917, called the Bolshevik Revolution
(remember, Lenin was the head of the Bolsheviks
and the Bolsheviks were communists)
•by the end of 1917, civil war broke out, Bolshevik
"Red Army" vs. "White Army" (opponents, such as
army leaders, political opponents, and wealthy
•late 1920, Bolsheviks triumph in civil war
•by 1922, the country was communist and called the
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) or Soviet
Union (and it stayed this way until 1991)
The official end of the
Habsburg empire came on 11
November 1918, when
Emperor Charles I (Karl Franz
Joseph), King of Hungary, King
of Bohemia and Croatia, made
his famous proclamation:
"Filled now as ever with
unchangeable love for my
people I will no longer set my
person as a barrier to their free
development ... The people has
now taken over the
government through its
The Habsburg
Emperor Charles I
Austria -Hungary
After WWI: Austria would
be forced to cede large
parts of empire, including
Hungary and Balkan
territories (Slovenia,
Croatia, Bosnia),
minimizing it to a fraction
of its size going back
centuries, trimmed down
to primarily cover areas
dominated by AustrianGerman populations.
After WWI: Upon the loss of
Austria-Hungary in WWI, it
was forced to divide into
natural states according to
ethnic groups. Therefore,
Hungary became
independent at conclusion of
war, but lost possession of
significant Hungarian
population inside
Transylvania, which was
awarded to Romania by the
End of WW1
The Treaty of Versailles
and the League of Nations
End of War
• Nov. 9, 1918 – Rebellion in Berlin led to the
establishment of German Republic (Kaiser out)
• No decisive battle to end war, but German war
machine was exhausted
• November 11, 1918 at 11:00 Germany stopped the fighting
Treaty of Versailles
• The main points of the Treaty [BRAT]
The first 26 Articles of the Treaty set out the Covenant of the League of Nations the
rest of the 440 Articles detailed Germany's punishment:
• 1. Germany had to accept
the Blame for starting the
war (Clause 231). This was
vital because it provided
the justification for...
2. Germany had to pay £6,600 million (called
Reparations) for the damage done during the war.
3. Germany was forbidden to have submarines or
an air force. She could have a navy of only six
battleships, and an Army of just 100,000 men. In
addition, Germany was not allowed to place any
troops in the Rhineland, the strip of land, 50 miles
wide, next to France.
4. Germany lost Territory (land) in Europe (see map,
below). Germany’s colonies were given to Britain
and France.
(Also, Germany was forbidden to join the League of
Nations, or unite with Austria.)
Effects of WW1
• 1. Political Chaos
A) Collapse of Monarchies
– Russia, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman
– Instability will ultimately lead to rise of Dictators
B) Creation of New Countries
--Czechoslovakia, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia,
Finland, Yugoslavia, Syria, Iraq
--Leads to Ethnic Conflicts
2. Crushed Economies
Parts of Europe completely
demolished by the fighting
farm lands, industry
• German reparations were so high,
unable to keep up
• Economic stagnation –
unemployment, sagging currencies
• Leads to DEPRESSION, especially in
Social Chaos
• displaced refugees
• Social damage from:
10 million men dead
millions wounded and/or disabled
5 million widows
9 million orphans
• Psychological damage due to shell shock, loss of limbs, death of
• Lead to: alcoholism, morphine addiction
• Many disabled soldiers struggling to find a new role in society
England, Russia, France and Austria
decide how to slice the Turkish
Empire; a 1918 cartoon in Puck
magazine after Turkey lost WW1
MandateArea, usually a former
colony, to be administered by the
government of another nation.