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Lecture 5

HIS 1110 Lecture 5.docx

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Henry Habib

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HIS 1110 Lecture 5 Part 1 – Up to what is on the midterm MOTTO: “The future belongs to those who dare making it happen” War of movement to war of position, the war wasn’t going anywhere. The Central Powers were winning on land, and the Allies at sea. The Belligerence realized that a decisive victory would demand disproportionate slaughter and ruin its expanses. If you had to win the war, there would be a great slaughter of people (in the end of WWI, 20 mil people were dead). At one point, Pope Benedict XV (1914-22), described WWI as the “suicide of civilized Europe.” He declared the Holy See its neutrality during the war and attempted to mediate 1916-17. - The German’s, rejected what they called “Papal Peace.” - French PM Clemenceau described the initiative of Benedict as “anti-French” - Having failed in his diplomatic initiative, the Pope decided to focus on humanitarian efforts to lessen the impact of the war, help war prisoners, and tried to bring food to wherever it was needed On December 12, 1916, Germany proposed discussing peace with the Allies - It was a stale mate and no one was winning - They were ready to talk peace - The Allies, however, rejected the German proposal as “empty and insincere” - The US president, Wilson, suggested an interchange of views trying to say “why don’t you talk at least” - The German’s responded that they had already made such suggestions - The Allies responded to Wilson with a general sort of definition of their objectives “fine, we will talk, provided Germany would evacuate Belgium, Serbia, Montenegro, the invaded territories of France, of Russia, of Romania (which they invaded), and they insisted in their response that the liberation of Italians and Slavs from the A-H empire and setting free the population under the bloody tyranny of the Turks. - In 1915, the Turks committed genocide against the Armenians who lived in the Automan Empire, as the Turks killed 1.5 million of them. This was the th first genocide of the 20 century. - Compensations from Germany and guarantees for the future of Europe were also demanded - The Allies proposed the dissolution of the A-H Empire, which was a “no-no” for the German's - The Allies also insisted that Germany and A-H were exclusively responsible for the war o Although this is a difficult situation when you consider that the assassination of the Archduke is what brought upon the war, and Serbia, as a result, urged Russia to go to war. - The Central Powers rejected the proposals and this destroyed all hopes of a peace conference and condemned Europe to nearly 2 more years of war, nearly 2 million more people were killed as a result The Allies had planned to make 1917 a year of success - The time has come to attack the Central Powers on all sides - Their hopes were betrayed through the collapse of Russia, who was going to get out of the war, bringing a block to the Allies - Russians were demoralized by the slaughter on the front - The failure of getting weapons and supplies and the despair among the Russians with the disastrous reverses by Paul Von Hindenburg, demoralized them - Russian armies and the Russian people broke into a popular revolt (they couldn’t take it anymore) and Russia forces were dissolved in spontaneous anarchy on the Russian Front - Nicholas II abdicated/ resigned on March 15, 1917, and a provision of government was assigned by a small, liberal Kerensky, representing a liberal democratic movement within Russia o Here we have a change in government - The French and British hoped that the new Russian government would continue to fight the war with vigorous effort, but they were unable to keep the war going - A second revolution/uprising took place on November 7, 1917, when the Bolsheviks took over the government of Russia (Lenin) o Decided that Russia would withdraw from the war o By March 1918, they signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany o This brought out the Russians from the war - This is a setback for the Allies who have lost an ally, Russia, the Eastern Front, (now German's were only fighting on one front), making things more complicated for the Allie - While this was taking place, the Campaign of Unrestricted Submarine Warfare, started to affect the lives of many, including neutrals o in February 1915, they decided to start again after a year off o Neutrals were affected, mainly Americans o Any ship that came close to the “warzone” was blown up by German submarines o This annoyed the Americans who brought up the Freedom of the Sea, which is a violation of International Law o In addition, Americans had great sympathy for Belgium and France (France in Particular because they helped them in the American War of Independence). o There were also German agents working within the USA.  There was a telegram, ‘the Zimmerman Telegram,’ interrupted by US agencies.  All of this together played a role in shaping public sympathy in the US for the Allies o American Financiers gave 1.5 billion dollars in credit to the Allies - On February 3, 1917, the USA broke diplomatic relations with Germany - On April 6, 1917, the US congress voted to declare war on Germany o This was a tremendous bananza for the Allies o Meant new energy for Allies o Manpower o Enormous wealth coming in from the USA o American natural resources were now going to be used for the war o Millions of Americans were mobilized o Loans were extended to the Allies o America sped up buildings of warships, planes, guns, etc… o The USA was ready to proceed with a rigorous procedure of modern war. This was the first time that the new world was getting involved in European conflict - The German commander, Erich von Ludendorft, was going to lead a tax in the Western front. He was confident that he was going to succeed in beating the Allies - All of this is going to take place in October 1917, however there were several small battles o One concerned Canada, which was the first time Canada got involved in WWI by itself o It gave a national identity for Canada o This refers to a place in France called Vimy Ridge o The German's seized control of that ridge in September 1914  They prompted constructed defensive position comprising of bunkers  This lead to the destruction of a French city called Arras  The French attempted to grab control of the ridge throughout 1915, but failed. They were repulsed with the loss of 150,000
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