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[29] The First World War.doc

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Kenneth Bartlett

March 7, 2011 The First World War - After congress of vienna (ended 1850) = WWI - Gretest destroyer of civilization since black death - Dynasties, ideologies, etc. Swept away - What happenend? - Look in terms that led to new period of instability - War to end all wars, war for eternal peace - Other wars before were insignificant - State system established at congress of vienna = stable structe, progress could take place, change could happen in a good way - Worst amount of carnage since black death - Everyone on the continent = sleepwalking into the event => everyone knew something like this would happen but couldn’t do anything Causes: - assassination of duke Franz Ferdinand (d.1914) by serbian in Sarajevo - Franz Joseph (hapsburg)’s only heir - nephew - Because of his role as heir to the throne - assassination was seen as direct threat to the throne - Why franz ferdidnand was targeted: - Random act of terrorism by random terrorist? - FF (independent peroson, married against uncle’s wishes, FF’s marriage wasn’t recognized so children weren’t recognized as heirs) - Liberal to slavic minorities -- wanted to give slavs some measure of self-rule in hapsburg land (serbs wanted to annex slav groups to give themselves more power) - Gavrilo Princeps = assassinator - Ultimatum austians gave to serbs: accepted 10/11 of propositions (didn’t accept the last ones - ausrians would be able to investigate) - Pan-slav protection: Russians got involved because they wouldn’t accept Serbia’s humiliation - Austrians were believed to want to expand and annex serbia - French got involved -- don’t back down rUSSIAbecause it would threaten tripple entente (french, russia, england) vs. Triple alliance (germany, italy, ?) - Germans were ambiguous: felt austrians areceived enough from serbs, felt they were asking too much for that one point - Way it was interpreted by autrain-hugarians - Slavs are getting restless, let’s stir up a small war (Austria-Hungary vs. Serbia) - Nicholas II realized once he gave order for mobilization to respond to austria’s declaration of war on serbia - Europe was preparing for war for decades - Breakdown of system after 1890 from Bismarck - Mobilization plans = complex (railroad, use all material for war, overwhelm enemy) - Germany realized how serious this was once Nicholas started mobilizations - Germans had to respond or they’d find themselves fighting on 2 fronts (French or Russians) - French = ambiguous - Germany interpreted the fRENCH would ally with Russia - Germany declared war on France - Quickest way to get to France - go through Belgium (neutral nation) - Fulfilling military plans was more important than treaties Britain and France enacted to protect belgium’s neutrality - England was forced into war - The rest of Europe entered the war - Italy didn’t have an amry; entered the war in 1915 on the side of the entente - Turkey entered - Japan - entente = hoped to collect Germany on far east - Entente = crusade, protecting “rape of Belgium” (using Darwininan argument: Germans were lower species, ravaged R.E.) - Germans = war on russian autocracy --> strong culture on weaker culture - Advertising (developed in industrial rev) => propaganda for war - Initially, everyone believed war would have to be short: concentration of industrial warfare would mean a knockout quick - Western Front = stalemate, open trenches full of millions of men - Couldn’t move in trenches filled with water, rats, lice - Full force of industrial warfare directed on concentrated area (kill tons of people) - air warfare, mines, tanks, poison gas - Hundreds of thousands died/injured - 1914-1918: gain/loss of a few km of no-man’s land - Too evenly matched - Life-expectancy of lieutenant: 3 weeks - Loss of life = so apalling, numbing - Siege of verdun 1916 - germans wanted to break through french side - 60 million combatants - 20 million seriously wounded - 20 million died - Entente = larger population, control of seas - Colonial soldiers brought + those from dominions (e.g. Canada andAustralia) - Germans were too strong - U.S. Entering the war = tipped the balance - U.S. Was supposed to be kept out of the war - Germans became desperate - american ships carrying goods to england/france could be torpe- does - Germans promised mexicans to return land americans took (e.g. California) - U.S. Entered the war - Nationalism ov
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