Traditions and Encounters, AP Edition (Bentley), 5th Edition

Chapter 33: The Great War: The World in Upheaval

Chapter Outline

  1. The drift toward war
    1. Nationalist aspirations
      1. Nationalism spread by the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars
        1. Self-determination suggested that each ethnic group had a right to a sovereign state
        2. Concept was ignored or opposed by dynastic powers
        3. Considerable nationalistic tensions in Ottoman, Hapsburg, and Russian empires
      2. Slavic nationalism: stressed kinship of all Slavic peoples
        1. Ottoman empire shrank as first Greece, then others, gained independence
        2. Serbs of Austria-Hungary sought unification with independent Serbia
        3. Russians promoted Pan-Slavism in Austria-Hungarian empire
        4. Germany backed Austria-Hungary to fight ethnic nationalism
    2. National rivalries
      1. The naval race between Germany and Britain increased tensions
        1. Germany's rapid industrialization threatened British economic predominance
        2. Both states built huge iron battleships, called dreadnoughts
      2. Colonial disputes of the late nineteenth century
        1. Germany unified in 1871; came late to the colonial race
        2. German resentment and antagonism toward both France and Britain
        3. France and Germany nearly fought over Morocco in 1905
        4. Balkan wars (1912-13) further strained European diplomatic relations
      3. Public opinion supported national rivalries
        1. Attitudes of aggressive patriotism among European citizens
        2. Leaders under pressure to be aggressive, to take risks
    3. Understandings and alliances
      1. Rival systems of alliance obligated allies to come to one another's defense
      2. The Central Powers
        1. Germany and Austria-Hungary formed a Dual Alliance 1879
        2. In fear of France, Italy joined the Dual Alliance in 1882, thus, the Triple Alliance
        3. Ottoman empire loosely affiliated with Germany
      3. The Allies
        1. Britain, France, and Russia formed the Triple Entente, or the Allies
        2. Shifting series of treaties ended with a military pact, 1914
      4. War plans: each power poised and prepared for war
        1. Military leaders devised inflexible military plans and timetables
        2. France's Plan XVII focused on offensive maneuvers and attacks
        3. Germany's Schlieffen plan: swift attack on France, then defensive against Russia

  2. Global war
    1. The guns of August: triggered a chain reaction
      1. June 1914, Austrian Archduke assassinated by Serbian nationalist
      2. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, July 28
      3. Russia mobilized troops to defend its Serbian ally against the Central Powers
      4. Germany: July 31, sent ultimatums to Russia and France, which were ignored
      5. Germany declared war on Russia and France, invaded Belgium to reach France
      6. August 4: to protect Belgium's neutrality, Britain declared war on Germany
    2. Mutual butchery
      1. War was greeted with enthusiasm on all sides; was expected to be brief
      2. The western front
        1. German invasion of France halted along the river Marne for three years
        2. Trenches on the western front ran from the English Channel to Switzerland
        3. Italy entered war with Allies, maintained defensive line against Austria-Hungary
      3. Stalemate and new weapons
        1. New technologies favored defensive tactics over offensive tactics
          (a) Poisonous gas: introduced by Germans, used by both sides
          (b) Eight hundred thousand casualties from mustard gas
        2. Armored tanks used to break down trenches toward end of the war
        3. Airplanes used mainly for reconnaissance
        4. Submarines used especially by Germans against Allied shipping
      4. No-man's-land littered with dead, the grim reality of trench warfare
      5. On the eastern front, battle lines more fluid
        1. Austrian-German forces overran Serbia, Albania, and Romania
        2. Russia invaded Prussia 1915, but was soon driven out
        3. Russians' counterattacks in 1916-1917 collapsed in a sea of casualties
      6. Bloodletting: long, costly battles
        1. At Verdun: French "victory" with 315,000 dead, defeated Germans lost 280,000
        2. At the Somme, Britain and Germany saw losses of 420,000 each
      7. New rules of engagement
        1. Civilians became targets of enemy military operations
        2. Air raids against civilians; naval blockades common
    3. Total war: the home front
      1. On the home front: the economy mobilized to the war effort
        1. Governments militarized civilian war production
        2. Imposed wage and price controls
        3. Extended military draft in Germany from ages sixteen to sixty
      2. Women served the war by entering the workforce
        1. Took over jobs vacated by soldiers
        2. Did hazardous work with explosives, shells, TNT
        3. A liberating experience, especially for middle- and upper-class women
        4. Women granted the vote in western nations after the war
      3. Propaganda campaigns to maintain national support for the war
        1. Included censorship and restrictions on civil liberties
        2. Criticism of the war regarded as treasonous
        3. Propaganda designed to dehumanize the enemy
    4. Conflict in east Asia and the Pacific
      1. Expansion of the war beyond Europe
        1. European animosities extended to the colonies
        2. British and French forces recruited colonials into their armies
        3. Eventually, Japan, United States, Ottoman empire entered the war
      2. Japan entered war with the Allies, 1814
        1. Seized German-leased territory in China
        2. New Zealand and Australia likewise seized German-held lands in the Pacific
      3. The Twenty-One Demands
        1. Japan advanced its imperial interests in China
        2. The Twenty-One Demands were designed to reduce China to Japanese protectorate
        3. Britain intervened, prevented total capitulation of China to Japan
    5. Battles in Africa and southwest Asia
      1. The war in sub-Saharan Africa
        1. Allies targeted the four German colonies in Africa
        2. Togoland fell quickly, but not the others
        3. Many Allied soldiers and workers died from tropical diseases
      2. Battle of Gallipoli, 1915, in Ottoman Turkey
        1. British decided to strike at the weakest Central Power, the Ottomans
        2. Battle of Gallipoli a disaster, with 250,000 casualties on each side
        3. Weakened ties of loyalty between Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Britain
      3. The Ottoman empire lost ground after Gallipoli
        1. Lost Caucasus to Russians
        2. Successful Arab revolt aided by British

  3. The end of the war
    1. Revolution in Russia
      1. February Revolution of 1917: uprising against shortages, mounting deaths in the war
        1. Facing mutinies, Nicholas II abdicated throne
        2. Provisional government established
      2. Struggle for power between provisional government and Petrograd soviet
        1. New government passed many liberal reforms
        2. Did not undertake land reform, did not withdraw from the war
      3. V. I. Lenin (1870-1924) stepped into unstable situation
        1. A revolutionary Marxist, exiled in Switzerland
        2. Saw importance of a well-organized, disciplined party for revolution
        3. German authorities delivered Lenin to Russia, 1917, to take Russia out of war
        4. Headed radical Bolshevik Party: demanded power to soviets, withdrawal from war
      4. The October Revolution
        1. Minority Bolsheviks gained control of Petrograd soviet
        2. Bolsheviks' slogan "Peace, Land, and Bread" appealed to workers and peasants
        3. Armed force seized power from provisional government in name of all soviets
      5. Russia withdrew from war, made a separate peace with Germany, lost one-third of Ukraine
    2. U.S. intervention and collapse of the Central Powers
      1. 1914-1916, United States under President Woodrow Wilson officially neutral
        1. American public opposed participation in a European war
        2. U.S. companies sold supplies, gave loans to Allies
        3. By 1917, Allied ability to repay loans depended on Allied victory
      2. The submarine warfare helped sway American public opinion
        1. German blockade sank merchant ships, intended to strangle Britain
        2. 1915, Germans sank Lusitania, a British passenger liner, killing 1,198 passengers
      3. United Stattes declared war on Germany, 6 April 1917
      4. Collapsing fronts after years of bloodletting
        1. April 1916, Irish nationalists attempted to overthrow British rule
        2. Central Powers: shortages, food riots, mutinies
        3. 1917, mutiny of fifty thousand French soldiers
        4. Spring 1918, massive Germany offensive on western front failed
        5. With fresh American troops, Allies broke the front and pushed the Germans back
        6. Central Powers collapsed, one after another; accepted armistices November 1918
    3. The Paris Peace Conference, 1919
      1. In the end, the Great War killed fifteen million people, wounded twenty million
      2. The Paris settlement was dominated by heads of Britain, France, and United States
        1. Twenty-seven nations with conflicting aims participated
        2. Leaders of Central Powers and Soviet Union not included
      3. Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points: proposal for a just and lasting peace
        1. Included free trade, arms treaties, rights for colonials, an association of nations
        2. Most of the program rejected by Allies; Central Powers felt betrayed
      4. The Peace Treaties, 1919
        1. French insisted on destroying German military
        2. Central Powers forced to accept war guilt and pay reparations for cost of war
        3. Austria and Hungary were separated and reduced; the new states were added to eastern Europe
        4. Overall, the peace settlement was a failure; left a bitter legacy
      5. Ataturk: Mustafa Kemal, father of modern Turkey
        1. 1923, drove out occupying Allied forces, proclaimed Republic of Turkey
        2. Implemented reforms: emancipation of women, western dress, European law
        3. Secular rule replaced Muslim authorities
        4. Constitutional democracy, although Ataturk ruled as virtual dictator until 1938
      6. The League of Nations created to maintain world peace
        1. Forty-two members, twenty-six of them outside Europe
        2. The league had no power to enforce its decisions
        3. Collective security depended on all major powers, but United States never joined
      7. Self-determination for ethnic nationalities: urged by Wilson at Paris Conference
        1. Basis for redrawing map of eastern Europe: Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia
        2. Difficult to draw lines: German minorities left in Poland and Czechoslovakia
        3. Yugoslavia: land of southern Slaves, uneasy mix of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes
      8. The mandate system
        1. United States opposed direct colonization; Allies proposed system of trusteeships
        2. Colonies of Central Powers divided into three classes of mandates
        3. Allies divided up Germany's African colonies, Ottoman territories in southwest Asia
        4. Arabs outraged at betrayal by their British allies
    4. Challenges to European preeminence
      1. Great War weakened Europe, set the stage for decolonization after World War II
        1. Economic crises: inflation, debt, loss of overseas investments, foreign markets
        2. Economic relationship between Europe and United States reversed; United States now creditor
        3. Loss of prestige overseas weakened European grip on colonies
      2. Revolutionary ideas
        1. The war helped spread concept of self-determination
        2. Nationalist movements also sought inspiration from the Soviet Union
Traditions & Encounters, 5e
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