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Flashcards in World War I Deck (44)

What were the causes of the war?

Political and social tensions in Europe, entangling alliances, increased militarization, and crisis in the Balkans.


What were political tensions within Great Britain?

Britain faced the issue of Ireland, which threatened to revolt as Nationalist forces began to press for independence in a movement called Home Rule, while they were opposed by Unionists. The Nationalists were Catholic, while Unionists were Protestant. Unionism was most popular in North Ireland. Britain also experienced many labor conflicts that resulted from the overall stagnation of wages.


What were political and social tensions within France?

There were also many labor conflicts within France from stagnant wages. There also was the crisis over the Dreyfus Affair, where Dreyfus was accused of selling secrets to the Germans; the incident revealed French anti-Semitism and showed the extent to which many in France still wanted a royalist government. Moreover, people disagreed about the role of the Church in a democratic French state. By the end of the 19th century, the government eliminated the Church from public primary and secondary education and viewed the Church as anti-republican.


What were political and social tensions within Russia?

Russia lost the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, revealing the complete bankruptcy of the Tsarist state. This led to a revolution in 1905 that sought for the creation of the Duma, or parliament that would transform Russia into a constitutional monarchy. Tsar Nicholas II agreed to rule in conjunction with the Duma, but gradually recovered its powers and functioned as an unwieldy autocracy.


What were political and social tensions within Germany?

Germany and Austro-Hungary saw war as a possible means of escaping from bleak domestic politics. In Germany, worker agitation was on the rise, and the government feared the prospect of a Socialist revolution.


What were political and social tensions in Austria-Hungary?

Austria-Hungary had to deal with almost constant and insurmountable nationality problems. In Hungary, the process of Magyarization, the dominance of Magyar language and culture, created great hostility among the other nationalities. Similar policies in Austria generated intense resistance and hatred.


What alliances did Germany create? How did they lead to war?

In 1879, Bismarck created the Dual Alliance, a military treaty with the Austro-Hungarians. He also signed the Reinsurance Treaty with Russia in order to show that the Dual Alliance was purely defensive in nature. However, Kaiser Wilhelm II didn't renew the Reinsurance Treaty and doubted German ambitions after Bismarck was removed from office.


What alliances did France and Britain make?

Germany's diplomatic missteps led the Russians to join the French in a military treaty that promised support in the event of a German attack. Great Britain then signed an Entente Cordial with France, resolving colonial issues. Great Britain then signed another entente with the Russians, making Britain, France, and Russia referred to as the "Entente" powers.


How did the alliances France and Britain made increase German fears?

German politicians and military leaders began to fear of being encircled by the combined might of Britain, France, and Russia.


How did militarization increase hostility between Britain and France? How did militarization in general affect Europe?

Germany began to build a modernized high seas fleet. Britain was particularly horrified when the Germans created powerful new ships called Dreadnoughts. The rivalry between Britain and Germany become openly hostile as each side scrambled to enhance their fleets. In Europe on the whole, the production of vast stores of weapons dramatically increased tensions.


What event set Europe on the path to war?

The assassination in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia, of Archduke Franz Ferdinand prompted hostilities. He was murdered by a Serb who wanted to see Bosnia part of a larger Serbian state.


How did developments in the Balkans bring Europe to the brink of war?

The crisis of 1908, in which Bosnia and Herzegovina was annexed by Austria-Hungary, almost brought Europe to war. The weakness of the Ottoman Empire allowed the Austria-Hungarians to attempt to move against the Serbian state, which was seen as the greatest threat to the Austro-Hungarian Empire.


How did Serbia exacerbate tensions? What started WWI?

Serbia secretly supported the Black Hand, the group that killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The Austrians issued an ultimatum to the Serbian government that was designed to start a war with the Serbian state.


What were the initial events of WWI?

Austria-Hungary declared war to protect their multinational empire against Serbia, which had a Russian promise to defend it. Austria-Hungary had the backing of Germany, who ultimately had to bear much of the responsibility for the start of the war because it had the ability to stop the Austria-Hungarians. Russia responded by mobilizing, doing so in preparation of the spreading of the war. Germany then declared war on the Russians, which prompted France to mobilized troops, and the Germans responded by declaring war on France.


How did the general public respond to the war?

There was tremendous enthusiasm among the citizens of the combatant states.


How did the Second International react to the war?

Despite speaking for years against capitalist European wars and international brotherhood, members voted in each of their respective nations in favor of the war effort. One of the few Socialists who opposed the war, Jean Jaures, was killed on the eve of war for his pacifism.


What the major reason for the enthusiasm for the war?

Many believed that the struggle would be a short one. This was based off of the Austro-Prussian War and the Franco-Prussian War, both of which were settled in a mater of weeks.


What changes undercut the traditional notion of war?

Technology developed new weapons that favored soldiers on the defensive, such as machine guns, barbed wire, mines, and artillery shells. Airplanes also were used for spotting enemy positions. Moreover, economic expansion, industrial strength, and national wealth wrought by the Second Industrial Revolution allowed the participants to stay in the war much longer than before.


How did the war begin on the Western Front?

The Germans attempted to implement the Schlieffen Plan, where the Germans swept through Belgium and brought the British into the war on the side of the French and Russians. Belgian resistance ultimately hindered this plan, but German troops soon threatened Paris. After the Germans crossed the Marne river, they were pushed back in a battle known as the First Battle of the Marne. Both sides settled down after trying to outflank each other.


What was the nature of trench warfare?

Trenches, initially just rapidly dug ditches, became huge networks of defensive fortifications. Men had to deal with rats, noise from artillery, and extreme boredom. Both sides insisted on periodically sending their soldiers over the top to try and stage assaults on enemy trenches. These were often suicide missions.


How did the war in the East proceed?

The Russians met success when fighting the Austro-Hungarians, but as they fought the Germans they faced terrible losses. The Germans handily beat the Russian armies at the Battle of Tannenberg and the Batte of Masurian Lakes. The eastern front never developed trench warfare because the huge size of the theater of war made it much easier to maneuver.


What was an increasingly horrific use of technology in warfare?

Created from the petrochemical revolution of the Second Industrial Revolution, poison gas unleashed a new weapon on the battlefield. Despite the introduction of gas masks, it was another sign that modern warfare was an increasingly inhuman affair.


How did the British attempt to break the Eastern stalemate?

The British, under the advice of Winston Churchill, tried to land an army at Galipoli to defeat the Turks, who came into the war on the side of the Central Powers, in order to send supplies to the Russians. The Turks dug in and the attack on Galipoli failed after the British suffered massive losses.


How did the Germans attempt to break the Western stalemate?

The Germans launched a massive offensive against the French fortress of Verdun, but were repelled by General Philippe Petain, the future leader of Vichy France. Both sides lost 600,000 troops.


What was the Anglo-French response to the German offensive?

The British and French launched wasteful and ineffective offensives to try to break the German lines, like the Battle of the Somme and the Battle of Passchendaele.


Why did the United States enter WWI?

The United States entered WWI because of the Zimmermann Telegram, in which the Germans asked Mexico for assistance, and unrestricted submarine warfare, with the turning point the sinking of the Lusitania and the eventual resumption of attacks on neutral shipping in 1917.


Why was 1917 a turning point in WWI?

As Russia became embroiled in revolution, the leaders of the new Bolshevik state sued Germany for peace. The United States also entered the war on 1917.


How did American intervention in WWI hasten Germany's demise?

Germany tried to invade with large numbers before the Americans arrived with fresh troops. Although they briefly achieved the success they experienced at the beginning of the war, Germany lacked the manpower and raw materials to exploit their initial victory and by the summer of 1918 large numbers of Americans blocked German advances. The German offensive soon became a retreat.


How did the end of WWI begin?

The new German government, led by the moderate Prince Max von Baden, sued for peace and asked for an armistice based on Wilson's Fourteen Points, an idealist document that sought to reduce future tensions between nations by maintaining free trade and an end to secret negotiations..


What events in Germany led to the armistice?

Soldiers and workers began to form soviets, or councils to demand that these loosely organized political debating societies be given authority to rule the state. Fearing a Bolshevik Revolution, the Kaiser abdicated and created a republic, which signed the armistice on November 11, 1918.


Why was WWI the first total war?

No segment of the population within any of the participating nations could avoid the impact of the war.


How did WWI influence the role of government in society and the economy?

All aspects of the economy became regulated to support the war effort, including price controls, the banning of strikes, rationing, and the planned use of national resources such as coal. In Britain for example, the government regulated pub hours.


How did the government become involved in manipulating public opinion during WWI?

Censorship became a basic task for all governments, as they tried to hide the true nature of the war at hand. Government also set up propaganda offices to create films and posters to help boost morale.


How did WWI expand civil rights in Europe?

Prior to WWI, Great Britain saw an expanding female suffrage movement under with The Women's Social and Political Union, called Suffragettes and led by Emmeline Pankhurst. Despite their early militancy, the Suffragettes supported the war effort and encouraged women to do their share for their nation. By the end of the war, many British women were employed, even in some places like munitions factories. As a result of their participation in the war effort, women gained the right to vote in 1918 in Britain, while at the same time the Weimar Republic of Germany granted complete female suffrage.


How did WWI and later events devastate the European population?

Around 9 million people died during the war. Germany suffered 6 million casualties, while France suffered 5.5 million. The loss of life was soon dwarfed by an outbreak of influenza, which killed 30 million worldwide.


What were the economic costs of WWI?

Hundreds of towns and villages in France and Belgium were destroyed. The nations of Europe were now in heavy debt to the United States, the only state to have a fully functioning economy.


What were the three visions on how to reshape the post-WWI world?

Wilson's Idealism, Clemenceau's Penalties, and Lloyd-George's Reinforcement.


What did Wilson's idealism consist of?

Woodrow Wilson wanted to reshape the world on the basis of the principles of his Fourteen Points, a peace that would allow for national self-determination and an international body, the League of Nations, that would settle disputes between nations.


What was was Clemenceau's rationality of penalties?

Because France suffered the most during the war, the French Premier Georges Clemenceau wanted to ensure that Germany would never again be a threat to French security.


What was Lloyd-George's rationality of reinforcement?

The British Prime Minister David Lloyd-George also wanted to see Germany punished and maintain England's naval superiority and colonies.


What was the settlement that ended the conflict?

The Treaty of Versailles, signed in June 28, 1919.


What were the major conditions of the Treaty of Versailles?

Germany was forced to accept all responsibility for the outbreak of war. Germany also had to pay a huge reparation sum to the Entente powers. Alsace-Lorraine was to be returned to France and the occupation of French troops on German lands west of the Rhine and a strip of land on the right bank, creating a demilitarized zone. France would maintain economic control over coal and iron mines in the Saar border region. The German army was limited, the air force was destroyed, and its navy was stripped to only a coastal protection force.


How was the map of Europe redrawn as an effect of the war?

Czechoslovakia was created, combining the lands of the Czechs and Slovaks while also including Germans. Hungary became fully independent, thought with reduced size. Romania was created. Serbia was rewarded with additional territories, and Yugoslavia was created. There was an independent Poland created. Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland were created. While these states started as democracies, they eventually became dictatorships (except for Czechoslovakia).


Where were locations where nationalist sentiments were not satisfied?

The Middle East following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The British made numerous promises to Arabs and Jews to gain support for the warn effort, but when the war ended, Great Britain and France divided the area into colonial spheres of influence. Moreover, despite the contributions of colonial soldiers to the war effort, the French and British did not move to reward their African colonies with independence.