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Flashcards in WWI Deck (39)
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Erich Maria Remarque wrote this classic novel of life on the Western Front during World War I, _____ ____ ____ ____ _____ ____.

All Quiet on the Western Front

Although Remarque's novel depicted the life of German soldiers amidst the horrors of the trenches, the life he described spoke of the experience of millions of men on both sides of the war. 


Why did Woodrow Wilson request Congress to declare war on the Central Powers in 1917?

In an attempt to starve the island nation into submission, Germany had announced she would attempt to sink by submarine any ship approaching Great Britain.

Wilson requested Congress to declare war on the Central Powers because of this policy of unrestricted submarine warfare. In addition, the Lusitania (a British civilian ship with 200 Americans on board) was sunk by a German submarine.

On the other hand, Wilson didn’t protest Britain's blockade of German ports, which prevented much-needed food from reaching German citizens.


Explain how antibiotics work and why they were such a significant discovery.

Antibiotics were discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming.  Fleming learned that a special type of mold called Penicillium actually killed germs. 

Although not widely used for another 10 years, antibiotics would improve the quality of life for millions as a means to attack or weakened bacteria that caused disease.



A formal agreement to end fighting between two countries.


Germany worsened European relations in the early 20th century by commencing an expansion in what branch of their armed services?

While Germany possessed Europe's most powerful army, prior to the early 20th century her naval presence was negligible. Kaiser Wilhelm II announced a massive naval program building battleships, cruisers, destroyers, and submarines.

If Germany built a large navy in addition to her army, it raised the potential of one power dominating Europe and upsetting the balance of power.

Further, the new German navy was a threat to Great Britain, which had the world's largest navy. Britain announced that for every battleship the Germans built Britain would build two, setting in motion an arms race.  This build-up of military units is referred to as militarism and was one cause of WWI.


What event set off World War I?

On June 28, 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Slav nationalist with ties to the Serbian secret service and a radical group known as the Black Hand, assassinated the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and his wife Sophie. The assassination took place in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina.


How did Austria-Hungary diplomatically respond to the assassination of Franz Ferdinand?

Austria-Hungary blamed Serbia, and after making sure that Germany would support Austro-Hungarian actions, sent an ultimatum to Serbia demanding retribution. Serbia refused and Austria declared war.

Serbia's ally Russia began to mobilize her troops, and Germany and Austria declared war on Russia, which was followed by a German declaration of war on Russia's ally, France. 


What was the fate of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the end of the First World War?

At the War's end, pursuant to the ideas embodied in the Fourteen Points, many of the various nationalities in the Austro-Hungarian Empire were established as their own countries, such as Hungary.

Other countries were conglomerated into nations, such as Czechoslovakia, which combined the Czechs and Slovaks. These ethnically mixed states were weak and looked to France for protection against aggression. Austria itself, without its monarchy, became a republic.


Describe the political state in the Balkan Peninsula prior to WWI.

As the Ottoman Empire weakened, newly emerging nations like Serbia competed with other nations to acquire territory from the Ottomans.  The entire region was highly unstable and considered the "Powder Keg of Europe," in that one small spark could set off a huge conflict.


What prompted Britain to declare war on Germany and Austria-Hungary in 1914?

As part of the Schlieffen Plan, Germany invaded France through Belgium, a neutral country. 

Great Britain declared war in response to the German invasion. Recent historical research into pre-war British plans has revealed that had Germany not invaded Belgium, the British would have done so. 


Identify the acronym used to remember the causes of WWI.






Assassination (Archduke Francis Ferdinand)



Central Powers during WWI

Austria-Hungary, Germany, Ottoman Empire, Bulgaria


What was the Easter Rebellion?

In 1916, Irish Home Rule advocates rebelled against the British government during Easter, hoping to take advantage of the fact that Britain was distracted by World War I. The revolution was a failure, and several leaders of the Easter Rebellion were executed.


The "Eastern Question" dominated European diplomatic relations from at least the 1770s, becoming intense in the last half of the 19th century. What was the Eastern Question?

The Eastern Question arose as the Ottoman Empire declined in power. Both Austria and Russia sought to take advantage of the power vacuum, while Britain sought to shore up the Ottoman Empire to protect their interests in the region.

Meanwhile, France saw the Eastern Question as a means to disrupt the Concert of Europe and assert her independence of action in European affairs.


What were Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points?

The Fourteen Points were Wilson's attempt to make clear that American entry into the First World War was for a moral cause and to ensure a just postwar peace. The Fourteen Points included freedom of the seas, ethnic self-determination, and free trade.

The Fourteen Points encouraged the Germans to believe that the Allies would provide a just settlement of the war. In surrendering, Germany specifically accepted the terms as the basis of a postwar settlement, only to see the points mostly ignored in the Treaty of Versailles.


What limits did the Treaty of Versailles place on the German armed forces?

Under the Treaty of Versailles, the German armed forces were severely limited. Germany was banned from having submarines, airplanes, blimps, and tanks. Her army was limited to 100,000 men and only a small navy was allowed.  This was in response to aggressive German action during WWI.

For a nation that had prided itself on having a large and efficient armed service, the limitations were humiliating.


By the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, what happened to the German colonies in Africa and the Pacific?

Germany's African colonies were divided between France and Britain, while Japan took over many of Germany's small colonies in the Pacific Ocean, such as Samoa and Tsingtao.

The Fourteen Points' terms had specifically suggested that overseas colonies would be adjusted with fairness to both sides, a suggestion that was ignored at Versailles.


Germany's Industrial Revolution began later than Britain's but made rapid strides in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. What industrial areas proved particularly fruitful for the Germans?

Since Germany's Industrial Revolution began later, German factories were outfitted with the latest technology, and German firms rapidly began to dominate fields such as steel-making and chemical production.

Germans such as Rudolf Diesel also developed industrial technology. Diesel's internal combustion engine would power German submarines and lead to the development of the automobile.


What strategic concern faced the Germans before World War I?

On one border, Germany was faced with the hostile Russian Empire, and on the other, the French Republic bent on revenge for the Franco-Prussian War.

To the south, her only ally, Austria-Hungary, had a weak army and was impacted by internal divisions. Were France and Russia to declare war on Germany and attack her from both sides, Germany would be severely outnumbered.


Explain the end of WWI set the stage for WWII.

The Treaty of Versailles blamed Germany for the conflict and charged them severe war reparations, ignoring the advice of Wilson's 14 Points.  Germany lost colonies, land, their military and was forced into severe debt.

The Treaty of Versailles creates League of Nations, but the U.S. doesn't join in fear of becoming entangled in future conflicts.  The economic misfortune of Germany allowed for the rise of fascism and the events the aggression that led to the start of WWII.


What international organization did Woodrow Wilson propose to resolve disputes between nations?

As part of his Fourteen Points, Wilson proposed the League of Nations.

Due to Congressional resistance, the United States never joined the League. For all the hopes its supporters had regarding the League, it later proved ineffective in preventing the rise of militarism of the 1930s in fascist Italy and Germany.


What role did Louis Pasteur play to advance medicine in the  1870s?

A French scientist who discovered the link between germs and disease.  Pasteur proved that combating germs and help to prevent disease during a time when doctors inaccurately thought disease spontaneously occurred in victims without scientific explanation.

Once people believed that disease was caused by microorganisms, they made lifestyle changes to improve their quality of life, such as increased frequency of hand washing.


Overwhelming naval superiority enabled the British navy to conduct what form of naval warfare?

Britain's naval supremacy enabled the country to blockade Germany, cutting Germany off from shipments of food and medical supplies from neutral countries, such as the United States.

Britain kept up the blockade even after the Germans surrendered, only lifting it after the Treaty of Versailles was signed.



A country that does not support either side of the war is referred to as neutral.  The United States was neutral prior to their forced entry into the conflict as a result of the sinking of the Lusitania. 


In the wake of World War I, the Ottoman Empire fell. What was the fate of the lands once under its control?

Some lands in the Middle East were governed by the Great Powers under a mandate from the League of Nations. For instance, Syria was a mandate governed by France, and Palestine was a mandate held by Great Britain.

Other former Ottoman territories came together to form into independent nations, such as Saudi Arabia.


As the First World War progressed, which two nations joined the Central Powers?

In late 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of the Central Powers. In 1915, Bulgaria followed suit.

Although nominally an ally of Austria-Hungary and Germany, Italy originally declared neutrality in the conflict, then joined the Allies after Britain and France bribed her with the promises of Austro-Hungarian territory.


How much input was Germany given into the final terms of the Treaty of Versailles?

Germany was given no input into the Treaty of Versailles, much of which violated the spirit of Wilson's Fourteen Points. Especially troublesome was the "war guilt" clause, which stated that the Germans accepted full and complete blame for starting the War; the Germans felt that there was more than enough blame to go around.

Germany initially refused to sign the treaty but reluctantly accepted in the face of Allied threats of renewed conflict.


As a result of the Treaty of Versailles, which Eastern European nation gained independence for the first time since the 1700s?

As part of the Treaty of Versailles, Poland gained independence.

To provide Poland with an outlet to the sea, the city of Danzig was ceded to Poland. Danzig separated Eastern Prussia from the rest of Germany, providing an irritant to German national opinion that was to continue until World War II.



Biased or misleading information used to promote or publicize a specific political cause or point of view.


Identify the major reason why the League of Nations Fails.

The League did not have a military to enforce rules.  It would try to encourage diplomacy in order to resolve international conflict, but had no real way of enforcing legislation.  In addition, the United States not joining the League weakened its power.