World War I

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World War I was started because of the assassination of the the archduke of Austria-Hungary. In the years before, many alliances were made with different countries, and that is why there were many countries involved. Austria-Hungary had an alliance with Germany while Serbia, where the archduke was shot, had Russia. Russia had alliances with Britain and France and a war was started.

>== Essential Question ==

How has World War I set the stage for World War II?

Summary of Content

World War I was started because of the assasination of the archduke of Austria-Hungary and the tensions between countries in Europe. Troops from Britain, France, and Russia went to war with Germany and Austria-Hungary, who also had their allies fighting with them. Fighting took place all over the world, including the Middle East and eastern Asia. Life on the battlefield was hard. Troops lived in trenches during the freezing cold winters and the hot summers, looking for the enemy to make their next move. Technology made war even more deadly. Now there were machine guns and poisong gas and airplanes and subamrines, killing many people. Eventually the war was won by the Allies, forcing the Central Powers to sign a treaty, taking the blame for the war.


The Start of War

After Archduke Francis Ferdinand was assassinated, Austria-Hungary sent Serbia an ultimatum to avoid war. The ultimatum said that Austria must end anit-Austrian agitation and punish the Serbians involved in the archduke's assassination. Austria-Hungary also had to be involved in the investigation of who murdered the archduke. Serbia didn't agree to all the terms, so Austria-Hungary declared war on them on July 28, 1914.

Austria-Hungary turned to their ally Germany. Germany supported war and joined Austria-Hungary. Serbia asked Russia for help, and the accepted, asking their alies, France to help. Even though Britain was an ally to France, they wanted to remain neutral. Italy was also neutral. Britain found out about the Schlieffan Plan. This was a German plan to take over France and then take over Russia. After Germany took over Belgium and moved towards France, Britain declared war on Germany.

The Battle of Somme

Battles In The West

Germany was starting to move towards France, but after Russia had some victories in East Prussia, Germany had to send some troops to the east, making them weaker in the west. Britain and France met with Germany along the Marne River and fought. Britain and France won the Battle pf the Marne, pushing the Germans back.

Both the Allies and the Central Powers dug trenches in the Western Front. These trenches stretched from Switzerland to the English Channel. These trenches connected bunkers, communication areas, and gun emplacements. Both sides went through harsh weather conditions. It was hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Between enemy trenches were "no man's land," which was the empty area between enemy trenches. Soldiers had to run through these unprotected areas and try to take enemy trnches, and sometimes they got lucky and took over th enemy trenches.

The battles had many casualties, and most of the times those lives were lost for nothing, because neither side really benefit. The Battle of Verdun was an 11-month battle where neither the French or Germans benefited. The Allies made an offensive at Somme, where both the British and the Germans lost many lives without benefiting.

In the Trenches With Gas Masks


Many new weapons were invented for war. The machine gun was used in the war, making it hard to get across "no man's land" because the guns shot rapidly. In 1915, Germany started using poison gas that blinded or caused painful burns and blisters. Allies began to use this gas later that year. The gas was dangerous for the side using it too. The wind could cause the gas to come back at the people using it.

In 1916, Britain started using an armored tank with machine guns on them. It was meant to get across broken ground and barbed wire, but the tanks were slow and would break down often.

Airplanes In The War

The Allies and the Central Powers used airplanes. At first, they were used to look at enemy land from the air, but they soon turned into weapons. Germany used zeppelins to bomb areas, and eventually both sides used airplanes with machine guns on them.

The Central Powers also used submarines, or U-boats. These caused much damage to the Allied side, but the Allied side used convoys to stop the submarines.

Fighting In the East and South

Russian armies went to Germany, but at the Battle of Tannenberg, Russia lost, causing armies in the east to fight in Russia. Russia was unprepared for war because they were not very industrialized.

In 1915, Bulgaria joined the Central Powers and they defeated Serbia. Italians joined the war later that year because the Allies promised them land. Italy lost at Caporetto, but France and Britain helped kepp the Central Powers out of Italy.

T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) helped take territory in the Middle East from the Ottoman Empire during World War I

Outside of Europe

Japan was an ally to Britain, so they took German areas in China and the Pacific. The Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers and they fought against the Allies at the Dardanelles, which was an important trading area. After ten months of fighting, the Allies left the Dardanelles.

The Ottoman Empire wasn't doing good in the Middle East. In 1916, Husaynibn Ali led arab revolts against the Ottoman Empire with the help of T.E. Lawrence. Eventually, the Ottoman Empire lost a lot of territory to the Arabs.

There was fighting in European colonies. The Allies took German areas in Africa and Asia and used their own colonies to help in the war. The colonies involved were Australia, India, Canada, New Zealand, and French West Africa.


The government in most of the countries involved started total war. The nations at war, except Britain, started drafting people to fight in the war. Germany set up forced civilian labor. Governments raised taxes and borrowed money to pay for war. They also rationed food and other products.

The government of most countries at war wanted to control public opinion, even if they were democratic. They wanted to keep the people supporting war, so the government controlled the media and made the enemy countries look as bad as they could.

Women In The War

Women played an important part of total war. Many women took the jobs men had because they were fighting in the war. Many woman worked in factories, making war supplies. When there were food shortages, the Women's Land Army went out to the dangerous field to grow the food.

Nurses were out on the battlefields helping the injured. Women's support in the war led women to have more rights, especially in Britain and the U.S.

Russian Withdrawal

Russia was in the war for three years before they decided to stop fighting. There was a revolution in Russia, causing many soldiers to go to fight in the revolution. Russian monarchy was eventually brought down.

The Allies were happy for this. Now Russia could become a democratic nation, but V.I. Lennin came to power. He was the man who took Russia out of the war, signing a treaty with Germany. Germany only had to worry about the Western Front now that Russia was out of the war.

Woodrow Wilson, who was President of the U.S. at the time

The United States Enter The War

President Woodrow Wilson wanted to remain neutral in the war, but the U.S. eventually entered the war. Germany was attacking ships with Americans on them. Germany torpedoed the Lusitania, the British liner that had Americans on it. Wilson threatened to stop relations with Germany, so Germany agreed to stop unrestricted submarine warfare. In 1916, Germany said it would stil use submarine warfare, causing Wilson to denounce Germany.

Britain found out about a message that Arthur Zimmermann sent to his ambassador in Mexico. It said if they helped Germany in the war, Germany would help Mexico take American land that was once there's. Brittain told the American government about this message, and Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany.

Congress agreed to Wilson, but they needed to train their men and get supplies. By 1918, American troops made it to the Western Front.

The End of War

In 1918, the Germans pushed the Allies back 40 miles, but the Allies managed to drive Germany back across France and Belgium. Germany realized the war could not be won. The people in Germany were frustrated, and they wanted their king to step down, which he did. Austria-Hungary was also doing bad, and that empire eventually split.

The new German government wanted to end the fighting. On November 11, 1918, the war ended and many agreements were needed.


World War I was a violent war because of the new technology intorduced to it. Many people were killed because of the assassination of a the archduke of Austria-Hungary. That conflict shouldn't have causesd a war killing many people. Serbia and Austria-Hungary should have tried harder to find a peaceful solution to the their problems. The only reason war should have been started is because the Central Powers, particularly Germany, were gaining more power and expanding territory. Basically, the plans the Central Powers had for their future was a reason to go to war.


World War I set the stage for World War II because after World War I, tensions between the former Central Powers and the Allies were still high. Agreements made at the peace conference after World War I made some countries angry, particularly Germany. Germany had to take all the blame for the war. This made Germany angry, causing tensions. In addition, Italy didn't get territory promised by the Allies if they joined the war. Every country that was an ally in this war, except for Italy and Japan, remained Allies in World War II. The countries that became the Axis were angry at agreements made at the World War I peace conference.


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