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The Great War (1914-1918)

The First World War: causes, features, development, peace conferences and consequences.

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The Great War (1914-1918)

  1. 1. THE GREAT WAR (1914-1918)
  2. 2. CAUSES - Rivalries between different European powers: - United Kingdom and Germany: economic competition - France and Germany: consequences of the Franco- Prussian War -Austria-Hungary and Russia (competition to control the Balkans) -colonial rivalries - Confronted military alliances: -Triple Alliance: Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy -Triple Entente: United Kingdom, France and Russia - Arms race: big investments in weapons, soldiers and war plans to be ready for war (“Armed peace”) - Exacerbation of nationalism: general tendency of exaltation of the own virtues and contempt towards foreigners and racism SYSTEM OF ALLIANCES IN EUROPE BEFORE WW1
  3. 3. PRE-WAR CRISES BEFORE 1914 There were several crises in the first years of the 20th century, which increased tension and were on the brink of provoking war - Two crises in Morocco, which increased tension between France and Germany: -1905-1906: it ended with the establishment of a French-Spanish protectorate in Morocco. -1911: Germany received part of the French Congo and accepted the French protectorate in Morocco. - Two crises in the Balkans, which increased tension between Austria- Hungary and Russia: - 1908: Bosnia-Herzegovina was annexed by Austria- Hungary - 1912-1913: Balkan Wars: Serbia, Montenegro, Greece and Bulgaria fought against the Ottoman Empire. Later they fought among themselves to increase their territories. AGADIR CRISIS, 1911 Kaiser Wilhem II sent the gunboat Panther to Morocco to put pressure on France.
  4. 4. TRIGGER FOR THE WAR 28th June 1914: Gavrilo Princip, a Serbian nationalist who wanted the union of all the Slaves of the South, killed the heirs of the Austro- Hungarian Empire in Sarajevo (Bosnia- Herzegovina) Austria-Hungary accused the Serbians of being involved in the terrorist attack and sent an ultimatum to the Serbian government with several requests (23rd July) and gave them 2 days to carry out their requests. The Serbians denied their involvement and refused to allow the Austro-Hungarian police to investigate in Serbia. They trusted in Russia´s support, if they were attacked by Austria-Hungary. Austria-Hungary and Serbia broke relations and got ready for war. MURDER AT SARAJEVO
  5. 5. OUTBREAK 28th July: Austria-Hungary declared war onSerbia. 30th July: Russia mobilized its troops against Austria-Hungary. 1st August: Germany declared war on Russia and to France on the 3rd August. On the 4th of August Germany invaded Belgium (Schlieffen Plan) to occupy France. The United Kingdom declared war on Germany when Belgium was invaded. Only Italy kept out of war The alliances led to a general war in some days.
  6. 6. WHY WORLD WAR I? Although war developed mainly in Europe, the main colonial powers were involved and their colonies with them. GREEN: Triple Entente ORANGE: Central powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary and allies).
  7. 7. FEATURES -New and deadlier armament: machine guns, poison gas, flamethrowers, tanks, armoured cars, aircraft (aeroplanes and airships), submarines, railway guns. Soldiers suffered a lot and there were millions of dead and disabled. -Civil population became war target. Cities were bombed and citizens suffered a lot at rearguard (hunger, food rationing) - War economy: all the available resources were mobilized and destined for war, industries and agricultural production were restructured in order to supply the armies, women replaced men at work. - Governments of national unity, formed by the major parties - Constant use of propaganda to rally population and demonize the enemy. Those who opposed war were considered traitors and sent to jail. WOMEN WORKING AT A FACTORY IN VINCENNES (FRANCE) FOOD RATIONING
  10. 10. WORLD WAR 1 (1914-1918) -WAR OF MOVEMENT (1914) - WAR OF ATTRITION (1915-1916) -1917 CRISIS - END OF THE WAR (1918) STAGES
  11. 11. 1st STAGE: WAR OF MOVEMENT All the armies moved towards the enemy and planned a short war. Fight developed in two fronts: - WESTERN FRONT: The Germans attacked France through Luxembourg and Belgium (Schlieffen Plan, to take Paris). After the Battle of Marne, the French stopped the German advance. The front stabilized at the end of 1914. - EASTERN FRONT: the Russians advanced through Eastern Prussia and Galitzia. The Germans stopped them after the Battles of the Masurian Lakes and Tannenberg. At the end of 1914 Japan joined the Triple Entente and the Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers . The Japanese occupied Tsingtao (German colony in China) and they didn´t do much more during the rest of the war.. SCHLIEFFEN PLAN The Germans planned a short fight against France to focus in the Eastern front against Russia. But the plan failed and they had to fight almost alone in two fronts .
  12. 12. WAR FRONTS
  13. 13. 2nd STAGE: WAR OF ATTRITION The war fronts stabilized and didn´t move since the end of 1914. The soldiers dug kilometres of trenches and tried to keep their positions, at high cost: a lot of lives were sacrified to gain some metres of land.
  14. 14. New countries joined the war: Bulgaria joined the Central Powers and Italy and Romania the Triple Entente. - WESTERN FRONT: war of attrition and some big offensives: the Germans attacked in Verdun and the French reacted at the Somme. The front didn´t move, but there were around two million victims (1 million allies and 800,000 Germans). - EASTERN FRONT: Big German offensive to the East. The Russians had to retire back. A third front opened in the Balkans: the Central Powers occupied Serbia and Romania. The British attacked the Ottoman Empire from Egypt and occupied Palestine, but they were defeated at Gallipoli. It lasted ten months (February- December 1916). 163.000 French soldiers and 143.000 German soldiers dead and more than 500,000 wounded. BATTLE OF VERDUN
  15. 15. 3rd STAGE: CRISIS OF 1917 Serious internal problems in all the belligerent countries: -soldiers´ mutinies in all fronts. - nationalist protests in the Austro- Hungarian Empire - Easter Rising in Ireland (1916) - revolution in Russia: the Bolsheviks took power in October 1917 and decided to sign an agreement with the Germans to take Russia out of the war. STORMING OF THE WINTER PALACE October 1917, Saint Petersbourg The Bolsheviks considered the war to be an imperialist conflict and decided to take Russia out of war
  16. 16. The USA and Greece joined the Triple Entente. This was decisive for the allies (refreshment troops). The USA joined the war because the German naval warfare damaged trade and the German submarines sunk the British ocean liner Lusitania (234 US citizens dead) SINKING OF THE LUSITANIA OCEAN LINER In the Middle East, the Arab tribes (convinced by Lawrence of Arabia) revolted against the Turks and the British got a lot of territory. THOMAS E. LAWRENCE, known as Lawrence of Arabia
  17. 17. 4th STAGE: THE END OF THE WAR (1918) Two decisive facts: -Arrival of refreshment troops from the USA -Brest- Litovsk Treaty, signed between Russia and Germany: the Russians stopped fighting and there were no more battles in the Eastern front. Russia lost Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine. RUSSIAN TERRITORIAL LOSSES AFTER BREST-LITOVSK PEACEUSA SOLDIERS (September 1918)
  18. 18. The Germans could focus on the Western front and launched two offensives: -1st at the Somme (stopped by Foch) - 2nd at the Marne (stopped by Pétain). Revolts in the German army and protests against the government started in Germany. In the Eastern front Bulgaria surrendered in September and the Ottoman Empire in October. The Austro- Hungarian army collapsed in the North of Italy and the Balkans. Protests increased in Germany. Fearing a communist revolution in Germany, the German government tried to negotiate peace. Kaiser Wilhem II abdicated and fled to the Netherlands. The republic was proclaimed (9th November) and the armistice was signed at Rethondes on the 11th November. GERMANY´S SURRENDER The war at the Western front:
  19. 19. CONFERENCE OF PARIS 32 States met in Paris to decide how the world would be after the war: - The defeated countries were not allowed to attend the conference. - Woodrow Wilson, president of the USA, presented a Fourteen-Point Plan for a fair peace, without revenge against the defeated. But France and the United Kingdom took revenge on them. Wilson´s plan also defended self determination for the people, but this right wasn´t taken into account in several cases (Kurds, Armenians, Arabs). . - Separated peace treaties were signed with the losers (Germany, Austria, Bulgaria and Turkey). The Treaty of Versailles, signed with Germany, was the most important one. - Creation of the League of Nations, an international organization to preserve peace and solve conflicts peacefully (precedent of the UN). But the League of Nations was weak since its foundation: the USA didn´t join it, agreements had to be unanimous, it was very difficult to establish sanctions and they didn´t have an army to enforce their decisions. The decisions made in this conference were one of the causes of WW2
  20. 20. TREATY OF VERSAILLES Germany was declared the main responsible for the war and received hard sanctions: -Huge war reparations for the destruction caused in France and Belgium (20,000 million dollars) - Loss of 1/8 of their territory in Europe: - Alsace and Lorraine for France - Schleswig for Denmark - Part of Eastern Prussia and the Danzig corridor for Poland - Memel for Lithuania - Eupen and Malmédy to Belgium - Reduction of their army to 100,000 soldiers. Their navy and air force were disbanded and military conscription was forbidden. -Demilitarization of the West bank of River Rhine. -The German colonies were given to France and the UK. The Treaty of Versailles also included the creation of the League of Nations.
  21. 21. EUROPE IN 1914
  22. 22. EUROPE AFTER WORLD WAR 1 The other losers were also hardly punished: -Disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire: this gave birth to two new States: Austria and Hungary. Czechoslovakia became independent and the Slaves of the South (Slovenians, Bosnians, Croates and Serbians) created Yugoslavia. Romania received Bukovina and Italy got Trent. - In order to avoid the extension of the Russian Revolution, the Treaty of Brest- Litovsk was respected: Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and LIthuania preserved their independence and became a buffer area to contain revolution.
  23. 23. •Disintegration of the Ottoman Empire: Turkey became a republic and the Arab territories of the Near East were given to France and the UK as “mandates” of the League of Nations: Palestine (present day Palestine and Israel) and Transjordan (present day Jordan, Iraq and Kuwait) for the UK and Syria and Lebanon for France. The Kurds and Armenians didn´t become independent.
  25. 25. CONSEQUENCES OF THE WAR -Demographic losses: more than 16.5 million dead and 21 million wounded. Around 40% of the casualties were civilians. 20 million more died due to the Spanish flu. -Economic consequences: the productive system of the belligerent countries was completely destroyed. All the countries had got into debts to pay for the war. Many of them owed money to the USA. -Political consequences: Europe lost its position as the center of the world and was replaced by extra- European powers (USA and Japan) -Territorial consequences: disappearance of the big Empires of the 19th century, changes of borders, new countries appeared -Moral and psychological consequences: war horrors provoked social trauma, disillusionment, cynicism, distrust in the politicians. There were two opposite reactions: one bet for internationalism and search for peace and another one focused on militarism and violence as a way of solving problems. Crippled soldiers Total casualties and economic destruction in the Western Front
  26. 26. THE WAY TO WORLD WAR 2 In 1919 John Maynard Keynes, a British economist, warned about the economic consequences of an unfair peace and the future desire of revenge of the defeated