World War I

This essay has a total of 1649 words and 10 pages.

World War I




World War I
The Causes of the War

OK, in a nutshell, World War I’s cause went as far back as the early 1800s. People
controlled by other nations began to evolve people’s feelings of nationalism. The
French Revolution of 1789 brought a new feeling to the word Nationalism. People who spoke
French, German, Italian, ext. felt that they should have a separate government in a
country where everyone spoke the same language. Unfortunately, we can’t please
everyone and this demand they had was something impossible that could be done.


As time passed people began to establish war cults or military alliances. The members from
these groups would discriminate and verbally abuse the people, which didn’t speak
their language. Warmongers criticized at foreign ways of doing things. Sometimes newspaper
stories help spread publicity. Some German leaders strongly urged commercial & political
expansion to the east, mostly in Asia.


II- Military Alliances

Military alliances were another of the many causes of World War I. When the German Empire
was united in 1871, Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck hoped for a period of international
peace. He looked for allies to support Germany. It was then that in 1882 Germany,
Austria-Hungary & Italy signed a treaty called, “ The Triple Alliance.” The
treaty was made to protect them from attacks from France or Russia. Germany & Italy feared
France & Austria-Hungary feared Russia.


The three members of the alliance formed a powerful block in central Europe.
Unfortunately, Austria-Hungary & Italy were not very friendly. They argued mostly over
land and/or territory that Italy thought they should have. So, both countries competed to
see who would take control of the Adriatic Sea first. When the war broke out in 1914,
Italy didn’t keep their word about the contract they had agreed to in the treaty. It
turns out they had made a secret treaty with France in 1902. As a result of that they had
to remain neutral then declared war on Austria-Hungary.


After the Triple Alliance formed, the rest of the countries in Europe saw that they were
at a disadvantage. The disadvantage was that if there ever was an international crisis,
Great Britain, France & Russia would have to fight for themselves but the Triple Alliance
would have the advantage of acting together as one. Then in 1894, France signed a
defensive alliance with Russia. Then only by itself was Great Britain. Soon after they
faced naval rivalry & growing mercenary with Germany. In 1904, Great Britain & France
reached a cordial understanding or how you would say in French, “Entente
Cordial.”


By the terms in the agreement, they settled all the disagreements they had about almost
anything & everything. Most important being colonies. Both nations became partners. Then
France succeeded in bringing Britain and Russia together. In 1907 the two nations signed
the Anglo-Russian Entente,” it was kind of like the cordial agreement that linked
France, Russia & Great Britain was called “The Triple Entente.”




Men, Battlefronts & Strategy

I- Strategy of the War

The chief of the German general staff Count Alfred Von Schlieffen planned a very little
simple strategy in 1905 and changed it in 1912. His plan was that German armies were to
crush France in a campaign by going through Belgium, which was neutral. Now, the Germans
were planning to crush Russia, then planned to make Britain surrender. Then they would
sweep into Asia & yes, they would try and conquer them too. This guy expected a 2 front
war & planned that Austria-Hungary and some small German force in East Prussia would take
the eastern front. But no. The Allied strategy called for attacks by the French armies in
Lorraine upon the start of the war. OK, so the plan was that. On the Eastern front it
would be Russia trying to invade Germany through East Prussia and attack Austria-Hungary
in Galicia. They hoped to strike westward at Germany while the Allied Armies went east.


The War

I- The US enters WWI (1917, 4th year)

Early in 1917, the Central Powers, which consisted of Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Germany &
the Ottoman Empire, were at a strong position. They had in control Montenegro, Poland,
Romania, Serbia, most of Belgium & Northern France. Then, yes, the USA entered the war.
And so the tables began to turn in favor of the Allies. Germany unrestricted Submarine
welfare so this caused the US to join the Allies. The news of the outbreak of the war in
1914 had surprised many Americans. As a result, President Woodrow Wilson had declared that
“the US would be neutral in fact, as well as in name.” When the Germans
torpedoed Lusitania, in 1915 they killed128 Americans. So President Wilson thought the US
would not enter the war but as we already know, he was wrong. Germany approached Mexico
for alliance; this was heard from the British when they intercepted a message. There was a
record number of sinking of US merchant ships. Germany has thrust war on the US. On April
2nd, 1917 the president read a war message that was sent to him which read: “The
world must be safe for democracy.” After this the US didn’t sign anything, but
simply associated themselves with the Allies, although they were unprepared.


II- The Allies Attack (1917)

So the Germans would have benefit, they had to figure an out an attack. They went on March
of 1917 off to the battle line, prepared. The Germans called it the Sigfried Line and the
Allies called it the Hidenburg Line. The Allies carried out the only offensive operation
on the battlefront. That year ended without much change. In 1917, the French executed Mata
Hari, who was a Dutch dancer that was spying for the Germans.



Feelings against Germany were strong as war progressed. School kids were affected much by
the war as well. They were not allowed to learn German or German Literature. People
criticized any techniques that were said to spies. Therefore, the Dept. Of Justice was
asked to keep close look for the spies.
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