8 Events that Led to the Outbreak of World War I

8 Events that Led to the Outbreak of World War I


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World War I, which lasted from 1914 until 1918, introduced the world to the horrors of trench warfare and lethal new technologies such as poison gas and tanks. The result was some of the most horrific carnage the world had ever seen, with more than 16 million military personnel and civilians losing their lives.

It also radically altered the map, leading to the collapse of the sprawling Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman and Russian empires that had existed for centuries, and the formation of new nations to take their place. Long after the last shot had been fired, the political turmoil and social upheaval continued, and ultimately led to another, even bigger and bloodier global conflict two decades later.

The event that sparked the conflagration was the assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, in 1914. But historians say that World War I actually was the culmination of a long series of events, stretching back to the late 1800s. The path to war included plenty of miscalculations and actions that turned out to have unforeseen consequences.

“No one can say precisely why it happened,” explains the narration to a film at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City. “Which may be, in the end, the best explanation for why it did.”

Here are eight of the events that led to the war.

1. Franco-Russian Alliance (1894)

Both Russia and France, which had been humiliated in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, feared the rising power of Germany, which had already formed alliances with Austria-Hungary and Italy. So the two nations decided to join forces for mutual protection as well. It was the start of what would become the Allied side, the Triple Entente, in World War I.

“To my mind, it is the coming together of the Triple Entente in stages—the Franco-Russian Alliance in 1894, the British-French Entente Cordiale of 1904, and the Anglo-Russian Entente of 1907—that really solidified the system of diplomatic agreements that formed the main antagonistic blocs that went to war in 1914,” Richard S. Fogarty, an associate professor of history at University at Albany, explains. “The alliance system was critical to shaping the war, and even in helping bring it on: it created a set of expectations about international rivalry and competition, determining what kind of war Europeans imagined and prepared for.”

WATCH: World War I Alliances

2. First German Naval Law, (1898)

This legislation, advocated by Germany’s newly-appointed Secretary of the Imperial Navy, Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz, dramatically expanded the size of Germany’s battle fleet. It was the first of five laws dictating a buildup in which the Germans envisioned building a force that was superior to Britain’s Royal Navy.

“Tirpitz aimed at forcing Britain into an alliance with Germany on German terms,” explains Eugene Beiriger, an associate professor of history, peace, justice and conflict studies at DePaul University, and author of the 2018 book World War I: A Historical Exploration of Literature. Instead, the British responded by building even more ships, and by ending their late 1880s policy of “splendid isolation” to form alliances with Japan, France and Russia.

“The German Naval Laws created unintended consequences,” Beiriger says in an email. “They ended up alienating both the government and public of Britain prior to the war.”

3. The Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905)

Russia’s Czar Nicholas II wanted to obtain a port that gave his navy and commercial ships access to the Pacific, and he set his sites on Korea. The Japanese saw Russia’s rising aggressiveness as a menace, and launched a surprise attack on Nicholas’ fleet at Port Arthur in China. The resulting war, fought both at sea and on land in China, was won by the Japanese, and as Beiriger notes, it helped shift power the power balance in Europe.

Russia’s allies France and Britain, which were allied with Japan, signed their own agreement in 1904 to avoid being pulled into the war. France later convinced the Russians to enter into an alliance with the British as well, laying the groundwork for their alliance in World War I. In addition, “Russia's expansion in the East had been stopped by Japan,” Beiriger says. “This turned Russian ambitions westward, especially in the Balkans, and influenced hardliners within the government to not back down in future crises.” That Russian combativeness helped trigger World War I less than a decade later.

4. Austria-Hungary’s Annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1908)

Under an 1878 treaty, Austria-Hungary was governing Bosnia and Herzegovina, even though technically they were still part of the Ottoman Empire. But after Austro-Hungarian government annexed their territory, the move backfired. The two provinces’ mostly Slavic population wanted to have their own country, while Slavs in nearby Serbia had the ambition of appropriating the provinces themselves.

“In multi-ethnic empires, nationalistic fervor fueled resistance to distant rulers,” Doran Cart, senior curator of the National World War I Museum and Memorial, says. “Tension was powder-keg high in the Balkans, where Slavic people, aided by the Slavs of Russia, resisted the rule of Austria-Hungary.” Additionally, the move drew Russia, which saw itself as Serbia’s protector, toward a gradual showdown with the Austro-Hungarian regime.

5. The Second Moroccan Crisis (1911)

The French and Germans butted heads for several years over Morocco, where Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II meddled in an attempt to pressure the French-British alliance. In the First Moroccan Crisis in 1905, he actually sailed to Tangiers to express his support for the sultan of Morocco against French interests. But instead of backing away from the conflict, the British rose in support of France.

In the Second Moroccan Crisis in 1911, the German foreign secretary, Alfred von Kiderlen- Wächter, sent a naval cruiser to anchor in a harbor on the Moroccan coast, in reaction to a tribal revolt that the Germans thought was being backed by France as a pretext for seizing the country. Again, the British backed the French, and eventually, Germany was forced to agree to recognize a French protectorate in Morocco. The two crises pushed the British and French closer together, and only hastened an eventual confrontation with the Germans.

6. Italy Invades Libya (1911)

The modern Italian state, which didn’t begin until 1861, had been “largely left out of the scramble that built Britain, France, and other powers into worldwide empires,” Fogarty explains. The Italian government set its sights on Libya, a North African country that hadn’t been claimed by another western European power, and decided to take it from the Ottoman Empire. The Italo-Turkish War ended with a peace treaty, but the Ottoman military left Libya and let the Italians colonize it. It was the first military conflict that featured aerial bombing, but as Fogarty notes, the real significance was that it exposed the shakiness of the Ottoman Empire and its slipping control over peripheral territories. That, in turn, was one of the factors that ultimately led to World War I, which Fogarty describes as “a war of empires, some expanding or seeking to expand, some keen to hold on to what they had, others trying desperately not to lose what they had left,”

7. The Balkan Wars (1912-13)

Serbia, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Greece, which had broken away from the Ottoman Empire during the 1800s, formed an alliance called the Balkan League. The Russian-backed alliance aimed to take away even more of the Turks’ remaining territory in the Balkans.

In the First Balkan War in 1912, Serbia, Greece and Montenegro defeated Ottoman forces, and forced them to agree to an armistice. But the Balkan League soon disintegrated, and in the Second Balkan War, the Bulgarians fought the Greeks and Serbs over Macedonia, and the Ottoman Empire and Romania jumped into the fray against the Bulgarians as well.

Bulgaria ultimately was defeated. The Balkan Wars made the region even more unstable. In the power void left by the Ottomans, tensions grew between Serbia and Austria-Hungary. That, in turn, led Austria-Hungary and its ally, Germany, to decide that a war with the Serbs would be needed at some point to strengthen Austria-Hungary’s position. “Many historians consider the Balkan Wars as the true beginning of the First World War,” Fogarty says.

8. Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand (1914)

WATCH: How a Wrong Turn Started World War I

The archduke, who was heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, went to Sarajevo to inspect the imperial troops stationed in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He and his wife Sophie were shot to death in their car by a 19-year-old Serbian revolutionary, Gavrilo Princip.

“The assassination highlighted the nationalism that was pulling the Austro-Hungarian Empire apart at the seams,” Fogarty explains, noting that Serbian extremists actually wanted Franz Ferdinand dead because they feared he was too moderate and would promote a power-sharing arrangement that would keep Slavic peoples in the empire.

“His assassination killed the idea, whether or not it was ever realistic to begin with, and radicalized Serbian defiance and Austrian determination to solve the nationalism problem for good, at least with respect to Serbia,” Fogarty says.

Instead, the tension between European powers increased, as they took different sides in the crisis. As the U.K.’s Imperial War Museum notes, the killing put both Austria-Hungary and Russia, which saw itself as the Serbians’ protector, in a bind. Neither one of them wanted to back down and appear weak. Fearing a fight that would draw in Russia, Austria-Hungary turned for help to Germany, which promised backing if the Austro-Hungarians used force against the Serbians. German support emboldened Austria-Hungary to declare war on Serbia on July 28.

Two days later, Russia’s military mobilized, and the Germans saw that they too were in a bind. They didn’t want to fight both Russia and its ally France on two fronts simultaneously, so it became imperative to knock the French military out of the war before Russia was ready to fight. Germany declared war on Russia on August 1, and two days later declared war against France. German forces gathered on the border of neutral Belgium, which they planned to cross in order to invade France. Belgium called for help, and on August 4, Great Britain declared war on Germany.

World War I had begun.


Samacheer Kalvi 10th Social Science Outbreak of World War I and Its Aftermath Text Book Back Questions and Answers

I. Choose the correct answer

Question 1.
What were the three major empires shattered by the end of First World War?
(a) Germany, Austria Hungary, and the Ottomans
(b) Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia
(c) Spain, Portugal and Italy
(d) Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy
Answer:
(a) Germany, Austria Hungary, and the Ottomans

Question 2.
Where did the Ethiopian army defeat the Italian army?
(a) Delville
(b) Orange State
(c) Adowa
(d) Algiers
Answer:
(c) Adowa

Question 3.
Which country emerged as the strongest in East Asia towards the close of nineteenth century?
(a) China
(b) Japan
(c) Korea
(d) Mongolia
Answer:
(b) Japan

Question 4.
Who said “imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism”?
(a) Lenin
(b) Marx
(c) Sun Yat-sen
(d) Mao Tsetung
Answer:
(a) Lenin

Question 5.
What is the Battle of Marne remembered for?
(a) air warfare
(b) trench warfare
(c) submarine warfare
(d) ship warfare
Answer:
(b) trench warfare

Question 6.
Which country after the World War I took to a policy of isolation?
(a) Britain
(b) France
(c) Germany
(d) USA
Answer:
(a) Britain

Question 7.
To which country did the first Secretary General of League of Nations belongs?
(a) Britain
(b) France
(c) Dutch
(d) USA
Answer:
(a) Britain

Question 8.
Which country was expelled from the League of Nations for attacking Finland?
(a) Germany
(b) Russia
(c) Italy
(d) France
Answer:
(b) Russia

  1. Japan forced a war on China in the year ……………….
  2. The new state of Albania was created according to the Treaty of ………………. signed in May 1913.
  3. Japan entered into an alliance with England in the year ……………….
  4. In the Balkans ………………. had mixed population.
  5. In the battle of Tannenberg ………………. suffered heavy losses.
  6. ………………. as Prime Minister represented France in Paris Peace Conference.
  7. ………………. became Prime Minister leading a new coalition of liberals and moderate Socialists before Lenin established the Bolshevik government.
  8. Locarno Treaty was signed in the year ………………..
  1. 1894
  2. London
  3. 1902
  4. Macedonia
  5. Russia
  6. Clemenceau
  7. Kerensky
  8. 1925

III. Choose the correct statement

Question 1.
(i) Italy remained a neutral country when the World War broke out.
(ii) Italy was much disappointed over the peace settlement at Versailles.
(iii) The Treaty of Sevres was signed with Italy.
(iv) Italy was denied even small places such as Trieste, Istria and the south Tyrol.
(a) (i) and (ii) are correct
(b) (iii) is correct
(c) (iv) is correct
(d) (i), (iii) and (iv) are correct
Answer:
(a) (i) and (ii) are correct

Question 2.
(i) The Turkish Empire contained many non-Turkish people in the Balkans.
(ii) Turkey fought on the side of the central powers
(iii) Britain attacked Turkey and captured Constantinople
(iv) Turkey’s attempt to attack Suez Canal but were repulsed.
(a) (i) and (ii) are correct
(b) (i) and (Hi) are correct
(c) (iv) is correct
(d) (i), (ii) and (iv) are correct
Answer:
(d) (i), (ii) and (iv) are correct

Question 3.
Assertion (A): Germany and the United States were producing cheaper manufactured goods and capturing England’s markets.
Reason (R): Both the countries produced required raw material for their industries.
(a) Both A and R are correct
(b) A is right but R is not the correct reason
(c) Both A and R are wrong
(d) R is right but it has no relevance to A.
Answer:
(b) A is right but R is not the correct reason

Question 4.
Assertion (A): The first European attempts to carve out colonies in Africa resulted in bloody battles.
Reason (R): There was stiff resistance from the native population.
(a) Both A and R are correct
(b) A is right but R is not the correct reason
(c) Both A and R are wrong
(d) R is right but it has no relevance to A.
Answer:
(a) Both A and R are correct

IV. Match the following

Answers:
A. (iii)
B. (iv)
C. (ii)
D. (v)
E. (i)

Question 1.
How do you assess the importance of Sino-Japanese War?
Answer:
Sino-Japanese war took place in the years 1894 – 1895. China was defeated in the war. Japan annexed the Liaotung peninsula with Port Arthur inspite of warning given by three great powers, Russia, Germany and France. By this Japan had proved that it was the strongest nation of the East – Asia.

Question 2.
Name the countries in the Triple Entente.
Answer:
Britain, France and Russia.

Question 3.
What were the three militant forms of nationalism in Europe?
Answer:
The three militant forms of nationalism were, England’s Jingoism, France’s Chauvinism and Germany’s Kultur.

Question 4.
What do you know of trench warfare?
Answer:
Trench warfare is a type of land warfare using occupied fighting lines consisting largely of military trenches, in which troops are well-protected from the enemy’s small arms fire and are substantially sheltered from artillery. It is a warfare in which opposing armed forces attack, counterattack, and defend from relatively permanent systems of trenches dug in the ground.

Question 5.
What was the role of Mustafa Kemal Pasha?
Answer:
When Britian attacked Turkey directly and tried to capture Constantinople, Turks put up a brave fight and Mustafa Kemal Pasha played a great role to win freedom for the country. He put an end to the sultanate and caliphate. He modernized it and changed it out for recognition.

Question 6.
Highlight the global influence of Russian Revolution?
Answer:
The Russian Revolution fired people’s imagination across the world. In many countries, communist parties were formed. The Russian communist government encouraged the colonies to fight for their freedom and gave all support to them. Debates over key issues, land reforms, social welfare, workers’ rights, and gender equality taking place in a global context.

Question 7.
List out any two causes for the failure of the League of Nations.
Answer:
League did not had the military power of its own , it could not enforce its decisions. Even though, it had world wide membership it become very much the center of European diplomacy.

VI. Answer all the questions given under each caption

Question 1.
Imperialism
(a) What do you know of monopoly capitalism?
(b) How did Japan emerge as an imperial power?
(c) Why did the industrial countries need colonies in the nineteenth century?
(d) What were the contrasts capitalism produced?
Answer:
(a) Capitalism based on the principle of free -trade without any control or regulation by the state is called monopoly Capitalism.
(b) Japan emerged as an imperial power by annexing the Liaotung peninsula with Port Arthur inspite of warning given by Russia, Germany and France.
(c) Because colonies acted as a market for surplus goods and vast supplies of raw materials.
(d) Capitalism produced extreme poverty and extreme wealth. Slum and skyscraper. Empire state and dependent exploited colony.

Question 2.
German Emperor

(a) What was the nature of Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany?
Answer:
Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany was ruthlessly assertive and aggressive. He proclaimed that Germany would be the leader of the world.

(b) What was the violent form of Germany called?
Answer:
It was called Germany’s Kultur.

(c) Why did Kaiser Wilhelm intervene in the Morocco affair?
Answer:
The British agreement with France over the latter’s interest in Morocco was consented by Germany. So Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany intentionally recognised the independence of the Sultan and demanded an international conference to decide on the future of Morocco.

(d) What happened to Germany’s colonies in Africa?
Answer:
The German colonies in western and eastern Africa were attacked by the Allies. As these colonies were quite far off from Germany they could not receive any immediate help, and therefore had to surrender to the Allies.

Question 3.
Balkan Wars
(a) Why was Balkan League formed?
(b) What was the outcome of the first Balkan War?
(c) Who were defeated in this war?
(d) What was the name of the Treaty signed at the end of this second Balkan War?
Answer:
(a) To control Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria and Montenegro in succeeding Balkans from Turks, in March 1912 the Balkan League was formed.
(b) The Balkan League defeated the Turkish forces in the 1st Balkan war.
(c) Turkey and Bulgaria were defeated in this war.
(d) Treaty of Bucharest in August 1913.

VII. Answer the following in detail

Question 1.
Discuss the main causes of the First World War.
Answer:
The causes of the First World War are given below:

  1. Formation of European alliances and counter alliances
  2. Emergence of violent forms of nationalism in countries like England, France and Germany
  3. Aggressive attitude of the German Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II
  4. Hostility of France towards Germany
  5. Opportunity for imperial power politics in the Balkans
  6. The Balkans wars
  7. Immediate cause which included the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, nephew and heir to Franz Joseph, Emperor of Austria-Hungary, by Princip, a Bosnian Serb, on 28 June 1914.

Question 2.
Highlight the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles relating to Germany.
Answer:

  1. All the central powers were directed to pay war indemnity especially Germany was to pay heavy amount for the losses suffered.
  2. Germany had to pay 6,600 million pounds as per the Reparation Commission, but can be paid in installments.
  3. The Germans should not have submarines and airforce, but can have a small navy and an army of one lakh men.
  4. Austria and Germany separated and Austria was given independence.
  5. All German colonies came under the mandated territories of League of nations.
  6. Germany had to give up all her overseas possessions, rights and titles to the allies.
  7. Germany surrendered Alsace-Lorraine to France.
  8. She signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Russia and the treaty of Bucharest with Bulgaria.
  9. Rhineland was to be occupied by the allies. East of Rhineland area was to be demilitarised.
  10. Poland was recreated with a corridor to Baltic containing the port of Danzig of Germany.

Question 3.
Explain the course of the Russian Revolution under the leadership of Lenin.
Answer:

  1. Lenin was in Switzerland when the revolution broke out in Russia. He wanted to continued revolution.
  2. His slogan of “All power to the Soviets” soon won over the workers’ leaders. Devastated by war time shortages, the people were attracted by the slogan of ‘Bread, Peace and Land’.
  3. In October Lenin persuaded the Bolshevik Central Committee to decide on immediate revolution. Trotsky prepared a detailed plan
  4. On 7 November the key government buildings, including the Winter Palace, the Prime Minister’s headquarters, were seized by armed factory workers and revolutionary troops
  5. On 8 November 1917a new Communist government was in office in Russia. Its head this time was Lenin. The Bolshevik Party was renamed the Russian Communist Party.

Question 4.
Estimate the work done by the League of Nations, pointing out the reasons for its failure?
Answer:

  1. League of nations was formed in 1920 with the twin objective of avoiding war and to maintain peace in the world.
  2. The main work done by the League was to solve the dispute arose between Sweden and Finland over the sovereignity of Aaland Island. It ruled that the island should go to Finland.
  3. League solved the frontier dispute between Poland and Germany in upper Silesia.
  4. When dispute arose between Greece and Bulgaria in 1925, Greece invaded Bulgaria and the League ordered a ceasefire.
  5. League had been successful in signing the Locarno Treaty in 1925 by which Germany,France, Belgium, Great Britain and Italy mutually guaranteed peace in Western Europe.
  6. The main reason for the failure of the League was Italy, Japan and Germany headed by dictators refused to be bound by the orders of the League and started violation and League rules.
  7. When League condemned the violation, they withdrew their membership.
  8. League did not had a military power of its own.
  9. Though it had a world-wide membership, it became the center of European diplomacy.
  10. The League remained a passive witness to events, issues and incidents of violations therefore finally dissolved in 1946.

Question 1.
Students can be taught to mark the places of battles and the capital cities of the countries that were engaged in the War.
Answer:
(a) Battles of I World war:
(i) Battle of Tannenberg
(ii) Battle of Marne
(iii) Battle of Gallipoli
(iv) Battle of Jutland
(v) Battle of Verdun
(vi) Battle of Passchendaele
(vii) Battle of Caporetto
(viii) Battle of Cambrai
(ix) Battle of the Somme.

(b) Capital cities of countries engaged in the IWW.
Central powers & Capital:
(i) Germany – Berlin
(ii) Austria – Vienna
(iii) Hungary – Budapest
(iv) Italy – Rome
(v) Ottoman Empire – Istanbul, Bursa, Edirne, Sogut
(vi) Bulgaria – Sofia
(vii) Tu rkey – An ka ra
Allies- Capital:
(i) Great Britain – London
(ii) France – Paris
(iii) Russia – Moscow
(iv) Italy – Rome
(v) United States – Washington D. C

Question 2.
An assignment or a project work on the role of Indian soldiers in different battle fields across the globe and the casualties they suffered during the War be attempted by the students.
Answer:
During the War, the Indian Army contributed a large number of divisions and independent brigades to the European, Mediterranean and the Middle East. The Indian Army fought against the German Empire in German East Africa and on the Western Front. Indian divisions were also sent to Egypt, Gallipoli and nearly 700,000 served in Mesopotamia against the Ottoman Empire. While some divisions were sent overseas others had to remain in India guarding the North West Frontier and on internal security and training duties.

In addition to the permanent divisions, the Indian Army also formed a number of independent brigades. As part of the Southern Army the Aden Brigade was stationed in the Aden Protectorate on the strategically important naval route from Europe to India, where there was limited fighting.

The Bannu Brigade, the Derajat Brigade and the Kohat Brigade were all part of the Northern Army and they were deployed along the North West Frontier. The South Persia Brigade was formed in 1915 at the start of the Persian Campaign to protect the Anglo- Persian oil installations in south Persia and the Persian Gulf.

On the outbreak of war, the Indian Army had 150,000 trained men and the Indian Government offered the services of two cavalry and two infantry divisions for service overseas. The force known as Indian Expeditionary Force A was attached to the British Expeditionary Force and the four divisions were formed into two army corps: an infantry Indian Corps and the Indian Cavalry Corps.

Indian Expeditionary Force B consisted of the 27th (Bangalore) Brigade from the 9th (Secunderabad) Division and an Imperial Service Infantry Brigade, a pioneer battalion, a mountain artillery battery and engineers were sent to Tanganyika with the task of invading German East Africa. Force C was formed from the Indian Army’s 29th Punjabis, together with half battalions from the Princely states of Jind, Bharatpur, Kapurthala and Rampur. The largest Indian Army force to serve abroad was the Indian Expeditionary Force D in Mesopotamia, under the command of Lieutenant-General Sir John Nixon.

Over one million Indian troops served overseas, of whom 62,000 died and another 67,000 were wounded. In total at least 74,187 Indian soldiers died during the War. Field-Marshal Sir Claude Auchinleck, Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army from 1942, commented that the British “couldn’t have come through both wars [World War I and II] if they hadn’t had the Indian Army.”

Mark the following countries on the world map.

  1. Great Britain
  2. Germany
  3. France
  4. Italy
  5. Morocco
  6. Turkey
  7. Serbia
  8. Bosnia
  9. Greece
  10. Austria-Hungary
  11. Bulgaria
  12. Rumania

Timeline:

Samacheer Kalvi 10th Social Science Outbreak of World War I and Its Aftermath Additional Important Questions and Answers

I. Choose the correct answer

Question 1.
The Treaty of serves was signed with:
(a) Austria
(b) Hungary
(c) Turkey
(d) Bulgaria
Answer:
(c) Turkey

Question 2.
The policy of imperialism followed by the European countries from 1870-1945 was known as ……
(a) New imperialism
(b) Military imperialism
(c) Neo-imperialism
Answer:
(a) New imperialism

Question 3.
President Woodrow Wilson put forward ………….. points in the League of nations.
(a) 12
(b) 11
(c) 10
(d) 14
Answer:
(d) 14

Question 4.
With a modem army and navy, ….. had emerged as an advanced industrialised
power.
(a) Germany
(b) Japan
(c) Italy
Answer:
(b) Japan

Question 5.
Germany surrendered in:
(a) 1917
(b) 1918
(c) 1919
(d) 1916
Answer:
(b) 1918

Question 6.
The ‘Sphere of influence’ was adopted by the European countries in ……
(a) Japan
(b) China
(c) India
Answer:
(b) China

Question 7
………….. is the name of the parliament of Russia.
(a) Tsar
(b) Trotsky
(c) Duma
(d) Rasputin.
Answer:
(c) Duma

Question 8.
The word “Imperialism” is derived from ……
(a) Greek
(b) German
(c) Latin
Answer:
(c) Latin

Question 9.
Nicholas II abdicated from his throne on ……………. 1917.
(a) March 12
(b) March 15
(c) November 18
(d) October 14
Answer:
(b) March 15

Question 10.
The development of ……. speeded the movements of goods between colonies and other countries.
(a) Roadways
(b) Waterways
(c) Railways
Answer:
(c) Railways

  1. The biggest outcome of the first world war was the …………….
  2. The Trust is an industrial organisation in the …………….
  3. The Imperialist Prime Minister of South Africa was called …………….
  4. Cartel means ……………. of enterprises in the same field of business.
  5. The treaty of ……………. was signed after the Russo-Japanese war and Japan got back port Arthur.
  6. The violent form of nationalism in Germany was called as …………….
  7. France and Germany were old …………….
  8. The enemity between and led to the outbreak of war in 1914.
  9. The new state of Albania was created according to the treaty of ……………. signed in 1913.
  10. Russia suffered heavy loses in the battle of …………….
  11. Trench warfare was the style followed in the battle of …………….
  12. Russia signed the treaty of ……………. with Germany.
  13. Italy formally joined the allies in …………….
  14. Battle of Jutland is a ……………. battle.
  15. ……………. is the name of the American ship sunk by Germany.
  16. ……………. was one of the principle in the fourteen points of Paris peace conference.
  17. The war conditions led to the ……………. movement in India.
  18. ……………. modernised Turkey and changed it out of all recognition.
  19. £ is the symbol of …………….
  20. The Bolshevik party was renamed as ……………. party.
  1. Russian Revolution
  2. USA
  3. Cecil Rhodes
  4. Association
  5. Portsmouth
  6. Kultur
  7. Rivals
  8. Austria and Serbia
  9. London
  10. Tannenburg
  11. Marne
  12. Brest Litovsk
  13. 1916
  14. Naval
  15. Lusitania
  16. Self determination
  17. Home Rule
  18. Pound sterling
  19. Kemal Pasha
  20. Russian communist

III. Choose the correct statements.

Question 1.
(i) The Industrial achievements of Germany in the later half of the 19th Century gave her a dominating position in Europe.
(ii) When Germany came to the scene of exploitation, it became weak in its military power.
(iii) When there was nowhere else to expand, imperialist countries grab other’s possession.
(iv) Russia, Britain and France joined in the scramble for colonies.
(a) (i) and (ii) are correct
(b) (i) and (iii) are wrong
(c) (ii) and (iv) are wrong
(d) (i), (ii) and (iv) are correct
Answer:
(c) (ii) and (iv) are wrong

Question 2.
(i) The Central powers consisted of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey and Bulgaria.
(ii) Italy strongly supported Germany.
(iii) In April 1916, Britain, France and Italy signed the Treaty of London.
(iv) Italy agreed to enter the war against the central powers in-return of this territory after the war.
(a) (i), (ii) and (iii) are correct
(b) (ii), (iii) and (iv) are correct
(c) (i) and (iii) are correct
(d) (i) and (iv) are correct
Answer:
(d) (i) and (iv) are correct

Question 3.
(i) Trenches are ditches dug by troops enabled soldiers.
(ii) It was done to protect themselves from enemy fire.
(iii) The battle of Jutland is a memorable one for Trench war fare.
(iv) Trench system used in the first world war consisted of six to seven trench lines running parallel to each other.
(a) (ii) and (iv) are correct
(b) (i) and (ii) are correct
(c) (i) and (iv) are correct
(d) (iii) and (iv) are correct
Answer:
(b) (i) and (ii) are correct

Question 4.
(i) The main provision of the Versailles treaty was that all central powers were directed to pay war indemnity.
(ii) All the German colonies became mandated territories under the League of nations.
(iii) The Saar coal mine was given to Bulgaria.
(iv) Northern Schleswig was given to France.
(a) (iii) and (iv) are correct
(b) (i) and (ii) are correct
(c) (i), (ii), (iv) are correct
(d) (ii) and (iv) are correct
Answer:
(b) (i) and (ii) are correct

Question 5.
(i) Triple Alliance was signed in 1882 between Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy.
(ii) Entente cordiale was signed in 1906 between Britain and Russia.
(iii) Triple Entente was signed between Britain, France and Russia.
(iv) The Britain violation of Belgian neutrality forced German to enter the war.
(a) (i), (ii), (iv) are correct
(b) (iii) and (iv) are correct
(c) (i) and (iii) are correct
(d) (ii) and (iv) are correct
Answer:
(c) (i) and (iii) are correct

Question 1.
Assertion (A): Inspite of warning of the three great powers, Russia, Germany and France, Japan annexed the Liaotung Peninsula with Port Arthur.
Reason (R): Japan proved that it was the strongest nation of the East Asia.
(a) Both A and R are correct
(b) A is right but R is not the correct reason
(c) Both A and R are wrong
(d) R is right but it has no relevant to A
Answer:
(a) Both A and R are correct

Question 2.
Assertion (A): Two peace conferences were held at the Hague in Holland in 1899 and in 1907.
Reason (R): Lenin of Russia wanted to bring Universal peace and suggested these conferences.
(a) Both A and R are correct
(b) A is right but R is not the correct reason
(c) Both A and R are wrong
(d) R is right but it has no relevant to A
Answer:
(b) A is right but R is not the correct reason

Question 3.
Assertion (A): Italy formally joined with the allies fighting with Austria, initially sustained, but finally collapsed.
Reason (R): Germans came to Austria’s help.
(a) Both A and R are correct
(b) A is right but R is not the correct reason
(c) Both A and R are wrong
(d) R is right but it has no relevant to A
Answer:
(a) Both A and R are correct

Question 4.
Assertion (A): In Germany and Austria, women and children suffered from hunger and privation.
Reason (R): Aeroplanes were used for bombing targeted Civilian population.
(a) Both A and R are correct
(b) A is right but R is not the correct reason
(c) Both A and R are wrong
(d) R is right but it has no relevant to A
Answer:
(b) A is right but R is not the correct reason

Question 5.
Assertion (A): Marxists in Russia had the fortune of getting Lenin as their leader.
Reason (R): Tsar Nicholas li was under the strong influence of his wife Alexandra.
(a) Both A and R are correct
(b) A is right but R is not the correct reason
(c) Both A and R are wrong
(d) R is right but it has no relevant to A
Answer:
(b) A is right but R is not the correct reason

Question 6.
Assertion (A): The League of nations could apply the principle of collective security.
Reason (R): It was supported by Italy, Japan and Germany.
(a) Both A and R are correct
(b) A is right but R is not the correct reason
(c) Both A and R are wrong
(d) R is right but it has no relevant to A
Answer:
(c) Both A and R are wrong

Question 1.
Match the Column I with Column II.

Answer:
A. (iv)
B. (v)
C. (i)
D. (ii)
E. (iii)

Question 2.
Match the column I with column II.

Answer:
A. (iv)
B. (i)
C. (v)
D. (ii)
E. (iii)

VI. Answer the following questions briefly

Question 1.
What was the aim of the capitalist countries?
Answer:
The aim of the capitalistic countries was to produce more and more. The surplus wealth that was produced was used to build more factories, railways, steamship and other such undertakings.

Question 2.
What is colonialism?
Answer:
(i) Colonialism refers to the policy of acquiring and maintaining colonies especially for exploitation.
(ii) It also means that it is a relationship between an indigenous majority and a minority foreign invaders.

Question 3.
What was the immediate cause of the first world war?
Answer:
The nephew and heir to Franz Joseph, Emperor of Austria-Hungary. The Arch duke Franz Ferdinand was killed by Princip a Serbian of Bosnia. This was the immediate cause as Austria got help from Germany and Serbia got help from Russia. Thus the war began in 1914.

Question 4.
How did China became an International colony?
Answer:

  1. The Boers were defeated by foreign powers.
  2. When they reached Peking, the capital of China, Empress Dowager fled from the capital,
  3. The U.S.A. and England formulated the Open Door Policy or Me Too Policy.
  4. The Chinese territories were partitioned among the foreign powers for trade rights. Thus China became an international colony.

Question 5.
What do you understand by Paris peace conference?
Answer:
The Paris peace conference held in January 1919 two months after the signing of the armistice.
Woodrow Wilson of America and Lloyd George of Britain were the important personalities. On 28 June 1919, the peace treaty was signed in The Hall of Mirrors at Versailles.

Question 6.
What was the immediate cause of the First World War?
Answer:

  1. In 1908, Austria annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina against the Congress of Berlin.
  2. Austrian Prince Francis Ferdinand and his wife were assassinated at Sarajevo on June 28, 1914.
  3. Austria sent an ultimatum to Serbia, but Serbia ignored it.
  4. So Austria declared war on Serbia on 28th July 1914.

Question 7.
Write the slogans raised by Lenin that attracted soviet people.
Answer:
“All power to the soviets” and “Bread, Peace and Land” were the slogans raised by Lenin that attracted the soviet people who were devastated by war time shortages.

Question 8.
Write any two terms of the Treaty of Versailles.
Answer:

  1. A huge war indemnity was imposed on Germany. Her army was reduced.
  2. The overseas possessions of Germany were divided among the victorious nations.

Question 9.
Write any two objectives of the League.
Answer:
The two main objective of the League of Nations was (i) To avoid war and to maintain peace in the world, (ii) To promote international co-operation in economic and social affairs.

Question 10.
What do you mean by Russian Revolution?
Answer:
The fall of monarch in February 1917 and the events of October are known as the Russian Revolution.

Question 11.
What is Duma? Why did the Tsar dismiss the first Duma within 75 days of its election?
Answer:
An elective legislative assembly established in 1905 by Nicholas II in Russia is known as Duma. Because the Tsar did not want anyone to question his authority, so he dismissed the first Duma within 75 days.

VII. Answer all the questions given under each caption

1. Characteristics of Imperialism

(a) What led to concept of Imperialism?
Answer:
Capitalism inevitably led to the concept of Imperialism.

(b) What was Lenin idea on Imperialism?
Answer:
According to Lenin, imperialism is the highest stage of Capitalism.

(c) What were the purposes for which the colonies were made use of?
Answer:
The colonies served as a market for goods and also vast suppliers of raw materials like cotton, Rubber etc.

(d) What was the logic behind Imperialism apart from colonisation?
Answer:
The logic behind Imperialism apart from colonisation was, total militarisation and total war.

2. The ambition of Germany

(а) Who was the ruler of Germany during the First World War?
Answer:
Kaiser Wilhelm II.

(b) What did he believe?
Answer:
He believed that Germany alone was competent to rule the whole world.

(c) What could not be tolerated by him?
Answer:
He could not tolerate the British saying that the Sun never sets in the British Empire.

(a) Name the Naval battle that took place in 1916?
Answer:
In 1916, the Naval battle had taken place in the North sea called as Battle of Jutland.

(b) Which country started the Sub-marine warfare thereafter?
Answer:
Germany started their Submarine warfare thereafter.

(c) Name the ship that bombarded Madras?
Answer:
The ship that bombarded Madras was the famous Emden ship.

(d) Name the American ship torpedoed by a German Submarine.
Answer:
Lusitania, an American ship was torpedoed by a German Submarine.

4. Course of the First World War

(a) Give the duration of the First World War.
Answer:
From July 28, 1914 to November 11, 1918.

(b) Who were called the Central Powers?
Answer:
The countries which were on the side of Germany were called the Central Powers.

(c) Who were called the Allies?
Answer:
The countries which were on the side of Britain were called as the Allies.

(d) What and all were used in war?
Answer:
Artillery, Tanks and submarines were used in the war.

(a) Where was he born?
Answer:
Lenin was bom in 1870 near the middle Volga to educated parents.

(b) What was his belief?
Answer:
Lenin believed that the wav for freedom was through mass action.

(c) When and why was he arrested?
Answer:
He was arrested in 1895 and kept in Serbia for encouraging the ideas of Marxism to the factory workers in St. Petersburg.

(d) How did he form the Bolshevik party?
Answer:
Lenin gained the support of small majority called Bolshmstvo known as Bolsheviks which later became the Bolshevik party.

(a) How were the terms of the treaties drafted?
Answer:
Based upon the fourteen points of the American President Woodrow Wilson.

(b) What did Germany surrendered to France?
Answer:
Germany surrendered Alsace and Lorraine to Europe.

(c) Where was monarchy abolished?
Answer:
In Germany, Russia, Austria and Turkey.

(d) Name the new Republics.
Answer:
Czechoslovakia and Poland.

VIII. Answer the following in detail

Question 1.
Write a note on the structure and composition of its League of Nations.
Answer:

  1. The covenant of the League of Nations was formed at the Paris peace conference after the first world war.
  2. President of USA -Woodrow Wilson largely supported for this task to be accomplished.
  3. The structure of the League consist of the Assembly, the council, the Secretariat, the permanent court of Justice and the International Labour organization.
  4. Each member country was represented in the Assembly.
  5. Each member country’ and had one vote and also possessed the right of veto.
  6. Britain, France, Italy, Japan and United States were originally declared permanent members of the council.
  7. The council was the executive of the League.
  8. The staff of the secretariat was appointed by the Secretary General in consultation with the council.
  9. The court of Justice consisted of fifteen Judges.
  10. The International Labour organization comprised a Secretariat. The general conference will include four representatives from each country.
  11. The first secretary general of League of Nations was Sir Eric Drummond from Britain.

Question 2.
What were the results of the first world war?
Answer:
The Paris Peace Conference:

  1. The first world war came to an end by the Paris Peace Conference of 1919.
  2. The city of Danzig was internationlized.
  3. Lithuvania, Latvia and Estonia were granted independence.

The formation of the League of Nations:

  1. The first world war brought untold miseries to people.
  2. All the nations wanted a permanent body to maintain peace in the world. So the League of Nations was formed in 1920.
  3. The victorious nations forced the defeated nations with unfair treaties. It sowed the seed for the second world war.

Question 3.
What was the impact of First world war on India?
Answer:


Military Losses

World War I represented one of the most destructive wars in history.

More than 8.5 million soldiers died as a result of the hostilities, a figure exceeding the military deaths in all the wars between European powers in the 19th century. Although accurate casualty statistics are difficult to ascertain, an estimated 21 million men were wounded in combat.

The enormous losses on all sides of the conflict resulted in part from the introduction of new weapons and military tactics, such as long-range artillery, tanks, poison gas, and aerial warfare. Military leaders also failed to adjust their tactics to the increasingly mechanized nature of warfare. A policy of attrition, particularly on the western front, cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of soldiers.

July 1, 1916, saw the heaviest loss of life in a single day. On this day, the British Army on the Somme alone suffered over 57,000 casualties.

Germany and Russia incurred the highest number of military deaths: an estimated 1,773,700 and 1,700,000, respectively. France lost sixteen percent of its mobilized forces, the highest mortality rate relative to troops deployed.


Contents

Asquith as prime minister Edit

On 4 August, King George V declared war on the advice of his prime minister, H. H. Asquith, leader of the Liberal Party. Britain's basic reasons for declaring war focused on a deep commitment to France and avoidance of splitting the Liberal Party. Top Liberals threatened to resign if the cabinet refused to support France—which would mean loss of control of the government to a coalition or to the Unionist (i.e. Conservative) opposition. However, the large antiwar element among Liberals would support the war to honour the 1839 treaty regarding guarantees of Belgian neutrality, so that rather than France was the public reason given. [16] [17] Therefore, the public reason given out by the government. and used in posters, was that Britain was required to safeguard Belgium's neutrality under the 1839 Treaty of London.

The strategic risk posed by German control of the Belgian and ultimately French coast was considered unacceptable. German guarantees of post-war behaviour were cast into doubt by her blasé treatment of Belgian neutrality. However, the Treaty of London had not committed Britain on her own to safeguard Belgium's neutrality. Moreover, naval war planning demonstrated that Britain herself would have violated Belgian neutrality by blockading her ports (to prevent imported goods passing to Germany) in the event of war with Germany.

Britain's duty to her Entente partners, both France and Russia, were paramount factors. The Foreign Secretary Edward Grey argued that the secret naval agreements with France created a moral obligation 'to save France from defeat by Germany. British national interest rejected German control of France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Grey warned that to abandon its allies would be a permanent disaster: if Germany won the war, or the Entente won without British support, then, either way, Britain would be left without any friends. This would have left both Britain and her Empire vulnerable to isolation. [18]

Eyre Crowe, a senior Foreign office expert said:

Should the war come, and England stand aside, one of two things must happen. (a) Either Germany and Austria win, crush France and humiliate Russia. What will be the position of a friendless England? (b) Or France and Russia win. What would be their attitude towards England? What about India and the Mediterranean? [19] : 544

Crisis of Liberal leadership Edit

The Liberal Party might have survived a short war, but the totality of the Great War called for strong measures that the Party had long rejected. The result was the permanent destruction of the ability of the Liberal Party to lead a government. Historian Robert Blake explains the dilemma:

the Liberals were traditionally the party of freedom of speech, conscience and trade. They were against jingoism, heavy armaments and compulsion. Liberals were neither wholehearted nor unanimous about conscription, censorship, the Defence of the Realm Act, severity toward aliens and pacifists, direction of labour and industry. The Conservatives. had no such misgivings. [20]

Blake further notes that it was the Liberals, not the Conservatives who needed the moral outrage of Belgium to justify going to war, while the Conservatives called for intervention from the start of the crisis on the grounds of realpolitik and the balance of power. [21]

The British people were disappointed that there was no quick victory in the war. They long had taken great pride and expense in the Royal Navy, but now there was little to cheer about. The Battle of Jutland in May 1916, was the first and only time the German fleet challenged control of the North Sea, but it was overmatched and was reassigned mostly to helping the more important U-boats. Since the Liberals ran the war without consulting the Unionists (Conservatives) there were heavy partisan attacks. However even Liberal commentators were dismayed by the lack of energy at the top. At the time public opinion was intensely hostile, both in the media and in the street, against any young man in civilian garb and labeled as a slacker. The leading Liberal newspaper, the Manchester Guardian complained:

The fact that the Government has not dared to challenge the nation to rise above itself, is one among many signs. The war is, in fact, not being taken seriously. How can any slacker be blamed when the Government itself is slack. [22]

Asquith's Liberal government was brought down in May 1915 , due in particular to a crisis in inadequate artillery shell production and the protest resignation of Admiral Fisher over the disastrous Gallipoli Campaign against Turkey. Reluctant to face doom in an election, Asquith formed a new coalition government on 25 May , with the majority of the new cabinet coming from his own Liberal party and the Unionist (Conservative) party, along with a token Labour representation. The new government lasted a year and a half, and was the last time Liberals controlled the government. [23] The analysis of historian A. J. P. Taylor is that the British people were so deeply divided over numerous issues, But on all sides there was growing distrust for the Asquith government. There was no agreement whatsoever on wartime issues. The leaders of the two parties realized that embittered debates in Parliament would further undermine popular morale, and so the House of Commons did not once discuss the war before May 1915. Taylor argues: [24]

The Unionists, by and large, regarded Germany as a dangerous rival, and rejoiced at the chance to destroy her. They meant to fight a hard-headed war by ruthless methods the condemned Liberal 'softness' before the war and now. The Liberals insisted on remaining high-minded. Many of them income to support the war only when the Germans invaded Belgium. Entering the war for idealistic motives, the Liberals wish to fight it by noble means and found it harder to abandon their principles than to endure your defeat in the field.

Lloyd George as prime minister Edit

This coalition government lasted until 1916, when the Unionists became dissatisfied with Asquith and the Liberals' conduct of affairs, particularly over the Battle of the Somme. [25] Asquith's opponents now took control, led by Bonar Law (leader of the Conservatives), Sir Edward Carson (leader of the Ulster Unionists), and David Lloyd George (then a minister in the cabinet). Law, who had few allies outside his own party, lacked sufficient support to form a new coalition the Liberal Lloyd George, on the other hand, enjoyed much wider support and duly formed a majority-Conservative coalition government with Lloyd George Liberals and Labour. Asquith was still the party head but he and his followers moved to the opposition benches in Parliament. [26]

Lloyd George immediately set about transforming the British war effort, taking firm control of both military and domestic policy. [27] [28] In the first 235 days of its existence, the War Cabinet met 200 times. [5] Its creation marked the transition to a state of total war—the idea that every man, woman and child should play his or her part in the war effort. Moreover, it was decided that members of the government should be the men who controlled the war effort, primarily utilising the power they had been given under the Defence of the Realm Act. [5] For the first time, the government could react quickly, without endless bureaucracy to tie it down, and with up-to-date statistics on such matters as the state of the merchant navy and farm production. [5] The policy marked a distinct shift away from Asquith's initial policy of laissez-faire, [4] which had been characterised by Winston Churchill's declaration of "business as usual" in November 1914 . [29] The success of Lloyd George's government can also be attributed to a general lack of desire for an election, and the practical absence of dissent that this brought about. [30]

In rapid succession in spring 1918 came a series of military and political crises. [31] The Germans, having moved troops from the Eastern front and retrained them in new tactics, now had more soldiers on the Western Front than the Allies. On 21 March 1918 Germany launched a full scale Spring Offensive against the British and French lines, hoping for victory on the battlefield before United States troops arrived in large numbers. The Allied armies fell back 40 miles in confusion, and facing defeat London realized it needed more troops to fight a mobile war. Lloyd George found half a million soldiers and rushed them to France, asked American President Woodrow Wilson for immediate help, and agreed to the appointment of the French Marshal Foch as commander in chief on the Western Front, so that Allied forces could be coordinated to handle the German offensive. [32]

Despite strong warnings that it was a bad idea, the War Cabinet decided to impose conscription on Ireland in 1918. The main reason was that labour in Britain demanded it as the price for cutting back on exemptions for certain workers. Labour wanted the principle established that no one was exempt, but it did not demand that conscription should actually take place in Ireland. The proposal was enacted, but never enforced. The Roman Catholic bishops for the first time entered the fray, calling for open resistance to compulsory military service, while the majority of Irish nationalists moved to supporting the intransigent Sinn Féin movement (away from the constitutional Irish National Party). This proved a decisive moment, marking the end of Irish willingness to stay inside the Union. [33] [34]

On 7 May 1918 , a senior army officer on active duty, Major-General Sir Frederick Maurice, prompted a second crisis when he went public with allegations that Lloyd George had lied to Parliament on military matters. Asquith, the Liberal leader in the House, took up the allegations and attacked Lloyd George (also a Liberal). While Asquith's presentation was poor, Lloyd George vigorously defended his position, treating the debate as a vote of confidence. He won over the House with a powerful refutation of Maurice's allegations. The main results were to strengthen Lloyd George, weaken Asquith, end public criticism of overall strategy, and strengthen civilian control of the military. [35] [36] Meanwhile, the German offensive stalled and was ultimately reversed. Victory came on 11 November 1918. [37]

Historian George H. Cassar has evaluated Lloyd George's legacy as a war leader:

After all that has been said and done, what are we to make of Lloyd George’s legacy as a war leader? On the home front he achieved varied results in tackling difficult, and in some instances, unprecedented problems. It would be hard to have improved on his dealings with labour and the program to increase homegrown food, but in the sectors of manpower, price control and food distribution he adopted the same approach as his predecessor, taking action only in response to the changing nature of the conflict. In the vital area of national morale, while he did not have the technical advantages of Churchill, his personal conduct damaged his ability to do more to inspire the nation. All things considered, it is unlikely that any of his political contemporaries could have handled matters at home as effectively as he did, although it can be argued that if someone else had been in charge, the difference would not have been sufficient to change the final outcome. In his conduct of the war he did advance the cause of the Entente significantly in some ways, but in determining strategy, one of the most important tasks for which a prime minister must be responsible, he was undeniably a failure. To sum up, while Lloyd George's contributions outweighed his mistakes, the margin is too narrow, in my opinion, to include him In the pantheon of Britain's outstanding war leaders. [38]

Collapse of the Liberal Party Edit

In the general election of 1918, Lloyd George, "the Man Who Won the War", led his coalition into another khaki election and won a sweeping victory over the Asquithian Liberals and the newly emerging Labour Party. Lloyd George and the Conservative leader Bonar Law wrote a joint letter of support to candidates to indicate they were considered the official Coalition candidates – this "coupon", as it became known, was issued to opponents of many sitting Liberal MPs, devastating the incumbents. [39] Asquith and most of his Liberal colleagues lost their seats. Lloyd George was increasingly under the influence of the rejuvenated Conservative party. The Liberal party never recovered. [40]

Finance Edit

Before the war, the government spent 13 percent of gross national product (GNP) in 1918 it spent 59 percent of GNP. The war was financed by borrowing large sums at home and abroad, by new taxes, and by inflation. It was implicitly financed by postponing maintenance and repair, and cancelling unneeded projects. [41] The government avoided indirect taxes because they raised the cost of living, and caused discontent among the working class. In 1913–14, indirect taxes on tobacco and alcohol yielded £75 million, while direct taxes yielded £88 million, including an income tax of £44 million and estate duties of £22 million. That is, 54 percent of revenue came from direct taxes by 1918, direct taxes were 80 percent of revenue. [42] There was a strong emphasis on being "fair" and being "scientific." The public generally supported the heavy new taxes, with minimal complaints. The Treasury rejected proposals for a stiff capital levy, which the Labour Party wanted to use to weaken the capitalists. Instead, there was an excess profits tax, of 50 percent of profits above the normal prewar level the rate was raised to 80 percent in 1917. [43] [44] Excise taxes were added on luxury imports such as automobiles, clocks and watches. There was no sales tax or value added tax. The main increase in revenue came from income tax, which in 1915 went up to 3s. 6d in the pound (17.5%), and individual exemptions were lowered. The income tax rate grew to 5s in the pound (25%) in 1916, and 6s (30%) in 1918. Altogether, taxes provided at most 30 percent of national expenditure, with the rest from borrowing. The national debt soared from £625 million to £7,800 million. Government bonds typically paid five percent. Inflation escalated so that the pound in 1919 purchased only a third of the basket it had purchased it 1914. Wages were laggard, and the poor and retired were especially hard hit. [45] [46]

The British royal family faced a serious problem during the First World War because of its blood ties to the ruling family of Germany, Britain's prime adversary in the war. Before the war, the British royal family had been known as the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. In 1910, George V became king on the death of his father, Edward VII, and reigned throughout the war. He was the first cousin of the German Emperor Wilhelm II, who came to symbolise all the horrors of the war. Queen Mary, although British like her mother, was the daughter of the Duke of Teck, a descendant of the royal House of Württemberg. During the war H. G. Wells wrote about Britain's "alien and uninspiring court", and George famously replied: "I may be uninspiring, but I'll be damned if I'm alien." [47]

On 17 July 1917, to appease British nationalist feelings, King George issued an Order in Council that changed the name of the his family to the House of Windsor. He specifically adopted Windsor as the surname for all descendants of Queen Victoria then living in Britain, excluding women who married into other families and their descendants. [48] He and his relatives who were British subjects relinquished the use of all German titles and styles, and adopted English surnames. George compensated several of his male relatives by creating them British peers. Thus, his cousin, Prince Louis of Battenberg, became the Marquess of Milford Haven, while his brother-in-law, the Duke of Teck, became the Marquess of Cambridge. Others, such as Princess Marie Louise of Schleswig-Holstein and Princess Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, simply stopped using their territorial designations. The system for titling members of the royal family was also simplified. [49] Relatives of the British royal family who fought on the German side were simply cut off their British peerages were suspended by a 1919 Order in Council under the provisions of the Titles Deprivation Act 1917. [50]

Developments in Russia posed another set of issues for the monarchy. Tsar Nicholas II of Russia was King George's first cousin and the two monarchs looked very much alike. [51] When Nicholas was overthrown in the Russian Revolution of 1917, the liberal Russian Government asked that the tsar and his family be given asylum in Britain. The cabinet agreed but the king was worried that public opinion was hostile and said no. It is likely the tsar would have refused to leave Russia in any case. He remained and in 1918 he and his family were ordered killed by Lenin, the Bolshevik leader. [52] [53]

The Prince of Wales – the future Edward VIII – was keen to participate in the war but the government refused to allow it, citing the immense harm that would occur if the heir to the throne were captured. [54] Despite this, Edward witnessed trench warfare at first hand and attempted to visit the front line as often as he could, for which he was awarded the Military Cross in 1916. His role in the war, although limited, led to his great popularity among veterans of the conflict. [55] [56]

Other members of the royal family were similarly involved. The Duke of York (later George VI) was commissioned in the Royal Navy and saw action as a turret officer aboard HMS Collingwood at the battle of Jutland but saw no further action in the war, largely because of ill health. [57] Princess Mary, the King's only daughter, visited hospitals and welfare organisations with her mother, assisting with projects to give comfort to British servicemen and assistance to their families. One of these projects was Princess Mary's Christmas Gift Fund, through which £162,000 worth of gifts was sent to all British soldiers and sailors for Christmas 1914. [58] She took an active role in promoting the Girl Guide movement, the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD), the Land Girls and in 1918, she took a nursing course and went to work at Great Ormond Street Hospital. [59]

The first Defence of the Realm Act (DORA) was passed on 8 August 1914, during the early weeks of the war, [60] though in the next few months its provisions were extended. [61] It gave the government wide-ranging powers, [61] such as the ability to requisition buildings or land needed for the war effort. [62] Some of the things the British public were prohibited from doing included loitering under railway bridges, [63] feeding wild animals [64] and discussing naval and military matters. [65] British Summer Time was also introduced. [66] Alcoholic beverages were now to be watered down, pub closing times were brought forward from 12.30 am to 10 pm , and, from August 1916 , Londoners were no longer able to whistle for a cab between 10 pm and 7 am . [66] It has been criticised for both its strength and its use of the death penalty as a deterrent [67] – although the act itself did not refer to the death penalty, it made provision for civilians breaking these rules to be tried in army courts martial, where the maximum penalty was death. [68]

The Aliens Restriction Act, passed on 5 August, required all foreign nationals to register with the police, and by 9 September just under 67,000 German, Austrian and Hungarian nationals had done so. [69] [70] Citizens of enemy states were subject to restrictions on travel, possession of equipment that might be used for espionage, and residence in areas likely to be invaded. [71] The government was reluctant to impose widespread internment. It rescinded a military decision of 7 August 1914 to intern all nationals of enemy states between the ages of 17 and 42, and focussed instead only on those suspected of being a threat to national security. By September, 10,500 aliens were being held, but between November 1914 and April 1915 few arrests were made and thousands of internees were actually released. Public anti-German sentiment, which had been building since October following reports of German atrocities in Belgium, peaked after the sinking of the RMS Lusitania on 7 May 1915. The incident prompted a week of rioting across the country, during which virtually every German-owned shop had its windows smashed. The reaction forced the government to implement a tougher policy on internment, as much for the aliens own safety as for the security of the country. All non-naturalised enemy nationals of military age were to be interned, while those over military age were to be repatriated, and by 1917 only a small number of enemy nationals were still residing at liberty. [72] [73] [74]

Army Edit

The British Army during World War I was small in size when compared to the other major European powers. In 1914, the British had a small, largely urban English, volunteer force [75] of 400,000 soldiers, almost half of whom were posted overseas to garrison the immense British Empire. (In August 1914 , 74 of the 157 infantry battalions and 12 of the 31 cavalry regiments were posted overseas. [1] : 504 ) This total included the Regular Army and reservists in the Territorial Force. [1] : 504 Together they formed the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), [76] for service in France and became known as the Old Contemptibles. The mass of volunteers in 1914–1915, popularly known as Kitchener's Army, was destined to go into action at the battle of the Somme. [1] : 504 In January 1916 , conscription was introduced (initially of single men, extended to married men in May), and by the end of 1918, the army had reached its peak of strength of 4.5 million men. [1] : 504

Royal Navy Edit

The Royal Navy at the start of the war was the largest navy in the world due, for the most part, to the Naval Defence Act 1889 and the two-power standard which called for the navy to maintain a number of battleships such as their strength was at least equal to the combined strength of the next two largest navies in the world, which at that point were France and Russia. [77]

The major part of the Royal Navy's strength was deployed at home in the Grand Fleet, with the primary aim of drawing the German High Seas Fleet into an engagement. No decisive victory ever came. The Royal Navy and the German Imperial Navy did come into contact, notably in the Battle of Heligoland Bight, and at the Battle of Jutland. [78] In view of their inferior numbers and firepower, the Germans devised a plan to draw part of the British fleet into a trap and put it into effect at Jutland in May 1916 , but the result was inconclusive. In August 1916 , the High Seas Fleet tried a similar enticement operation and was "lucky to escape annihilation". [79] The lessons learned by the Royal Navy at Jutland made it a more effective force in the future. [79]

In 1914, the navy had also formed the 63rd (Royal Naval) Division from reservists, and this served extensively in the Mediterranean and on the Western Front. [78] Almost half of the Royal Navy casualties during the War were sustained by this division, fighting on land and not at sea. [78]

British air services Edit

At the start of the war, the Royal Flying Corps (RFC), commanded by David Henderson, was sent to France and was first used for aerial spotting in September 1914 , but only became efficient when they perfected the use of wireless communication at Aubers Ridge on 9 May 1915. Aerial photography was attempted during 1914, but again only became effective the next year. In 1915 Hugh Trenchard replaced Henderson and the RFC adopted an aggressive posture. By 1918, photographic images could be taken from 15,000 feet (4,600 m), and interpreted by over 3,000 personnel. Planes did not carry parachutes until 1918, though they had been available since before the war. [80] On 17 August 1917, General Jan Smuts presented a report to the War Council on the future of air power. Because of its potential for the 'devastation of enemy lands and the destruction of industrial and populous centres on a vast scale', he recommended a new air service be formed that would be on a level with the army and navy. The formation of the new service however would make the under utilised men and machines of the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) available for action across the Western Front, as well as ending the inter-service rivalries that at times had adversely affected aircraft procurement. On 1 April 1918, the RFC and the RNAS were amalgamated to form a new service, the Royal Air Force (RAF). [81]

Particularly in the early stages of the war, many men, for a wide variety of reasons, decided to "join up" to the armed forces—by 5 September 1914, over 225,000 had signed up to fight for what became known as Kitchener's Army. [82] Over the course of the war, a number of factors contributed to recruitment rates, including patriotism, the work of the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee in producing posters, dwindling alternative employment opportunities, and an eagerness for adventure to escape humdrum routine. [82] Pals battalions, where whole battalions were raised from a small geographic area or employer, also proved popular. Higher recruitment rates were seen in Wales and Scotland, though in the case of the Welsh and Irish, political tensions tended to "put something of a blight upon enlistment". [82]

Recruitment remained fairly steady through 1914 and early 1915, but fell dramatically during the later years, especially after the Somme campaign, which resulted in 500,000 casualties. As a result, conscription was introduced for the first time in January 1916 for single men, and extended in May–June to all men aged 18 to 41 across England, Wales and Scotland, by way of the Military Service Acts. [82] [84]

Urban centres, with their poverty and unemployment were favourite recruiting grounds of the regular British army. Dundee, where the female dominated jute industry limited male employment had one of the highest proportion of reservists and serving soldiers than almost any other British city. [85] Concern for their families' standard of living made men hesitate to enlist voluntary enlistment rates went up after the government guaranteed a weekly stipend for life to the survivors of men who were killed or disabled. [86] After the introduction of conscription from January 1916 every part of the country was affected.

The policy of relying on volunteers had sharply reduced the capacity of heavy industry to produce the munitions needed for the war. Historian R. J. Q. Adams reports that 19% of the men in the iron and steel industry entered the Army, 22% of the miners, 20% in the engineering trades, 24% in the electrical industries, 16% among small arms craftsmen, and 24% of the men who had been engaged in making high explosives. [87] In response critical industries were prioritised over the army ("reserved occupations"), including munitions, food production and merchant shipping. [82]

Conscription Crisis of 1918 Edit

In April 1918 legislation was brought forward which allowed for extension of conscription to Ireland. [82] Though this ultimately never materialised, the effect was "disastrous". [82] Despite significant numbers volunteering for Irish regiments, [82] the idea of enforced conscription proved unpopular. The reaction was based particularly on the fact that implementation of conscription in Ireland was linked to a pledged "measure of self-government in Ireland". [88] The linking of conscription and Home Rule in this way outraged the Irish parties at Westminster, who walked out in protest and returned to Ireland to organise opposition. [89] As a result, a general strike was called, and on 23 April 1918, work was stopped in railways, docks, factories, mills, theatres, cinemas, trams, public services, shipyards, newspapers, shops, and even official munitions factories. The strike was described as "complete and entire, an unprecedented event outside the continental countries". [90] Ultimately the effect was a total loss of interest in Home Rule and of popular support for the nationalist Irish Party who were defeated outright by the separatist republican Sinn Féin party in the December 1918 Irish general election, one of the precursors of the Anglo-Irish War.

Conscientious objectors Edit

The conscription legislation introduced the right to refuse military service, allowing for conscientious objectors to be absolutely exempted, to perform alternative civilian service, or to serve as a non-combatant in the army, according to the extent to which they could convince a Military Service Tribunal of the quality of their objection. [91] Around 16,500 men were recorded as conscientious objectors, with Quakers playing a large role. [82] Some 4,500 objectors were sent to work on farms to undertake "work of national importance", 7,000 were ordered non-combatant duties as stretcher bearers, but 6,000 were forced into the army, and when they refused orders, they were sent to prison, as in the case of the Richmond Sixteen. [92] Some 843 conscientious objectors spent more than two years in prison ten died while there, seventeen were initially given the death penalty (but received life imprisonment) and 142 were imprisoned on life sentences. [93] Conscientious objectors who were deemed not to have made any useful contribution were disenfranchised for five years after the war. [91]

At the start of the First World War, for the first time since the Napoleonic Wars, the population of the British Isles was in danger of attack from naval raids. The country also came under attack from air raids by zeppelins and fixed-wing aircraft, another first. [1] : 709 [94]

Naval raids Edit

The Raid on Yarmouth, which took place in November 1914 , was an attack by the German Navy on the British North Sea port and town of Great Yarmouth. Little damage was done to the town itself, since shells only landed on the beach once German ships laying mines offshore were interrupted by British destroyers. One British submarine was sunk by a mine as it attempted to leave harbour and attack the German ships, while one German armoured cruiser was sunk after striking two mines outside its own home port. [95]

In December 1914, the German navy carried out attacks on the British coastal towns of Scarborough, Hartlepool and Whitby. The attack resulted in 137 fatalities and 593 casualties, [96] many of which were civilians. The attack made the German navy very unpopular with the British public, as an attack against British civilians in their homes. Likewise, the British Royal Navy was criticised for failing to prevent the raid. [97] [98]

Bombardment of Yarmouth and Lowestoft Edit

In April 1916 a German battlecruiser squadron with accompanying cruisers and destroyers bombarded the coastal ports of Yarmouth and Lowestoft. Although the ports had some military importance, the main aim of the raid was to entice out defending ships which could then be picked off either by the battlecruiser squadron or by the full High Seas Fleet, which was stationed at sea ready to intervene if an opportunity presented itself. The result was inconclusive: nearby Royal Navy units were too small to intervene so largely kept clear of the German battlecruisers, and the German ships withdrew before the first British fast response battlecruiser squadron or the Grand Fleet could arrive. [99]

Air raids Edit

German zeppelins bombed towns on the east coast, starting on 19 January 1915 with Great Yarmouth. [100] London was also hit later in the same year, on 31 May . [100] Propaganda supporting the British war effort often used these raids to their advantage: one recruitment poster claimed: "It is far better to face the bullets than to be killed at home by a bomb" (see image). The reaction from the public, however, was mixed whilst 10,000 visited Scarborough to view the damage there, London theatres reported having fewer visitors during periods of "Zeppelin weather"—dark, fine nights. [100]

Throughout 1917 Germany began to deploy increasing numbers of fixed-wing bombers, the Gotha G.IV's first target being Folkestone on 25 May 1917, following this attack the number of airship raids decreased rapidly in favour of raids by fixed wing aircraft, [100] before Zeppelin raids were called off entirely. In total, Zeppelins dropped 6,000 bombs, resulting in 556 dead and 1,357 wounded. [101] Soon after the raid on Folkestone, the bombers began raids on London: one daylight raid on 13 June 1917 by 14 Gothas caused 162 deaths in the East End of London. [100] In response to this new threat, Major General Edward Bailey Ashmore, a RFC pilot who later commanded an artillery division in Belgium, was appointed to devise an improved system of detection, communication and control, [102] The system, called the Metropolitan Observation Service, encompassed the London Air Defence Area and would later extend eastwards towards the Kentish and Essex coasts. The Metropolitan Observation Service was fully operational until the late summer of 1918 (the last German bombing raid taking place on 19 May 1918). [103] During the war, the Germans carried out 51 airship raids and 52 fixed-wing bomber raids on England, which together dropped 280 tons of bombs. The casualties amounted to 1,413 killed, and 3,409 wounded. [104] The success of anti-air defence measures was limited of the 397 aircraft that had taken part in raids, only 24 Gothas were shot down (though 37 more were lost in accidents), despite an estimated rate of 14,540 anti-air rounds per aircraft. Anti-zeppelin defences were more successful, with 17 shot down and 21 lost in accidents. [100]

Propaganda Edit

Propaganda and censorship were closely linked during the war. [105] The need to maintain morale and counter German propaganda was recognised early in the war and the War Propaganda Bureau was established under the leadership of Charles Masterman in September 1914 . [105] The Bureau enlisted eminent writers such as H G Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle, Rudyard Kipling as well as newspaper editors. Until its abolition in 1917, the department published 300 books and pamphlets in 21 languages, distributed over 4,000 propaganda photographs every week, and circulated maps, cartoons, and lantern slides to the media. [106] Masterman also commissioned films about the war such as The Battle of the Somme, which appeared in August 1916 , while the battle was still in progress as a morale-booster and in general it met with a favourable reception. The Times reported on 22 August 1916 that"

Crowded audiences . were interested and thrilled to have the realities of war brought so vividly before them, and if women had sometimes to shut their eyes to escape for a moment from the tragedy of the toll of battle which the film presents, opinion seems to be general that it was wise that the people at home should have this glimpse of what our soldiers are doing and daring and suffering in Picardy. [107]

The media—including the press, film. posters and billboards—were called to arms as propaganda for the masses. The manipulators favoured upper-and middle-class authoritative characters to educate the masses. At the time cinema audience were largely working class blokes. By contrast in World War Two, equality was a theme and class differentials were downplayed. [108]

Newspapers Edit

Newspapers during the war were subject to the Defence of the Realm Act, which eventually had two regulations restricting what they could publish: [109] Regulation 18, which prohibited the leakage of sensitive military information, troop and shipping movements and Regulation 27, which made it an offence to "spread false reports", "spread reports that were likely to prejudice recruiting", "undermine public confidence in banks or currency" or cause "disaffection to His Majesty". [109] Where the official Press Bureau failed (it had no statutory powers until April 1916 ), the newspaper editors and owners operated a ruthless self-censorship. [6] Having worked for government, press barons Viscount Rothermere, [110] Baron Beaverbrook (in a sea of controversy), [111] and Viscount Northcliffe [112] all received titles. For these reasons, it has been concluded that censorship, which at its height suppressed only socialist journals (and briefly the right wing The Globe) had less effect on the British press than the reductions in advertising revenues and cost increases which they also faced during the war. [6] One major loophole in the official censorship lay with parliamentary privilege, when anything said in Parliament could be reported freely. [109] The most infamous act of censorship in the early days of the war was the sinking of HMS Audacious in October 1914 , when the press was directed not to report on the loss, despite the sinking being observed by passengers on the liner RMS Olympic and quickly reported in the American press. [113]

The most popular papers of the period included dailies such as The Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Morning Post, weekly newspapers such as The Graphic and periodicals like John Bull, which claimed a weekly circulation of 900,000. [114] The public demand for news of the war was reflected in the increased sales of newspapers. After the German Navy raid on Hartlepool and Scarborough, the Daily Mail devoted three full pages to the raid and the Evening News reported that The Times had sold out by a quarter past nine in the morning, even with inflated prices. [115] The Daily Mail itself increased in circulation from 800,000 a day in 1914 to 1.5 million by 1916. [6]

News magazines Edit

The public's thirst for news and information was in part satisfied by news magazines, which were dedicated to reporting the war. They included amongst others The War Illustrated, The Illustrated War News, and The War Pictorial, and were lavishly filled with photographs and illustrations, regardless of their target audience. Magazines were produced for all classes, and ranged both in price and tone. Many otherwise famous writers contributed towards these publications, of which H.G. Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle and Rudyard Kipling were three examples. Editorial guidelines varied in cheaper publications especially it was considered more important to create a sense of patriotism than to relay up-to-the-minutes news of developments of the front. Stories of German atrocities were commonplace. [116]

Music Edit

On 13 August 1914, the Irish regiment the Connaught Rangers were witnessed singing "It's a Long Way to Tipperary" as they marched through Boulogne by the Daily Mail correspondent George Curnock, who reported the event in that newspaper on 18 August 1914. The song was then picked up by other units of the British Army. In November 1914 , it was sung in a pantomime by the well-known music hall singer Florrie Forde, which helped contribute to its worldwide popularity. [117] Another song from 1916, which became very popular as a music hall and marching song, boosting British morale despite the horrors of that war, was "Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit-Bag". [118]

War poems Edit

There was also a notable group of war poets who wrote about their own experiences of war, which caught the public attention. Some died on active service, most famously Rupert Brooke, Isaac Rosenberg, and Wilfred Owen, while some, such as Siegfried Sassoon survived. Themes of the poems included the youth (or naivety) of the soldiers, and the dignified manner in which they fought and died. This is evident in lines such as "They fell with their faces to the foe", from the "Ode of Remembrance" taken from Laurence Binyon's For the Fallen, which was first published in The Times in September 1914 . [119] Female poets such as Vera Brittain also wrote from the home front, to lament the losses of brothers and lovers fighting on the front. [120]

On the whole the British successfully managed the economics of the war. There had been no prewar plan for mobilization of economic resources. Controls were imposed slowly, as one urgent need followed another. [121] With the City of London the world's financial capital, it was possible to handle finances smoothly in all Britain spent 4 million pounds everyday on the war effort. [122]

The economy (in terms of GDP) grew about 14% from 1914 to 1918 despite the absence of so many men in the services by contrast the German economy shrank 27%. The War saw a decline of civilian consumption, with a major reallocation to munitions. The government share of GDP soared from 8% in 1913 to 38% in 1918 (compared to 50% in 1943). [123] [124] The war forced Britain to use up its financial reserves and borrow large sums from private and government creditors in the United States. [125] Shipments of American raw materials and food allowed Britain to feed itself and its army while maintaining productivity. The financing was generally successful, [126] as the City's strong financial position minimized the damaging effects of inflation, as opposed to much worse conditions in Germany. [127] Overall consumer consumption declined 18% from 1914 to 1919. [128] Women were available and many entered munitions factories and took other home front jobs vacated by men. [129] [130]

Scotland specialized in providing manpower, ships, machinery, food (particularly fish) and money. Its shipbuilding industry expanding by a third. [131]

Rationing Edit

In line with its "business as usual" policy, the government was initially reluctant to try to control the food markets. [132] It fought off efforts to try to introduce minimum prices in cereal production, though relenting in the area of controlling of essential imports (sugar, meat and grains). When it did introduce changes, they were only limited in their effect. In 1916, it became illegal to consume more than two courses whilst lunching in a public eating place or more than three for dinner fines were introduced for members of the public found feeding the pigeons or stray animals. [64]

In January 1917, Germany started using U-boats (submarines) in order to sink Allied and later neutral ships bringing food to the country in an attempt to starve Britain into defeat under their unrestricted submarine warfare programme. One response to this threat was to introduce voluntary rationing in February 1917 , [64] a sacrifice promoted by the King and Queen themselves. [133] Bread was subsidised from September that year prompted by local authorities taking matters into their own hands, compulsory rationing was introduced in stages between December 1917 and February 1918 , [64] as Britain's supply of wheat stores decreased to just six weeks worth. [134] For the most part it benefited the health of the country, [64] through the levelling of consumption of essential foods. To operate rationing, ration books were introduced on 15 July 1918 for butter, margarine, lard, meat, and sugar. [135] During the war, average calorific intake decreased only three percent, but protein intake six percent. [64]

Industry Edit

Total British production fell by ten percent over the course of the war there were, however, increases in certain industries such as steel. [7] Although Britain faced a highly contentious Shell Crisis of 1915 With severe shortages of artillery shells on the Western Front. [136] New leadership was called for. In 1915, a powerful new Ministry of Munitions under David Lloyd George was formed to control munitions production. [137]

The Government's policy, according to historian and Conservative politician J. A. R. Marriott, was that:

No private interest was to be permitted to obstruct the service, or imperil the safety, of the State. Trade Union regulations must be suspended employers' profits must be limited, skilled men must fight, if not in the trenches, in the factories man-power must be economized by the dilution of labour and the employment of women private factories must pass under the control of the State, and new national factories be set up. Results justified the new policy: the output was prodigious the goods were at last delivered. [138]

By April 1915 , just two million rounds of shells had been sent to France by the end of the war the figure had reached 187 million , [139] and a year's worth of pre-war production of light munitions could be completed in just four days by 1918. Aircraft production in 1914 provided employment for 60,000 men and women by 1918 British firms employed over 347,000. [7]

Labour Edit

Industrial production of munitions was a central feature of the war, and with a third of the men in the labour force moved into the military, demand was very high for industrial labour. Large numbers of women were employed temporarily. [140] Most trade unions gave strong support to the war effort, cutting back on strikes and restrictive practices. However the coal miners and engineers were less enthusiastic. [141] Trade unions were encouraged as membership grew from 4.1 million in 1914 to 6.5 million in 1918, peaking at 8.3 million in 1920 before relapsing to 5.4 million in 1923. [142] Membership soared from 4.1 million in 1914 to 6.5 million in 1918, peaking at 8.3 million in 1920 before relapsing to 5.4 million in 1923. [142] In 1914, 65% of union members had been associated with the Trades Union Congress (TUC) rising to 77% in 1920. Women were grudgingly admitted to the trade unions. Looking at a union of unskilled workers, Cathy Hunt concludes its regard for women workers, "was at best inconsistent and at worst aimed almost entirely at improving and protecting working conditions for its male members." [143] Labour's prestige had never been higher, and it systematically placed its leaders into Parliament. [144]

The Munitions of War Act 1915 followed the Shell Crisis of 1915 when supplies of material to the front became a political issue. The Act forbade strikes and lockouts and replaced them with compulsory arbitration. It set up a system of controlling war industries, and established munitions tribunals that were special courts to enforce good working practices. It suspended, for the duration, restrictive practices by trade unions. It tried to control labour mobility between jobs. The courts ruled the definition of munitions was broad enough to include textile workers and dock workers. The 1915 act was repealed in 1919, but similar legislation took effect during the Second World War. [145] [146] [147]

It was only as late as December 1917 that a War Cabinet Committee on Manpower was established, and the British government refrained from introducing compulsory labour direction (though 388 men were moved as part of the voluntary National Service Scheme). Belgian refugees became workers, though they were often seen as "job stealers". Likewise, the use of Irish workers, because they were exempt from conscription, was another source of resentment. [148] Worried about the impact of the dilution of labour caused by bringing external groups into the main labour pool, workers in some areas turned to strike action. The efficiency of major industries improved markedly during the war. For example, the Singer Clydebank sewing machine factory received over 5000 government contracts, and made 303 million artillery shells, shell components, fuzes, and airplane parts, as well as grenades, rifle parts, and 361,000 horseshoes. Its labour force of 14,000 was about 70 percent female at war's end. [149]

Energy Edit

Energy was a critical factor for the British war effort. Most of the energy supplies came from coal mines in Britain, where the issue was labour supply. Critical however was the flow of oil for ships, lorries and industrial use. There were no oil wells in Britain so everything was imported. The U.S. pumped two-thirds of the world's oil. In 1917, total British consumption was 827 million barrels, of which 85 percent was supplied by the United States, and 6 percent by Mexico. [150] The great issue in 1917 was how many tankers would survive the German U-boats. Convoys and the construction of new tankers solved the German threat, while tight government controls guaranteed that all essential needs were covered. An Inter-Allied Petroleum Conference allocated American supplies to Britain, France and Italy. [151]

Fuel oil for the Royal Navy was the highest priority. In 1917, the Royal Navy consumed 12,500 tons a month, but had a supply of 30,000 tons a month from the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, using their oil wells in Persia. [152]

Variously throughout the war, serious shortage of able-bodied men ("manpower") occurred in the country, and women were required to take on many of the traditional male roles, particularly in the area of arms manufacture though this was only significant in the later years of the war, since unemployed men were often prioritised by employers. [8] Women both found work in the munitions factories (as "munitionettes") despite initial trade union opposition, which directly helped the war effort, but also in the Civil Service, where they took men's jobs, releasing them for the front. The number of women employed by the service increased from 33,000 in 1911 to over 102,000 by 1921. [153] The overall increase in female employment is estimated at 1.4 million , from 5.9 to 7.3 million , [8] and female trade union membership increased from 357,000 in 1914 to over a million by 1918—an increase of 160 percent. [153] Beckett suggests that most of these were working class women going into work at a younger age than they would otherwise have done, or married women returning to work. This taken together with the fact that only 23 percent of women in the munitions industry were actually doing men's jobs, would limit substantially the overall impact of the war on the long-term prospects of the working woman. [8]

When the government targeted women early in the war focused on extending their existing roles – helping with Belgian refugees, for example—but also on improving recruitment rates amongst men. They did this both through the so-called "Order of the White Feather" and through the promise of home comforts for the men while they were at the front. In February 1916 , groups were set up and a campaign started to get women to help in agriculture and in March 1917 , the Women's Land Army was set up. One goal was to attract middle-class women who would act as models for patriotic engagement in nontraditional duties. However the uniform of the Women's Land Army included male overalls and trousers, which sparked debate on the propriety of such cross-dressing. The government responded with rhetoric that explicitly feminized the new roles. [154] In 1918, the Board of Trade estimated that there were 148,000 women in agricultural employment, though a figure of nearly 260,000 has also been suggested. [8]

The war also caused a split in the British suffragette movement, with the mainstream, represented by Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughter Christabel's Women's Social and Political Union, calling a 'ceasefire' in their campaign for the duration of the war. In contrast, more radical suffragettes, like the Women's Suffrage Federation run by Emmeline's other daughter, Sylvia, continued their (at times violent) struggle. Women were also allowed to join the armed forces in a non-combatant role [8] and by the end of the War 80,000 women had joined the armed forces in auxiliary roles such as nursing and cooking. [155]

Following the war, millions of returning soldiers were still not entitled to vote. [156] This posed another dilemma for politicians since they could be seen to be withholding the vote from the very men who had just fought to preserve the British democratic political system. The Representation of the People Act 1918 attempted to solve the problem, enfranchising all adult males as long as they were over 21 years old and were resident householders. [156] It also gave the vote to women over 30 who met minimum property qualifications. The enfranchisement of this latter group was accepted as recognition of the contribution made by women defence workers, [156] though the actual feelings of members of parliament (MPs) at the time is questioned. [8] In the same year the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act 1918 allowed women over 21 to stand as MPs. [157]

The new coalition government of 1918 charged itself with the task of creating a "land fit for heroes", from a speech given in Wolverhampton by David Lloyd George on 23 November 1918, where he stated "What is our task? To make Britain a fit country for heroes to live in." [158] More generally, the war has been credited, both during and after the conflict, with removing some of the social barriers that had pervaded Victorian and Edwardian Britain. [2]

The War had a profound influence upon rural areas, as the U-boat blockade required the government to take full control of the food chain, as well as agricultural labour. Cereal production was a high priority, and the Corn Production Act 1917 guaranteed prices, regulated wage rates, and required farmers to meet efficiency standards. The government campaigned heavily for turning marginal land into cropland. [159] [160] [161] The Women's Land Army brought in 23,000 young women from the towns and cities to milk cows, pick fruit and otherwise replace the men who joined the services. [162] More extensive use of tractors and machinery also replaced farm labourers. However, there was a shortage of both men and horses on the land by late 1915. County War Agricultural Executive Committees reported that the continued removal of men was undercutting food production because of the farmers' belief that operating a farm required a set number of men and horses. [163]

Kenneth Morgan argues that, "the overwhelming mass of the Welsh people cast aside their political and industrial divisions and threw themselves into the war with gusto." Intellectuals and ministers actively promoted the war spirit. With 280,000 men enrolled in the services (14% of the population), the proportionate effort in Wales outstripped both England and Scotland. [164] However Adrian Gregory points out that the Welsh coal miners, while officially supporting the war effort, refused the government request to cut short their vacation time. After some debate, the miners agreed to extend the working day. [165]

Scotland's distinctive characteristics have attracted significant attention from scholars. [166] Daniel Coetzee shows it supported the war effort with widespread enthusiasm. [167] It especially provided manpower, ships, machinery, food (particularly fish) and money, engaging with the conflict with some enthusiasm. [168] With a population of 4.8 million in 1911, Scotland sent 690,000 men to the war, of whom 74,000 died in combat or from disease, and 150,000 were seriously wounded. [169] [170] Scottish urban centres, with their poverty and unemployment were favourite recruiting grounds of the regular British army, and Dundee, where the female dominated jute industry limited male employment had one of the highest proportion of reservists and serving soldiers than almost any other British city. [171] Concern for their families' standard of living made men hesitate to enlist voluntary enlistment rates went up after the government guaranteed a weekly stipend for life to the survivors of men who were killed or disabled. [172] After the introduction of conscription from January 1916 every part of the country was affected. Occasionally Scottish troops made up large proportions of the active combatants, and suffered corresponding loses, as at the Battle of Loos, where there were three full Scots divisions and other Scottish units. [85] Thus, although Scots were only 10 per cent of the British population, they made up 15 per cent of the national armed forces and eventually accounted for 20 per cent of the dead. [173] Some areas, like the thinly populated Island of Lewis and Harris suffered some of the highest proportional losses of any part of Britain. [85] Clydeside shipyards and the nearby engineering shops were the major centers of war industry in Scotland. In Glasgow, radical agitation led to industrial and political unrest that continued after the war ended. [174]

In the post war publication Statistics of the Military Effort of the British Empire During the Great War 1914–1920 (The War Office, March 1922 ), the official report lists 908,371 'soldiers' as being either killed in action, dying of wounds, dying as prisoners of war or missing in action in the World War. (This is broken down into Britain and its colonies 704,121 British India 64,449 Canada 56,639 Australia 59,330 New Zealand 16,711 South Africa 7,121.) [11] Listed separately were the Royal Navy (including the Royal Naval Air Service until 31 March 1918) war dead and missing of 32,287 and the Merchant Navy war dead of 14,661. [11] The figures for the Royal Flying Corps and the nascent Royal Air Force were not given in the War Office report. [11]

A second publication, Casualties and Medical Statistics (1931), the final volume of the Official Medical History of the War, gives British Empire Army losses by cause of death. [12] The total losses in combat from 1914 to 1918 were 876,084, which included 418,361 killed, 167,172 died of wounds, 113,173 died of disease or injury, 161,046 missing presumed dead and 16,332 died as a prisoner of war. [12]

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists 888,246 imperial war dead (excluding the dominions, which are listed separately). This figure includes identified burials and those commemorated by name on memorials there are an additional 187,644 unidentified burials from the Empire as a whole. [175]

The civilian death rate exceeded the prewar level by 292,000, which included 109,000 deaths due to food shortages and 183,577 from Spanish flu. [11] The 1922 War Office report detailed the deaths of 1,260 civilians and 310 military personnel due to air and sea bombardment the home islands. [176] Losses at sea were 908 civilians and 63 fisherman killed by U-boat attacks. [177]

With a population of 4.8 million in 1911, Scotland sent 690,000 men to the war, of whom 74,000 died in combat or from disease, and 150,000 were seriously wounded. [169] [170] At times Scottish troops made up large proportions of the active combatants, and suffered corresponding loses, as at the Battle of Loos, where there were three full Scots divisions and other Scottish units. [85] Thus, although Scots were only 10 per cent of the British population, they made up 15 per cent of the national armed forces and eventually accounted for 20 per cent of the dead. [173] Some areas, like the thinly populated Island of Lewis and Harris suffered some of the highest proportional losses of any part of Britain. [85] Clydeside shipyards and the engineering shops of west-central Scotland became the most significant centre of shipbuilding and arms production in the Empire. In the Lowlands, particularly Glasgow, poor working and living conditions led to industrial and political unrest. [173]

The horrors of the Western Front as well as Gallipoli and Mesopotamia were seared into the collective consciousness of the twentieth century. To a large extent the understanding of the war in popular culture focused on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Historian A. J. P. Taylor argued, "The Somme set the picture by which future generations saw the First World War: brave helpless soldiers blundering obstinate generals nothing achieved." [178]

Images of trench warfare became iconic symbols of human suffering and endurance. The post-war world had many veterans who were maimed or damaged by shell shock. In 1921 1,187,450 men were in receipt of pensions for war disabilities, with a fifth of these having suffered serious loss of limbs or eyesight, paralysis or lunacy. [179]

The war was a major economic catastrophe as Britain went from being the world's largest overseas investor to being its biggest debtor, with interest payments consuming around 40 percent of the national budget. [180] Inflation more than doubled between 1914 and its peak in 1920, while the value of the Pound Sterling fell by 61.2 percent. Reparations in the form of free German coal depressed the local industry, precipitating the 1926 General Strike. [180] During the war British private investments abroad were sold, raising £550 million . However, £250 million new investment also took place during the war. The net financial loss was therefore approximately £300 million less than two years investment compared to the pre-war average rate and more than replaced by 1928. [181] Material loss was "slight": the most significant being 40 percent of the British merchant fleet sunk by German U-boats. Most of this was replaced in 1918 and all immediately after the war. [182] The military historian Correlli Barnett has argued that "in objective truth the Great War in no way inflicted crippling economic damage on Britain" but that the war only "crippled the British psychologically" (emphasis in original). [183]

Less concrete changes include the growing assertiveness of the Dominions within the British Empire. Battles such as Gallipoli for Australia and New Zealand, [184] and Vimy Ridge for Canada led to increased national pride and a greater reluctance to remain subordinate to London. [14] These battles were often portrayed favourably in these nations' propaganda as symbolic of their power during the war. [14] [184] The war released pent-up indigenous nationalism, as populations tried to take advantage of the precedent set by the introduction of self-determination in eastern Europe. Britain was to face unrest in Ireland (1919–21), India (1919), Egypt (1919–23), Palestine (1920–21) and Iraq (1920) at a time when they were supposed to be demilitarising. [13] Nevertheless, Britain's only territorial loss came in Ireland, [13] where the delay in finding a resolution to the home rule issue, along with the 1916 Easter Rising and a failed attempt to introduce conscription in Ireland, increased support for separatist radicals, and led indirectly to the outbreak of the Irish War of Independence in 1919. [185]

Further change came in 1919. With the Treaty of Versailles, London took charge of an additional 1,800,000 square miles (4,700,000 km 2 ) and 13 million new subjects. [186] The colonies of Germany and the Ottoman Empire were redistributed to the Allies (including Australia, New Zealand and South Africa) as League of Nations mandates, with Britain gaining control of Palestine and Transjordan, Iraq, parts of Cameroon and Togo, and Tanganyika. [187] Indeed, the British Empire reached its territorial peak after the settlement. [13]


Imperialism as a cause of World War I

Imperialism is a system where one powerful nation occupies, controls and exploits smaller nations. Several European nations were imperial powers prior to World War I. Imperial rivalry and competition for new territories and possessions fuelled tension between major European nations and became a factor in the outbreak of war.

What is imperialism?

As mentioned above, imperialism is a system where a large, powerful nation dominates and exploits smaller nations, which are known as colonies. Together, the imperial power and her colonies are known as an empire.

In most cases, the imperial nation is euphemistically referred to as the ‘mother country’. It establishes control over its colonies against their will – for example, through infiltration and annexation, political pressure, war or military conquest. Once control is established, this territory is claimed as a colony.

Colonies are governed by either the imperial nation, a puppet government or local collaborators. A military presence is often stationed in the colony, to maintain order, suppress dissent and uprisings and deter imperial rivals.

Imperialism can have military or geopolitical advantages but its main lure is economic. Colonies exist chiefly to enrich the imperial power. This may involve the supply of precious metals or other resources, such as timber, rubber, rice or other foodstuffs. Colonies can also be invaluable sources of cheap labour, agricultural land and trading ports.

The British Empire

Prior to World War I the world’s largest, richest and most dominant imperial power was Great Britain.

The British Empire famously occupied one-quarter of the globe (“the sun never sets on Britain” was a famous slogan of the mid-19th century). British colonial possessions in the late 1800s included Canada, India, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Burma, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, several Pacific and Caribbean Islands, South Africa, Rhodesia, Egypt and other parts of Africa.

Many of these colonies were acquired with little difficulty. Others took more time, effort and bloodshed to conquer. Britain’s acquisition of South Africa, for example, followed costly wars against the Zulus (native tribes) and Boers (white farmer-settlers of Dutch extraction).

British imperialism was focused on maintaining and expanding trade, the importation of raw materials and the sale of manufactured goods. Britain’s imperial power was reinforced by her powerful navy, the world’s largest, and a fleet of mercantile (commercial) vessels.

Other European imperial powers

France was another significant imperial power. French imperial holdings included Indochina (Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia), some Pacific islands and several colonies in west and north-west Africa.

The German Empire included Shandong (a province of China), New Guinea, Samoa and other Pacific islands, and several colonies in central and south-west Africa. The Spanish Empire had once included the Philippines and large parts of South America, though by the early 20th century Spain’s imperial power was dwindling.

Empires closer to continental Europe included Russia, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman sultanate. Russia ruled over Finland, Poland and several central Asian regions as an imperial power. Russia’s disastrous war against Japan in 1904-5 was an attempt to extend her imperial reach into Korea and northern China.

Despite condemnation of European imperialism in America, the United States also engaged in some empire building, particularly towards the end of the 1800s. Here is a list of the more significant imperial powers of the early 1900s:

Global empires in 1914

The British Empire took in India, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Hong Kong, parts of North Africa, islands in the Pacific and Caribbean and concessions in China.

Russia ruled modern-day Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Ukraine, Georgia and several regions in central Asia, such as Kazakhstan. Russia also had colonial interests in East Asia, including a concession in China.

France maintained colonies in modern-day Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, areas of West Africa and India, small possessions in South America, and islands in the Pacific and Caribbean.

Germany had seized control of modern-day Tanzania, Namibia and Cameroon in Africa, German New Guinea, some Pacific islands and an important concession in Shandong (China).

Austria-Hungary possessed no colonies outside Europe but was an empire nonetheless, ruling over several different regions, ethnic and language groups. Among its regions were Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, Galicia, Transylvania, the Tyrol and, after 1908, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Spain once possessed a large empire that included Cuba, the Philippines and large areas of South America – but by 1914 the Spanish were left with only tiny colonial territories in the Americas and north-west Africa.

The United States was a relative newcomer to imperialism but by 1914 had gained control of the Philippines, Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico and several islands in the Pacific. Though later absorbed into the United States, both Alaska and the Hawaiian Islands might be considered colonial acquisitions.

The Ottoman Empire was once the largest empire in the world, taking in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and much of northern Africa. Ottoman territory had shrunk significantly but by 1914 the sultanate retained the heart of its old empire: modern-day Turkey, Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Armenia and Macedonia.

Portugal in 1914 was the imperial ruler of modern-day Angola and Mozambique in Africa, Goa (India) and East Timor (Indonesia).

Belgium was one of the smallest nations in Europe but still possessed a significant African colony (Belgian Congo) as well as a small concession in China.

Holland had several small colonial possessions in South America (Dutch Guyana), Asia (Batavia, or modern-day Indonesia) and the Pacific.

Italy by 1914 had moved into northern Africa, annexing modern-day Libya, Somalia and Eritrea. It also held a small concession in China.

The scramble for Africa

The second half of the 1800s produced a significant ‘rush for empire’. This desperate push for new colonies was fuelled by rising nationalism, increasing demand for land and dwindling opportunities at home. Two relative newcomers to empire-building were the newly unified nations of Germany and Italy.

The man who helped construct the German state in the 1870s, Otto von Bismarck, showed little interest in gathering colonies – but Bismarck’s view was not shared by other Germans. Organisations like the Colonial League (formed 1882 in Berlin) whipped up support for German imperial expansion.

The Kaiser and his advisors formulated their own imperial designs, mostly focused on Africa. In 1884, Germany acquired Togoland, the Cameroons and South-West Africa (now Namibia). Six years later, a sizeable swathe of East Africa fell under German control and was renamed Tanganyika (now Tanzania).

This African colonisation was well received in Germany but it caused problems in Britain and France. Many in London dreamed of a British-owned railway running the length of Africa (“from Cairo to the Cape”). German control of eastern Africa was an obstacle to this vision.

Two Moroccan crises

The scramble for empire in Africa also sparked several diplomatic incidents. Two significant crises stemmed from events in Morocco in north-west Africa. Though not a French colony, Morocco’s location placed it within France’s sphere of influence. Paris sought to establish a protectorate in Morocco, the German Kaiser intervened.

In 1905, Wilhelm II travelled to the Moroccan city of Tangier, where he delivered a speech supporting the idea of Moroccan independence. This antagonised the French government and precipitated a series of angry diplomatic responses and feverish press reports.

A second crisis erupted in 1911. As the French were attempting to suppress a rebellion in Morocco, the Germans landed an armed vessel, the Panther, at the Moroccan port of Agadir – a landing made without permission, prior warning or any obvious purpose. This incident triggered an even stronger reaction and brought France and Germany to the brink of war.

These acts of German provocation were not designed to encroach into Morocco or expand its empire, but to drive a wedge between France and Britain. It had the opposite effect, strengthening the Anglo-French alliance and intensifying criticism of German Weltpolitik and ‘gunboat diplomacy’ in both France and Britain.

The decaying Ottoman Empire

Imperial instability was another contributor to European tensions. Critical problems in the Ottoman Empire created uncertainty in eastern Europe and threatened to upset the balance of power.

Described by satirists as the ‘Sick Man of Europe’, by the second half of the 1800s, the Ottoman sultanate was in rapid political, military and economic decline. The Ottomans were defeated in several wars including the Crimean War (1853-56), Russo-Turkish War (1877-78) and First Balkans War (1912-13). These defeats, along with rising nationalism and revolutions in Ottoman-controlled regions, resulted in gradual but significant losses of territory.

With the Ottoman Empire shrinking and at risk of collapse, Europe’s other imperial powers clamoured to secure territory or influence in the region. Austria-Hungary hoped to expand into the Balkans Russia moved to limit Austrian expansion while securing access to the Black Sea Germany wanted to ensure the security and completion of its Berlin-to-Baghdad railway.

Britain and France also had colonial and trade interests in the region. The ‘Eastern question’ – the issue of what would happen in eastern Europe as the Ottomans withdrew – was an important talking point of the late 19th century. These developments drew the Great Powers of Europe into the Balkan sphere, creating opportunities for rivalry and increased tensions.

1. Imperialism is a system where a powerful nation-state seizes or controls territories outside its own borders. These territories are claimed and governed as colonies.

2. Several European nations maintained empires in the decades before World War I. The British Empire was by far the largest, spanning around one-quarter of the globe at one point.

3. The pre-war period saw European powers scramble to acquire the new colonial possessions. Much of this occurred in Africa, where Britain, France and Germany all vied for land and control.

4. This ‘scramble for empire’ fuelled rivalry and led to several diplomatic incidents, such as two Moroccan crises that were largely precipitated by the German Kaiser.

5. The decline of another imperial power, the Ottoman Empire, attracted the attention of European powers, who sought territory, influence or access in the Balkans and Eastern Europe.


Timeline - 1914

The First World War spanned four years and involved many nation states.

This section lists the landmark events of the year 1914, the first year of the war which began as the widely expected war of movement, but which inexplicably (to contemporary eyes) settled into stubborn trench warfare.

For a day by day account click any given month using the sidebar to the right.

Date Event
June 28 Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austro-Hungarian empire, in Sarajevo, Bosnia
July 28 Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia
July 29 - December 9 Austria-Hungary repeatedly invades Serbia but is repeatedly repulsed
August 1 Outbreak of war - Germany declares war on Russia
August 3 Germany declares war on France
August 4 Germany invades neutral Belgium
August 4 Britain declares war on Germany
August 4 US President Woodrow Wilson declares policy of US neutrality
August 14 Battle of the Frontiers begins
August 17-19 Russia invades East Prussia
August 23 Japan declares war on Germany
August 23 - September 2 Austria-Hungary invades Russian Poland (Galicia)
August 26-30 Battle of Tannenberg, which Russia loses Germany's greatest success of the war on Eastern Front
September 5-10 First Battle of Marne, halts German advance, resulting in stalemate and trench warfare
September 9-14 First Battle of Masurian Lakes, which Russia loses
September 14 First Battle of Aisne begins
September 15 - November 24 The "race to the sea", trenches appear on September 15
September 17-28 Austro-German attack on western Poland
October 14 - November 22 First Battle of Ypres
October 29 Turkey enters the war on the side of the Central Powers
December 8 Battle of the Falkland Islands
December 21 First German air raid on Britain
December 25 Unofficial Christmas truce declared by soldiers along the Western Front

Saturday, 22 August, 2009 Michael Duffy

"Hun" was a slang term used by the allies, to describe the Germans. "Boche" was another.

- Did you know?


8 Events that Led to the Outbreak of World War I - HISTORY

World War One, while it broke out rather quickly, had a number of long term causes leading up to the war. One major long term cause was the European alliance system. Over time, two alliances had emerged in Europe: the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente. The Triple Alliance was made up of three countries: Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. The Triple Entente was comprised of England, France, and Russia. The purpose of these alliances was to protect the other nations in the event of an attack on one. They also served to prevent nations from attacking each other: if one nation knew that an attack on a particular nation may spur a war with several other countries, they may be less likely to attack one another.

Another long term cause leading to World War One was an arms race in Europe. Various nations in Europe were building up their artilleries in preparation for war. This was increased with the invention of new weapons. For example, Sir Hiram Maxim, an American inventor, invented the first true machine gun during this time period. Maxim felt that the invention of this weapon would be so intimidating that it may prevent nations from wanting to go to war, but after showcasing the machine gun in Europe, almost every country began to fortify their artilleries. This arms race also led to the invention of other weapons, such as new battleships, submarines, and poisonous gasses. The more prepared for war each country became, the more the tensions built in Europe.


Imperial rivalries and nationalism also contributed heavily to the outbreak of World War One. In Africa and the Far East, European countries had been competing for years for control of various colonies. This tension also contributed to an increase in nationalism. Two forms of nationalism contributed to tensions in Europe: pride in one’s country and pride in one’s heritage and background. The first caused Europeans to be quicker to defend their country if they feel threatened. The second, seen primarily in Serbs and Bosnians, was the pride of people who did not have their own country and wanted to break off of other countries, such as Austria-Hungary.

In addition to long term causes, there was one event that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Franz Ferdinand, the Archduke of Austria-Hungary, was assassinated in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia, by a Serbian nationalist group known as the Black Hand. Austria blamed Serbia for the assassination and issued an ultimatum to the nation. Serbia had to allow Austria to replace the government and military of Serbia, as well as meet several other unreasonable demands, or else Austria-Hungary would declare war on Serbia. They were given a strict time limit to complete these demands. However, Austria-Hungary was not aware of the secret alliance that Serbia had with Russia. As soon as Russia began to mobilize for war to protect their ally, Germany prepared to step in and assist their ally, Austria-Hungary. This, in turn, caused Britain and France to prepare for war against Germany, beginning World War One.


Social studies

What conditions caused by World War I led to the outbreak of the Russian Revolution?
A.the takeover of Russia by Germany
B.the death of millions of Russians in battle
C.the invasion of Russia by Britain and France
D.the Russian victory over the Central Power
I checked everything and I could not find the answer please help you guys are my last hope
I think it is A please double check

Did Germany take over Russia?

I don't know I need help rechecking

did not help I looked in the internet and i could not find it

From the first site on Google -- e-Notes

"Expert Answers
TEACHERSAGE eNotes educator| CERTIFIED EDUCATOR
Russia was in a shaky situation when it entered World War I in 1914, just as it had been when defeated by the Japanese in 1905. At first, however, there was hope a victorious war effort could pull the country together.

Unfortunately, rather than victories, the Russians suffered setbacks on the battlefield. In two defeats in 1914, at Tannenberg and the First Battle of the Masurian Lakes, Russia lost 250,000 troops: the equivalent of two. "

World War I and the Russian Revolution Quick Check answers:
1:Rising tensions among European powers
2:A
3:C
4:B

dan is correct i got 100% thanks dan


The July crisis

The July crisis was a month-long chain reaction of events that followed the assassination of Austrian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on June 28th 1914. It began with an Austrian ultimatum to Serbia and ended with declarations of war by the Great Powers of Europe.

The July crisis was filled with internal contemplations and debates, diplomatic advice and posturing, nationalistic chest-beating and, ultimately, military mobilisation and threats of war. While historians hold different views about who and what drove the crisis, there is a consensus that it represented a breakdown and failure in diplomacy.

Vienna blames Serbia

Franz Ferdinand’s assassin, Gavrilo Princip, was arrested and interrogated by police and military authorities. He and his collaborators testified that they had acted independently, without the knowledge or assistance of the Serbian government.

Many in the Austro-Hungarian imperial regime chose not to believe this. They attributed the killings to Serbia and its leaders. Even if the Serbian government did not order or support the assassination plot, they were complicit in failing to rein in the nationalist and terrorist groups active within their borders.

Austrian investigators unearthed circumstantial evidence suggesting that some of the group had received training from a Serbian military officer. Meanwhile, militarists in the Austro-Hungarian imperial government saw the incident as an opportunity to invade Serbia and crush its rebellious elements.

The crisis unfolds

The month-long period that followed the assassination became known as the ‘July crisis’. It drew in most of the major political leaders of Europe in some form or another. Some sought to avoid war while others seemed hell-bent on firing the first shots in one.

At a flurry of meetings, Austro-Hungarian and German diplomats discussed what might eventuate if Vienna was to take punitive action against Serbia. At the top of their list was how Russia might respond in the event of a war against the Serbs.

The Kaiser’s ‘blank cheque’

On July 5th, Kaiser Wilhelm II issued his famous ‘blank cheque’ to Vienna. Austria-Hungary could proceed as it wished and Germany would back them if Russia intervened.

Privately, the Kaiser and his military chief, von Moltke, wanted war with Russia and France sooner rather than later. Both believed Germany was better prepared for war than either. They wanted to strike early before the Russians and French could adequately mobilise.

As a consequence, the Kaiser urged his Austrian allies to deal with Serbia promptly and ruthlessly. He did not believe the Russians would declare war on Austria-Hungary – but if they did, Germany would reciprocate with a declaration of war against St Petersburg.

After the conclusion of this agreement, Wilhelm and several Austrian politicians went on holiday. This was likely a deliberate ploy to suggest their disinterest in the crisis.

The Austrian ultimatum

On July 23rd, four weeks after the assassination, the Serbian government received an ultimatum from Austria-Hungary. It contained a set of 10 firmly worded demands and an obligation for the Serbs to agree to its conditions within 48 hours.

Among the demands made by the Austro-Hungarians upon Serbia were:

  • The banning of Serbian publications which had been responsible for anti-Austrian propaganda.
  • The removal of anti-Austrian individuals from the Serbian military, government and civil service.
  • The removal of Serbian teachers and curriculum that had promoted or incited anti-Austrian feeling.
  • The outlawing and disbanding of the Serbian nationalist group Narodna Odbrana (‘People’s Defense’).
  • A crackdown on cross-border arms trading and the removal of corrupt border officials.
  • A joint Serbian-Austrian investigation into the assassination plot, conducted within Serbia by Austrian officials, and involving the investigation and interrogation of Serbian civilians and military personnel.

Winston Churchill, at the time in charge of Britain’s Royal Navy, called the Austrian ultimatum “the most insolent document of its kind ever devised”.

Serbia responds

On receiving the ultimatum, Serbia immediately sought the counsel of Russian. St Petersburg offered to publicly condemn the ultimatum – but aware that Russian military readiness lagged behind Germany’s, refused to offer any military guarantees.

The British foreign minister, Sir Edward Grey, intervened in an attempt to avoid war. Grey suggested a mediation conference between all nations with a stake in the crisis – but this was rejected by both Berlin and Vienna.

Serbia responded to the Austrian ultimatum just before the expiration of the deadline. It submitted to most of the demands but rejected the Austrian-led inquiry demanded in point six, arguing that it was a breach of their sovereignty. They reiterated that their government gave no moral or material support to Princip and the other assassins.

Declarations of war

The Austrian ambassador received the Serbian reply, read it once and immediately left Belgrade for Vienna. After some cajoling from his advisors, Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph declared war on Serbia on July 28th, exactly one month after the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.

This declaration of war triggered a chain reaction that quickly dragged in the rest of Europe. Bound by their alliances – or, more precisely, their leaders’ commitment to these alliances – nation after nation was drawn into the spiral of war.

Russia, a long-time protector of Serbia, condemned Vienna’s aggression and immediately began mobilising its forces against Austria-Hungary. Germany’s rulers declared war on Russia on August 1st.

The Schlieffen Plan activated

Berlin also lit the fuse for the much-anticipated Schlieffen Plan, its long-standing scheme to avoid a prolonged two-front war by invading France through neutral Belgium and Luxemburg. This plan was activated the following day.

Germany’s invasion of Belgium triggered Britain’s involvement. This, in turn, led to the governments of British dominions – Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India and South Africa – declaring war on Germany.

By the end of August, most of Europe was at war, though a few countries (Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Spain and the Netherlands) remained neutral for the duration.

Fighting in Serbia

As might be expected, the first military action of World War I occurred in Serbia. Austro-Hungarian troops crossed the border to occupy its July prey.

The aggressors did not fare as well as they had anticipated, however, due to some stubborn Serbian resistance, compounded by blunders by their own generals.

By early August, German forces were implementing the Schlieffen Plan, while another German contingent in the east secured a comprehensive victory over the Russians at Tannenberg. Elsewhere there was little fighting in the first month, as most belligerent nations put their energy into recruitment, training, equipping and mobilising their armies.

A historian’s view:
“The cult of the offensive encouraged German and Austrian expansionism that led to the crisis of July 1914 and to the war. The Germans probably preferred the status quo to a world war against the entire Entente, and they would not have fomented the July 1914 crisis had they known that a world war would result. In my judgement, the Germans did want a confined continental war against France and Russia and many among the German elite supported the instigation of the July crisis in hopes of provoking just such a war. Moreover, German leaders recognised and accepted the risk that this might entail a wider war against Britain and Belgium.”
Kenneth A. Oye

1. The July crisis was a month-long period of ultimatums, diplomatic communications and threats that culminated in the outbreak of World War I.

2. It began the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28th 1914. Encouraged by Germany, Austria-Hungary handed Serbia a stringent ultimatum.

3. What followed was a month-long period involving diplomatic advice between European powers, including offers of mediation and promises of military backing.

4. The Serbians accepted most but not all of the terms in the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum. Dissatisfied and backed by Germany, Vienna declared war on Serbia.

5. This prompted Russia to order the mobilisation of its forces, in preparation for a possible war against Austria-Hungary. Germany followed suit by issuing declarations of war in late July and early August 1914.


How Did Alliances Contribute to the Outbreak of World War I?

Alliances contributed to the outbreak of World War I by forcing the great powers of Europe to go to war when their allies did. The two great alliances prior to the outbreak of war were the Central Powers, which consisted of Germany and Austria-Hungary, and the Entente, or Allied Powers, which consisted of Great Britain, Russia and France.

The spark that lit the fuse of war was the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, the Archduke of Austria, in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914. The assassin was a Serbian nationalist who wanted Austria-Hungary out of the Balkans. Austria-Hungary sent the Serbian government an ultimatum that promised war if specific demands were not met. However, Russia had promised to protect the Serbs and threatened retaliation. Once Austria invaded Serbia on July 28, 1914, the German army began mobilizing for war, prompting the Russian army to do likewise. Assuming that the Austro-Hungarians would take care of the Russians, Germany declared war on France on August 3, launching an invasion through Belgium, which was a neutral country. Due to its alliance with Belgium, Great Britain joined the war against the Germans on August 7. Because of the complex alliances necessitated by the balance of power theory of European relations, the outbreak of war in a small corner of the continent flared up into a continent-wide conflagration.


Watch the video: The Outbreak of WWI - How Europe Spiraled Into the GREAT WAR - Week 1