The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the immediate cause of World War I. But the events that led to the Great War go further back into the nineteenth century. As with the Boxer Rebellion of 1900, nationalism, imperialism, and militarism all played a part.
Analyze how the forces of nationalism, imperialism, and militarism irrevocably led to World War I. Pay particular attention to the rise of Pan-Slavism in Eastern Europe and the corresponding rise of nationalism in German-speaking states. Analyze how the alliance system contributed to the ultimate outbreak of war.
Then analyze the events that drew the United States into World War I. Clearly discuss why America first remained neutral between1914-1917. What role did ethnicity play in America's neutrality? Then identify and analyze the specific events that led to America's entrance into the war. Evaluate America's contribution to the war effort and to what extent America's entry contributed to the end of the war. Finally, analyze the events that led to the defeat of the Treaty of Versailles. What effect did this have on America's role in the world during the 1920s and 1930s? Pay particular attention to the role of President Woodrow Wilson both during and after the war, in particular, his efforts to establish the League of Nations.
The factors that led to World War I
World War 1 was as a result of a range of factors, one of the factors was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand assassination together with his wife. Some other factors such as imperialism, militarism, and nationalism also instigated the start of the war.
Most people in the 20th century believed in the supremacy of their countries. There existed naval and economic supremacies in the British Empire. The Germans strengthened their military power and industrialization and also thought on how they could have won the war against other nations. Russia also had a significant number of military personnel. They believed that having a considerable number of soldiers could help them win any war. France had built a wall on the eastern border, and this made them feel confident they could prevent any nation to invade their lands. The countries played superiority battles, and this made them be drawn easily to any war (Herwig, 2014).
Before commencement of this war, Great Britain had occupied a quarter of the world. Their significant objectives were on trade, importing raw materials and agriculture. France had also colonized some parts of Cambodia, Vietnam, Pacific Islands and Africa. The Germans had dominated some parts of China, Samoa, western Africa, Pacific Islands and the New Guinea. The Spanish had occupied vast parts of South America while Russia ruled parts of Asia, Finland, and Poland. Scramble for the colonies thus led to increased conflicts of interest for the empires. These made the countries to be prone to war.
This is the rise in the expenditure of the military forces and policies with regards to forcing in the resolving of conflicts. During the war period, there was increased control in the military for the government of the state. There was also an increment in the power of the army and policy-making more so in Russia and Germany. In 1910-1914, Germany had increased their expenditures of the military during this period to about 80% and Russia by 40% (Ford, 2008). The increase in militarism led to the belief that there could be some war. Some countries continued to form alliances to take part in the coming war.
The United States influenced the result of the World War 1; the nation had made decent attempts to remain impartial in the European contention. In 1917, the strategy of Woodrow Wilson played a major role during the World War I.
In the year 1917, the president of the U.S., Woodrow Wilson, appeared before the joint session of the Congress to ask for the assertion for starting the war against Germany. He spoke on the infringement of the vow that Germany had made to suspend the unimpeded submarine fighting in the Mediterranean and North Atlantic, and the actions to draw Mexico to cooperate against the United States. On 4th April 1917, the Senate then voted to support to declare war on Germany (Ford, 2008).
The War was as a result of different factors that included the tension that was in the European powers and crises of energy which divided Europe. One group joined Great Britain, Russia, and France while the second entered the German empire. Some of the events involved were;
The war involving France and Prussia had ended with a defeat that was humiliating for France and hence making them pay Prussia a huge indemnity. The nation also lost to Prussia Alsace and Lorraine. This led to the formation of the German empire industry and a potential military. This, in turn, disrupted the balance of the European power thus resentment and the desire to revenge for French.
The war brought rivalry between Korea and Manchuria, the results of war became a blow to the Russians since they had almost lost entire of Baltic and the Pacific fleet. Their defeat forced a political crisis which led to the 1905 Russian revolution. The war also led to the end of Russian ambitions leading to the rivalry between Austria and Hungary who were interested in Balkans.
The German militarism and buildup of the maritime power had convinced Great Britain on the plans of Germany to establish to be the dominant power in the world. The British then decided to form an alliance with the France which came to be referred to be Entente Cordiale. In the year 1907, Great Britain allied together with Russia which was already in partnership with France. This led to the formation of Triple Entente that became one of the Allies during the World War I (Joll & Martel, 2013).
Bulgaria turned against Serbia and Greece as a result of the dispute for partitioning Macedonia. Bulgarians were defeated and gave up their claims. The successes of the league of Balkan shocked most of the European powers; the wars made the statesmen of Austria and Hungary more determined to take action.
Ferdinand and his wife assassination in 1914 led to increased conflicts and therefore triggered declaration of war to Balkan (Lebow, 2014).
The War had a divided experience for ethnic minorities that had arrived in the United States. The immigrants then supported the country both on the battlefield and home front; the government then dealt with the enemy aliens (Neiberg, 2009). With the Neutrality declaration which was delivered to the Congress after commencement World War, President Woodrow Wilson gave a warning that if the minorities of the nation become active participants for the origin countries they were to face fatal consequences.
The World War I ended with the signing of the treaty on June 28th, 1919. It was significantly negotiated by the Allied powers, Germany having participated little. After the strict enforcement that took five years, the French nation consented to modify the necessary provisions (Sharp, 2015). Additionally, Germany also agreed to pay the reparations under the plan of Dawes and Young but was plans canceled in the year 1932. The rise of Hitler to power and his actions hindered the terms that remained for the treaty. President Woodrow Wilson gave a speech on the League of Nations in January 1918 and outlined the essential ways for ensuring peace after World War I. He talked of an organization which was charged in the resolving of conflicts before they change to warfare and bloodshed (Schelle, 2009).
Between the years 1920-1930, the United States had negative reactions towards the treaty and most of the Americans felt it was unfair towards Germany. They also thought that France and Britain enriched themselves at the expense of Germany and USA was not to help them. President Wilson, however, was met with opposed views from those of the Republican Party in the Congress and used the treaty to oppose him. Americans also became uneasy on the League of Nations scheme (Sharp, 2015). They believed that the League would have driven the United States into the international disputes. Congress finally rejected both the League of Nations and the Treaty of Versailles.
Ford, N. G. (2008). The Great War and America: Civil-Military Relations during World War I: Civil-Military Relations during World War I. Abc-Clio.
Herwig, H. H. (2014). The First World War: Germany and Austria-Hungary 1914-1918. A&C Black.
Joll, J., & Martel, G. (2013). The origins of the first world war. Routledge.
Keegan, J. (2014). The first world war. Random House.
Lebow, R. N. (2014). Archduke Franz Ferdinand lives!: A world without World War I. St. Martin's Press.
Neiberg, M. S. (2009). Fighting the Great War. Harvard University Press.
Schelle, K. (2009). The First World War and the Paris Peace Agreement.
Sharp, A. (2015). The Consequences of the Peace: The Versailles Settlement: Aftermath and Legacy 1919-2015. Haus Publishing.