Posts etiquetados ‘First World War’

President Woodrow WiIson put forth his Fourteen Points proposal for ending the war in a speech on January 8, 1918. In it he established the basis of a peace treaty and the foundation of a League of Nations.  Fourteen Points Wilson

We entered this war because violations of right had occurred which touched us to the quick and made the life of our own people impossible unless they were corrected and the world secured once for all against their recurrence What we demand in this war, therefore, is nothing peculiar to ourselves. It is that the world be made fit and safe to live in; and particularly that it be made safe for every peace­loving nation which, like our own, wishes to live its own life, determine its own institutions, be assured of justice and fair dealing by the other peoples of the world as against force and selfish aggression. All the peoples of the world are in effect partners in this interest, and for our own part we see very clearly that unless justice be done to others it will not be done to us. The programme of the world’s peace, therefore, is our programme; and that programme, the only possible programme, as we see it, is this:

I. Open covenants of peace, openly arrived at, after which there shall be no private international understanding of any kind but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view.

II. Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas, outside territorial waters, alike in peace and in war, except as the seas may be closed in whole or in part by international action for the enforcement of international covenants.

III. The removal, so far as possible, of all economic barriers and the establishment of an equality of trade conditions among all the nations consenting to the peace and associating themselves for its maintenance.

IV. Adequate guarantees given and taken that national armaments will be reduced to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety.

V. A free, open­minded, and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims, based upon a strict observance of the principle that in determining all such questions of sovereignty the interests of the populations concerned must have equal weight with the equitable claims of the government whose title is to be determined.

VI. The evacuation of all Russian territory and such a settlement of all questions affecting Russia as will secure the best and freest cooperation of the other nations of the world in obtaining for her an unhampered and unembarrassed opportunity for the independent determination of` her own political development and national policy and assure her a sincere welcome into the society of free nations under institutions of her own choosing; and, more than a welcome, assistance also of every kind that she may need and may herself desire. The treatment accorded Russia by her sister nations in the months to come will be the acid test of their good will, of their comprehension of her needs as distinguished from their own interests, and of their intelligent and unselfish sympathy.

VII. Belgium, the whole world will agree, must be evacuated and restored, without any attempt to limit the sovereignty which she enjoys in common with all other free nations. No other single act will serve as this will serve to restore confidence among the nations in the laws which they have themselves set and determined for the government of their relations with one another. Without this healing act the whole structure and validity of international law is forever impaired.

VIII. All French territory should be freed and the invaded portions restored, and the wrong done to France by Prussia in 1871 in the matter of Alsace­Lorraine, which has unsettled the peace of the world for nearly fifty years, should be righted, in order that peace may once more be made secure in the interest of all.

IX. A readjustment of the frontiers of Italy should be effected along clearly recognizable lines of nationality.

X. The peoples of Austria­Hungary, whose place among the nations we wish to see safeguarded and assured, should be accorded the freest opportunity of autonomous development.

XI. Rumania, Serbia, and Montenegro should be evacuated; occupied territories restored; Serbia accorded free and secure access to the sea; and the relations of the several Balkan states to one another determined by friendly counsel along historically established lines of allegiance and nationality; and international guarantees of the political and economic independence and territorial integrity of the several Balkan states should be entered into.

XII. The Turkish portions of the present Ottoman Empire should be assured a secure sovereignty, but the other nationalities which are now under Turkish rule should be assured an undoubted security of life and an absolutely unmolested opportunity of autonomous development, and the Dardanelles should be permanently opened as a free passage to the ships and commerce of all nations under international guarantees.

XIII. An independent Polish state should be erected which should include the territories inhabited by indisputably Polish populations, which should be assured a free and secure access to the sea, and whose political and economic independence and territorial integrity should be guaranteed by international covenant.

XIV. A general association of nations must be formed under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike….

From Woodrow Wilson, “Speech on the Fourteen Points,” Congressional Record, 65th Congress 2nd Session, 1918, pp. 680­681.

This text is part of the Internet Modern History Sourcebook. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts for introductory level classes in modern European and World history.


The Dual Alliance (Germany and Austria) 1879

To get protection against a possible Russian attack, Germany agreed with Austria that each would help the other if either of them was attacked. This agreement, made in 1879 was called the Dual Alliance.
The Triple Alliance (Germany, Italy and Austria) 1882

Three years later, Italy joined the Dual Alliance making the Triple Alliance. This friendship worried France and Russia. Both feared the possibility of a common attack by Germany, Italy and Austria.

The Franco Russian Alliance, 1892

France and Russia agreed in 1892 to help each other if either of them was attacked. The main objective was to prevent a joint attack form Germany, Russia and Italy.

The Entente Cordiale (Great Britain and France) 1904

The mistrust from Britain to Germany had a colonial origin. Britain had fought against the Boers (rebel settlers from Dutch origin who wanted to be independent) in South Africa. During the Boer War, Germany showed simpathy for the Boers, so Britain began to mistrust the Germans. In 1904 France and Britain signed an Entente Cordiale (Friendly Understanding).

The Triple Entente (Russia, Great Britain and France) 1907

Britain made an alliance with Russia, who was already allied with France. This agreement is known as the Triple Entente.

From 1907 Europe was divided into two groups: The Triple Alliance (Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy) and the Triple Entente (Great Britain, France, Russia).

I World War Task

Publicado: 28/11/2011 en 20th century, First World War

FIRST WORLD WAR nationalism

We are going to study the causes of the First World War. One of them was NATIONALISM. The biggest countries in Europe competed to become the biggest powers in all aspects (military, economic, politic, etc). Complete the table you have been provided (if you loose it I have uploaded the document for you). Then, individually, answer the questions below:

1) a) Which country had the biggest overseas empire in 1914? b) Which of the other two overseas empires would you say was stronger than the other? Explain your answer.

2) a) Which country had the biggest army? b) Which had the biggest navy? c) Can you think of a reasons why these countries kept such large armed forces?

3) Which of the five countries had the strongest industry?

4) Which of the five countries had the largest population?

5) Using the evidence above, which country do you think was the leading world power in 1914? Before deciding on your answer, ask yourself what makes a country strong. Is it the size of its army, its industry, its trade, or is it a combination of all these things?

From: J. Brooman: “The end of Old Europe. The Causes of the First World War, 1914-1918”, Longman 20th Century (History Series), 2008 (22nd edition)


Fun video about the causes of World War I

Franz Joseph of Austria died

On this day in 1916, with World War I in full swing, the popular monarch Franz Josef of Austria dies at the age of 86, after reigning for 66 years.

Franz Joseph

The issue of who would succeed the emperor had long been complicated. Franz Josef’s life was marked by tragedy: His only son, Rudolf, committed suicide in 1889, and his wife, Elisabeth, was assassinated in Geneva in 1898 by an Italian anarchist. Both of his brothers died early as well; the first, Karl Ludwig, contracted an illness after drinking contaminated water, while the other, Maximilian, was executed in 1867 by a Mexican firing squad after an ill-fated three-year reign as the country’s emperor. After all this, Karl Ludwig’s son, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, emerged as his uncle’s heir. (…) when Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in June 1914 by a Bosnian Serb nationalist, the emperor followed the advice of his foreign minister, Leopold Berchtold, and went ahead with a hard-line approach to Serbia that soon led to the outbreak of a general European war.

Popular until his death, Franz Josef was destined to be the last significant Hapsburg monarch. He was succeeded by his 29-year-old great-nephew, Karl I, who immediately began efforts to reform the creaky old Dual Monarchy. (…) Some of Karl’s greatest efforts were directed toward ending the First World War.(…) Over the course of 1918 it became clear the tide was turning in favor of the Allies. As hunger and discontent intensified within Austria, Karl continued to press for peace, without success. In October, hoping to satisfy growing nationalist aspirations within the Dual Monarchy, he issued a manifesto establishing a federation of Austrian states. It was too little, too late. With the armistice on November 11, 1918, Karl renounced his constitutional powers. The following March, after attempting to retain his throne, he was forced into exile in Switzerland and was formally deposed by an Austrian court. He attempted several times to return to Hungary, but was denied entrance. The last of the Hapsburg monarchs died penniless in April 1922, on the Portuguese island of Madeira.