World War I and the Russian Revolution

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World War I

and the

Russian Revolution

9 92/1,


In Flanders Fields

Canadian John McCrae served as a military doctor on the Western Front in World War I. In 1915, McCrae wrote the following poem in the voice of those he had watched die.

"In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields.99

—Dr. John McCrae, 1915

Listen to the Witness History audio to hear more about McCrae's experience during World War I.

t American soldiers on a trench raid during Vorld War

Chapter Preview

Chapter Focus Question What caused World War I and the Russian Revolution, and what effect did they have on world events?

Section 1

The Great War Begins

Section 2

A New Kind of War

Section 3 Winning the War

Section 4

Making the Peace

section 5

evolution and Civil War in Russia

Note Taking Study Guide Online

For: Note Taking and Concept Connector worksheets Web Code: nbd-2601


The Spark

On June 28, 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a member of a Serbian terrorist group, killed Austrian Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife Sophie.

"The first [bullet] struck the wife of the Archduke, the Archduchess Sofia, in the abdomen.... She died instantly.

The second bullet struck the Archduke close to the heart. He uttered only one word, 'Sofia'—a call to his stricken wife. Then his head fell back and he collapsed. He died almost instantly.99

—Borijove Jevtic, co-conspirator

The assassinations triggered World War I, called "The Great War" by people at the time.

Focus Question Why and how did World War I begin in 1914?

The Great War Begins


• Describe how international rivalries and nationalism pushed Europe toward war.

• Explain how the assassination in Sarajevo led to the start of World War I.

• Analyze the causes and effects of the European alliance system.

Terms, People, and Places

entente ultimatum

militarism mobilize

Alsace and Lorraine neutrality

Nye Taking

Reading Skill: Summarize As you read, use a chart to summarize the events that led up to the

outbreak of World War I.

Alliances Tensions The War

Form Rise Begins

By 1914, Europe had enjoyed a century of relative peace. Idealists hoped for a permanent end to the scourge of war. International events, such as the first modern Olympic games in 1896 and the First Universal Peace Conference in 1899, were steps toward keeping the peace. "The future belongs to peace," said French econ­omist Frederic Passy (pa SEE).

Not everyone was so hopeful. "I shall not live to see the Great War," warned German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, "but you will see it, and it will start in the east." It was Bismarck's predic­tion, rather than Passy's, that came true.

Alliances Draw Lines

While peace efforts were under way, powerful forces were pushing Europe towards war. Spurred by distrust of one another, the great powers of Europe—Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy, Britain, France, and Russia—signed treaties pledging to defend one another. These alliances were intended to promote peace by creating power­ful combinations that no one would dare attack. In the end, they had the opposite effect. Two huge alliances emerged.

The Triple Alliance The first of these alliances had its origins in Bismarck's day. He knew that France longed to avenge its defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. Sure that France would not attack Ger­many without help, Bismarck signed treaties with other powers. In 1882, he formed the Triple Alliance with Italy and Austria-Hungary. In 1914, when war did erupt, Germany and Austria-Hungary fought on the same side. They became known as the Central Powers.

454 World War I and the Russian Revolution

Geography Interactive, For: Audio guided tour

Web Codn. nbp-2611

European Alliances and Military Build-Up, 1914

Central Powers

I Allies

Neutral Nations

Neutral nations that later joined the Allies

Neutral nations that later joined the Central Powers

The Balkans 100,000 soldiers















Black Sea

„OMAN "4"Ilt



Map Skills By 1914, most of Europe 1. was divided into two armed camps, the

Allies and the Central Powers. Millions 2. of troops stood ready for war.

Locate (a) Germany (b) Alsace-Lorraine (c) the Balkans (d) Serbia Regions Why would Germans worry about the alliance between France and Russia?

3. Synthesize Information Based on the information on the map, which alliance do you think had the greater military advantage in 1914?

The Triple Entente A rival bloc took shape in 1893, when France and Russia formed an alliance. In 1904, France and Britain signed an entente (ahn TAHNT), a nonbinding agreement to follow common policies. Though not as formal as a treaty, the entente led to close military and diplomatic ties. Britain later signed a similar agreement with Russia. When war began, these powers became known as the Allies.

Other alliances also formed. Germany signed a treaty with the Otto­man empire. Britain drew close to Japan.

 Checkpoint What two large alliances took shape before the beginning of World War I?

Rivalries and Nationalism Increase Tension Vocabulary Builder

The European powers jealously guarded their status. They competed for status—(STAT us) n. high standing,

position in many areas. Two old empires, Austria-Hungary and Ottoman rank, or prestige Turkey, struggled to survive in an age of nationalism.

Chapter 14 Section 1 455

Vocabulary Builder

overseas—(OH vur SEEZ) adj. across the sea; foreign

Germany's Glorious Military

Eager crowds watch a cavalry regiment, or group of troops serving on horseback, ride through Berlin in August 1914. Germany's army was known to be highly trained and well disciplined, making it a formidable

fighting force. How are the people pictured showing pride in their military?

Competition Economic rivalries helped sour the international atmo­sphere. Germany, the newest of the great powers, was growing into an economic and military powerhouse. Britain felt threatened by its rapid economic growth. Germany, in turn, thought the other great powers did not give it enough respect. Germany also feared that when Russia caught up to other industrialized nations, its huge population and vast supply of natural resources would make it an unbeatable competitor.

Overseas rivalries also divided European nations. In 1905 and again in 1911, competition for colonies brought France and Germany to the brink of war in Morocco, then under France's influence. Although diplo­mats kept the peace, Germany did gain some territory in central Africa. As a result of the two Moroccan crises, Britain and France strengthened their ties against Germany.

With international tensions on the rise, the great powers began to build up their armies and navies. The fiercest competition was the naval rivalry between Britain and Germany. To protect its vast overseas empire, Britain had built the world's most respected navy. As Germany began acquiring overseas colonies, it began to build up its own navy. Sus­picious of Germany's motives, Britain in turn increased naval spending. Sensational journalism dramatized the arms race and stirred national public opinion against rival countries.

The rise of militarism, or the glorification of the military, also helped to feed the arms race. The militarist tradition painted war in romantic colors. Young men dreamed of blaring trumpets and dashing cavalry charges—not at all the sort of conflict they would soon face.

Nationalism Aggressive nationalism also caused tension. Nationalism was strong in both Germany and France. Germans were proud of their new empire's military power and industrial leadership. The French were bitter about their 1871 defeat in the Franco-Prussian War and yearned to recover the lost border province of Alsace and Lorraine.

In Eastern Europe, Russia sponsored a powerful form of nationalism called Pan-Slavism. It held that all Slavic peoples shared a common nationality. As the largest Slavic country, Russia felt that it had a duty to lead and defend all Slays. By 1914, it stood ready to support Serbia, a proud young nation that dreamed of creating a South Slav state.


Two old multinational empires particularly feared rising nationalism. Austria-Hungary worried that nationalism might foster rebellion among the many minority populations within its empire. Ottoman Turkey felt threatened by nearby new nations, such as Serbia. If realized, Serbia's dream of a South Slav state could take territory away from both Austria-Hungary and Turkey.

In 1912, several Balkan states attacked Turkey and succeeded in tak­ing a large area of land away from Turkish control. The next year, the Balkan states fought among themselves over the spoils of war. These brief but bloody Balkan wars raised tensions to a fever pitch. By 1914, the Balkans were called the "powder keg of Europe"—a barrel of gunpow­der that a tiny spark might cause to explode.

 Checkpoint How did international competition and nationalism increase tensions in Europe?

The Powder Keg Ignites

As Bismarck had predicted, the Great War began in Eastern Europe. A regional conflict between tiny Serbia and the huge empire of Austria-Hungary grew rapidly into a general war.

Assassination in Sarajevo The crisis began when Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary announced that he would visit Sarajevo (sa ruh YAY voh), the capital of Bosnia. Francis Ferdinand was the nephew and heir of the aging Austrian emperor, Francis Joseph. At the time of his visit, Bosnia was under the rule of Austria-Hungary. But it was also the home of many Serbs and other Slays. News of the royal visit angered many Serbian nationalists. They viewed the Austrians as for­eign oppressors. Some members of Unity or Death, a Serbian terrorist group commonly known as the Black Hand, vowed to take action.

The archduke ignored warnings of anti-Austrian unrest in Sarajevo. On June 28, 1914, he and his wife, Sophie, rode through Sarajevo in an open car. As the car passed by, a conspirator named Gavrilo Princip (GAV ree loh PREEN tseep) seized his chance and fired twice into the car. Moments later, the archduke and his wife were dead.

Austria Strikes Back The news of the assassination shocked Francis Joseph. Still, he was reluctant to go to war. The government in Vienna, however, saw the incident as an excuse to crush Serbia. In Berlin, Kaiser William II was horrified at the assassination of his ally's heir. He wrote to Francis Joseph, advising him to take a firm stand toward Serbia. [nstead of urging restraint, Germany gave Austria a "blank check," or a aromise of unconditional support no matter what the cost.

Austria sent Serbia a sweeping ultimatum, or final set of demands. To avoid war, said the ultimatum, Serbia must end all anti-Austrian

agitation and punish any Serbian official involved in the murder plot. It must even let Austria join in the investigation. Serbia agreed to most, but not all, of the terms of Austria's ulti­matum. This partial refusal gave Austria the opportunity it was seeking. On July 28, 1914, Austria declared war on Serbia.

 Checkpoint What happened because of the assassination of Francis Ferdinand and his wife?


Kaiser William I1

"All the long years of my reign," William II (1859-1941) complained, "my colleagues, the monarchs of Europe, have paid no attention to what have to say." As kaiser, he fought to win respect for himself and his empire.

William's rivalry with other rulers was in many ways a family feud. He and George V of Britain were cousins, grandchildren of Queen Victoria. Tsar Nicholas II was a cousin by marriage. When war broke out in 1914, the kaiser blamed "George and Nicky." "If my grandmother had been alive, she

would never have allowed it!" How did the kaiser's desire for respect influence his policies?


Reasons for Entering the War, July—August 1914

Country Allied With Reasons for Entering War

Austria-Hungary Germany Wanted to punish Serbia for

encouraging terrorism

Germany ! Austria-Hungary Stood by its one dependable

ally, Austria-Hungary

Serbia Russia Attacked by Austria-Hungary

after assassination of Archduke

Russia Serbia, France, Wanted to defend Slavic

Britain peoples in Serbia

France Russia and Britain Wanted to avoid facing

Germany alone at a later date

Belgium Neutral Invaded by Germany

Britain France and Russia Outraged by invasion of Belgium

hart Skills Who started the war? During the war, each side blamed the other. Afterward, the ictorious Allies placed all blame on Germany, because it invaded Belgium. Today, historians till debate who should bear the blame for a catastrophe nobody wanted. Using information rom the chart, describe why Russians might feel that Germany started the war.

Alliances Kick In

The war between Austria and Serbia might have been another "summer war," like most European wars of the previous century. How­ever, the carefully planned alliances soon drew the great powers deeper into conflict.

Russia and France Back Serbia After Austria's declaration of war, Serbia turned to its ally, Russia, the champion of Slavic nations. From St. Petersburg, Nicholas II telegraphed William II. The tsar asked the kaiser to urge Austria to soften its demands. When this plea failed, Rus­sia began to mobilize, or prepare its military forces for war. On August 1, Germany responded by declaring war on Russia.

Russia, in turn, appealed to its ally France. In Paris, nationalists saw a chance to avenge France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. Though French leaders had some doubts, they gave Russia the same kind of backing Germany offered to Austria. When Germany demanded that France keep out of the conflict, France refused. Germany then declared war on France.

Germany Invades Belgium By early August, the battle lines werc hardening. Italy and Britain still remained uncommitted. Italy chose tc stay neutral for the time being. Neutrality is a policy of supporting nei­ther side in a war. Britain had to decide quickly whether or not to sup. port its ally France. Then, Germany's war plans suddenly made the decision for Britain.

A cornerstone of Germany's military policy was a plan developed year: earlier by General Alfred von Schlieffen (SHLEE fun). Germany's locatior presented the possibility of a two-front war—against France in the west and Russia to the east. The Schlieffen Plan was designed to avoid this problem. Schlieffen reasoned that Germany should move against Franc( first because Russia's lumbering military would be slow to mobilize


However, Germany had to defeat France quickly so that its armies could then turn around and fight Russia.

To ensure a swift victory in the west, the Schlieffen Plan required Ger­man armies to march through neutral Belgium and then swing south behind French lines. The goal was to encircle and crush France's army. The Germans embarked on the plan by invading Belgium on August 3. However, Britain and other European powers had signed a treaty guar­anteeing Belgian neutrality. Outraged by the invasion of Belgium, Brit­ain declared war on Germany on August 4.

Once the machinery of war was set in motion, it seemed impossible to stop. Military leaders insisted that they must mobilize their forces imme­diately to accomplish their military goals. These military timetables made it impossible for political leaders to negotiate instead of fight.

 Checkpoint How did the alliance system deepen the original conflict between Austria-Hungary and Serbia into a general war?

Reaction to the War

Before the war, many countries were troubled by domestic problems. For example, Britain struggled with labor unrest and the issue of home rule in Ireland. Russia wrestled with problems stirred up by the Revolution of 1905. The outbreak of war brought a temporary relief from these internal divisions. A renewed sense of patriotism united countries. Governments on both sides emphasized that their countries were fighting for justice and a better world. Young men rushed to enlist, cheered on by women and their elders. Now that war had come at last, it seemed an exciting adventure.

British diplomat Edward Grey was less optimistic. As armies began to move, he predicted, "The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our Lifetime."

 Checkpoint Why were young men on both sides eager to fight when World War I started?

War Enthusiasm

People cheered as soldiers marched off to war. In this photograph, a woman is giving a soldier an apple to eat on his journey.

Progress Monitoring Online

For: Self-quiz with vocabulary practice Web Code: nba-2611

Terms, People, and Places

For each term or place listed at the beginning of the section, write a sen‑

tence explaining its significance.

Note Taking

Reading Skill: Summarize Use your completed chart to answer the Focus Question: Why and how did World War begin in 1914?

Comprehension and Critical Thinking

Analyze Information Why did Euro­pean nations form alliances?

Identify Central Issues Why might the Balkans be called the "powder keg of Europe"?

Recognize Causes How did Austria's government react to the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand?

Determine Relevance What role did geography play in the outbreak of World War I?

• Writing About History

Quick Write: Identify Causes and Effects Choose a specific event from the section and identify one cause and one effect of the event. Ask yourself the follow­ing questions:

• Why did this event happen? (cause) • What happened as a result of this event? (effect)

Record your ideas in a chart that shows their cause-and-effect relationships.

Chapter 14 Section 1 459


A Soldier on the Western Front

"The blue French cloth mingled with the German grey upon the ground, and in some places the bodies were piled so high that one could take cover from shell-fire behind them. The noise was so terrific that orders had to be shouted by each man into the ear of the next. And whenever there was a momentary lull in the tumult of battle and the groans of the wounded, one heard, high up in the blue sky, the joyful song of birds! Birds singing just as they do at home in spring-time! It was enough to tear the heart out of one's body

soldier Richard Schmieder,

writing from the trenches in France

Focus Question How and where was World War I fought?

A New Bind of War


• Understand why a stalemate developed on the Western Front.

• Describe how technology made World War different from earlier wars.

• Outline the course of the war on the Eastern Front, in other parts of Europe, in Turkey, and in the Middle East.

• Summarize how colonies fought in the war.

Terms, People, and Places

stalemate convoy

zeppelin Dardanelles

U-boat T. E. Lawrence

Note Taking

Reading Skill: Identify Supporting Details Record important details about the various battlefronts of World War I in a flowchart.

Western Eastern Elsewhere

Front Front in Europe

Ottoman Colonies Empire

The Great War was the largest conflict in history up to that time. The French mobilized almost 8.5 million men, the British nearly 9 million, the Russians 12 million, and the Germans 11 million. "One out of every four men who went out to the World War did not come back again," recalled a survivor, "and of those who came back, many are maimed and blind and some are mad."

Stalemate on the Western Front

As the war began, German forces fought their way through Bel­gium toward Paris. The Belgians resisted more than German gen­erals had expected, but the German forces prevailed. However., Germany's plans for a quick defeat of France soon faltered.

The Germans' Schlieffen Plan failed for several reasons. First Russia mobilized more quickly than expected. After a few small Rus­sian victories, German generals hastily shifted some troops to the east, weakening their forces in the west. Then, in September 1914 British and French troops pushed back the German drive along the Marne River. The first battle of the Marne ended Germany's hope, for a quick victory on the Western Front.

Both sides then began to dig deep trenches to protect their armies from fierce enemy fire. They did not know that the conflict would turn into a long, deadly stalemate, a deadlock in which net ther side is able to defeat the other. Battle lines in France woulc remain almost unchanged for four years.

 Checkpoint How did the Allies stop the Germans from executing the Schlieffen Plan?

460 World War I and the Russian Revolution

Map Skills World War I was fought on several fronts in Europe. Despite huge loss of life and property, the two sides came to a stalemate on the Western and Eastern fronts in 1915 and 1916.

Locate (a) Paris (b) Battle of the Marne (c) Verdun (d) Tannenberg

Movement Using the scale, describe how the battle lines moved on the Western Front from 1914 to 1918.

Draw Inferences Based on this map, why do you think many Rus­sians were demoralized by the progress of the war?

The Human Cost To break the stalemate on the Western Front, both the Allies and the Central Powers launched massive offensives in 1916. German forces tried to overwhelm the French at Verdun (vur DUN). The French defenders held firm, sending up the battle cry "They shall not pass." The 11-month struggle cost more than a half a million casualties, or soldiers killed, wounded, or missing, on both sides.

An Allied offensive at the Somme River (sum) was even more costly. In a single grisly day, nearly 60,000 British soldiers were killed or wounded. In the five-month battle, more than one million soldiers were killed, without either side winning an advantage.

 Wounded soldiers on stretchers in Verdun in 1916


Watch World War l: A New Kind of War on the Witness History Discovery SchoolTM

video program to learn more about trench warfare.

DiS Query


Chapter 14 Section 2 461


Reading Skill: Summarize Review the information under the heading "Technology of Modern Warfare." Summarize key points using a concept web like the one below. Add circles as needed.

Technology of Modern Warfare

The enormous casualties suffered on the Western Front proved the destructive power of modern weapons. Two significant new or improved weapons were the rapid-fire machine gun and the long-range artillery gun. Machine guns mowed down waves of soldiers. The shrapnel, or fly­ing debris from artillery shells, killed or wounded even more soldiers than the guns. Artillery allowed troops to shell the enemy from more than 10 miles away.

Poison Gas In 1915, first Germany and then the Allies began using another new weapon—poison gas. Poison gas blinded or choked its vic­tims or caused agonizing burns and blisters. It could be fatal. Though sol­diers were eventually given gas masks, poison gas remained one of the most dreaded hazards of the war. One British soldier recalled the effects of being gassed:

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