The Armed Peace (1905-1914


The Alliance System before the War

Due to violent unrest in the south of Morocco, Berlin sent a warship to Agadir port to “protect” the German subjects

The Conflict in the Balkans

Expenses in defence (millions of pounds)

Years Expenses in warships (million of pounds)


On 28th June, the archduke Ferdinand along with his wife are assassinated in Sarajevo by a Bosnian student who was connected to nationalist Serbian cells. Austria-Hungary was convinced by the Germans to declare war against Serbia in order to stop the Serbian ambitions over the Balkans. The day, 28th July.

The Great War (1914-1918)

Initial enthusiasm for war and patriotism

The Alliance System before the War

Evolution of the conflict


The Schlieffen Plan

This plan consisted of a quick attack against France by invading Belgium and Luxemburg in first place

Its failure resulted in the trench war

The trench war

The First Battle of the Marne (sept. 1914) Joseph Joffre was a French general who managed to regroup the retreating allied troops and defeat the Germans. In this way the German objective which consisted of obtaining a quick and easy victory over France was frustrated.

The trench war
The Battle of Verdun was a German attempt to break the frontline which resulted in a failure since the French armies resisted the continuous attacks for more than ten months without ceding an inch of land.

The allied armies also tried an offensive at the Somme, but it didn't have any success either.

The number of casualties after these two battles summed up to one million for the allied armies and 800000 for the Germans

Trench line at the Western front
bombed city trenches

tanks barbed wire

The trench war

underground shelter

commanding station cannons


A trench in the WWI
observation balloon barbed wire trench artillery watcher

enemy trench

dead soldier Communication post

sickbay sandbag


commanding officer


French troops attacking with their bayonets fixed

Chemical warfare was born during the Great War: Poisonous gases increased the number of casualties considerably.

Tanks, like the Mark-4, were specifically designed to overcome trenches, cross areas under bombing and protect the soldiers

New weapons, a new era of war

Automatic gunmachines, grenade launchers, flamethrowers and other weapons were used in a new type of war, much more deathly than previous conflicts

Big Bertha is the most paradigmatic example of the German artillery. It is the name given to a type of heavy howitzer (420 mm) which was developed by the Krupp manufacturer.

Airforce began to be used as a weapon in the Great War.

The Red Baron was the nickname of a German pilot who became a hero for his compatriots after shooting 80 enemy planes down.

Zeppelins, U-boats and warships were the other weapons which were used in the war

War at sea was fought near the Danish coast, in the area surrounding the Jutland Peninsula

On the Eastern front, the Russian offensive surprised the Germans in 1914, although these managed to counter-attack quickly under the command of the general Hindenburg, who stopped the Russian advance in Tannenberg.

The Eastern front

In 1917, the outbreak of the Russian Revolution and the subsequent seize of power by the Bolsheviks altered the war situation significantly

The new Soviet government, following its people's will, decided to abandon the war and asked for an armistice. Then they signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with the Central empires. According to this treaty, Russia abandoned: Ukraine, Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Belarus. Bessarabia was ceded to Rumania and a part of Armenia was for Turkey.

The USA entered the conflict in 1917 after one of their warships was sunk by a German submarine.

On the Eastern front the Austrians and their allies were defeated by the combined forces of French, British and Italians in 1918. The Empire of Austria-Hungary and the Turkish Empire asked for the armistice and the combats came to a halt

On the Western front the Germans were defeated. The armistice was signed on 11th of November. Republic of Weimar was proclaimed in Germany.

The Signature of the Peace Treaties

The Great War: A World Conflict

The Treaty of Versailles was signed on 28th June 1919

Political Clauses
-Germany had to cede: a) Alsace-Lorraine (to France) b) Coal mines in Saar (to France) c) Eupe and Malmedy (to Belgium) d) West-Prussia/Polish Corridor (to Poland) -Austria-Hungary ceased to exist as an Empire

Military Clauses
-German compulsory military service is abolished -During 15 years Germany is not allowed to station troops on the left border of the river Rhine and in a 50 km strip on the right border of the Rhine. -The total size of the Germany army is not to exceed 100.000 men .Germany is not allowed to have tanks, airplanes, submarines, large warships and poison gas.


G.Clemenceau D.Lloyd George

Other War Treaties
Austria became a Republic and lost all its Slav territories

Part of Hungary's posessions were given to its neighbours

Bulgaria ceded some territories to Greece

Arabs and Greeks received territories from Turkey

Fragmentation of the European Empires after the WWI

Europe before and after the Great War

President Wilson and his Fourteen Points

What you should remember:
1. There should be no secret alliances between countries 2. Freedom of the seas in peace and war 3. The reduction of trade barriers among nations 4. The general reduction of armaments 5. The adjustment of colonial claims in the interest of the inhabitants as well as of the colonial powers 8. The evacuation of all French territory, including Alsace-Lorraine 10. Independence for various national groups in Austria-Hungary 11. The restoration of the Balkan nations and free access to the sea for Serbia 13. Independence for Poland, including access to the sea 14. A league of nations to protect "mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small nations alike."

Opening session of the League in Geneve, on 15th November 1920

Political Consequences

The USA became the great winners of the conflict, since their industry boomed as well as their economy. A boom which sewed the seeds of the future Depression.

The Spartacist Uprising in Germany, and the outbreak of the Italian and German fascism were other political consequences of the Great War

Social Consequences
Women became workers of weapons factories. This fact changed the role women had had.

The incorporation of women in the working world contributed to increase their responsability and autonomy. Additionally, this made them conscious of their abilities and the fact that their rights weren't the same as men's. Finally, the women's suffrage spread progressively.

The progress of women's vote 1893 New Zealand 1902 Australia1 1906 Finland 1913 Norway 1915 Denmark 1917 Canada2 1918 Austria, Germany, Poland, Russia 1919 Netherlands 1920 United States 1921 Sweden 1928 Britain, Ireland 1931 Spain 1944 France 1945 Italy

In Europe, the first women to vote were Finnish (1906)

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