World War 1

W.W.I World War I was the first major war that included a country from almost every part of the world. It was the second
bloodiest war second only to W.W.II. The greatest destruction that humankind had ever previously experienced began on a
calm and beautiful August day. It was a senseless slaughter that no nation benefited from. It lasted from 1914-1918. America
was involved from April of 1917 to November of 1918. It ended with the Treaty of Versailles, which was signed on November
11 at 11:11 a.m. in 1918. World War I started because of the assassination of Franz Josef Ferdinan and his wife Sophie while
they were in a motorcade in the capitol city of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Franz Ferdinan was next in line for the thrown of
Austria-Hungry. Principe, a member of the Black Hand terrorist organization, shot them. Preceding the shot that started the
war, tension was created though out Europe when Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II increased the size of his army. The Kaiser had
a disturbed childhood. He was born with a bad arm that he couldn’t use. Germans valued perfection in humans and it would be
kind of hypocritical for the future leader of Germany to speak of perfection and not be perfect himself. His parents put him
through hell and back trying to fix his arm. Nothing worked and the constant medical experiments on his body left him
messed-up for life. At age 29 Kaiser Wilhelm II became the youngest emperor of Germany. The Kaiser had a personality all to
himself. He knew that he had all the power, and he let everyone know about it. The British Royal Navy had long fascinated
him, and he wanted one for his own. He got his wish and fulfilled his militaristic dream of having a large and powerful military.
The rest of Europe became alarmed at the sudden increase of German military activity. This made every European country look
more closely at Germany in fear that they would try to start something. Another source of tension in Europe was the
disintegration of the Ottoman Empire. Austria-Hungry and Russia both wanted to control the disintegrating Ottoman Empire.
With all of this tension already in Europe, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinan was all that was needed to spark the
start of the war. Serbia firmly denied any compensation to Austria for the death of the Archduke, so Austria declared war on
Serbia. Germany was an ally to Austria, and Russia was an ally to Serbia. Because of this connection those two countries,
Germany and Russia entered the war. Germany quickly declared war on Russia and Russia’s ally France. Germany then
brutally invaded the neutral country of Belgium. The invasion of Belgium made Great Britain so mad that they too declared war
on Germany. Europe was now divided into two separate powers, the Allied Powers and the Central Powers. The Allies would
eventually consist of Great Britain, France, Japan, Russia, in 1915 Italy, and the United States in 1917. The Central Powers
were made up of Germany, Austria-Hungry, Turkey, and in 1915 Bulgaria. The United States followed the Global War Policy
that allowed neutral nations to trade with both sides in a war. President Wilson urged the American people to be neutral in
thought and in deed. This meant that Americans were not supposed to support either side in the war. The United States was
doing business with the Allies and the Central Powers. Germany felt that any ship carrying supplies for the Allies was fair game
to sink. Germany started sinking US supply ships headed for Britain. Wilson cut off all ties with Germany and began viewing
Germany as an outlaw after a U-boat sank the Lusitania. Wilson also found out about a plan that Germany was trying to get
Mexico to enter the war and invade the United States from the south. This was too much for Wilson to ignore and he declared
war. At first when war was declared men lined up at recruiting offices and volunteered to fight. To them war was a noble thing
to do and they were excited to go. Over 130,000 people volunteered, but in the end over 4,000,000 Americans went.
Theodore Roosevelt called the Great War The Great Adventure. The first American soldiers to arrive in Europe were young
and inexperienced. The French wanted to put them in the front line right away, but General Pershing insisted that he keep the
US soldiers together as a unit and train them better before they fight. He was afraid that the French would use the
inexperienced Americans as cannon fodder and let them absorb the first wave of an attack. After the US troops got into some
battles they realized that war is everything but exciting and glorious. They were losing friends every day and living around
constant death and destruction. The soldiers vowed that they would go home and tell the truth about war…if they made it home
alive. They found no glory in war; all they found was pain and suffering. World War I was not worth the cost of over
8,000,000 lives. The whole war started over the greed and ignorance of Kaiser Wilhelm II and the assassination of Archduke
Franz Ferdinan. The Kaiser made all of Europe nervous and that started them preparing for war, and once Franz Ferdinan was
killed the war was on. The whole world got involved in a war that should have been fought between two countries. All because
of a bunch of alliances that were meant to protect the countries of Europe.
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