World War 1

Notes on World War 1 for history

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  • Created on: 21-06-10 11:18
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long term causes of the war short term causes of the war
The Rise of Germany The Killing in Sarajevo
Germany was divided into states until the Bosnia was part of Austria-Hungary but
middle of the 19th century. Most important many of its people were Serbs who wanted
state was Prussia; they wanted to become to be ruled by neighbouring state of Serbia.
an independent state. France didn't want 28th June 1914 a Serb called Gavrilo Princip
this and went to war against Prussia from shot dead the Archduke Franz Ferdinand,
1870-71, they were beaten. King of Prussia heir to the throne of A-H, and his wife.
became Kaiser of Germany. Between 1871 A-H and Serbia were already in a dispute;
and 1914 the economy grew based on a they saw this as an excuse to attack and
huge industrial revolution. By 1914 output of blamed the attack on Serbia. The alliances led
German factories had overtaken British to many other countries getting involved.
ones. A-H + Germany, Serbia + Russia + allies.
The New Kaiser The German Decision For War
Germany wanted an empire, especially new 1913 there had been an argument between
Kaiser Wilhelm II who came to power in A-H, Serbia and Russia about how land from
1888. Aggressive Kaiser. Ended friendly Turkey should be decided. Almost led to war
relationship with Russia old chancellor but Germany refused to support A-H. July 5th
Bismarck had encouraged. Countries began 1914 Kaiser said he would back an attack on
to see Germany as a threat. Serbia. When Britain and Russia tried to
negotiate with A-H Germany told them to
The Arms Race Confusion about the British Position
After 1897 Germany began building an Germans were not sure the British would
enormous navy, challenging Britain's. New fight as they were not legally bound to go to
German laws in 1900 ordering the building of war on the side of France and Russia; they
huge new fleet of 41 battle ships and 60 may not have gone to war if they were
cruisers began arms race with Britain. Britain aware that they would.
introduced new battleship `Dreadnought' in Britain tried to avoid war by negotiating but
1906 and then `Super Dreadnoughts' to was urged to accept to scare Germany out
which Germany responded by building similar of war. Talks continued until August 3rd when
ones of their own. Other countries then Germany attacked France via Belgium. A day
took part e.g France increased their forces later Britain went to war.
and Russia spent lots on theirs.
The Two Alliances
1897 ­ Germany signed an alliance treaty
with Austria-Hungary
1892 ­ France and Russia agreed an alliance
1904 ­ Britain allied with France and in 1907
allied with Russia. Became the triple

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The home front
People were excited and supported the war. They felt they were fighting for the right cause ­
defending Belgium against Germany.
Many people saw it as heroic and exciting and wanted to fight for their country for patriotism.
1914 ­ Initially asked for 100,000, yet 750,000 signed up within the first month
Conscription began January 1916 all single men between 18 and 41 had to register under MILITARY
SERVICE ACT because they needed more men volunteering to replace dead.…read more

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Effect on Civilians
Emotional Impact ­ loss of family members
People were exposed to a lot of propaganda
It was the first time that civilians were killed and bombed by the war, particularly in coastal towns.
1500 civilians died, the purpose of bombing civilians was to lower morale. Weapons used in
bombings were zeppelins and bomber planes.
Industry had to adapt ­ the government controlled what people read and saw through censorship.…read more

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Examples: The Women's Land Army, nursing, engineering, the Red Cross and farm labourers.
Attitudes/Status changes - Forced to stay in unhappy marriages during the war. After World War
One women over 30 could vote. Women gained respect yet they were constantly coming up with
objections to jobs and clothing. At the end of the war women lost their jobs and went back to
domestic work. In 1919 women were allowed to enter certain positions such as barristers.…read more

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The Schlieffen Plan was very important for Britain's entry into the war. There would have been no
reason for her to get involved if Germany had not gone through Belgium. If they had not done in this
way Britain may not have got involved, or not until much later.
The race to the sea and stalemate
Both sides now raced to the English Channel to outflank each other.…read more

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The Germans were first to use chlorine gas in 1915, the wind blew it over the British trenches. Lethal
gases were developed such as mustard gas which burnt, blinded and killed. Gas masks were made to
protect people.
Battle of Somme 1916
December 1915 Haig was appointed as commander of the British forces. Trench warfare was new to
him as he had gained experience as cavalry commander on the plains of South Africa.…read more

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The other fronts
The war at sea....
Before the war both Britain and Germany were in a race to build as many `Dreadnought' battle ships
as possible. The main importance of the war at sea was:
Protect ships bringing much needed supplies (especially from the USA) and to keep allied ports open
To blockade enemy ports so their supplies were cut off.
The Battle of Jutland
Major sea battle between Germany and Britain's navy's May 31st 1916.…read more

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When the Bolsheviks took over in November, the German army was advancing in
Russia, giving them little choice but to sign the treaty, leaving Germany fighting on only 1 front.
The disaster of Gallipoli
1915 Winston Churchill planned to attack Turkey.
Turkey was on Germanys side in the war and was attacking Russia
Britain and France were a long way from Russia and found it difficult to send supplies.
However, supplies could be sent through the black sea.…read more

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Both sides then began to develop fighter planes to shoot down the reconnaissance planes. These
planes carried machine guns, and as the aircraft became more developed dog fights began to take
By the end of the war planes were carrying bombs and were able to travel much further so they
could even attack cities in the enemy countries. By the end of the war the RAF had 23,000 planes
compared to 37 at the beginning of the war.…read more


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