World War I

By: Cameron Foil

The 1800's

1870- Prussia forced France to give up territory along the German border

As part of its plan to unify Germany, Prussia forced France to give up territory along the German border. As a result, France and Germany became enemies. To protect itself, Germany signed alliances with Italy and with the huge empire of Austria-Hungary, which controlled much of Southeastern Europe. This became known as the Triple Alliance.

1894- Russia and France sign the Franco-Russian Alliance

    The new alliance alarmed Russian leaders, who feared that Germany intended to expand eastward. In addition, Russia and Austria-Hungary were competing for influence in southeastern Europe. A common interest in opposing Germany and Austria-Hungary led Russia and France to sign the Franco-Russian Alliance in 1894. Under the alliance, the two nations promised to come to each other’s aid in a war against the Triple Alliance.

1898- Germany began building a large modern navy

    By the late 1800s, Germany had clearly become Europe’s strongest nation. In 1898 Germany began building a large modern navy. The buildup threatened the British, who rushed to build warships. By the early 1900s, Britain and Germany were engaged in an arms race.


August 31, 1907- Triple Entente

By the early 1900s, Britain and Germany were engaged in an arms race. The race convinced Britain to build closer ties with France and Russia. The British refused to sign a formal alliance, so the relationship became known as an entente cordiale, or friendly understanding. Britain, France, and Russia became known as the Triple Entente.

1908- Austria Hungry annexed Bosina

Russia supported the Serbs, but Austria-Hungary worked to limit Serbia’s growth. In 1908 Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia, which had belonged to the Ottoman Empire, outraging the Serbs. The annexation demonstrated that Austria-Hungary had no intention of letting the Slavic people in its empire become independent.

June 1914- Assassination Of Franz Ferdinand

There was a group known as "the black hand". These men were a extreme Serbian nationalist group that were apart of the plan to assassinate Ferdinand. One conspirator threw a hand grenade at the archduke's car when he was on his way to Sarajevo's city hall. The grenade bounced off the car and exploded near the following car; the archduke escaped injury. When Franz Ferdinand arrived at city hall, the Austrian commander warned the archduke that the city was about to erupt into rebellion. He convinced the archduke to escape quickly. After the reception, the archduke's car sped away from city hall, traveling fast enough to make it difficult for another attempt on his life, until the car had to make a sharp turn.The curve before the bridge over the river forced the car to slow down. There, 19-year-old Gavrilo Princip was able to approach the car and shot the archduke and his wife.
The Assassination of Franz Ferdinand

Feburary 1915- Germans announced that they would use submarines to sink without warning any ship they found in the waters around Britain

They made this decision b/c of the British blockade. Supplies would go to British ports for war effort, they would be hidden as passenger ships.

May 7, 1915- U-boat sunk the Lusitania

The U.S. is going to be outraged that innocent American lives were lost even though they were not in the war. There were 1000 passengers including 128 Americans killed. The government did not feel ready to declare war. Wilson petitions Germany to stop attacks on civilian ships.

January 1917-German official sends a telegram to German ambassador in Mexico

    Wilson campaigned that he will keep us out of war, won re-elections a narrow victory. A year later the German official sends a telegram to German ambassador in Mexico, we will support you if you side with Germany, if they reconquer the land they lost in Texas. British intercepts this telegram and tells U.S.

Feburary 1, 1917- Germany resumed unrestricted warfare.

Germany resumed unrestricted warfare. If they starve British in supplies if they sink all ships on site. They didn't believe the U.S. could raise an army and send to Europe

March 1917- riots broke out in Russia

    This causing Czar Nicholas II leader of Russia Empire to abdicate his throne, thus causing the Russian Revolution to begin. The government took control and the leaders wanted Russia to stay in war. The citizens were starving, so they did not want to be a part of the war.

April 2, 1917- Wilson petitions to congress to go into war

U-boats sank 6 American ships, because of this, Wilson petitions to Congress to go into war

May 18, 1917- Selective Service Act

After the U.S. entered World War I, congress passed this act declaring the U.S. president the power to draft soldiers.
THE DRAFT | The Selective Service Act | PBS

June 15, 1917- Espionage Act

Mitchell Palmer, the U.S. attorney general under President Wilson, enforced the act. Creating it a crime that anyone to convey information intended to interfere with the U.S. armed forces prosecution of the war effort or to promote the success of the country's enemies.

July 4, 1917- AEF (american expedition forces) arrives in Paris

British and French commanders wanted to integrate American troops into their armies, but American general John Pershing refused. Eventually only one unit (93rd Africa American unit) was transferred to the French.

November 1917- Vladimir Lenin's Bolshevik party

The party seized power & established a communist government.

March 3, 1918- "Treaty of Brest-Litovsk", Lenin compromised with Germany

Russia gave up Ukraine, its Polish and Baltic territories, and Finland. Germany could not concentrate on forces in the west.

March 21, 1918- Germany last offense

Germany launched a massive gas attack and artillery bombardment along the western front. Strengthened by reinforcements from Russian front. The Germans pushed deeply in allied lines, and they were less than 40 miles from Paris by June.

May 16, 1918- Sedition Act

The Sedition Act was passed by the congress to help protect America's participation in World War I.

June 1, 1918- Block of German Drive

American and French troops blocked German drive at Chateau Theory.

July 15, 1918- Germans launched on last attack on Paris

September 26, 1918- Battle of Argonne Forest

Most massive American offensive for American expeditionary forces. Launched in region between the Muse river and Argon forest. German inflected many heavy casualties, their position slowly fell the American's advancing troops.

Battle of Argonne Forest - Argonnerwald

October 1918- Poland, Hungay, and Czechoslovakla declared independence

Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia declared independence. By early November, the governments of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire had surrendered to the Allies.

November 11, 1918- the Government signed and Armistice (an agreement to stop fighting)

On November 9th Germany became a republic. 2 days later, the government signed an armistice—an agreement to stop fighting. On November 11, 1918, the fighting stopped.

November 1918- Americans opened a hole in the Eastern flank of the German lines.

Due to this action it went all across the western front, Germans began to retreat.

January 1919- Treaty Of Versailles

Delegates from 27 countries traveled to the peace conference at the Palace of Versailles, near Paris. The treaty with Germany came to be called the Treaty of Versailles. It was then signed on June 28, 1919.