- German states unify after defeating France in 1870; the Franco-Prussian war is the source of some of the hatred between France and Germany
- The emperors of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia pledge their friendship to each other in the League of the Three Emperors
- Germany and Austria-Hungary create the Dual Alliance
- Britain and France sign the Entente Cordiale, an agreement settling long-running arguments over colonial territories and promising future cooperation in military affairs
- Austria-Hungary annexes the provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, angering Serbia, which wanted to dominate the Balkan region
- June 28 Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand is assassinated by Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo
- July 23 Austria-Hungary issues an ultimatum concerning the investigation of the assasination to Serbia; Serbia refused to comply with its terms
- July 28 Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia...
(The entire section is 1260 words.)
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Words to Know
Allies: The nations who joined together to fight the Central Powers during World War I; they included France, Great Britain, Russia, Belgium, Italy, the United States, and several smaller countries.
Armistice: A temporary stop in fighting, or truce.
Artillery: Large-caliber weapons such as cannons and missile launchers that are capable of firing shells from a long distance.
Attrition: The gradual reduction in the strength of an army due to men being killed in battle.
Bolsheviks: A group of radical Russian activists who led the 1917 revolution in that country.
Bond: A certificate of debt issued by a government that promises repayment at a later date, plus interest; bonds were sold to raise money to support the war effort.
Campaign: A series of military operations undertaken to achieve a larger goal in war; a campaign will often consist of a number of battles.
Casualty: A soldier injured, killed, captured, or missing in the course of a battle; military strategists counted casualties as a way of assessing the damage done in a battle or campaign.
Cavalry: A military body that uses horses to move about the field of battle; after World War I, which saw the end of the use of...
(The entire section is 791 words.)
Research and Activity Ideas
The following ideas and projects might be used to supplement your classroom work on understanding the great conflict that was World War I:
Build a Model: Build a model that illustrates your understanding of World War I. You might build a scale model of a battlefield that shows the arrangement of trenches, machine gun nests, and artillery. You could create a moveable diorama of a battle at sea, such as the Battle of Jutland, and move the ships around to show how the conflict unfolded. Or you could construct scale models of several different pieces of equipment, such as an artillery piece or a gas mask.
Maps: Maps are wonderful tools to demonstrate how opposing forces faced each other on a battlefield; the best maps can even show how events changed over time. Using your understanding of a particular single battle or of a series of battles on one of the important fronts of the war, create a map that shows how—and if you're really good, why—the battle turned out like it did.
Poetry: World War I is known for its great poets. Educated men like Wilfred Owen, Alan Seeger, and Siegfried Sassoon all recorded their reactions to war in some of the most memorable poems in the English language. Using what you know about World War I, write a poem that captures an element of warfare that is striking to you. You might...
(The entire section is 817 words.)