Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated in Sarajevo, Bosnia by a Serbian nationalist in June 1914. After this incident, escalation of threats and mobilizations heightened. This led to the outbreak of World War I around August of the same year. The spark of worlds war 1 was ignited in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Archduke was the nephew of Emperor Franz Josef. He was the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He was shot death along with his wife by a Serbian nationalist known as Gavrilo Princip (Ferrell, 1985).
This incident led to a rapid chain of events. Many countries accused the Serbian government of the assassination. These countries used this incident to justify the question of Slavic nationalism. Russia supported Serbia while Austria-Hungary received support from the German counterparts. Germany would support them in case Russia intervened. Russia was allies of France and possibly the Great Britain (Maier, 1975). Mobilization of these nations; Germany, Ottoman Empire and Austria-Hungary were against France, Italy, Great Britain, Japan, and Russia.
Germany hoped that Russia would stay back from this incident leaving this crisis to be solved locally. Kaiser sends a telegram commenting for this cause of action. Nevertheless, Germany had an advantage that they would rely on if Russia intervened in the crisis (Berghahn, 1973). They knew that they would present to the world the reason for Russia aggression to the incident leaving them with no other choice but intervene. For the next three week, there are disagreements in Vienna about the whole incident. Serbia tries to defuse the situation by offering conciliatory efforts. However, their conciliatory efforts failed. On June 28, Austria declares war to its neighbor.
The next day they ensured that they remove any hope of diplomacy. Russia responds by mobilizing its army triggering Germany to launch by coming up with a strategy known as the Schrieffer Plan. On August 1 Russia officially declares war on Germany. Two days later Germany declares war on France. August 3rd, the German troops cross the Belgian border. Their aim is to head to the northern part of France. Due to this incident, the fifth of the European power declares war on Germany on August 4. This is because Britain had guaranteed to protect Belgium in any circumstances (Berghahn, 1973).
All the five power of Europe are at war. This has not been experienced in the last 100 years. At first, German armies seem to achieve the Schrieffer Plan as they thrust towards south France. They even appear to be sure of victory. The Belgian army put up a heroic resistance and prevents the Germans from proceeding. By 22nd, August over 300,000 people in the region had been affected whereas most of them are dead. The Germans intention is to clear the east of Paris so that they encircle the city. The German advances to the capital and are within the 30miles radius. The French force halts them in a 4day fight making the German army head to the north. The reversal of the troop indicates that their Schrieffer plan has failed. This incident motivates the commander to transfer four divisions from Belgium to the east (Mock & Larson,1968).
The army that has been reversed is smaller than they had anticipated. It is also very vulnerable, and they had not foreseen this situation. They hail back so that they can regroup and form a strong army. Meanwhile, Britain, Russia and France signed a deal on 5th September in London that states that they are allied powers that guarantee that they will not make any separate agreements. The partners move to the west so that they can frustrate the German movement. They, therefore, begin a competitive movement that is known as the race to the sea. The struggle continued with neither parties giving up, this lead to loss of millions of lives (Mock & Larson, 1968).
Entry of America in World War One
On April 2nd, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson went to a joint discussion whereby he requested a declaration of war on Germany. Wilson cited that Germany failed to honor to suspend unrestricted warfare in the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic. He also cited that the Germany attempted to turn Mexico into an agreement against the US. These were the main reason as to why the president wanted to declare war on Germany (Kennedy, 2004). On 4th April, the US Senate voted in agreement on the actions to declare war on Germany. Later on, the US declared war on the Austrian-Hungary on 7th December 1917.
Germany resumption of the submarine attacks on merchants and passengers ship became the major motivation for the president to lead the US into war. The German counterparts attacked an unarmed French boat. President Wilson threatened dire consequences unless Germany refrained from attacking passengers ships. He also threatened to ensure that Germany encounters severe diplomatic relations if they continue with such incidents. He also gave conditions such as if the Germans wanted to attack the merchants vessels they have to warn all the crews to abandon the ship before the attack. On May 4, 1916, Germany accepted these terms and conditions and came to be referred as the Sussex Pledge (Kennedy, 2004).
The situation had changed in Germany by January 1917, during wartime conference German navy representatives convinced the military leader that they should fail to honor the pledge. Their reasoning was that they could be able to defeat the Great Britain if the resumption of unrestricted sublimes was utilized. They highlighted that the resumption of the submarines will be able to assist Germany to defeat Great Britain within five months (Haythornthwaite, 1992).
The German policy makers argued that the US was no longer considered as a neutral party and thus could not be trusted. They argued that the US provided ammunitions and financial assistance to the allies. Therefore, they could not be considered to be a neutral party. Germany also believed that the US also jeopardized its neutrality by being involved in allied blockade of the Germany (Kennedy, 2004). The German Chancellor was opposed to this idea as he believed that they would arouse the US in involvement in the war. He believed that the resumption of the submarine attacks would make the US fight on behalf of the US. He argued that this would lead to the defeat of Germany.
Despite his warning, the government proceeded with their plans for the attacks. Their focus was on all unrestricted submarines of the allies and the neutral shipping. They were assured that their submarines would end the war long enough before the US troops landed in Europe. On January 31, 1917, the German ambassador presented a note to the US secretary general. It declared that Germany would initiate the plans to the resumption of the submarines the following day (Berghahn, 1973).
President Wilson was stunned by this news and decided to go before the Congress and announce that he had severed diplomatic relationships with Germany. However, he refrained from requesting for the declarations of war because he doubted if the public would agree with his decision. He needed to have ample evidence that would reveal that Germany planned to attack the U.S ships without any warning. He left a possibility of agreements with Germany if they refrained from attacking the US ships. In February and March Germany had sunk US ships killing civilians and crew members. Several ships were sunk during this period leading to numerous deaths of citizens and seam men (Kennedy, 2004).
On 26th February, the president requested the Congress to authority to arm their ships. They were to arm the ships with the naval and personal equipment. The measure would have been passed, but the Congress did not conform to this idea. Following this setback, the resident decided to arm the ships. This was an executive order that he cited the anti-piracy law that authorizes him to do so. The president has to weigh several options regarding the submarines concern. His first option was to weigh the attempts of the Germany to convince Mexico to join hands against the US (Haythornthwaite, 1992).
On January 19, 1917, British naval intelligence seized a telegram that was addressed to the German ambassador in Mexico. The telegram had been addressed by the German Foreign Minister known as Arthur Zimmerman. The Zimmermann telegram highlighted that the German would help the Mexicans to recover their territory. The telegram stated that they would assist them in the fight for their territory and in return they should assist the Germans in the war (Mock & Larson, 1968).
Initially, the British government did not share the message with the American government. This is because they did not want the German government to be aware that they had intercepted their codes. Following the resumption of the submarines by the German government, the British decided to use the note to convince the US government to join in the war. They finally decided to forward the intercepted message to President Wilson on 24th February 1917. The following week the US press published this story country wide (Kennedy, 2004).
Despite the findings of the Zimmerman telegram, President Wilson hesitated to in requesting a declaration of war to the Germans. He waited until March 20th during a cabinet proceeding when he highlighted hi concern. This was a month later after the discovery of the telegram. Many historians have debated on the reasons why the president waited until 1917 to declare war. This is because earlier on in 191s there was an incident of ship resumption of the British ships that had claimed the lives of 131 Americans. He had avoided engaging in war even after such events happened (Kennedy, 2004).
The continued ship resumption of the US ships in 1917 had become too much to bear. Zimmermans telegram indicated that there was going to be an attack on the US. The public was swayed to highlight the need for the declaration of war in Germany. The international law specified that presence of naval personnels in passengers ships constituted to as a declaration of war on Germany (Fischer, 1967). The Germans had also indicated that they were not interested in making peaceful agreements with the US. The President used the above reasons to motivate the Congress in declaring war in Germany. The president used these ideas to encourage the Congress on the need to formally declare war to the Germans.
The immediate cause of American government was staged April 1917. They announced about how the Germans attacked US ships that led to deaths of many innocent civilians. The president aims were to go beyond the country interests. In his war message, he declared that the country aims was to maintain the values of harmony and fairness (Kennedy, 2004). Several of his speeches stated that he was focused on finding amicable solutions so that the war could stop. He appointed a committee known as the inquiry that aimed at drawing up recommendations that would be used in the peace agreement. The president presented the recommendations of fourteen points to the Congress. The fourteen points were objective and focused on drawing practical purposes (Mock & Larson, 1968).
He hoped to keep Russia in war by convincing the Bolvershicks that they would get peace if they supported the allies and undermined the German war support. The speech was made in the US and the allied nations so as to enlighten the importance of international relations. The president used the fourteen points for negotiation purposes. These points led to the Treaty of Versailles that helped to end the war. The fourteen points are still relevant to date in the US diplomacy (Mock & Larson, 1968).
The aftermath of the world war one are numerous. The war caused immense casualties, millions of people...
Cite this page
History of World War I. (2021, Apr 21). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/history-of-world-war-i
If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the ProEssays website, please click below to request its removal:
- Relevance of Ghosts of Abu Ghraib with Respect to the Military Police and Interrogators Who Participated
- US Intelligence Analysis Prior to 9//11 Attacks and Causes of Intelligence Failure
- Research Paper on Slavery to Jamestown
- Historical Changes That Impacted the Practice of Slavery Essay
- The Life and Works of Chopin Essay
- Shoji Hamada: Potter in Japan Essay
- Thomas Jefferson's Relationship With the Red Indians Essay