World War I

20th Century Site

King's College


Woodrow Wilson | Alliance Systems | Isolationism | The Lusitania | The Zimmermann Telegram

Trench Warfare | The Fourteen Points | Armistice Day | The Treaty of Versailles

The "Stab in the Back" Theory


        June 28, 1914 marked the start of World War I, also known as the Great War. On this day, the Austrian archduke, Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo which the Austrians assumed was an act of war by Serbia. This, however, was only the immediate cause of the war, in reality, an excuse to start the war. Tensions in Europe at that time were tremendous, and an arms race had been going on for the past twenty years. Many people thought the war would be brief and end in peace and prosperity for their nations. However, it lasted over four years and ended in the deaths of approximately 10 million men, this due to the trench warfare and the new technology available to the world. World War I changed the course of history. It was the first war to be fought on three continents, at sea, and in the air.

        The actual causes of World War I are much more complex than that of the Archduke's assassination. The first is militarism. Every army in Europe was competing to be the largest and strongest of all the others. Each nation was competing in the arms race and were mobilizing. Imperialism was another factor. Each country wanted an empire of their own and would stop at nothing to acquire colonies. Then came nationalism. Each ethnic group wanted an independent country for themselves as in the case of the Balkan Problem, where there were too many ethnic groups in one area. Capitalism was also a strong factor; everyone strived for wealth and prosperity.

        Another of these causes was originally created in support of peace and protection from war. The alliance system, as in in the case of Austria-Hungary and Serbia, caused Germany and Russia to go to war. The Germans had already built up an alliance known as the Triple Alliance (later referred to as the Central Powers) in 1882, consisting of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy; the Germans joined with these nations in order to discourage the French from trying to pursue the area known as Alsace-Lorraine. In return, France formed the Triple Entente (known as the allies), in 1911, with Great Britain and Russia.

        After the Russians mobilized against Germany in support of Serbia, the Germans threatened France. They invaded France through Belgium, which then upset Great Britain because of Belgium's request to stay neutral. The Germans were now fighting on two fronts, the Western Front, against the British and the French and the Eastern Front, against Russia.

        The warfare was like that never seen before. Trenches, which were breeding grounds for disease, stretched across the entire Western Front. Deaths were due to cannons, shrapnel bombs, mine fields, machine guns, flame-throwers, and poison gas. Airplanes and tanks were introduced into the war, but not to much of an extent. Battles, such as that of Verdun and the Somme, lasted for months with no real victories. The Germans, however, seemed to be gaining more ground.

        The British used blockades in the English Channel in order to stop German merchant ships. In return, German U-boats, or submarines, sank the British ships in an illegal act of war. At this time, tensions and anger were also growing against Germany in the United States. The Germans sank a British ship named the Lusitania which contained American citizens. April 6, 1917 was the date that was most influential in the decision of who would win the war. After receiving news of the Zimmermann Telegram from the British, Woodrow Wilson knew the United States could remain neutral no longer. This telegram was written by the Germans to Mexico, asking them to attack the United States; Mexico, in return, would be backed by Germany.

        Meanwhile, in Asia, Japan was in support of the allies due to the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. Japan was taking advantage of the attention drawn to Europe and tried to imperialize over China in hopes of making their own empire.

        After the United States entered the war, the future defeat of the Germans was evident. The U.S. had fresh soldiers and was able to pour more money into the war. The U.S. and the British devised the convoy system and ended the effects of the German U-boat attacks. In January of 1918, Woodrow Wilson set forth his peace plan in order to prevent further wars. In Wilson's "14-Points", he established the need for the League of Nations. He also promised Alsace-Lorraine to the French, established an independent Poland, and forced the Germans to evacuate Belgium.

        November 11, 1918, marked the end of the war. The German generals knew they were defeated and agreed on an armistice. They could no longer fight against the French, British, and the Americans. The convoy system had made the British blockades successful, and the Germans were starving at home amidst economic ruins.

        June 28, 1919 was the date the allies presented the Treaty of Versailles to the Germans and forced them to sign. This treaty limited the size of the German army, split up some of the German land to France and Poland, placed the blame for the war on Germany, and forced Germany to pay war reparations.

        Up until World War II, the Great War was the worst war fought in human history. The blame for the war was wrongfully placed on Germany, yet Germany still remained intact; this later causes the false belief that Germany could have won the war, and eventually leads to World War II. The League of Nations was not strong enough to prevent another war because of the United States senate's refusal to join, and Germany being excluded. At the end of the war, nothing was resolved. All of the causes still remained, including, militarism, imperialism, nationalism, capitalism, and the alliance systems.

 


Annotated Bibliography of Books

Albrecht-Carrie, Rene. The Meaning of the First World War.  Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1965.

        This small book about the war was created by a history professor at Barnard College of Columbia University. In this work, he briefly describes European society, power, politics, alliances, and battles that took place during World War I.

De Mirjian, Arto, Jr., and Eve Nelson, eds.  Front Page History of the World Wars. New York: Arno Press, 1976.

        This book is a collection of articles pertaining to both World Wars excerpted from the New York Times. It contains headlines, photos, and maps starting with the assassination of Austria's Archduke Ferdinand. It is a valuable source of the American perspective.

Fleming, D.F. The Origins and Legacies of World War I. Garden City, N.Y. : Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1968.

        This book, primarily written for the college student, was constructed after many years of study by this professor and his students at Vanderbilt University. It includes the sources of the war, outlines the main events, and the consequences. It begins with the events leading up the war's start in 1914 and ends with the peace failure after the war.

Fussel, Paul. The Great War and the Modern Memory. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc., 1975.

        This professor of  English at Rutgers University goes into great detail about the trench warfare that took place on the battlefields of World War I from the British perspective. Information was taken from sources such as letters, diaries, newspapers, and magazines.

Gilbert, Martin. The First War: A Complete History. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1994.

        This tale of the war was written by a distinguished historian. It tells of the alliances formed, the causes, the outbreak, the battles, the deaths, modern technology, and the impact the war had on the entire world.

Jenning, Peter, and Todd Brewster. "Shell Shock." The Century. New York: Doubleday, 1998.

        One whole chapter in this book is dedicated to World War I. It gives readers a general idea of what the war was about and is presented by on of the most widely known historians  and  anchor man of our time. It also contains pictures from the war taken by the ABC news crew.

Keegan, John. The Face of Battle. New York: The Viking Press, 1976.

        Unique from other books about World War I, this book is specifically centered around the battles and the soldiers who fought in them, put together by a well known political analyst. It is the story of courage, leadership, and mortality.

Keegan, John. The First World War. New York: Alfred A. Kropf, Inc., 1998.

        This senior lecturer at Royal Military Academy is a renounced writer in military history. In this particular work, he explains the destruction of Europe during the war. He describes the strategies used in each battle and the technology and geography each side used to their advantage.

Lee, Dwight E. The Outbreak of the First World War: Who or What was Responsible. 3rd ed. Lexington, M.S.: D.D. Heath and Company, 1970.

        This book deals with the beginning of World War I. It makes an attempt at answering the question about the actual causes of the war. It describes the war and why it was "a turning-point in world history."

Strachan, Hew, ed. World War I: A History. Oxford, N.Y. : Oxford University Press Inc., 1998.

        Created by an international team of experts, this book deals with all aspects of the war, including military tactics, weapons, and the geography. It also contains illustrations from the time period.

Tuchman, Barbara W. The Guns of August. New York : The Macmillian Company, 1962.

        This book goes into specific detail about the battles of World War I fought in August of 1914. Giving characteristics of each army involved, their pride and heroism, the book is created for a more in-depth study of the war. The author has written many books on war study.

Tuchman, Barbara W. The Zimmermann Telegram. New York : The Viking Press, 1958.

        This book is an excellent source for explaining why the United States entered the First World War. The story of the telegram was brought together by Tuchman after countless hours of research of many sources. It describes why President Wilson decides not to remain neutral any longer.

Winter, Jay, and Blaine Baggett. The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century. New York N.Y. : Penguin Books USA Inc., 1996.

        This book offers the story of the aftermath of the war presented by historians. It is a combination of stories told by people who lived during this time period.

 


Annotated Bibliography of Internet Sources

 

Blanchard, Edward. "The Western Front." The War Times Journal. 1999 [article on-line] available from http://www.richthofen.com/ww1sum/ : Internet; accessed 6 April 2000.

        This article is a short summary of World War I. It contains an introduction to the war, the weapons used, and the casualties. It also contains maps and pictures.

"Causes of World War I." July 1999 [article on-line] available from http://www.geocities.com/SouthBeach/Palms/2460/causes.html : Internet; accessed 9 February 2000.

        This article points out the four major causes of the war: militarism, the alliance systems, imperialism, and nationalism. Each is given a brief description.

"The First World War, 1914-1918." [article on-line] available from http://www.colby.edu/personal/rmscheck/GermanyC1.html : Internet; accessed 6 April 2000.

        This article touches upon the importance of the war, events in Germany at the time, events leading up to world war, the immediate causes, and the fact that the Germans were found guilty for causing the war.

Halsall, Paul. Modern History Sourcebook: Woodrow Wilson: Speech on the Fourteen Points Jan.8, 1918, 1997 [article on-line]/ available from http://www.forham.edu/halsll/mod/1918wilson.html : Internet; accessed 18 February 2000.

        After the armistice was signed following the First world War, President Wilson offered these points in order to establish peace and prevent another war. This article is part of a text put together for an introductory level course to world history.

"Hatred and Hunger." The Great War. November 1996 [article on-line]/ available from http://www.pbs.org/greatwar/episodes/hatred.html : Internet; accessed 30 March 2000.

        Created by PBS, this article contains comments given by historians about World War I. Within the article are reasons for Wilson's disdain for alliances. it also says that the countries involved in the alliances fought the war for different reasons.

The History Channel, 1998 [article on-line]/ available from http://www.historychannel.com: Internet; accessed 9 February 2000.

        This web page is a great source for beginning the study of World War I as well as other historical events. Here, there is information on isolationism, Hitler, the Treaty of Versailles, Woodrow Wilson, and several other specific events of the war.

 Murray, Karl W. "The Great War." 1996 [article on-line]/ available from http://www.infosites.net/general/the-great-war/ww1hist.htm : Internet; accessed 6 April 2000.

        This article gives a detailed account of what life was like during the battles fought in World War I. It includes the digusting tales of the trenches, the weapons, and the diseases that killed thousands. Murray is a historian that deals particularly with World War I.

Newman, Christopher. "The Great War. Why?" Suite 101.com, Inc., 1998 [article on-line]/ available from http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/sociology/6557: Internet; accessed 16 February 2000.

        This Internet article explains the competition going on in Europe before the start of the war. The competition in politics, social changes, economics, industrialization, nationalism, and imperialism are all touched upon as causes of the war.

Van Evera, Valentino & Shapiro. "The Origins of the First World War." The Causes and Prevention of War. 18 March 1996 [article on-line] available from http://www.orangeschools.org/ohs/teachers/tshreve/apwebpage/20thcentury/.../originsofwwi.htm: Internet; accessed 6 April 2000.

        The text of this article includes different perspectives of the war. It asks several common questions associated with the war, and then gives several answers with different view points. It shows how controversial the war really was.

 "The Zimmermann Telegram." National Archives and records Administration, 1998 [article on-line]/ available from http://www.nara.gov/education/teaching/zimmermann/zimmerma.html : Internet; accessed 18 February 2000.

        This article gives a historical background of the telegram and how it affected the United States during World War I. It also presents a decoded form of this message sent by Arthur Zimmermann.


Woodrow Wilson | Alliance Systems | Isolationism | The Lusitania | The Zimmermann Telegram

Trench Warfare | The Fourteen Points | Armistice Day | The Treaty of Versailles

The "Stab in the Back" Theory


Woodrow Wilson

        Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the United States President during the World War I years. At the beginning of the war, he and most of the Americans wanted to remain neutral. He was totally against the alliances formed during the war because he felt the British and the French had separate incentives during the war. The French were in pursuit to protect their territory, while the British wanted to expand their empire. Tensions were growing in America against Germany and eventually, he decided to enter the war as an "Associated Power" fighting against Germany. To end the war he established the 14-Points that Germany agreed upon. He was in favor of the League of Nations that was formed after the war, but could not get the Senate to agree to join. The absence of the United States in the League helped the development of World War II.

"President Wilson's Declaration of Neutrality." The World War I Document Archive, 1996 [article on-line]/ available from http://www.lib.byu.edu/~rdh/wwi/1914/wilsonneut.html : Internet; accessed 29 March 2000.

         This document is a copy of the President's address to Congress in regards to not entering World War I. It explains Wilson's intent to stay neutral through the entire war. It was given on August 19,1914, shortly after the beginning of the war.

"Woodrow Wilson." [article on-line]/ available from                                                 http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/glimpse/presidents/html/ww28.html : Internet; accessed 6 April  2000.

        This article gives facts about the U.S. 28th president and his involvement in the First World War. It discusses topics such as his re-election, the U.S. entrance in WWI, the Treaty of Versailles, the 14-Points, and the League of Nations.

 


Alliance Systems

        The alliance systems in Europe were originally created in support of peace and to protect the countries from war. Instead, the alliances became one of the major causes of the first World War. When war broke out between Serbia and Austria-Hungary, their allies, Russia and Germany, respectively felt obligated to join in. In 1882, Germany formed the Triple Alliance, which later became known as the Central Powers, with Austria-Hungary and Italy. The Germans wanted to make sure the area of Alsace-Lorraine was protected from the French. In return, in 1911, the French joined with Great Britain and Russia to form the Triple Entente, also called the Allies.

"Causes of World War I." July 1999 [article on-line] available from                                      http://www.geocities.com/SouthBeach/Palms/2460/causes.html : Internet; accessed 9 February 2000.

        The contents of this article states four known causes of the war and how they affected the war. Militarism, imperialism, nationalism, and the alliance systems are given a brief overview in how they played their part.

"Hatred and Hunger." The Great War. November 1996 [article on-line]/ available from          http://www.pbs.org/greatwar/episodes/hatred.html : Internet; accessed 30 March 2000.

        Created by PBS, this article contains comments given by historians about World War I. Within the article are reasons for Wilson's disdain for alliances. it also says that the countries involved in the alliances fought the war for different reasons.

Karpilovsky, S., M Fogel, and O. Kobelt. "Causes of World War I." 18 September 1999 [article on-line]/ available from          http://www.pvhs.chico.k12.ca.us/~bsilva/projects/great_war/causes.htm : Internet; accessed 6 April 2000.

        Created for a history project, this article introduces the causes of the war and briefly explains them. The alliance systems are given a detailed account as on eof these causes. It touches upon both the Triple alliance and the Triple Entente.

 


Isolationism

        Isolationism is another term used for neutrality. The United States took this position while Europe engaged in World War I. This feeling of isolationism dates back to colonial days when the settlers came to America in hopes of being free from European Problems. George Washington warned the the newly formed country to "steer clear of permanent alliances" because European interests were not relevant to the Americans. Woodrow Wilson felt inclined to honor the Americans' wishes, and stay out of World War I. On August 19,1914. Wilson gave the Declaration of Neutrality speech where he stated, "The United States must be neutral in fact, as well as in name, during these days that try men's souls." In November 1916, he campaigned for re-election with, "He kept us out of War." Eventually the United States had to enter the war, but even then, the Americans were not a "formal ally", but instead, an "Associated Power."

Cole, Wayne S. "Isolationism." The History Channel. 1991 [article on-line]/ available from http://www.historychannel.com/perl/print_book.pl?ID=35272: Internet; accessed 30 March 2000.

        This article explains the meaning of the word isolationism and the reasons why the U.S. decided to stay isolated during the beginning of World War I. It also explains why the U.S. did not want to enter in an alliance agreement.

"Woodrow Wilson." [article on-line]/ available from http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/FWWwilsonW.htm : Internet; accessed 11 April 2000.

        This article gives background information on the president that brought the U.S. into World War I. It describes his feelings toward isolationism, the 14-Points, and the Treaty of Versailles.

 


The Lusitania

        The Lusitania was a British ship attacked by German U-boats, or submarines, in the Pacific Ocean. This illegal act of war took place on May 7, 1915. The boat was carrying supplies to Great Britain; it also contained 128 United States citizens. The attack, however, was not a surprise. The Americans were warned about it, but ignored the German warning.   At this time tensions were growing in the States against Germany, and the Americans were less and less in favor of isolationism. The Germans, afraid the United States might enter the war, ceased the U-boat attacks, but only for a short while.

Kennedy, David M. "World War I." The History Channel, 1991 [article on-line]/ available from http://www.historychannel.com/perl/print-book.pl?ID=35841: Internet; accessed 30 March 2000.

        This article contains information about the British supply ship, the Lusitania. The ship was attacked by the Germans in an act of restricted warfare and caused tensions in the U.S. because American citizens were killed.

Taylor, John M. "Fateful Voyage of Lusitania." Spring 1999 [article on-line]/ available from http://www.thehistorynet.com/MHQ/articles/1999/spring99_text.htm : Internet; accessed 6 April 2000.

        The story of this ship is told in great detail in this article. It gives a background story of the ship and a detailed account of the German attack in May of 1915. The author of the article has written several history books.

The Zimmermann Telegram

        The Zimmermann Telegram was the main reason why the United States entered World War I. Before the United States knew about this document, Woodrow Wilson had been reluctant to enter the war because of the strong American belief of isolationism. In January 1917, the British intercepted and decoded a message written by Arthur Zimmermann, the German Foreign Minister at that time. It was written to Mexico requesting that they attack the United States from the South. In return Mexico would have the support of the Germans in regaining Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. When Woodrow Wilson found out about the German intentions, he proposed to Congress that the United States should enter the war. On April 6, 1917, the United States declared war on Germany.

"The Zimmermann Telegram." National Archives and records Administration, 1998 [article on-line]/ available from http://www.nara.gov/education/teaching/zimmermann/zimmerma.html : Internet; accessed 18 February 2000.

        This article gives a historical background of why Woodrow Wilson decided to enter World War I. The information is taken from books written by two widely known historians, David Kahn and Barbara Tuchman. It also contains a decoded form of the actual message.

"The Zimmerman Note." [article on-line]/ available from http://www.pinzler.com/ushistory/zimmermansupp.html: Internet; accessed 25 April 2000.

        This article gives the background information of the letter that made the United States enter the First World War.  The letter forced President Wilson to declare war on Germany and its allies.

 


Trench Warfare

        Before World War I, trench warfare was not very popular. This new type of warfare was brought on by new technology available to make weapons. In other wars, the two sides would wear distinguishing colors so that the men would know who to kill and who not to kill in a close up, smoky battle. The newly developed machine guns and smokeless gun powder made way for a long range battle with clean air. In order for the men to hide themselves and survive, they would dig trenches in the ground about ten feet deep. Unfortunately, the trenches were breeding grounds for disease. The trenches also contained latrines, not only used by humans, but animals as well, particularly rats. The soldiers were forced to eat and sleep with these rats that carried disease. During the war, at least half of over 100,000 American deaths were due to disease. The trenches also made the battles last longer because neither side could see their enemy.

"Stalemate." The Great War. November 1996 [article on-line]/ available from http://www.pbs.org/greatwar/episodes/stalemate.html : Internet; accessed 30 March 2000.

        This PBS article gives quotes from historians about World War I. On this particular page, trench warfare is highlighted. It tells of how the trenches themselves were the causes of disease among soldiers in battle.

Murray, Karl W. "The Great War." 1996 [article on-line]/ available from http://www.infosites.net/general/the-great-war/ww1hist.htm : Internet; accessed 6 April 2000.

        This article gives a detailed account of what life was like during the battles fought in World War I. It includes the disgusting tales of the trenches, the weapons, and the diseases that killed thousands. Murray is a historian that deals particularly with World War I.

 


The Fourteen Points

        On January 8, 1918, the Fourteen Points were presented by President Woodrow Wilson in an attempt for a peace agreement in World War I. He felt that every nation should live in peace, freedom of the seas, free trade, reduced armaments, and colonial claims should be issued as somewhat independent. He then suggests that Belgium be "evacuated and restored", as well as Rumania, Serbia, and Montenegro. Freeing French territory and dividing up Italy by nationality, were next on Wilson's agenda. Austria-Hungary and Turkish areas should also be free. Also, the Dardenelles be free to travel upon. He strived for the erection of a Polish state with economic and political independence. The final of the points was a plea for an international organization to be formed in order to preserve peace and intercept war in the future. Wilson's final suggestion results in the League of Nations, which the United States Senate refused to join after the war.

"Fourteen Points." The History Channel, 1991 [article on-line]/ available from http://www.historychannel.com/perl/print_book.pl?ID=35124 : Internet; accessed 30 March 2000.

        This article gives Wilson's criteria for ending the First World War. It explains his view for a peace agreement, free states and colonies, free trade, freedom of travel upon the seas, and the need for a world organization to preserve peace.

Halsall, Paul. Modern History Sourcebook: Woodrow Wilson: Speech on the Fourteen Points Jan.8, 1918, 1997 [article on-line]/ available from http://www.forham.edu/halsll/mod/1918wilson.html : Internet; accessed 18 February 2000.

        This site contains a copy of the actual speech given by the United States President in 1918 in proposal to ends the war. It suggests ways for the world to make peace and resolve World War I conflicts.

 


Armistice Day

        On November 10, 1918, the German generals pursued for an armistice with the allies in agreement with Wilson's Fourteen Points. On November 11, 1918 the armistice was signed and the World War I armies ceased fire. The German defeat was obvious. The German generals knew they could not fight on much longer against the French, the British, and now, the Americans as well. The German people were starving in their homeland and the economy was in complete ruins. The armistice signed in 1918, however, did not force the Germans to admit defeat nor take the blame for the war, nor did it ask the Germans to disguard of their army. Today this day is known as Veterans' Day and is an annual celebration for soldiers that were involved in a war.

"Germany-U.S. Relations." The History Channel, 1991 [article on-line]/ available from http://www.historychannel.com/perl/print_book.pl?ID=35156: Internet; accessed 30 March 2000.

        This article explains why the Germans decided to comply and form an armistice agreement with the allies based on Wilson's 14-Points. It also tells how the agreement is a cause of the Second World War. The information was taken from interviews with historians.

"Veterans' Day." Embassy of the United States of America. [article on-line]/ available from http://www.usis.usemb.se/Holidays/celebrate/Veterans.html : Internet; accessed 11 April 2000.

        This article tells how Veterans' Day evolved from the armistice signed at the end of World War I. It was declared a legal holiday in 1938 by the U.S. Congress to honor Americans who have died while the U.S. engaged in war.

 


The Treaty of Versailles

        The main goal of Woodrow Wilson , after the armistice was signed by Germany, was to promote world peace. In, 1919, a peace conference was held in Paris to come up with an agreement to resolve the war. Unfortunately, Wilson was unable to attend the conference due to health issues. Instead, the British and the French constructed the document known as the Treaty of Versailles. The document basically blamed Germany for the war. It split up the German territory, ensuring independence to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Finland. Other areas would be protected by the newly formed League of Nations as mandates. The French gained Alsace-Lorraine, and the British and Japanese claimed German Island in the South Pacific. The Germans were forced to pay war reparations of $5 billion, and the German army was constricted to 100,000 men. On June 28, 1919, the Germans reluctantly signed the treaty. The United States never signed. Both the United States and the Germans believed the document went against Wilson's 14-Points.

Ferrell, Robert H. "Versailles Treaty and League of Nations." The History Channel, 1991 [article on-line]/ available from http://www.historychannel.com/perl/print_book.pl?ID=35841: Internet; accessed 30 March 2000.

        The contents of this article contains valuable information on the clauses in the treaty and how they eventually lead to another war. It also gives reasons why the United States refused to sign the treaty and gives the conflicts involved in the Paris Peace Conference.

"The Treaty of Versailles." [article on-line]/ available from http://www.comcen,coom.au/arain/the.htm: Internet; accessed 29 March 2000.

        This article gives background information on the treaty and how it was formed. It also gives reasons why neither the Germans, nor the Americans were in favor of it.

 


The "Stab in the Back" Theory

        The "Stab in the Back" theory was taken on by many Germans following World War I. These people believed that the German generals, known as the "November Criminals", should never have signed the armistice because they thought the Germans could have won the war. This theory is in fact false. The Germans were in no condition to continue fighting against France, Great Britain, and the United States. Their U-boat attacks were now unsuccessful because of the American convoy system, and the German people were starving at home amidst economic ruin.

        Resentment for the German government continues to rise after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles which places the blame for the war on the Germans. The treaty also contained "honour clauses" that said that the Allies could put German individuals on trial for war crimes. At this time Adolf Hitler uses propaganda with the support of the "Stab in the Back" theory and tries to revolt the Germans against the government, and to a point, he is successful.

"Peace Treaty of Versailles." [article on-line]/ available from http://www.fmdc.calpoly.edu/libarts/mriedlsp/History315/WarGuilt.html: Internet; accessed 10 April 2000.

        This page is a copy of the reparation and war guilt clauses in the 1919 treaty. It states the German responsibility for the war, and how they must pay for the war. According to this document the German reparations must be paid by May 1, 1926.

"The Rise of Hitler." The History Channel, 1998 [article on-line]/ available from http://www.historychannel.com/worlwar2/riseofhitler/ends.htm: Internet; accessed 9 February 2000.

        This article describes how Armistice Day and the Treaty of Versailles eventually lead to Hitler becoming a power in Germany after the Germans were defeated in World War I. It describes German feelings toward the "November Criminals" and how these feelings aid Hitler. It also tells what leads up to the cause of World War II.


Woodrow Wilson | Alliance Systems | Isolationism | The Lusitania | The Zimmermann Telegram

Trench Warfare | The Fourteen Points | Armistice Day | The Treaty of Versailles

The "Stab in the Back" Theory

World War I


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