20th Century : 20 th Century The World Wars Slide 2: In the year 1900, there were no airplanes, televisions, or computers. Beginning of the 20 th Century Slide 6: There were only 50 nations in the world, and only a handful were democracies. Beginning of the 20 th Century Slide 7: Europe was at the height of its power, controlling most of the land surface of the earth. Beginning of the 20 th Century Slide 8: The French had built the Suez Canal in Egypt linking Europe to Asia, and Europe's powerful navies patrolled the oceans. Beginning of the 20 th Century Slide 12: Europeans believed their society to be the greatest achievement of civilization and a model for all other peoples to follow. Beginning of the 20 th Century Slide 13: The Great Powers of Europe competed for colonial possessions. World War I They formed pacts so they would have friends in case of war. Leading up to the war I mperialism Fierce national pride increased tensions and conflict. Nationalism European countries strengthened their armies and navies. Militarism Alliances Slide 14: World War I Cause Europe was a powder keg waiting to explode. Slide 15: World War I Cause The spark that ignited World War I came from the Balkans, a region of many cultures & ethnic groups north of Greece that included the nation of Serbia. Slide 16: World War I Cause In August 1914, a Serbian nationalist, hoping to trigger an uprising of Serbs, assassinated Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary . Austria blamed Serbia for the attack and declared war on Serbia. Slide 17: World War I Serbia's friend Russia declared war on Austria, and the system of alliances kicked in, trapping Europe in an unstoppable chain of events. 6 weeks after the assassination, much of Europe was at war. Slide 18: World War I Allies Austria-Hungary , Germany & the Turkish Ottoman Empire Russia , France & Britain Central Powers Slide 19: World War I War had always been a battle of men but WWI was a battle of machines. Five new technologies changed the nature of warfare: Slide 20: Airplane Slide 21: Tank Slide 22: Submarine Slide 23: Poison Gas Slide 24: Machine Gun The machine gun was the most devastating. Horses & human bodies offered little resistance to machine gun bullets . Slide 25: World War I Young men were being slaughtered by the hundreds of thousands. Slide 26: World War I In 1915, a German submarine sank the British passenger ship Lusitania. 128 were Americans, mostly women and children, were killed. The sinking turned American public opinion against Germany. Slide 28: World War I American banks made large loans to the Allies, and if the Allies lost the war, these loans might never be repaid. When it looked like the Allies might be defeated, President Wilson took the United States to war. Slide 29: With a million fresh American troops arriving in France, the Allies soon defeated the Central Powers. Slide 30: When the fighting stopped at 11:00 o'clock on the 11th day of the 11th month, soldiers from both sides came out of their trenches and cheered. November 11th is now observed as Veteran's Day in the U.S. Slide 31: World War I The war nearly wiped-out an entire generation of young men in Europe. Almost 30 million people were killed or wounded during the Great War .