20th Century

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World War I

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20th Century :

20 th Century The World Wars

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In the year 1900, there were no airplanes, televisions, or computers. Beginning of the 20 th Century

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There were only 50 nations in the world, and only a handful were democracies. Beginning of the 20 th Century

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Europe was at the height of its power, controlling most of the land surface of the earth. Beginning of the 20 th Century

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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

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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

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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

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World War I Cause Europe was a powder keg waiting to explode.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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World War I Allies Austria-Hungary , Germany & the Turkish Ottoman Empire Russia , France & Britain Central Powers

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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:

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Airplane

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Tank

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Submarine

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Poison Gas

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Machine Gun The machine gun was the most devastating. Horses & human bodies offered little resistance to machine gun bullets .

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World War I Young men were being slaughtered by the hundreds of thousands.

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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.

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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.

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With a million fresh American troops arriving in France, the Allies soon defeated the Central Powers.

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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.

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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 .