World War 1 starts, it lasted from July 19, 1870, to January 28, 1871.
Events Leading Up to & During WW1
1871 - A World of Empires
Germany did not become a unified nation until 1871, finished a distant third to Great Britain and France in the scramble for colonies.
1878 - The Great Powers
In 1878, the Great Powers recognized the independence of Serbia from the Ottoman Empire and put Austria-Hungary in charge of Bosnia-Herzegovina a multi-ethnic region of Croats, Turks, and Serbs on Serbia’s border.
1890 - Hawaii and the Philipines
Although the United States annexed Hawaii and seized the Philippines from Spain in the 1890s, American attention focused on U.S. business investments in Latin America.
1899 - Germany
The outcome did not sit well with ambitious German leaders. “To stand dreamily to one side while other people split up the pie, we cannot and we will not do that,” proclaimed German foreign secretary Bernhard von Bulow in 1899.
1900 - Russia and China
In the early 1900s, Russia seized Chinese Manchuria and established a protectorate over Mongolia, which had declared independence from China.
1904 - Europe and Asia
Russia’s vast empire spread from its border with Germany east to the Pacific Ocean. Russia’s Trans-Siberian Railroad, completed in 1904, was the first to link Europe and Asia.
In 1904 Russia and Japan went to war over Manchuria and Korea another area of rivalry between the two nations.
1905 - Japan and the United States
The war went badly for Russia and ended in 1905 when the United States, with German and British support, forced a settlement.
1910 - Japan and the United States
Manchuria was returned to China, and Russia agreed to respect Japan’s control over Korea, which became a Japanese colony in 1910. Neither Russia nor Japan was happy with the war’s outcome.
1912 - The Armenian Genocide
The predominantly Christian Armenian population found itself subject to heightened oppression after the defeat of the empire in the First Balkan War in 1912.
1914 - Assassination of Ferdinand
Bosnian terrorists attacked the motorcade of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914. The assassination of Ferdinand ignited tensions in Europe.
1914 - The Tide Turns
Within weeks of going to war in 1914, the British began a naval blockade of Germany to cut off its overseas trade.
1914 - European Revelations and Rivalries
Prior to World War I, each Great Power governed colonies it wished to protect. For example, Russia’s empire in 1914 extended from Central Europe to the Pacific Ocean, and from the Arctic to Afghanistan.
1914 - The Outbreak of War
The outbreak of war in August 1914 was greeted with enthusiasm and patriotism. Crowds in Paris celebrated France’s declaration of war. This same scene played out in all the capitals of Europe. No one anticipated the horrors that were to come.
1914 - War at Home
The unexpected and long war in 1914 severely strained the resources of nations on both sides.
1915 - Blockade of Britain
In February 1915, Germany responded by establishing a blockade of Britain. The German navy was still no match for the British navy.
1916 - Lack of Clothing and Food in Germany
But even in Germany, clothing was scarce by 1916, and in cities, people simply did not have enough to eat.
1916 - Young Soliders
Heavy battlefield losses led Britain to begin requiring military service from men age 18 to 41 in 1916, while Germany made men of all ages eligible to be called.
1916 - Concerns for German Leaders
By late 1916, however, German leaders had become concerned about how much longer Germany could continue to fight. They decided to tighten their blockade, gambling that this would force Britain to surrender before the United States could enter the war.
1917 - The Eastern Front
In 1917, the huge number of lives and resources lost caused Russia’s government to collapse.
1917 - Food Riots
By 1917, food riots and strikes happened with increasing frequency.
1917 - Peace Movements
However, by 1917, peace movements existed in every Great Power including France where German forces remained entrenched on the Western Front.
1917 - Warfare
Germany resumed its previous policy of unrestricted submarine warfare.
1917 - The Western Front
The Western Front stretched across Belgium and northern France, while the Eastern Front spread through much of present-day Poland. Russia’s withdrawal from the war in December 1917 dissolved the Eastern Front.
1917 - South Africa
By 1917, it was clear that the victory in the Great War would be decided on Europe’s Western Front.
1918 - British Army
Wilfred Owen, a British poet, and lieutenant in the British Army wrote several poems about the war before he was killed in action in November 1918 at the age of 25.
1918 - The Fourteen Points
In January 1918, President Woodrow Wilson issued a statement of war goals called the Fourteen Points.
1918 - Germany´s Surrender
Germany and Austria-Hungary, an effect Wilson had hoped for. The Fourteen Points contributed to Germany’s decision to surrender in November 1918.
1918 - War Comes to a Close
In late March 1918, the Germans launched a massive attack on the British at the Second Battle of the Somme. For the next two months, they slowly pushed the British and French forces back in heavy fighting.
1918 - German Hardships
By 1918, the German people were enduring terrible hardships. By late October, those hardships became unbearable as Germans lost confidence that they would be victorious in the end.
1918 - East Africa
In German East Africa, however, some 12,000 African soldiers defended against 130,000 Allied troops for three years until finally being forced to surrender in November 1918.
1918 - Germany Stopped Fight
With Germany on the verge of revolution and Allied armies poised to invade, German leaders knew that only surrender could save their nation. On November 11, 1918, they signed an armistice, an agreement to stop fighting
1919 - Peace and Its Aftermath
When President Wilson arrived in Paris for peace negotiations in 1919, he received a hero’s welcome. Many Europeans believed his Fourteen Points plan could help create lasting peace.
1919 - Paris Peace Conference
In January 1919, an international conference began at Paris, France, to set the terms of the peace.
1919 - Germany´s Treaties
Over the next 20 months, treaties with Germany (June 1919) were concluded.
1919 - Austria´s Treaties
Over the next 20 months, treaties with Austria (September 1919) were concluded.
1919 - Bulgaria´s Treaties
Over the next 20 months, treaties with Bulgaria (November 1919) were concluded.
1920 - Hungary´s Treaties
Over the next 20 months, treaties with Hungary (June 1920) were concluded.
1920 - Turkey´s Treaties
Over the next 20 months, treaties with Turkey (August 1920) were concluded.