World War I, the Treaty of Versailles, and the Great Depression

  • Germnay's Blank Check

    Germnay's Blank Check
    ustria-Hungary sent an envoy to meet personally with the German emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm II, to convey Austria’s concerns about Russia. The kaiser felt that Russia was unlikely to respond militarily, as its forces were utterly unprepared for war. He also had a close personal relationship with Tsar Nicholas II, so he hoped to smooth things over diplomatically. Nevertheless, the kaiser pledged that if Russian troops did in fact advance on Austria-Hungary, Germany would defend them.
  • Beginning of World War I

    Beginning of World War I
    World War I began when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia.his seemingly small conflict between two countries spread rapidly: soon, Germany, Russia, Great Britain, and France were all drawn into the war, largely because they were involved in treaties that obligated them to defend certain other nations.
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    Germany Declares War

    Germany officially declares war against Russia and France. Feeling threatened, Great Britain also declares war against Germany.
  • Battle of Tannenberg

    Battle of Tannenberg
    On the Eastern front, Germnay crushes Russia's secondary army at Tannenberg, taking over 92,000 prisoners.
  • The First Battle of Ypres

    The First Battle of Ypres
    Ypres, a Belgian city, was a neutral city that was essential to both sides ot the war. The Allies entrenched themselves to fight off German assualt. The Germans gave up and retreated on November 24, after a storm set in.
  • Germany threatens to fire at Merchants

    Germany threatens to fire at Merchants
    Germany threatens to fire at the merchant ships that travel through the British waters.
  • Germans Fire

    Germans Fire
    The Germans fire shells filled with chlorine gas at Allied lines. This is the first time that large amounts of gas are used in battle, and the result is the near-collapse of the French lines. However, the Germans are unable to take advantage of the breach.
  • Lusitania Sinks

    Lusitania Sinks
    A German submarine sinks the passenger liner Lusitania. The ship carries 1,198 people, 128 of them Americans.
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    Trench warfare

    The middle part of the war, was dominated by continued trench warfare in both the east and the west. Soldiers fought from dug-in positions, striking at each other with machine guns, heavy artillery, and chemical weapons. Though soldiers died by the millions in brutal conditions, neither side had any substantive success or gained any advantage.
  • Zimmerman Telegram

    Zimmerman Telegram
    British intelligence gives Wilson the so-called Zimmermann Telegram, a message from German foreign secretary Arthur Zimmermann proposing that Mexico side with Germany in case of war between Germany and the United States. In return, Germany promises to return to Mexico the "lost provinces" of Texas and much of the rest of the American Southwest. Mexico declines the offer, but the outrage at this interference in the Western Hemisphere pushes American public opinion to support entering the war.
  • U.S. Enters War

    U.S. Enters War
    Congress authorizes a declaration of war against Germany. The United States enters World War I on the side of France and Britain.
  • Spanish flu

    Spanish flu
    During mid-1918, Europe was hit by Spanish flu and an estimated 25 million people died. This added to the feeling of bitterness that ran through Europe and this anger was primarily directed at Germany.
  • Fourteen Points

    Fourteen Points
    • U.S. President Woodrow Wilson issues his Fourteen Points to peace.
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    End of World War 1

    The war ended in the late fall of 1918, after the member countries of the Central Powers signed armistice agreements one by one. Germany was the last, signing its armistice on November 11, 1918.
  • Treaty of Versailles

    Treaty of Versailles
    Germany was severely punished with hefty economic reparations, territorial losses, and strict limits on its rights to develop militarily.
  • Dawes Plan

    Dawes Plan
    Germany’s annual reparation payments would be reduced, increasing over time as its economy improved; the full amount to be paid, however, was left undetermined. Economic policy making in Berlin would be reorganized under foreign supervision and a new currency, the Reichsmark, adopted. France and Belgium would evacuate the Ruhr and foreign banks would loan the German government $200 million to help encourage economic stabilization. The money paid by Germany was used to rebuild Britain and France
  • Beer Hall Putsch

     Beer Hall Putsch
    The Beer Hall Putsch takes place, in which Adolf Hitler unsuccessfully leads the Nazis in an attempt to overthrow the German government. It is crushed by police the next day.
  • Death of Vladimir Lenin

    Death of Vladimir Lenin
    Leader of the Soviet Union Vladimir Lenin dies, and Joseph Stalin begins purging rivals to clear the way for his leadership.
  • Adolf Hitler Goes to Jail

    Adolf Hitler Goes to Jail
    Adolf Hitler is sentenced to 5 years in jail for his participation in the Beer Hall Putsch (he serves only 8 months).
  • Unemployment Low in 1929

    Unemployment Low in 1929
    Unemployment averages 3.2% for the year.
  • Young Plan

    Young Plan
    The Young Plan was a program for settling German reparations debts after World War I written in 1929 and formally adopted in 1930.
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    President Herbert Hoover

    A former engineer and millionaire who became the thirty-first U.S. president in 1928. Although Hoover had a reputation as a humanitarian for his relief efforts in World War I, he proved completely unprepared for the task of guiding the nation out of the Great Depression.
  • Wall Street Crash

    Wall Street Crash
    The American stock market collapses, signaling the onset of the Great Depression. The Dow Jones Industrial Average peaks in September 1929 at 381.17—a level that it will not reach again until 1954. The Dow will bottom out at a Depression-era low of just 41.22 in 1932.
  • Smoot-Hawley Tariff

    Smoot-Hawley Tariff
    Congress passes the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, steeply raising import duties in an attempt to protect American manufactures from foreign competition. The tariff increase has little impact on the American economy, but plunges Europe farther into crisis.
  • Unemployment in 1931

    Unemployment in 1931
    Unemployment averages 16.3% for the year.
  • Food Riots

    Food Riots
    Food riots began to form all over the U.S. Because food was so expensive, people were starving. In Minneapolis, several hundred men and women raid a grocery store. They assaulted the shopkeep who was simply attempting to defend himself. Hundreds of police officers were needed to detain everyone, arresting seven of the riotiers.
  • Major Bank Collapse

    Major Bank Collapse
    New York's Bank of the United States collapses in the largest bank failure to date in American history.[M31] $200 million in deposits disappear, and the bank's customers are left holding the bag.
  • Collapse of the New York Bank

    Collapse of the New York Bank
    As banks all across the U.S began to collapse, the New York bank lost over $200 million, losing the most amount in national history today.
  • Unemployment in 1932

    Unemployment in 1932
    Unemployment averages 24.1% for the year.
  • Roosevelt Elected

    Roosevelt Elected
    Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt defeats incumbent Republican President Herbert Hoover in a landslide to win the presidency.
  • Unemployment in 1933

    Unemployment in 1933
    Unemployment averages 24.9% for the year.
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    President Franklin Roosevelt

    Roosevelt’s main goal was to end the Great Depression. His New Deal programs and policies focused on immediate relief, long-term recovery, and reform in order to revive the economy. Despite the fact that he was handicapped, his optimism and charm did much to convince Americans that they had “nothing to fear but fear itself.”
  • Share Our Wealth Society Founded

    Share Our Wealth Society Founded
    Huey Long founds the Share Our Wealth society, advocating outright seizure of the "excess fortunes" of the rich to redistribute to the poor.
  • Fall Weiss

    Fall Weiss
    Adolf Hitler orders the German military to start planning for Fall Weiss, the codename for the attack on Poland, planned to be launched on August 25, 1939.
  • World War II

    World War II
    Germany invades Poland, starting World War II.