Posted: August 4th, 2022



Identify and discuss three of Wilson’s Fourteen Points. Were these points fair to all parties or willingly accepted? Your response should be at least 200 words in length. You are required to use at least your textbook as source material for your response. All sources used, including the textbook, must be referenced; paraphrased and quoted material must have accompanying citations.


Levack, B., Muir, E., & Veldman, M., (2011). The West: Vol. 2. Encounters & transformations: Since 1550 (3rded.
, pp. 813-816
). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.


The First World War
B The O r i g i n s of the First W o r l d War ^ The Experience of Total Wai

• The H o m e Fronts • War and R e v o l u t i o n


France near the Somme River, tens of thousands of
British soldiers crawled out of ditches and began to
walk across a muddy expanse filled with shards of
metal and decomposing human bodies. Weighed
down with 60-pound backpacks, they trudged for-
ward. The soldiers expected little opposition. For a
week British heavy artillery had pummeled the Ger-
mans who lay on the other side of the mud. But the
German troops had waited out the bombardment in
the safety of “dugouts”—^fortified bunkers scooped
from the earth beneath the trenches. When the attack
began, they raced to their gunnery positions and raked
the evenly spaced lines of British soldiers with machine-
gun fire. More than 20,000 British soldiers died that
day, thousands within the first minutes of the attack.
Another 40,000 were wounded. Yet the attack went
on. Between July 1 and November 18, 1916, when the
Battle of the Somme finally ended, almost 420,000 sol-
diers from Britain and the British Empire were killed or
wounded. Their French allies lost 200,000 men to
death or injury. German casualties are estimated at

Such carnage became commonplace during the
First World War. Between 1914 and 1918, European
commanders sent more than eight million men to their
deaths in a series of often futile attacks, The total num-
ber of casualties—killed, wounded, and missing—
reached more than 37 million. These casualty figures
were in part the products of the Industrial Revolution,
as the nations of the West used their factories to chum
out ever more efficient tools of killing. The need for
machine guns, artillery shells, poison gas canisters, and


other implements of modern warfare meant that
World War I was the first t o t a l war, a war that
demanded that combatant nations mobilize their
industrial economies and their armies, and thus a war
that erased the distinction between civilian and soldier.
In total war, victory depended on the woman in the
munitions factory as well as the man on the front lines.

This first total war redefined the West. By shatter-
ing the authoritarian empires of eastern and central
Europe and integrating the United States more fully in
European affairs, the war ensured that commitment to
democratic values became central to one dominant
twentieth-century definition of “the West.” But the
war also strengthened antidemocratic forces: It cata-
pulted into power a communist regime in Russia,
intensified eastern Europe’s ethnic and nationalist con-
flicts, and undermined many of the economic struc-
tures on which Western stability and prosperity rested.
This chapter explores a key question: How did the
encounter with total war transform Western cultures?


n Vhat factors led Europe i n t o w a r i n 1914;

O n June 28, 1914, ethnic Serbian terrorists assas-
sinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand (1863-1914),
the heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian
Empire. One month after the archduke’s death,
Austria declared war on Serbia. One week later,

This movie still comes from The Battle of the Somme, a documentary filmed during the actual battle
and watched by an estimated 20 million British viewers in 1916 and 191 7.

Europe was at war. Germany entered the war on
Austria’s side. These two Central Powers squared
off against not only small Serbia, but also the
colossal weight of the Allies, the combined forces
of Russia, France, and Britain. By the time the
war ended i n late 1918, it had embraced states
from around the globe.

W h y did the murder of one man on the
streets of a Balkan city lead to the deaths of m i l –
lions? To understand the origins of W o r l d War I ,
we need to examine four interlocking factors: the
destabiUzing impact of eastern European nation-
alism, the creation of rival alliance systems, the

requirements of an industrialized military, and
the ” w i l l to w a r ” — t h e conviction among both
policymakers and ordinary people that war pro-
vided a resolution to social and cultural crisis.

Nationalism in Eastern Europe:
Austria-Hungary and the Problem
of Serbia
I n eastern Europe, where ethnic, religious, or lin-
guistic identities rather than political citizenship
defined the ” n a t i o n , ” nationalism served as an

786 CHAPTER 2S The First World War

explosive force. For the Czechs, Slovenians, Serbs,
Poles, Ukrainians, and many other groups, trans-
lating national identirj’ into political identity—
creating a “nation-state”—demanded the breakup
of empires and a redrawing of political boundaries.

The divisive impact of nationalism in eastern
Europe explains w h y officials w i t h i n the Austro-
Hungarian Empire regarded the small state of
Serbia as a major threat. A multiethnic, m u l t i l i n –
guistic empire, Austria-Hungary’s survival
depended on damping d o w n the fires of nation-
alism wherever they flamed up. Yet Serbian p o l i –
tics centered on fanning the nationalist flame. In
1903, a group of Serbian army officers had shot
Serbia’s despised king and queen, chopped their
bodies into bits, and threw the pieces out the
w i n d o w . To remain i n power and avoid such a

grisly fate, the new king catered to the demands
of radical nationalists who sotight the unification
of all Serbs into a Greater Serbian state. Because
more than seven m i l l i o n Serbs lived not i n Serbia,
but in Austria-Hungary, the Austrian monarchy
regarded this call for Serbian unification as a
serious threat to the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

The hostile relations between Serbia and
Austria-Hungary led directly to the outbreak of
W o r l d War I . I n 1908 Austria annexed Bosnia, a
region w i t h a large Serbian population. The Ser-
bian government responded by encouraging
Bosnian Serb separatist and terrorist groups.
One such group, the Black H a n d , assassinated
Archduke Franz Ferdinand i n the summer of
1914. That assassination convinced Austrian
officials to declare war on Serbia.


Princip was only 1 8 years old when he assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand and set
into motion the sequence of events that led to the First World War. Because of his age,
he did not receive the death penalty but instead received a sentence of 20 years
in prison. He died at age 22 of tuberculosis.

Alliance !
To underst
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look at the
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t i o n . These
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p o l i c y ” (W< ated Britain

792 CHAPTER 2S The First World War


• W h e n , where, and h o w d i d the AlHes
defeat the Central Powers?

Counting on elan, the ¥renc\ miWtavy sp\nt, to
see them to victory, French troops swung into
battle sporting bright red pants and flashy blue
tunics. A t their head rode the cream of the
French m i l i t a r y education system, the graduates
of the Saint-Cyr military academy, who charged
wearing their parade dress of white gloves and
plumed hats. A l l that color and dash made easy
targets for the German machine guns. As one
military historian wrote, “Never have machine-
gunners had such a heyday. The French stubble-
fields became transformed into gay carpets of red
and blue.” Those “gay carpets,” colored w i t h the
blood and broken bodies of young French men,
signaled that this v^’ould be a war of unexpected

The Western Front: StaiesTsate
In the Trenches
Implementing a modified version of the Schlief-
fen Plan (see M a p 25.2), German troops swept
through Belgium into France. By the first week of
September they seemed poised to take Paris. This
rapid advance, however, overstretched German
supply lines, allowing French and British forces
to t u r n back the Germans at the Marne River. In
an episode that signaled the importance of the
internal combustion engine—and the o i l that
fueled i t — i n modern warfare, an ingenious
French commander exploited a gap i n the Ger-
man lines by moving troops rapidly f r o m Paris to
the front in the only vehicles available: taxicabs.
(The army paid the drivers f u l l fare for the trip.)

Taxicabs saved Paris, but the Allied forces
failed to push the Germans out of France. By the
middle of October, German, British, and French
soldiers huddled in trenches that eventually
extended more than 300 miles f r o m the Belgian
coast to the borders of Switzerland. There they
stayed for the next four years.


The dead, the dying, and the surviving jostle one
another in a French trench.

HOLES AND DITCHES Siegfried Sassoon, a
British poet and a W o r l d War I veteran, insisted
that ” w h e n all is said and done, this war was a
matter of holes and ditches.””* From the strate-
gic p o i n t of view, these holes and ditches—the
trenches—were defensive f o r t i f i c a t i o n s , and the
long stalemate on the Western Front shows that
they w o r k e d w e l l . A t t a c k i n g infantry units
walked f o r w a r d against an enemy armed w i t h
machine guns and sheltered behind wide
barbed-wire fences and a thick w a l l of d i r t and
sandbags. Despite numerous attempts between
the fall of 1914 and the spring of 1918, neither
side was able to break through the enemy line.

A disc
conveys i
summed i
Imagine si
eight feet
wide. The
propped u
cover the f
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cades o n t
your sense
the tranche
Instead, t h
the range c
the impact

The mech,
chance to
artist Perc)
reality of n
“Official V\
ing. In this
three soldi
men who 1

The Experience of Total War 793

A discussion of trench strategy, however,
conveys n o t h i n g of the appalling misery
summed up by the term “trench w a r f a r e . ”
Imagine standing i n a d i t c h about seven or
eight feet deep and about three or four feet
w i d e . The walls of the ditches are packed m u d ,
propped up w i t h sandbags. Wooden boards
cover the floor, but the mud squelches between
them. Piles of sandbags and barbed-wire b a r r i –
cades on the enemy’s side of the d i t c h deepen
your sense of being underground. Moreover,
the trenches do not r u n i n tidy straight lines.
Instead, they zigzag at sharp angles, restricting
the range of fire for enemy snipers and l i m i t i n g
the impact of explosives, but also ensuring that

everywhere you look you see a w a l l of m u d .
Because you are i n northern France, i t is proba-
bly r a i n i n g . Thus, you are standing not on but
in m u d — i f you are lucky. I n some parts of the
line, soldiers stand i n muddy water up to a f o o t
deep. O n the other side of your sandbag
defenses stretches no-man’s-land, the t e r r i t o r y
d i v i d i n g the British and French trench systems
f r o m the German. Pocked w i t h deep craters
f r o m heavy shelling, often a sea of m u d
churned up by the artillery, no-man’s-land is l i t –
tered w i t h stinking corpses i n various states of
decomposition—all that is left of the soldiers
w h o died d u r i n g previous attacks. Your con-
stant companions are lice (the term lousy was


The mechanical nature of this war dominated many soldiers’ accounts. Seeking the
chance to be heroes, men volunteered to fight and found themselves reduced to inter-
changeable parts in a colossal war machine. In works such as A Battery Shelled, British
artist Percy Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957) used modernist techniques to represent the
reality of mechanized war. Lewis served in a British artillery unit and, in 191 7, became an
“Official War Artist,” charged with recording and memorializing the war through paint-
ing. In this work, a burial party digs a grave for a gunner killed by enemy shells but the
three soldiers in the foreground seem utterly detached, as distanced from the death as the
men who fired the shells.

7 9 4 CHAPTER 25 The First World War

Many of the upper- and middle-class officers
fighting on the Western Front volunteered out
of love for their country, an idealistic view of
war as a heroic mission, and a longing for adv-
enture. British recruiting posters described the
war as the “Greatest Came of All.” Trench war-
fare defied these expectations. The following
poems, written by two young upper-middle
class British officers, illustrate the shift from the
initial enthusiasm for the war to later disillu-
sionment and despair. Neither man survived
the war: Rupert Brool

In the sonnet series “1914,” written just as the
war began, Rupert Brooke not only welcomed the
war but, as his first subtitle indicates, linked the
outbreak of war to the coming of internal or per-
sonal peace.

1914. 1. Peace
Now, Cod be thanked Who has matched us with His hour.
And caught our youth, and wakened us from sleeping.
With hand made sure, clear eye, and sharpened power.
To turn, as swimmers into cleanness leaping.
Glad from a world grown old and cold and weary
Leave the sick hearts that honor could not move.

And half-men, and their dirty songs and dreary.
And all the little emptiness of love.

Oh! we, who have known shame, we have found
release there.

Where there’s no ill, no grief, but sleep is mending.
Naught broken save the body, lost but breath;
Nothing to shake the laughing heart’s song peace there
But only agony, and that has ending;
And the worst friend and enemy is but Death.

1914. IM. The Dead
Blow out, you bugles, over the rich Dead!
There’s none of these so lonely and poor of old.
But, dying, has made us rarer gifts than gold.
These laid the world away; poured out the red
Sweet wine of youth; gave up the years to be
Of work and joy, and that unhoped serene.
That men call age; and those who would have been.
Their sons, they gave, their immortality.
Blow, bugles, blow! They brought us, for our dearth.
Holiness, lacked so long, and Love, and Pain.
Honour has come back, as a king, to earth.
And paid his subjects with a royal wage;
And Nobleness walks in our ways again;
And we have come into our heritage.

Owen composed this piece, one of the most
famous poems written during World War I, in
several drafts between October 1917 and tvlarch

1918. n
rest of th

Duke et
Bent dout
we cursed
Till on the
And towai
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Fitting the
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He plunge
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And watcf
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Come gan
Obscene a
Of vile, inc

coined on the Western Front) and rats. For the
rats, the war is an endless feast as they grow
enormously fat, n i b b l i n g their way through the
piles of dead.

From 1915 o n , the h o r r o r of the Western
F r o n t escalated w i t h the i n t r o d u c t i o n of a new
k i l l i n g t o o l — p o i s o n gas, first deployed by the
Germans i n the spring of 1915. The Alhes con-
demned the use of poison gas as inhumane, but
w i t h i n months the British and French, too,
were f i r i n g poison gas canisters across the lines.
The consequences were appalling: bhnded eyes,
blistered skin, seared lungs, death by asphyxia-
t i o n . By 1916, w i t h the gas mask a standard

part of every soldier’s u n i f o r m , m i l i t a r y compa-
nies resembled hordes of insects. A n d , like
insects, they were easily squashed. In the sum-
mer of 1915 an average of 300 British men
became casualties on the Western Front every
day, n o t because they were wounded i n an
attack, but because they were picked o f f by
snipers, felled by an exploding shell, or wasted
by disease brought on by l i v i n g in the m u d
amid putrefying corpses.

THE OFFEWSIVSS The offensives, the attacks
launched by both sides on the Western Front,
sent the numbers of dead and wounded soaring.

None of t h
H e l m u t voj
the French
and the Brii
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The Ba
opening o i
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1917, t h e d

The Experience of Total War 795

7 978. The poem flatly describes a soldier being
asphyxiated by poison gas while Owen and the
rest of the company watch.

Duke et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen
Bent d o u b l e , like old beggars under sacks.
Knock-kneed, c o u g h i n g like hags,
w e cursed t h r o u g h sludge.

Till o n the h a u n t i n g flares w e t u r n e d our backs

A n d towards our distant rest began t o t r u d g e .
M e n marched asleep. M a n y had lost their boots
But l i m p e d o n , b l o o d – s h o d . All w e n t lame; all b l i n d ;
Drunk w i t h f a t i g u e ; deaf even to the hoots
Of t i r e d , o u t s t r i p p e d Five-Nines t h a t d r o p p e d b e h i n d .
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of f u m b l i n g .
Fitting t h e clumsy helmets just in t i m e ;

But someone still was yelling o u t and s t u m b l i n g :

A n d f l o u n d ‘ r i n g like a man in fire or l i m e . . .
D i m , t h r o u g h the misty panes and thick green l i g h t ,
As under a green sea, I saw h i m d r o w n i n g .
In all m y dreams, before m y helpless sight, !
He plunges at me, g u t t e r i n g , c h o k i n g , d r o w n i n g .
If in some s m o t h e r i n g dreams y o u t o o could pace
Behind the w a g o n t h a t we f l u n g h i m i n .

A n d w a t c h t h e w h i t e eyes w r i t h i n g in his face,
His h a n g i n g face, like a devil’s sick of sin;

If y o u could hear, at every j o l t , t h e b l o o d
C o m e gargling f r o m t h e f r o t h – c o r r u p t e d lungs.
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores o n i n n o c e n t t o n g u e s , —

M y f r i e n d , y o u w o u l d n o t tell w i t h such h i g h zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory.
The old Lie: “Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.”*

For Discussion

1. Why did Brooke see the war as a path to
some sort of personal peace? How might his
enthusiasm for war reflect the power of what
Owen labeled “The old Lie”?

2. Compare the language and imagery in
the two poems. How do the words themselves
demonstrate a shift in the view of war?

3. Did disillusionment of soldiers on the West-
ern Front differ from the disillusionment
experienced by most soldiers, regardless of
time or place? Isn’t the experience of com-
bat always a rude awakening from innocence
into brutal knowledge?

Sources: From “Peace” from “T914” Five Sonnets by
Rupert Brooke. London: Sidgwick & )ackson, 1915;
“Dulce et Decorum Est” from Poems by Wilfred Owen,
w i t h an Introduction by Siegfried Sassoon. London:
Chatto and Windus, 1920.

* ” l t Is good and right to die for one’s country.”

None of the elderly commanders—the Germans
Helmut von M o l t k e and Erich von Falkenhayn,
the French Joseph Joffre and Ferdinand Foch,
and the British Douglas H a i g and John French—
kiiew what to make of trench warfare. Schooled
to believe that war was about attacking, they
sought vainly to move this conflict out of the
ditches by t h r o w i n g masses of both artillery and
men against the enemy lines. But time and time
again the machine gun foiled these mass attacks.

The Battle of the Somme, described i n the
opening of this chapter, illustrates a t y p i c a l
offensive on the Western F r o n t . By the end of
1917, the death tolls on the Western F r o n t rose

to astonishing levels, yet neither side had
gained much g r o u n d . M a n y soldiers, w h o
enlisted not for a specific term or t o u r of duty
but ” f o r the d u r a t i o n ” — u n t i l the war e n d e d —
became convinced that only the dead escaped
f r o m the trenches. (See Different Voices i n this

The War in Eastern Europe
The Western Front was only one of several the-
aters of war. Floundering in the snows of the
Italian Alps, the Itahan and A u s t r i a n armies
fought along a stationary f r o n t for t w o b r u t a l

7 9 6 CHAPTER 25 The First World War


A T ”


I ‘ l IiLli-FIi-.U IROM n i l . tM KICKS n t – ‘ a n . ‘ N T U Y I . I l T , – l . T n . ,

During World War I, many modernists abandoned “art
for art’s sake” (see Chapter 24). Paul Nash (1889-1940),
a British artist and army volunteer, explained, “I am a
messenger who will bnng back word from the men
who are fighting to those who want the war to go on
forever… may it burn their lousy souls.”^ In We Are
Making a New World (1918), Nash transformed the
landscape’s pastoral tranquility into a cry of pain.

years after Italy, enticed by the promise of t e r r i –
t o r i a l gain, joined the w a r on the Allies’ side.
Characterized by futile offensives and essential
i m m o b i l i t y , the war in Italy m i r r o r e d the con-
f l i c t on the Western Front. I n eastern Europe,
however, a different p l o t unfolded. For three
years, massive armies surged back and f o r t h , as
the plains and mountains of eastern Europe
echoed w i t h the t u m u l t of spectacular
advances, headlong retreats, and finally, p o l i t i –
cal re vo lu t io n.

of the movement in eastern Europe consisted of
Russians running—running forward in surprising
advances, running back in terrifying retreats.
When the war began in August 1914, Russia
shocked its enemies by mobilizing quickly. As
M a p 25.3 shows, Russian troops headed in a two-
pronged onslaught against the Germans in East
Prussia and against the Austrians in Galicia, the
northeastern region of the Austro-Himgarian
Empire. Surprised by the speed of the Russian
advance, German troops in East Prussia fell back.
Skillful maneuvering by the German commanders
Paul von Hindenburg (1847-1934) and Erich von
Ludendorff (1865-1937), however, turned the
Russian tide at the Battle of Tannenberg at the end
of August. Within t w o weeks the Germans had
shoved the Russian troops back across the border.
I n the subsequent months, the Germans advanced
steadily into Russian imperial territory. A t the
same time, a combined German and Austrian
assault forced the Russian army to retreat from
GaUcia—and more than 300 miles into its o w n
territory. Russian casualties in the offensive stood
at 2.5 million. Over the next two years the pattern
of Russian advances and retreats continued. Russ-
ian soldiers pushed into Austria-Hungary in June
1916, but could not sustain the attack. They
advanced again i n the summer of 1917, but it too
soon disintegrated into a retreat.

These retreats revealed that Russia’s economic
and political structures could not withstand the
pressures of total war. Russian supply lines were
so overextended that the poorly fed and inade-
quately clothed Russian troops found themselves
without ammunition and unable to press ahead.
Demoralized, they began to desert in large num-
bers. O n the home front workers and peasants
grew impatient w i t h wartime deprivations and
demands. This disaffection led to the Russian Rev-
olution. As we w i l l explore in detail later in this
chapter, revolution forced the tsar to abdicate in
February 1917. In October, the Bolsheviks, a small
group of socialist revolutionaries, seized control
and moved quickly to pull Russia out of the war.

The Bolshevik military withdrawal freed Ger-
many from the burden of waging a two-front war.

5 / –

The Experience of Total War 797


F I N L A l i i j p ^ . , t 3 s


(formerly St. Petersburg)


icnbefg i

,Br|it titovsk



The Eastern and Middle Eastern
Fronts, 1915-1918

Allied Powers
r Z J Central Powers

Neutral Powers
. – . v . v , – : : , . Eastern Front, May 1915

Farthest advance of Central
Powers, Dec. 1917

=, ̂ Farthest advance of Central
Powers, 1918

• Central Powers offensives
— A l l i e d offensives

Major battle
Fighting between Italian and
Austrian troops, 1915-1917


Sea ‘\

MAP 25.3
The Eastern and Middle Eastern Fronts, 1 915-1918
Unlike the Western Front, the Eastern Front was far from stationary. By 1918,
the Central Powers occupied Serbia, Romania, and parts of European Russia.
The entry of the Ottoman Empire on the side of the Central Powers in
November 1914 extended the conflict into the Middle East. In 1915 Ottoman
forces repelled an initial British advance toward Baghdad and threatened
Egypt. By the end of 1917, however, Arab nationalists helped the British
defeat the Central Powers in the Middle East.

Signed in March 1918, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
ceded to Germany all of Russia’s western territo-
ries, containing one-third of the population of the
prewar Russian Empire. But because it had to

commit large numbers of
troops to controUing this
new territory, Germany
reaped less advantage f r o m
this victory than might have
been expected.


BALKAWS I n southeastern
Europe, W o r l d War I was in
many ways the ” T h i r d
Balkan War,” yet another
installment i n an ongoing
competition for territory
and power. I n 1912 and
again in 1913, Greece, Bul-
garia, Romania, and Serbia
had fought each other in the
First and Second Balkan
Wars. Hence, i n 1915 Bul-
garia allied w i t h the Central
Powers to gain back the ter-
ritory i t had lost in the Sec-
ond Balkan War while
Romania joined the Allies in
1916 to protect its hold on
that territory.

For most of the war,
the Central Powers con-
trolled the Balkans. A j o i n t
Bulgarian, German, and
Austro-Hungarian invasion
crushed Romania. The Ser-
bian experience was even
bleaker. I n the first year of
the war Austrian and
Serbian troops jostled back
and forth for control of
the country, but i n October
1915 Bulgarian, German,
and Austrian forces advanced
into Serbia f r o m three direc-
tions. By November, the Ser-

bian army had been pushed to the Albanian
border. Some 200,000 Serbian soldiers fled over
the snow-swept mountains of Albania to the
Adriatic Sea i n the disastrous ” W i n t e r M a r c h . ”


400 ml

8 0 4 CHAPTER 25 The First World War

actually improved the diets of many poor fami-
lies. Living standards among employed workers
in France and in Britain rose during the war.

The situation in Germany differed signifi-
cantly. U n t i l the last weeks of the war German
political leadership remained in the hands of the
conservative elite. Increasingly, the aristocratic
generals Hindenburg and Ludendorff—the
heroes of the Battle of Tannenberg—called the
political shots. The army and big industrial
firms seized control of German economic hfe.
Given the power to set prices and p r o f i t mar-
gins, industrialists—not surprisingly—made a
k i l l i n g . Their incomes soared, while escalating
i n f l a t i o n and chronic food shortages ground
d o w n ordinary workers. I n 1917, industrial
unrest slowed German war p r o d u c t i o n , civilian
discontent reached dangerous levels, and the
success of the A l l i e d blockade meant Germans
were starving.

The World Turned Upside Down
By the war’s end, changes in the relations
among classes and between men and women
caused many Europeans to feel as if their w o r l d
had turned upside d o w n . European workers
grew more radical as they realized the possibili-
ties of their o w n collective power and the
potential of the state as an instrument of social
change. The fact that by 1917 many of these
workers were women also had revolutionary
implications. I n the w o r k w o r l d and i n society
at large, gender roles, like class relations, under-
went a marked shift.

trenches and on the battlefields. W o r l d War I had
a leveling effect. For many young, middle- and
upper-class soldiers, the war provided their first
sustained contact w i t h both manual labor and
manual laborers. In letters home, they testified to
a newfound respect for both, as the horrors of the
war experience broke down rigid class barriers.

O n the home f r o n t , however, social rela-
tions grew more rather than less hostile. D u r i n g
the war years, i n f l a t i o n eroded the savings of

middle-class men and women and left them
scrambling to maintain their social and eco-
nomic status. I n Germany and throughout east-
ern Europe, f o o d shortages and falling wages
produced a revolutionary situation. By contrast,
in B r i t a i n and France, a rising standard of l i v i n g
demonstrated to workers the benefits of an
interventionist state. Yet class hostilities rose i n
western Europe, too. Working-class activists
demanded that the state continue to regulate
the economy i n peacetime to improve the stan-
dard of living of ordinary workers. H a v i n g
finally tasted the economic pie, workers fought
for a bigger piece, while the middle class strug-
gled to defend its shrinking slice.

1916, labor shortages in key military industries,
combined w i t h the need to free up as many men
as possible for fighting, meant that governments
on both sides actively recruited women for the
paid workforce. Women were suddenly visible in
the public sphere as bus drivers, elevator opera-
tors, and train conductors. In eastern Europe, the
agricultural labor force came to consist almost
entirely of women. In western Europe, women
took on dangerous positions in munitions facto-
ries, worked just behind the front lines as ambu-
lance drivers and nurses, and in 1917 and 1918,
often led the way i n w a l k i n g off the job to
demand better conditions.

The impact of the war on women’s roles
should not be exaggerated, however. Through-
out the war, more women continued to w o r k in
domestic service—as cooks, maids, nannies—
than in any other sector of the economy. The
great majority of the women who did move into
skilled industrial employment were not new
to the paid workforce. Before 1914 they had
w o r k e d in different, lower-paying jobs. A n d they
certainly were not treated as men’s equals. I n
government-run factories i n Britain, women
received as little as 50 percent of men’s wages for
the same job.

Nevertheless, for many women, the war was
a liberating experience. W i t h their husbands
away, many wives made decisions on their o w n

for the
their p
class w
for the

The Home Fronts 805

for the first time. Female munitions workers in
Britain received wages three times higher than
their prewar earnings. But middle- and upper-
class women experienced the sharpest change.
Despite the rise, f r o m 1870 on, of feminist chal-
lenges to the ideology of separate spheres
(detailed in Chapter 23), the predominant idea
remained that women were biologically suited
for the private domestic sphere. I n the prewar
years, i m m o b i l i t y and passivity continued to
mark the hves of many middle-class g i r l s —
sheltered w i t h i n the family home, subject to pater-
nal authority, waiting for a marriage proposal.
The war threw women into the public space. The
middle-class girl who before 1914 was forbidden
to travel without a chaperone might be driving an
ambulance, splashing through the mud and
blood, or washing the bodies of naked w o r k i n g –
class soldiers.

A t the same time that the war smashed many
of the boundaries that had restricted women, i t
narrowed the w o r l d of the middle-class male sol-
dier. While women were on the move—driving
buses, flying transport planes, ferrying the
wounded—men were stuck in the m u d , confined
to narrow ditches, w a i t i n g for orders. Expecting
to be heroic men of action, they found them-
selves instead living the sort of immobile, passive
lives that had characterized the prewar middle-
class woman’s experience. I n total war, even gen-
der roles turned upside d o w n .

Yet when the war ended, many of these radi-
cal changes proved to be only temporary. The
wartime movement of women into skilled fac-
tory jobs and public positions such as bus drivers
and train conductors was rapidly reversed. For
example, by the terms of the British Restoration
of Pre-War Practices Act (1919), women w h o
had taken up skilled factory jobs received t w o
weeks’ pay and a train ticket home.

Other changes appeared more permanent.
France in 1919 possessed ten times as many
female law students and three times as many
female medical students as i t had in 1914.
British women over age 30 received the vote on
a limited basis while i n the United States, Ger-
many, and most of the new states i n eastern


The imagery in this British Red Cross poster infantilized
the soldier while making the nurse into a figure of
saintly power. Many men found the forced confine-

I ment and passivity of trench warfare profoundly unset-
I tling, while many women experienced the war as a
i time of liberation.

Europe, the achievement of female suffrage was
more complete. C u l t u r a l changes also seemed to
signal a gender r e v o l u t i o n . Women smoked i n
public, raised their hemlines, cut their hair, and
threw away their corsets.

Identifying the Enemy: From
Propaganda to Genocide
M a n y of the changes in gender and class rela-
tions resulted f r o m government efforts to regu-
late the economy for total war. To ensure that

War and Revolution 807

Ottoman Empire, where suspicion of the Armen-
ian minority resulted i n mass murder. The brutal
” s o l u t i o n ” to the so-called “Armenian question”
began in April 1915. After arresting Armenian
ehtes (and thus removing potential resistance lead-
ers from Armenian communities), Turkish troops
rounded up and killed Armenian men. In some
cases, soldiers marched the men outside their town
or village and then shot them. I n other instances,
they were pushed into caves and asphyxiated by
fires blocking the entrances. The Ottoman govern-
ment then ordered the women, children, and the
elderly deported to Syria. Driven from their homes
on short notice, they marched tlirough mountain
and desert terrain without food or water. Rapes
and executions were commonplace. Between 1915
and 1918, more than one m i l l i o n Armenian men,
women, and children died in this attempt at
genocide, the murder of an entire people.


B W h a t were the consequences of this w a r
f o r the European and the g l o b a l p o l i t i c a l
and i n t e r n a t i o n a l order?

Total war tore at the social and political fabric of
European societies. As seams began to fray and
gaping holes appeared, many welcomed the
opportunity to tear apart the old cloth and
weave something new. Some of these revolution-
aries were Marxists, aiming to build a socialist
Europe. Others were nationalists, determined to
assert the rights of their ethnic or linguistic
group, or to overthrow their colonial rulers. N o t
all revolutionaries belonged to underground or
terrorist groups. The president of the United
States, W o o d r o w Wilson, also demanded a new
w o r l d order. The peace settlement, however,
failed to reahze these revolutionary expectations.

The Russian Revolutions
Tsarist Russia began the war already divided. I n
regions such as Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and

Ukraine, anti-Russian sentiment flared high, and
nationalists saw the war as opening the door to
independent statehood. Even w i t h i n Russia itself,
as we saw i n Chapter 23, the clash between Tsar
Nicholas II’s vision of Russia as a divine autoc-
racy and the pohtical demands of the growing
middle and w o r k i n g classes created an explosive

The war brought political chaos to the
Russian Empire. Nicholas, a man w i t h a
remarkable capacity for self-delusion, insisted
on going to the f r o n t and commanding his army.
He left political affairs in the hands of his wife
Alexandra (1872-1918) and her spiritual men-
tor G r i g o r i i Rasputin (1869-1916). Rasputin is
one of the more intriguing characters i n t w e n t i –
eth-century history. A n illiterate, unwashed faith
healer f r o m a peasant background, he possessed
a well-documented and still-unexplained ability
to stop the bleeding of Alexei, the young hemo-
philiac heir to the throne. M a n y high-ranking
Russians, however, argued that Rasputin was
not a miracle worker but a traitor. Because
Rasputin opposed the war against Germany,
they perceived him as a voice of treason whis-
pering in the German-born tsarina’s ear. I n 1916
Russian noblemen murdered Rasputin, in hopes
of restoring authority and stability to the tsarist

T H E FEBRUARY REVOLUTION Rasputin’s removal
achieved l i t t l e . The French ambassador in Rus-
sia w r o t e in January 1917, ” I am obliged to
report that, at the present moment, the Russian
Empire is run by lunatics.”” A l m o s t t w o m i l –
l i o n Russian soldiers had died and many more
had been w o u n d e d or taken prisoner. Eco-
nomic and communications networks had bro-
ken d o w n , bread prices were rising, and people
were hungry. Even members of the tsarist gov-
ernment began to ask not (/ r e v o l u t i o n w o u l d
occur, but when.

The answer came on February 24, 1917
( M a r c h 8 on the western calendar). A g r o u p
of w o m e n w o r k e r s i n Petrograd (formerly
St. Petersburg) demonstrated to protest inade-
quate f o o d supplies. Over the course of the

808 CHAPTER 25 The First World War

I T – –

On March 8, 1917, thousands of women took to the streets of Petrograd to protest the imposi-
tion of bread rationing, Their cries for “Peace and Bread” sparked the Russian Revolution.

next few days, similar demonstrations f l i c k –
ered across the city. O n February 27, they coa-
lesced i n t o r e v o l u t i o n a r y fire when the troops
w h o were ordered to put d o w n the protest
joined i t instead. Governmental orders lost a l l
a u t h o r i t y , and on M a r c h 2 Tsar Nicholas was
forced to abdicate. The Russian R e v o l u t i o n
had begun.

W h o n o w controlled Russia.’ T w o compet-
ing centers of power emerged: the Provisional
Government and the Petrograd Soviet. O n
M a r c h 12, the D u m a , or Russian parliament,
created a Provisional Government f r o m
among its members. Like the D u m a , the new
Provisional Government was dominated by
members of the gentry and middle classes: p r o –
fessionals, businessmen, intellectuals, bureau-
crats. These men tended to be liberals w h o

believed that Russia was n o w m o v i n g along
the path t o w a r d a parliamentary democracy.
They quickly enacted i m p o r t a n t reforms s u c h
as universal suffrage, the eight-hour w o r k d a y ,
and civic equality for all citizens. The P r o v i –
sional Government, however, was exactly w h a t
its name indicated: p r o v i s i o n a l . Its members
believed they should n o t take any drastic
measures. Their task was to serve as a care-
taker government u n t i l an elected Constituent
Assembly w r o t e a constitution for the new

But at the same tune that the Provisional
Government was struggling to bring order to the
chaos of revolutionary Russia, across the empire
socialists, industrial workers, and soldiers
formed Soviets, or councils, to articulate their
grievances and hopes. The Petrograd Soviet, led

by revo
erful po

Soviet c
thrown J
make ai
chaotic \
food in SI

these der
bution o
rights of
ately. M c
Russian ;
without f
tories ces
raw matt
Peace app
Russia ha
armies src
arate peac
torial los
such a d r c
members I

A n d
made thei
they warn
by desertii
sent to th
into comb
rograd Si

War and Revolution 809

by revolutionary socialists, soon became a pow-
erful political rival to the less radical Provisional

But neither the liberals in the Provisional
Government nor the socialists i n the Petrograd
Soviet could control the revolution. A popular
revolution—a revolution of the people—had over-
thrown Nicholas I I , and at the core of this popular
revolution stood a simple demand: “Peace, Land,
Bread.” Soldiers—and most Russians—wanted an
immediate end to a war that had long ceased to
make any sense to them. Peasants, as always,
wanted land, their guarantee of survival in a
chaotic w o r l d . And city dwellers wanted bread—
food in sufficient quantities and at affordable prices.

The Provisional Government could not satisfy
these demands. It did promise the gradual redistri-
bution of royal and Church lands, but peasants,
unconstrained by the liberal regard for law and the
rights of private propert)’^, wanted land immedi-
ately. M o r e important, by the summer of 1917 no
Russian government could have provided bread
without providing peace. Russia no longer had the
resources both to continue its war effort and to
reconstruct its economy. The urban population
dwindled as food disappeared from the shops, fac-
tories ceased operation because of shortages of
raw materials, and the currency lost all value.
Peace appeared impossible, however N o t only did
Russia have commitments to its allies, but German
armies stood deep w i t h i n Russian territory. A sep-
arate peace w i t h Germany w o u l d mean huge terri-
torial losses. Only a constitutionally elected
govern.ment w o u l d have the legitimacy to take
such a drastic step, most Provisional Government
members believed. And so the war continued.

A n d so, too, did the revolution. Peasants
made their o w n land reform by seizing the land
they wanted. Soldiers declared their o w n peace
by deserting. (Of every 1,000-man Russian troop
sent to the f r o n t , fewer than 250 men made i t
into combat. The rest deserted.) The Provisional
Government grew more unpopular. N o t even the
appointment of the well-liked socialist and Pet-
rograd Soviet member Alexander Kerensky
(1881-1970) as prime minister stabilized the
government’s position.

THE OCTOBER REVOLUTION This tumukuous situ-
ation created the opportunity for the Bolsheviks,
one of the socialist factions i n the Petrograd
Soviet, to seize c o n t r o l . I n A p r i l 1917, the Bol-
shevik leader, V l a d i m i r Lenin (1870-1924),
returned f r o m almost 20 years i n exile. While
still i n his teens, Lemn had committed himself to
revolution after his older brother was executed
for trying to assassinate Tsar Alexander I I I .
I r o n – w i l l e d and ruthlessly pragmatic, Lenin
argued that a committed group of professional
revolutionaries could force a socialist revolution
on Russia.

By the fall of 1917, Bolshevik membership
had g r o w n f r o m 10,000 to 250,000, and the
party held a m a j o r i t y i n the Petrograd Sovier.
Lenin n o w demanded the immediate over-
t h r o w of the Provisional Government. O n
October 25 (November 7 on the western calen-
dar), Bolshevik fighters captured the W i n t e r
Palace i n Petrograd, where the Provisional
Government was meeting.

The second Russian Revolution was under-
way. The Bolsheviks declared a policy of land
and peace—land p a r t i t i o n w i t h no compensation
to estate owners and an immediate peace w i t h
Germany, regardless of the cost. (As we have
seen, the cost was high: According to the terms
of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, signed w i t h Ger-
many in 1918, Russia lost its western territories.)

Promises of peace and land d i d not w i n
over everyone i n Russia, however. C i v i l war
erupted as r i v a l socialists, liberals, and tsarist
supporters resisted Bolshevik rule. These
” W h i t e s ” (distinguished f r o m ” R e d ” Bolshe-
viks) received assistance f r o m foreign troops.
Fearing the spread of communist revolution, 14
countries (including the United States, B r i t a i n ,
France, and Japan) sent 100,000 soldiers to
Russia. Non-Russian nationalists f i g h t i n g for
independent statehood joined i n the conflict.
(See Justice in History i n this chapter.)

The c i v i l war k i l l e d o f f more combatants
than had W o r l d War I , but by 1922 the Bolshe-
viks emerged victorious over the Whites and
most of the nationalist uprisings. O n l y Poland,
F i n l a n d , and the Baltic states (Estonia, L a t v i a ,

War and Revolution 813

democratized their p o l i t i c a l system. As a
result, representatives of l e f t – w i n g and centrist
parties—including the SPD, the largest social-
ist party in Europe—joined the German

This ” r e v o l u t i o n f r o m above” coincided
and competed w i t h a ” r e v o l u t i o n f r o m
b e l o w . ” Inspired by the Bolshevik R e v o l u t i o n ,
many German socialists condemned the SPD
as too moderate; instead, they supported the
more radical Spartacists (named after Sparta-
cus, the gladiator w h o led a slave revolt
against Rome i n the first century B.C.E.).
Direcred by K a r l Liebknecht (1871-1919) and
Rosa L u x e m b u r g ( 1 8 7 0 – 1 9 1 9 ) , the Spartacists
demanded an immediate communist revolu-
t i o n . By November 8, German communists
declared the establishment of a Soviet republic
i n the province of Bavaria and the Red F l a g —
symbol of c o m m u n i s m — f l e w over eleven
German cities.

O n November 9, the kaiser abdicated
and the head of the SPD, Friedrich Ebert
( 1 8 7 1 – 1 9 2 5 ) , became chancellor of Germany.
F r o m the w i n d o w of the Reichstag b u i l d i n g in
Berlin, one of Ebert’s colleagues i n the SPD
proclaimed that Germany was now a parlia-
mentary democracy. A l m o s t at that very
moment, K a r l Liebknecht stood at another
w i n d o w in Berlin (in the occupied r o y a l
palace) and announced that Germany was n o w
a r e v o l u t i o n a r y communist state. W i t h t w o
opposing versions of r e v o l u t i o n on offer, c i v i l
w a r raged u n t i l the spring of 1919, when the
SPD defeated the communists.

THE RtVOiUT^ON HA!.TED Even after this defeat,
however, Lenin hoped that the communist revo-
l u t i o n w o u l d spread throughout western Europe.
The Polish-Soviet War of 1919-1921 mspired
and then crushed this hope of a European com-
munist revolution.

Partitioned among Prussia, A u s t r i a , and
Russia in the eighteenth century, Poland was
reconstructed after W o r l d War I . Its eastern
borders, however, remained unclear because of

the ongoing c i v i l w a r and nationalist conflicts
i n Bolshevik Russia. Poland’s newly elected
president, Josef Pilsudski ( 1 8 6 7 -1935), aimed
to create a federation consisting of Poland and
independent U k r a i n e , Belarus, and the Baltic
states, a k i n d of twentieth-cenrury version of
the early modern Polish-Lithuanian C o m m o n –
w e a l t h . Nationalists w i t h i n these states, h o w –
ever, refused to cooperate and although by
M a y 1920, Pitsudski’s army c o n t r o l l e d much
of this t e r r i t o r y , a Soviet counterattack i n June
forced the Poles to retreat.

This successful Soviet push into Poland led
Lenin to believe that the revolution was unstop-
pable, even though Pohsh workers rejected
Lenin’s call for a working-class uprising. Once
the Soviets conquered Poland, Lenin argued,
they could use i t as “a base against all the con-
temporary states.”^’* Thus, Lenin termed the Bat-
tle of Warsaw of August 1920 a ” t u r n i n g point
for the w o r l d . ” ‘ ^ Instead, Pilsudski and his
forces held Warsaw and drove the Red A r m y
back. The Peace of Riga of 1921 granted to
Poland most of the pre-partition territory Pilsud-
ski had demanded and blocked Lenin’s plan of
moving west.

The F a i l u r e o f W i l s o n ‘ s R e v o l u t i o n
A t the beginning of 1919, representatives of the
victorious AUies gathered in Paris to d r a w up
the peace treaties. These officials aimed for
more than ending the war. They wished to con-
struct a new Europe. A t the center of this high
endeavor was the American college professor-
turned-president W o o d r o w W i l s o n . W i l s o n
based his version of revolutionary change on
the ideal of national self-determination—a
w o r l d in w h i c h “every people should be left free
to determine its o w n polity, its o w n way
of development, unhindered, unthreatened,
unafraid, the little along w i t h the great and
p o w e r f u l . ” W i l s o n foresaw a new map of
Europe, w i t h independent, ethnically homoge-
nous, democratic nation-states replacing the o l d
authoritarian empires.

814 C H A P T E R 2 5 The First W o r l d War

W i l s o n envisioned that these new n a t i o n –
states w o u l d interact differently f r o m the
empires of the past. I n w h a t he called his
Fourteen Points, W i l s o n demanded a r e v o l u –
t i o n in international relations. H e argued that
” P o i n t s ” such as freedom of the seas, freedom
of trade, and open diplomacy (an end to secret
treaties) w o u l d break d o w n barriers and guar-
antee peace and prosperity for all peoples. The
cornerstone of this new w o r l d order w o u l d be
an international organization, the League of
N a t i o n s . By overseeing the i m p l e m e n t a t i o n of
the Fourteen Points and resolving disputes
between states t h r o u g h negotiation, the
League w o u l d guarantee that W o r l d War I was
” t h e w a r to end all w a r s . ” Because all states—
big and small, European and n o n – E u r o p e a n —
w o u l d have an equal voice in the League,
the systems of secret diplomacy and Great
Power alliances that had led t o t o t a l w a r
w o u l d disappear.

Wilson’s vision, however, went unrealized.
I n Paris i n 1 9 1 9 and 1 9 2 0 , the Allies and their
defeated enemies signed a series of treaties, the
most i m p o r t a n t of w h i c h was the Treaty of Ver-
sailles w i t h Germany. The treaty writers sought
to create a new international order based on
three features: a democratic Germany, national
self-determination i n eastern Europe, and a
viable system of international a r b i t r a t i o n
headed by the League of N a t i o n s . They failed
in all three.

A t the center of the new Europe envisioned by
Woodrow Wilson was to be a new democratic
Germany, but the French leader, Georges
Clemenceau, did not share this vision. After sur-
viving t w o German invasions of his homeland, he
wished to ensure that Germany could never again
threaten France. Clemenceau proposed the cre-
ation of a Rhineland state in Germany’s industri-
alized western region as a buffer zone between
France and Germany and as a way to reduce
Germany’s economic power. The British leader
David Lloyd George promised his people that he

w o u l d squeeze Germany ” u n t i l the pips squeak”
and publicly supported Clemenceau’s hardline
approach. I n private, L l o y d George feared that
this approach w o u l d feed the flames of German
resentment and undermine the structures of Ger-
man democracy.

L l o y d George’s fears proved well-grounded.
The German people bitterly resented the
Versailles Treaty, w h i c h they perceived as
unjustly punitive. By the terms of the treaty,
Germany lost all of its overseas colonies, 1 3 per-
cent of its European territory, 1 0 percent of its
p o p u l a t i o n , and its ability to wage war. The
treaty limited the German army to a defensive
force of 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 men, w i t h no aircraft or tanks.
Clemenceau failed to create a separate
Rhineland state, but the Rhineland was demili-
tarized, emptied of German soldiers and f o r t i f i –
cations. I n addition, the Versailles Treaty ceded
the coalfields of the Saar region to France for 1 5
years (see M a p 2 5 . 5 ) .

M o s t significantly, the treaty declared that
German aggression had caused the w a r and
therefore that Germany must recompense the
Alhes for their costs. I n 1 9 2 1 , the Allies pre-
sented Germany w i t h a b i l l for reparations of
1 3 2 b i l l i o n marks ( $ 3 1 . 5 b i l l i o n ) . As Chapter
2 6 details, this reparations clause helped set up
an economic cycle that proved devastating for
both global prosperity and German democratic

The peace settlement sought to redraw eastern
Europe on national lines. M a p 2 5 . 5 shows that
the o l d m u l t i n a t i o n a l empires of eastern and
central Europe disappeared, replaced w i t h
independent nation-states. Poland again
became a state, w i t h pieces carved out of the
German, A u s t r o – H u n g a r i a n , and Russian
Empires. One entirely new state—Czechoslo-
vakia—was formed out of the rubble of the
A u s t r o – H u n g a r i a n Empire. Romania, Greece,
and Italy all expanded as a result of serving on
the w i n n e r s ‘ side, w h i l e Serbia became the
heart of the new Yugoslavia. The defeated

War and Revolution 815

I M A P 25.5
The Struggle over

I Boundaries: The Redrawing
of Central and Eastern
Europe after World War I
A comparison of this map
with Map 25.1 on page 799
illustrates that the war redrew
the political map of eastern
Europe. By the terms of the
Versailles Treaty, Germany lost

j 1 3 percent of its prewar terri-
j tory and 10 percent of its
I prewar population. France

regained Alsace and Lorraine;
the industrialized Rhineland
became a demilitarized zone;
and reconstructed Poland
was given a corridor to the
sea. Poland also gained Aus-
trian Galicia and part of what
had been the Russian Empire.
Although the Bolsheviks were
able to beat back nationalist
secession movements in
Belarus and Ukraine, Finland
and the Baltic states of Esto-
nia, Latvia, and Lithuania all
split from what had been the
Russian Empire. Serbia gained
a big chunk of the former
Austro-Hungarian Empire to
become Yugoslavia. The for-
mer Austro-Hungarian Empire

I also lost territory to an
I expanded Romania and to

the new state of Czechoslova-
I kia. All that remained of the

Ottoman Empire was the new
state of Turkey.

300 km

300 mi
The Struggle Over Boundaries: The Redrawing
of Central and Eastern Europe after World War I

Territories lost by Germany
. Territories lost by Austria-Hungary

Territories lost by Russia
: Territories lost by Ottoman Empire
• Oemtiitartzed Rhineland zone of Allied Occupation

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S t a t e s shrank, some dramatically. A u s t r i a , for
example, became a mere r u m p of w h a t had
been the m i g h t y Habsburg Empire, and H u n –
gary was reduced to one-third of its prewar
size. A l l that remained of the O t t o m a n Empire
was Turkey.

President W i l s o n heralded these changes as
the victory of ” n a t i o n a l self-determination.”

But as Wilson’s o w n secretary of state com-
plained, ” T h i s phrase is simply loaded w i t h
dynamite. I t w i l l raise hopes w h i c h can never
be realized.” W i l s o n had called for “every peo-
p l e ” to be left free to determine its p o l i t i c a l
destiny—but w h o constituted “a people”? D i d
the Macedonians? Should there be an inde-
pendent Macedonia? Macedonians said yes.

816 CHAPTER 25 The First World War

but the Paris peace negotiators answered no.
Macedonia was enveloped by Yugoslavia and
Greece, and i n consequence, t h r o u g h o u t the
1920s and 1930s Macedonians waged a terror-
ist campaign in the Balkans.

The Macedonians were not the only dissat-
isfied ethnic group i n eastern Europe. Even after
the peace settlements redrew the map, 30 m i l –
l i o n eastern Europeans remained members of
m i n o r i t y groups. Less than 70 percent of H u n –
garians, for example, lived i n H u n g a r y — m o r e
than three m i l l i o n were scattered in other states.
Over nine m i l l i o n Germans resided outside the
borders of Germany. In the newly created
Czechoslovakia, one-third of the population
was neither Czech nor Slovak. The new state of
Yugoslavia contained an uneasy m i x t u r e of sev-
eral ethnic groups, most resentful of the d o m i –
nant Serbs. Rather than satisfying nationalist
ambitions, the peace settlements served to
inflame them, thus creating a volatile situation
for the post-World War I w o r l d .

vision of a new international order, the treaty
makers included the Covenant of the League of
Nations i n each of the treaties. The League,
however, never f u l f i l l e d Wilson’s hopes of mak-
i n g war obsolete. When the League met f o r the
first time in 1920, three significant w o r l d p o w –
ers had no representative present: Germany and
Russia were excluded, and, in a stunning defeat
for President W i l s o n , the U.S. Senate rejected
membership. The failure of these three states to
participate in the League at its beginning
stripped the organization of much of its poten-
tial influence.

T w o additional factors weakened the
League. Firsr, i t had no m i l i t a r y power.
A l t h o u g h the League could levy economic sanc-
tions against states that flouted its decisions, i t
could do nothing more. Second, the w i l l to
make the League w o r k was lacking. W i t h
W i l s o n removed f r o m the picture, European
leaders pursued their o w n more t r a d i t i o n a l
visions of w h a t the League should be. French

politicians, for example, believed that its p r i –
mary reason for existence was to enforce the
provisions of the Versailles T r e a t y — i n other
w o r d s , to punish Germany rather than to
restructure international relations.

The Making of the Modern
Middle East
I n the M i d d l e East, the end of W o r l d War I
meant an entirely new map, but not the end of
European dominance. As M a p 25.6 shows,
under terms set by the new League of Nations,
the Alhes carved the Ottoman territory in the
M i d d l e East into separate and nominally inde-
pendent states. The League, however, judged
these states as ” n o t yet able to stand by them-
selves under the strenuous conditions of the
modern w o r l d ” and so placed them under
French or British control (or ” M a n d a t e ” ) . Syria
and Lebanon fell to the French, while Britain

MAP 25.6
The Middle East after World War I
The hopes of Arab and Jewish nationalists for
independent states were put on hold by the League
of Nation’s creation of European mandates in the
Middle East.

3 ^
200 km

– , – 1 –
The Middle East

1 200 mi


Territories administered by France
., j Territories administered by Britain

British-protected territories


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