None of the European power wanted World War I, but they feared Germany. Germany was freshly unified, and was crushing the European powers in population and Industry. France wanted to retrieve the Alsace-Lorraine. Britain was a state used to being on the ocean, so they felt threatened by Germany’s colonial enlargement and William II’s take a firm standing on a big naval forces. Russia and Austria feared force per unit area on their unstable imperiums. In 1894, Soviet Union made an confederation with France, and Great Britain settled it’s differences with France in the Entente Cordiale in 1904 organizing the Triple Entente.
The blackwash, with Serbian Knowledge, of the broad Austrian archduke Francis Ferdinan in Sarajevo in June 1914 was the flicker that set off the war. Germany assured Austria full support, which resulted in an Austrian ultimatum that Serbia could non accept. Austria declared war with Serbia. Russia mobilized to support Serbia, so Germany declared war on France. To avoid the Gallic frontier, German forces moved through impersonal Belgium thought they would take Paris by surprise. The Germans encountered more opposition than expected in Belgium, giving France clip to fix. ( Gray )
These misdemeanors of international jurisprudence destroyed all understanding for the Central Powers. Although German forces about reached Paris, the British and Gallic miraculously turned back the Germans at the Battle of Marne. The two sides dug trenches for a war that would last a four old ages. The Russians so attacked directing Germany into a two front war. The Germans defeated the Russians Many times on the E. But the Alliess blockaded the Germans on the E by cuttunf off nutrient and natural stuffs, the Germans became despairing to interrupt the encirclement, so they declared unrestricted pigboat warfare. ( Hadley ) After several American ships were sunk, the United States entered the war in 1917.
The Russians were in the center of several revolutions so they were non a menace to the Germans. In 1918 when the Germans did non hold to worry about the E, they launched an all out violative onslaught in the West, but the United Allies easy turned the tide. Recognizing the state of affairs was hopeless the German High Command urged william to allow a new civil authorities Sue for peace. Woodrow Wilson, U.S. President from 1913 Ro 1921, insisted on covering with citizens. Williamgrudgingly appointed Prince Max of Baden as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Even though Wilson was negociating with the Chancellor of the Exchequer there were still many jobs. Contending continued, crewmans mutinied, socialist staged work stoppages, workers and military formed Communist councils, and revolution broke out in Bavaria. ( Griffith ) Prince Max announced the stepping down of William II and resigned.
When Germany surrendered and changed its authorities, it expected a negotiated peace instead than the rough footings of the Versailles pact of 1919. The Alliess were determined to have reparations for their losingss and to see that Germany was ne’er in a place to harm them once more. Germany lost the Alsace-Lorraine to France and lost West Prussia to Poland. It besides lost all its settlements and had to give up most of its coal, trains, and merchant ships, as well as its navy. Germany had to limit its army and submit to Allied occupation of Rhineland for 15 years.
Worst of all, the Germans had to accept full responsibility for causing the war and, consequently pay its total cost. The Germans did not consider themselves anymore guilty than anyone else and could not possibly pay all the costs demanded. The Versailles treaty seemed fair to the Allies point of view, but it did not ensure a lasting peace. By accepting the treaty the German Government gained a bad name among its people. (Gudmundsson) The War reparations put a enormous strain on a country already bankrupted by the four years of war.
In Weimar in 1919 a nationalist assembly, led by the Social democratic party, wrote a democratic constitution for the new German Reich. But the prospects of the Weimer Republic, as it was familiarly known, were dim. For most Germans the Government was defeated and was controlled by the Versailles treaty, which they regarded as only temporary. (Gray) Conservative militarist and revolutionary scientists opposed the parliamentary government. Both sides frequently tried to overthrow the government with small armies.
For instance the military Kapp Putsch in 1920 and, the uprising of the Communist Sparticists in 1919 under Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg. The economic situation made matters worse because the German government could not pay off reparation requirements, so France invaded Ruhr in 1923 to take over coal mines. The government encouraged the workers to resist passively, printing large amounts of currency to pay them.
The result was an inflation that wiped out savings, pensions, insurance, and other forms of fixed income, creating a revolution that destroyed the most stable elements of Germany. Aided by the Dawes plan of 1924, which set reasonable amounts of reparations and provided for foreign loans, the brilliant German Minister Gustav Stresemann reorganized the monetary system and encourage industry. Stresemann introduced a new currency and paved the way for more reasonable reparation schedules. For five years Germany enjoyed relative peace and prosperity. In 1926 Germany joined the league of Nations. In 1929 when the worldwide depression hit it plunged the city into disaster.
Millions of unemployed, disillusioned by capitalist democracy, turned to communism or to the party of National socialism led by Aldolf Hitler. (Griffith) In notable efforts called the Munich Putsch of 1923 Hitler and the Nazis made a farcical attempt to seize power in Bavaria. From 1930 on the government functioned by emergency decree. The communist profited briefly from radicalization, but the main beneficiary was the Nazi party.
The Nazi party had twin attractions of appearing to offer radical solutions to economic problems while upholding patriotic values. (Hadley) By 1932 it was the largest party in the Reighstag. The next year President Paul von Hindeburg appointed Hitler Chancellor after allowing himself to be convicted by generals and right-wing politicians that only the Nazi leader could restore order in Germany and that he could be controlled.