The great was also known as World War 1 was a massive war that included many of the major powers of the world at the time. It is also the first time that the United States was seen as a major world power. It had more deaths than any other war up to this point and spanned from 1914 to 1918.
The tension started with the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria. This angered a lot of countries in the Balkans that had alliances. The Austria-Hungary leadership was angry with Serbia and began a war. This brought in many other countries through alliances that caused it to become a much greater war. Serbia was allies with Russia who were allies with France. Austria-Hungary were allies with germany. This led to the creation of two major powers in the war, the central powers and the allies. The central powers consisted of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman empire, and Bulgaria. The allies consisted of great Britain, France, Russia, Serbia, Belgium, Romania, Greece, and Japan. Italy later joined the allies in 1915 and the United States joined in 1917. The war began when Germany invaded France through Belgium.
World war 1 was the first war where so many new technologies were used including tanks, airplanes and machine guns. The ideals of the military leaders were still in an older mindset of sending masses of troops which could be quickly taken out with machine guns. This resulted in many deaths and standstill between trenches. Trench warfare was still the main style of battle.
The United States choose to remain neutral at first, but many actions led to the U.S. joining the war in 1917. America was benefiting economically from the war. They were willing to trade with both sides of the war allowing a lot of opportunity for profit. The British had the advantage of reaching the American people with more propaganda winning them over. The Germans also sunk the Lusitania which had American passengers and was a cruise ship which violated a treaty.
Although the ship was transporting military equipment without the knowledge of the people. Germany declared that all vessels caught in the war zone would be sunk to shut down the supply line to Britain. There was also a letter sent to Zimmerman asking Mexico to join the war against America and attack from the south. America entered the war in 1917 guaranteeing them a spot at the peace table and aiding Wilson in his plan to shape the world based on democracy.
This is when America needed bodies for the war and instated the draft through the selective service act of 1917. The American people could also purchase liberty bonds allowing them to help fund the war. Propaganda was also great with 4 minute men who would advertise the war at theaters and events. Schools stopped teaching German and places stopped serving beer which helped lead to prohibition. Women made huge movements in civil liberties by joining the workforce to replace the men that went to war.
The war officially ended on November 11th, 1918 and they created treaty of Versailles. Wilson did not like the fact that the treaty hurt Germany a lot, but Germany had not choice but to sign it. Wilson was able to get his 14 points in which were very utopian ideals. Congress did not approve the treaty, so America did not officially sign.