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Causes of WWI


Causes of WWI Nationalism- Nationalism or extreme devotion to one s nation or people, sometimes led to hostility toward other nations. Imperialism- European ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Causes of WWI

Causes of WWI
  • Nationalism- Nationalism or extreme devotion to
    ones nation or people, sometimes led to
    hostility toward other nations.
  • Imperialism- European imperial powers competed to
    extend their empires by seizing territory to add
    to their colonies in Africa and Asia.
  • Militarism- For Decades, European countries had
    been building up military power and adopting
    warlike attitudes.
  • Alliances- In a complex system of alliances, many
    European countries had agreed to defend one
    another from attack. These alliances pulled
    nations into the war.

The Great War
  1. Read the article, The Great War.
  2. As you read, highlight important information
    about WWI .
  3. When you finish, at the bottom of the article,
    predict why the war was called, The Great War.
  4. Be ready to share your facts and prediction.

World War I
A War of Movement?
  • The Great War- a phrase coined even before the
    war began- was expected to be relatively short
    and one of great movement like other wars. The
    war started in the autumn of 1914. After the
    Archduke of Austria-Hungary was assassinated and
    the alliances kicked in, Germany swept through
    Belgium en route to France. When the French
    started pushing the Germans back, the Germans
    dug trenches to hold ground.

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The Trench System
  • The front line trenches were usually 7 feet deep
    and about 6 feet wide. The allies usually had
    to dig their trenches in lower ground so they
    were often waterlogged. They were built in a
    zigzag pattern to prevent the enemy from shooting
    straight down the line. Sandbags were put on top
    to absorb enemy bullets. The fire step was cut
    into the side of the trench. It was where the
    sentries stood or the whole unit would stand
    while waiting for an attack from the enemy.

Trench Warfare
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Daily Death in the Trenches
  • Death was a constant companion in the front line
    trenches. In busy sectors, shellfire was
    constant and many men were buried as a
    consequence. Many men died on their first day
    because their natural inclination was to peer
    over the top into No Mans Land. It is
    estimated that over 1/3 of all the deaths during
    WWI actually occurred in the trenches.

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Rats, Frogs, and Lice or Worse!
  • The men feared the rats. Gorging themselves on
    human remains, the rats would grow to be the size
    of a cat. The rats would scamper over their
    faces at night in the dark. Rats were by no
    means the only source of infection and nuisance.
    Lice was a constant problem which the soldiers
    could never get rid of and frogs by the scores
    would be found in all the water that stayed in
    the trenches.

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The Trench Cycle
  • A man might expect in a year of service to spend
    at least 70 days in the frontline trenches and 30
    days in nearby supporting trenches.

Daily Boredom!
  • Given that each sides front line was constantly
    under watch by snipers and look-outs during the
    daylight, movement was logically restricted until
    night fell. Thus, once men concluded their
    assigned task, they were free to write letters
    home or read. Sleep was snatched wherever
    possible- though it was seldom that men were
    allowed more than a few minutes before assigned a
    new task.

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Patrolling No Mans Land
  • The land between the Allied Powers trench and the
    Central Powers trench was called No Mans Land
    and was a wasteland of craters and barbed wire.
    Patrols would often be sent out into No Mans
    Land to repair the barbed wire or others would
    sneak out at night and listen to the enemy in
    hopes of gaining important information.
    Sometimes whole troops went, Over the Top to
    attack the enemy lines, but this was rarely

No Mans Land
Weapons of WWI
  • Many new weapons were being used during this war.
    The 15 round rifle, machine guns, mustard and
    chorine gas (the most deadly weapon), the blimp
    which carried bombs, tanks, planes, and
    submarines using torpedoes. Due to these
    weapons, 20 million people died. This was the
    deadliest war ever fought up to this time.

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Over the Top
Letter Home
  • You are an European soldier fighting in the
    trenches during World War I. You are told by
    your commander that you are going Over The Top
    tomorrow. Write a letter home telling your
    family about the conditions you are facing in
    the trenches (use facts from the article and
    powerpoint) and explain to them that you are
    going Over The Top. Share your feeling about
    your experience in the letter.

Oh the snow flakes fell in silenceOver Belleau
Wood that night For a Christmas truce had been
declaredBy both sides of the fight As we laid
there in our trenchesThe silence broke in two
By a German soldier singing A song that we all
knew Though I did not know the languageThe
song was Silent Night Then I heard my buddy
whisper "All is calm, all is bright" Then the
fear and doubt surrounded meCause I'd die if I
was wrong But I stood up in my trench And I
began to sing along Then across the frozen
battlefieldAnother's voice joined in Until one
by one each man became A singer of the hymn
Then I thought I was dreamingFor right there
in my sight Stood the German soldier Neath the
falling flakes of whiteAnd he raised his hand
and smiled at meAs if seemed to say Here's
hoping we both live to seeUs find a better way
Then the devils clock struck midnightAnd the
skies lit up again And the battlefield where
heaven stood Was blown to heck again But for
just one fleeting momentThe answer seemed so
clear Heaven's not beyond the clouds Its just
beyond the fear No heaven's not beyond the
cloudsIt's for us to find here