In the years before World War I broke out, several alliances and treaties were made between European countries, one of them being the Allied Powers. If one country was attacked or declared war, its allies would support them. These agreements, secret alliances, and changes in powers were ultimately some of the main causes of World War I. World War I was fought between two main powers. The Allied Powers consisted of Great Britain, France, Russia, and eventually the United States. Great Britain, France, and Russia were also known as the Triple Entente. The Central Powers were Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire.
After the Archduke of Austria-Hungary was assassinated in Serbia, a chain reaction was started. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Russia started defending its ally, Serbia, which caused Germany, the ally of Austria-Hungary, to declare war on Russia at the end of July 1914.
Russia’s role in World War I was interrupted by the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. After the revolution was settled, they left the Allied Powers to sign a peace treaty with Germany in 1918. It was called the treaty of Brest-Litovsk.
Russia’s leader during World War I was Tsar Nicolas II who wanted to support and defend Serbia. Unfortunately, the consequences of this war on the Russian people led them to support the Bolshevik Revolutionaries led by Vladimir Lenin who removed the Tsar and ended his monarchy lineage by murdering the Tsar, his wife, and all 5 of his children.
Since Germany had other motives to World War I than just supporting its ally, Austria-Hungary, it was not a surprise when it declared war on France in August 1914. France was preparing to go to war once the fighting between Germany and Russia started. Most battles in Western Europe happened on French lands.
The most important leader of France during World War I was the French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau who took office from 1917 to 1920. Clemenceau’s nickname was “the Tiger” as he defended his country and helped it out of the vicious war. During the peace negotiations after the war, Clemenceau requested that Germany receive a severe punishment for starting the First World War.
On August 4th, 1914, Great Britain declared war on Germany, after Germany invaded Belgium. This happened only one day after Germany attacked and declared war on France! It was clear that Germany’s plan was to take over all of Western Europe. The French and British armed forces joined forces to stand against Germany and stop its attacks on European countries.
Naturally, Great Britain’s most distinct leaders during World War I were the King and the Prime Minister.
Although King George V had no power in the war as he was only the figurehead of his country. He was always visiting the front lines to give troops moral support.
British Prime Minister David Lloyd George was the actual leader of British forces and planning during World War I.
The United States
The United States
Although the United States succeeded at staying neutral for most of World War I, it was forced to declare war on Germany in 1917 to support the Allied Powers in light of the continued German attacks and invasions. More than 4 million American soldiers fought in Europe in World War I and 116,000 of them lost their lives fighting. President Woodrow Wilson led the United States through World War I even though he was originally elected on the premise of keeping the country out of the war. He was forced to participate in the war to stop Germany from advancing. He was also the one to advise against any severe financial punishments for Germany as he knew that if Germany’s economy was bad, it would affect all of Europe.
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