1914 - 1918

Cause: The war actually began within the Austro-Hungarian empire, after the heir to the throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated. Very quickly a chain reaction occurred, with European countries declaring war on each other because of previous alliances that they had signed. Soon, Europe was divided into to major sides: The British, French and Russians were fighting against Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. Because many of these countries had colonies and those colonies contributed to the war effort, the war soon became a worldwide war.

The United States originally chose not to take sides during World War I. President Woodrow Wilson declared that The United States was neutral., and he instructed Americans to be neutral in their thoughts as well as their actions. Despite their neutrality, Americans did take sides. Many Americans were recent immigrants from the European countries participating in the war, and they still had families there. They often supported their home countries. Evan The United States government found that neutrality was difficult to maintain. Germany used u-boats, underwater boats or submarines, in their attempt to defeat Great Britain. In one instance, the sinking of the British luxury liner Lusitania, American lives were lost. The Germans temporarily restricted their submarine activities after the incident because they did not want The United States to become involved in the war.

On the home front, Ohioans actively mobilized to support the war effort. The state created the Ohio Branch Of The Council Of National Defense to advise Governor James M. Cox on the state’s mobilization efforts.

The Conclusion: World War I officially ended with the signing of The Treaty Versailles (1919). This treaty required Germany to accept responsibility for World War I and imposed reparations. It also called for the establishment of The League Of Nations, as Wilson had envisioned. Unfortunately, the treaty failed to create a long-term environment favorable to peace. Germans resented the treaty’s provisions, and that resentment helped to fuel support for the Nazis in the 1930s and a return to war in World War II.

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