imperialism,war and revolution

WWI devastated economic, social,political order of Europe. People at the time, overwhelmed by the size of the war’s battles and the number of casualties, simply called the Great War. The war was all the more disturbing to Europeans because it came after a period that many believed to have been an age of progress. 

(Causes)Nationalism, internal conflicts, and militarism all played a role in starting WWI. The growth of nationalism in 19c had many serious results. Competition for colonies/ trade increased. Europe’s great powers were divided into two alliances,Triple Alliance,the Triple Entente. This period called the armed peace. Crises in the Balkans 1908 -1913 made many European nations angry with each other. They were willing to go to war to preserve the power of their national states.
military draft,used by most Western nations before 1914. It caused the size of European armies to double 1890 -1914. This, altogether with a growing military industry, developed a growing sense of Militarism .Military leaders became powerful/present in political decisions.                        It was crisis in the Balkans in summer of 1914 that led directly to war. By 1914, Serbia, supported by Russia, was determined to create a large Slavic state in the Balkans. Austria-Hungary was determined that this would not happen, and had already annexed Bosniain1908. Many Europeans anticipated war.  June 28, 1914, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, the heir to the throne of Austria- Hungary, visited Bosnian city of Sarajevo. Members of the Black Hand made plans to kill him. The Black Hand was a Serbian terrorist organization that wanted Bosnia to be free of Austria-Hungary. An attempt to kill the archduke with a bomb was unsuccessful. Later in the day,Gavrilo Princip,shot and killed both the archduke and his wife. Austrian leaders wanted to attack Serbia, but they feared that Russia would intervene on Serbia’s behalf. The Austrians asked German allies for help. Emperor William II of Germany agreed to give Austria-Hungary his full support. Austrian leaders sent an ultimatum to Serbia on July 23. Many of the demands were so extreme that Serbia had no choice but to reject some of them. On July 28, Austria- Hungary declared war on Serbia. Russia was determined to support Serbia and mobilized its army towards the German and Austrian borders. On July 29, The German government warned Russia that it must stop its mobilization. When Russia refused, Germany declared war on Russia on August 1. German general Alfred von Schlieffen had drawn up a plan that called for war against both Russia and France. According to Schlieffen Plan, Germany would conduct a small holding action against Russia while most of the German army would carry out a rapid invasion of France. According to Schlieffen Plan, Germany would invade France by moving quickly along the flat level coastal area through Belgium. After France was defeated, the German invaders would move to the east against Russia. August 4, Great Britain declared war on Germany for violating Belgian neutrality.

 Social and economic consequences:10 million soldiers died during war. first time in History were a large number of civilian casualties. The widespread destruction left the warring nations completely impoverished. The huge debts made economic recovery very difficult /produced high levels of inflation. the war benefited a few neutral countries (Spain), which supplied raw materials and food to the warring nations. But above all, the conflict consolidated the dominance of the USA. With the death /absence of the primary wage earner, women were forced into the workforce in unprecedented numbers in a second phase of the war. At the same time, industry needed to replace the lost labourers sent to war. This aided the struggle for voting rights for women.

WOMEN AND THE STRUGGLE FOR VOTING By 1890s, several industrial countries had universal male suffrage. However, no countries allowed women to vote. Since the 1840s in the United States, women such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton had organized campaigns for women’s rights. In Great Britain, there was a split over the question of suffrag for women. Both men and women thought that women’s suffrage was too radical a break with the past. Some claimed women didnt have the mental ability to be involved in politics. Queen Victoria called the struggle for suffrage wicked. Women also disagreed on how to achieve it.
1903, Emmeline Pankhurst of Great Britain formed the WSPU. The WSPU believed that after years of peaceful protest only aggressive or militant action would bring victory. The term suffragette was applied to the radical members of the WSPU. Besides peaceful demonstrations, many of these suffragettes heckled speakers in Parliament, cut telegraph wires, smashed windows, and burned public buildings. Pankhurst and her daughters Christabel and Sylvia  were arrested and jailed many times. In jail, the Pankhursts went on hunger strikes to dramatize their cause. June 1913, one radical suffragist died when she threw herself in front of the king’s horse at the English Derby.
In France, Jeanne-Elizabeth Schmahlfounded in 1909 the French Union for Women’s Suffrage. She rejected the militant tactics of the English movement and favored legal protests. French women did not gain the right to vote until after World War II. When Great Britain entered World War I, Pankhurst suspended her activities. When the war ended in 1918, Parliament granted the right to vote to women over the age of 30. In 1928, the required age was lowered to 21, making the voting age for both sexes the same.