TN History Textbook: First World War Notes | Study Must Read (Old & New) NCERTs for IAS Preparation - UPSC

UPSC: TN History Textbook: First World War Notes | Study Must Read (Old & New) NCERTs for IAS Preparation - UPSC

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 Page 1


285 284
There are different types of colonies. Settler colonies, such
as the original thirteen states of the United States of America, Canada,
Australia, New Zealand and Argentina arose from the emigration of
peoples from a mother country. This led to the  displacement of the
indigenous peoples.
Colonies of dependencies came into existence due to the
conquest by foreign countries. Examples in this category include the
British India, Dutch Indonesia, French Indo-China , and the Japanese
colonial empire.
Plantation colonies such as Barbados, Saint-Dominguez and
Jamaica, where the white colonizers imported black slaves - who
rapidly began to outnumber their owners- led to minority rule, similar
to a dependency.
Imperialism
Imperialism is a policy of extending control or authority over
colonized countries. The term is used to describe the policy of a
nation’s dominance over distant lands. The “Age of Imperialism”
usually refers to the Old Imperialism period starting from 1860, when
major European states started colonizing the other continents. The
term ‘Imperialism’ was initially coined in the mid 1500s to reflect the
policies of countries such as Britain and France who expanded into
Africa, and the Americas. Imperialism refers to the highest stage of
capitalism which made it necessary to find new markets and
resources. This theory of necessary expansion of capitalism outside
the boundaries of nation-states was shared by Lenin and Rosa
Luxemburg.
Economic Market
Industrial Revolution created the need among the European
countries to find new markets for their industrial goods. Similarly,
they had to find raw materials for their industries. This dual need
COLONIALISM
Colonialism is the extension of a nation’s sovereignty over
another territory beyond its borders. Colonizers generally dominate
the resources, labor, and markets of the colonial territory. They also
impose socio-cultural, religious and linguistic aspects on the conquered
population.
European colonialism began in the 15
th
 century with the “Age
of Discovery”. This was led by Portuguese and Spanish explorations
of the Americas, and the coasts of Africa, the Middle East, India,
and East Asia.  By 17
th
 century, England, France and Holland
successfully established their own overseas empires, in direct
competition with each other and those of Spain and Portugal. Spain
and Portugal were weakened after the loss of their New World
colonies. But Britain, France and Holland turned their attention to
the Old World, particularly South Africa, India and South East Asia,
where colonies were established. The industrialization of the 19
th
century led to what has been termed the era of New Imperialism.
The fight among the European countries to control and establish new
colonies led to the First World War.
LESSON 27
FIRST WORLD WAR
Learning Objectives
Students will acquire knowledge about
1. The concepts of colonialism, imperialism and their impact.
2. The causes for the First World War.
3. The course of the First World War.
4. The end and results of the First World War.
Page 2


285 284
There are different types of colonies. Settler colonies, such
as the original thirteen states of the United States of America, Canada,
Australia, New Zealand and Argentina arose from the emigration of
peoples from a mother country. This led to the  displacement of the
indigenous peoples.
Colonies of dependencies came into existence due to the
conquest by foreign countries. Examples in this category include the
British India, Dutch Indonesia, French Indo-China , and the Japanese
colonial empire.
Plantation colonies such as Barbados, Saint-Dominguez and
Jamaica, where the white colonizers imported black slaves - who
rapidly began to outnumber their owners- led to minority rule, similar
to a dependency.
Imperialism
Imperialism is a policy of extending control or authority over
colonized countries. The term is used to describe the policy of a
nation’s dominance over distant lands. The “Age of Imperialism”
usually refers to the Old Imperialism period starting from 1860, when
major European states started colonizing the other continents. The
term ‘Imperialism’ was initially coined in the mid 1500s to reflect the
policies of countries such as Britain and France who expanded into
Africa, and the Americas. Imperialism refers to the highest stage of
capitalism which made it necessary to find new markets and
resources. This theory of necessary expansion of capitalism outside
the boundaries of nation-states was shared by Lenin and Rosa
Luxemburg.
Economic Market
Industrial Revolution created the need among the European
countries to find new markets for their industrial goods. Similarly,
they had to find raw materials for their industries. This dual need
COLONIALISM
Colonialism is the extension of a nation’s sovereignty over
another territory beyond its borders. Colonizers generally dominate
the resources, labor, and markets of the colonial territory. They also
impose socio-cultural, religious and linguistic aspects on the conquered
population.
European colonialism began in the 15
th
 century with the “Age
of Discovery”. This was led by Portuguese and Spanish explorations
of the Americas, and the coasts of Africa, the Middle East, India,
and East Asia.  By 17
th
 century, England, France and Holland
successfully established their own overseas empires, in direct
competition with each other and those of Spain and Portugal. Spain
and Portugal were weakened after the loss of their New World
colonies. But Britain, France and Holland turned their attention to
the Old World, particularly South Africa, India and South East Asia,
where colonies were established. The industrialization of the 19
th
century led to what has been termed the era of New Imperialism.
The fight among the European countries to control and establish new
colonies led to the First World War.
LESSON 27
FIRST WORLD WAR
Learning Objectives
Students will acquire knowledge about
1. The concepts of colonialism, imperialism and their impact.
2. The causes for the First World War.
3. The course of the First World War.
4. The end and results of the First World War.
287 286
First World War (1914 -1919)
CAUSES
System of Alliances
There were many causes for the World War I.  The most
important cause was the system of secret alliances.  Before 1914
Europe was divided into two camps.  It was Germany which created
the division in European politics before World War I. In order to
isolate France, Germany entered in to an alliance with Austria.
Bismarck formed the three Emperors League by making alliance
with Russia.  Later Germany did not care for Russia. Hence Russia
left. But Germany continued its alliance with Austria alone.  This
was known as Dual alliance. After Italy joined in this alliance, it
became a Triple alliance.
In the meantime Russia began to lean towards France.  In
1894 there came Franco-Russian alliance against Austro-German
alliance.  It was at this time England followed a policy of splendid
isolation.  She also felt that she was all alone.  First she wanted to
join with Germany. When this became a failure, she entered into an
alliance with Japan in 1902. In 1904 she made alliance with France.
In 1907 Russia joined this alliance.  This  had resulted in Triple
Entente. Thus Europe was divided into two camps.  The secret
nature of these alliances brought about the war of 1914.
Militarism
 The countries in Europe had been increasing their armies and
navies. This was the main reason for universal fear, hatred and
suspicions among the countries of Europe.  In Europe, England and
Germany were superior in Navy.  There were competitions between
these two countries in naval armaments.  For every ship built by
Germany, two ships were built by England.
pushed the European countries to compete with each other to establish
their political control over Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Improvement in Communications
Advancement in science and technology led to improvement in
transport and communication. Steamships, Railroads, roadways were
improved. This helped imperialism to have a firm hold over the
conquered territories.
Rise of Extreme Nationalism
The late 19th century was a period of intense nationalism.  Many
nations developed myths of superiority over other peoples. Each
country wanted to have colonies to add to its prestige and power.
Writers and speakers in England, France and Germany opened
institutions to promote the idea of imperialism. European countries
took great pride in calling their territories as empires.
The ‘Civilizing Mission’
In the minds of many Europeans, imperialist expansion was
very noble. They considered it a way of bringing civilization to the
‘backward peoples of the world. Explorers and adventurers, as well
as missionaries helped in spreading imperialism.
US Imperialism
The United States has enjoyed its status as a sole superpower.
Beginning at the end of World War II, the U.S. largely took over
from the United Kingdom certain roles of influence in the Middle
East. Several Middle Eastern nations such as Egypt, Iran, Iraq,
Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel have all been
directly or otherwise substantially influenced by U.S. policy.
Page 3


285 284
There are different types of colonies. Settler colonies, such
as the original thirteen states of the United States of America, Canada,
Australia, New Zealand and Argentina arose from the emigration of
peoples from a mother country. This led to the  displacement of the
indigenous peoples.
Colonies of dependencies came into existence due to the
conquest by foreign countries. Examples in this category include the
British India, Dutch Indonesia, French Indo-China , and the Japanese
colonial empire.
Plantation colonies such as Barbados, Saint-Dominguez and
Jamaica, where the white colonizers imported black slaves - who
rapidly began to outnumber their owners- led to minority rule, similar
to a dependency.
Imperialism
Imperialism is a policy of extending control or authority over
colonized countries. The term is used to describe the policy of a
nation’s dominance over distant lands. The “Age of Imperialism”
usually refers to the Old Imperialism period starting from 1860, when
major European states started colonizing the other continents. The
term ‘Imperialism’ was initially coined in the mid 1500s to reflect the
policies of countries such as Britain and France who expanded into
Africa, and the Americas. Imperialism refers to the highest stage of
capitalism which made it necessary to find new markets and
resources. This theory of necessary expansion of capitalism outside
the boundaries of nation-states was shared by Lenin and Rosa
Luxemburg.
Economic Market
Industrial Revolution created the need among the European
countries to find new markets for their industrial goods. Similarly,
they had to find raw materials for their industries. This dual need
COLONIALISM
Colonialism is the extension of a nation’s sovereignty over
another territory beyond its borders. Colonizers generally dominate
the resources, labor, and markets of the colonial territory. They also
impose socio-cultural, religious and linguistic aspects on the conquered
population.
European colonialism began in the 15
th
 century with the “Age
of Discovery”. This was led by Portuguese and Spanish explorations
of the Americas, and the coasts of Africa, the Middle East, India,
and East Asia.  By 17
th
 century, England, France and Holland
successfully established their own overseas empires, in direct
competition with each other and those of Spain and Portugal. Spain
and Portugal were weakened after the loss of their New World
colonies. But Britain, France and Holland turned their attention to
the Old World, particularly South Africa, India and South East Asia,
where colonies were established. The industrialization of the 19
th
century led to what has been termed the era of New Imperialism.
The fight among the European countries to control and establish new
colonies led to the First World War.
LESSON 27
FIRST WORLD WAR
Learning Objectives
Students will acquire knowledge about
1. The concepts of colonialism, imperialism and their impact.
2. The causes for the First World War.
3. The course of the First World War.
4. The end and results of the First World War.
287 286
First World War (1914 -1919)
CAUSES
System of Alliances
There were many causes for the World War I.  The most
important cause was the system of secret alliances.  Before 1914
Europe was divided into two camps.  It was Germany which created
the division in European politics before World War I. In order to
isolate France, Germany entered in to an alliance with Austria.
Bismarck formed the three Emperors League by making alliance
with Russia.  Later Germany did not care for Russia. Hence Russia
left. But Germany continued its alliance with Austria alone.  This
was known as Dual alliance. After Italy joined in this alliance, it
became a Triple alliance.
In the meantime Russia began to lean towards France.  In
1894 there came Franco-Russian alliance against Austro-German
alliance.  It was at this time England followed a policy of splendid
isolation.  She also felt that she was all alone.  First she wanted to
join with Germany. When this became a failure, she entered into an
alliance with Japan in 1902. In 1904 she made alliance with France.
In 1907 Russia joined this alliance.  This  had resulted in Triple
Entente. Thus Europe was divided into two camps.  The secret
nature of these alliances brought about the war of 1914.
Militarism
 The countries in Europe had been increasing their armies and
navies. This was the main reason for universal fear, hatred and
suspicions among the countries of Europe.  In Europe, England and
Germany were superior in Navy.  There were competitions between
these two countries in naval armaments.  For every ship built by
Germany, two ships were built by England.
pushed the European countries to compete with each other to establish
their political control over Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Improvement in Communications
Advancement in science and technology led to improvement in
transport and communication. Steamships, Railroads, roadways were
improved. This helped imperialism to have a firm hold over the
conquered territories.
Rise of Extreme Nationalism
The late 19th century was a period of intense nationalism.  Many
nations developed myths of superiority over other peoples. Each
country wanted to have colonies to add to its prestige and power.
Writers and speakers in England, France and Germany opened
institutions to promote the idea of imperialism. European countries
took great pride in calling their territories as empires.
The ‘Civilizing Mission’
In the minds of many Europeans, imperialist expansion was
very noble. They considered it a way of bringing civilization to the
‘backward peoples of the world. Explorers and adventurers, as well
as missionaries helped in spreading imperialism.
US Imperialism
The United States has enjoyed its status as a sole superpower.
Beginning at the end of World War II, the U.S. largely took over
from the United Kingdom certain roles of influence in the Middle
East. Several Middle Eastern nations such as Egypt, Iran, Iraq,
Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel have all been
directly or otherwise substantially influenced by U.S. policy.
289 288
The desire of Italy to recover the Trentino and the area
around the port of Trieste was also a cause for war.  The Italians
considered that these areas were inhabited by Italians.  But they
were still part and parcel of Austria-Hungary.  They cried for the
redemption of these territories.  Italy also entered into a competition
with Austria to control the Adriatic Sea.  As Austria was not prepared
to put up with the competition, there arose bitterness in the relations
of these two countries.
The Eastern Question was also a factor for the war.  This
complicated the situation in the Balkans.  The misrule of Turkey
resulted in discontentment.  There was a rivalry between Greece,
Serbia and Bulgaria for the control of Macedonia which had a mixed
population.  On the occasion of Bosnian crises Russia supported
Serbia.  Pan Slavism also created complications.
The questions Bosnia - Herzegovina in the Balkans was also
similar to the problem of Alsace-Lorraine.  Bosnia and Herzegovina
were given to Austria-Hungary by the Congress of Berlin in 1878.
This was strongly opposed by Serbia.  A strong agitation was started
in Serbia to separate these provinces from Austria-Hungary and unite
them with Serbia.  This created rivalry between Serbia and Austria-
Hungary.  This became very keen after 1909.  Serbia also received
moral support from her big brother Russia (The Serbs and Russians
belong to Slav Race).
Immediate Cause
The immediate cause was the assassination
of Arch Duke Francis Ferdinand who was heir to
the Austrian throne.  Arch Duke Francis Ferdinand
and his wife were assassinated by Serbians in the
Bosnian capital Sarajevo when they paid a visit to
this city on 28
th
 June 1914.  The news of this murder
shocked many countries.  Austria-Hungary was
ARCH DUKE FERDINAND
Narrow Nationalism was also a cause for the war.  The love
of the country demanded the hatred of another. For instance, love of
Germany demanded the hatred of France.  Likewise the French
people hated the German people.  In Eastern Europe narrow
nationalism played a greater role.  The Serbians hated Austria-
Hungary.
The desire for the people of France to get back Alsace-Lorraine
was also a cause for the outbreak of First World War.  It was Bismarck
who had taken away Alsace-Lorraine from France and annexed them
with Germany in 1871.  The result was that there grew animosities
between these two countries.  It was this reason that forced Germany
to take steps to isolate France by making alliances with other
countries.
William II, the Emperor of Germany himself was a cause for
the First World War.  He wanted to make Germany a stronger power.
He was not prepared to make any compromise in international affairs.
He was mistaken in assessing Great Britain’s strength. It was a
misunderstanding of the British character by William II that was
responsible for the war.
Prussian spirit by Germany was also a cause for war.  The
Prussians were taught that war was a legal in the world.  War was
the national industry of Prussia.  The younger generation of Germany
was indoctrinated with such a philosophy of war.
Public Opinion
The position of public opinion by the newspapers was also a
cause.  Often, the newspapers tried to inflame nationalist feeling by
misrepresenting the situations in other countries.  Ambassadors and
cabinet ministers admitted the senseless attitude of the leading news
papers in their own countries.
Page 4


285 284
There are different types of colonies. Settler colonies, such
as the original thirteen states of the United States of America, Canada,
Australia, New Zealand and Argentina arose from the emigration of
peoples from a mother country. This led to the  displacement of the
indigenous peoples.
Colonies of dependencies came into existence due to the
conquest by foreign countries. Examples in this category include the
British India, Dutch Indonesia, French Indo-China , and the Japanese
colonial empire.
Plantation colonies such as Barbados, Saint-Dominguez and
Jamaica, where the white colonizers imported black slaves - who
rapidly began to outnumber their owners- led to minority rule, similar
to a dependency.
Imperialism
Imperialism is a policy of extending control or authority over
colonized countries. The term is used to describe the policy of a
nation’s dominance over distant lands. The “Age of Imperialism”
usually refers to the Old Imperialism period starting from 1860, when
major European states started colonizing the other continents. The
term ‘Imperialism’ was initially coined in the mid 1500s to reflect the
policies of countries such as Britain and France who expanded into
Africa, and the Americas. Imperialism refers to the highest stage of
capitalism which made it necessary to find new markets and
resources. This theory of necessary expansion of capitalism outside
the boundaries of nation-states was shared by Lenin and Rosa
Luxemburg.
Economic Market
Industrial Revolution created the need among the European
countries to find new markets for their industrial goods. Similarly,
they had to find raw materials for their industries. This dual need
COLONIALISM
Colonialism is the extension of a nation’s sovereignty over
another territory beyond its borders. Colonizers generally dominate
the resources, labor, and markets of the colonial territory. They also
impose socio-cultural, religious and linguistic aspects on the conquered
population.
European colonialism began in the 15
th
 century with the “Age
of Discovery”. This was led by Portuguese and Spanish explorations
of the Americas, and the coasts of Africa, the Middle East, India,
and East Asia.  By 17
th
 century, England, France and Holland
successfully established their own overseas empires, in direct
competition with each other and those of Spain and Portugal. Spain
and Portugal were weakened after the loss of their New World
colonies. But Britain, France and Holland turned their attention to
the Old World, particularly South Africa, India and South East Asia,
where colonies were established. The industrialization of the 19
th
century led to what has been termed the era of New Imperialism.
The fight among the European countries to control and establish new
colonies led to the First World War.
LESSON 27
FIRST WORLD WAR
Learning Objectives
Students will acquire knowledge about
1. The concepts of colonialism, imperialism and their impact.
2. The causes for the First World War.
3. The course of the First World War.
4. The end and results of the First World War.
287 286
First World War (1914 -1919)
CAUSES
System of Alliances
There were many causes for the World War I.  The most
important cause was the system of secret alliances.  Before 1914
Europe was divided into two camps.  It was Germany which created
the division in European politics before World War I. In order to
isolate France, Germany entered in to an alliance with Austria.
Bismarck formed the three Emperors League by making alliance
with Russia.  Later Germany did not care for Russia. Hence Russia
left. But Germany continued its alliance with Austria alone.  This
was known as Dual alliance. After Italy joined in this alliance, it
became a Triple alliance.
In the meantime Russia began to lean towards France.  In
1894 there came Franco-Russian alliance against Austro-German
alliance.  It was at this time England followed a policy of splendid
isolation.  She also felt that she was all alone.  First she wanted to
join with Germany. When this became a failure, she entered into an
alliance with Japan in 1902. In 1904 she made alliance with France.
In 1907 Russia joined this alliance.  This  had resulted in Triple
Entente. Thus Europe was divided into two camps.  The secret
nature of these alliances brought about the war of 1914.
Militarism
 The countries in Europe had been increasing their armies and
navies. This was the main reason for universal fear, hatred and
suspicions among the countries of Europe.  In Europe, England and
Germany were superior in Navy.  There were competitions between
these two countries in naval armaments.  For every ship built by
Germany, two ships were built by England.
pushed the European countries to compete with each other to establish
their political control over Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Improvement in Communications
Advancement in science and technology led to improvement in
transport and communication. Steamships, Railroads, roadways were
improved. This helped imperialism to have a firm hold over the
conquered territories.
Rise of Extreme Nationalism
The late 19th century was a period of intense nationalism.  Many
nations developed myths of superiority over other peoples. Each
country wanted to have colonies to add to its prestige and power.
Writers and speakers in England, France and Germany opened
institutions to promote the idea of imperialism. European countries
took great pride in calling their territories as empires.
The ‘Civilizing Mission’
In the minds of many Europeans, imperialist expansion was
very noble. They considered it a way of bringing civilization to the
‘backward peoples of the world. Explorers and adventurers, as well
as missionaries helped in spreading imperialism.
US Imperialism
The United States has enjoyed its status as a sole superpower.
Beginning at the end of World War II, the U.S. largely took over
from the United Kingdom certain roles of influence in the Middle
East. Several Middle Eastern nations such as Egypt, Iran, Iraq,
Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel have all been
directly or otherwise substantially influenced by U.S. policy.
289 288
The desire of Italy to recover the Trentino and the area
around the port of Trieste was also a cause for war.  The Italians
considered that these areas were inhabited by Italians.  But they
were still part and parcel of Austria-Hungary.  They cried for the
redemption of these territories.  Italy also entered into a competition
with Austria to control the Adriatic Sea.  As Austria was not prepared
to put up with the competition, there arose bitterness in the relations
of these two countries.
The Eastern Question was also a factor for the war.  This
complicated the situation in the Balkans.  The misrule of Turkey
resulted in discontentment.  There was a rivalry between Greece,
Serbia and Bulgaria for the control of Macedonia which had a mixed
population.  On the occasion of Bosnian crises Russia supported
Serbia.  Pan Slavism also created complications.
The questions Bosnia - Herzegovina in the Balkans was also
similar to the problem of Alsace-Lorraine.  Bosnia and Herzegovina
were given to Austria-Hungary by the Congress of Berlin in 1878.
This was strongly opposed by Serbia.  A strong agitation was started
in Serbia to separate these provinces from Austria-Hungary and unite
them with Serbia.  This created rivalry between Serbia and Austria-
Hungary.  This became very keen after 1909.  Serbia also received
moral support from her big brother Russia (The Serbs and Russians
belong to Slav Race).
Immediate Cause
The immediate cause was the assassination
of Arch Duke Francis Ferdinand who was heir to
the Austrian throne.  Arch Duke Francis Ferdinand
and his wife were assassinated by Serbians in the
Bosnian capital Sarajevo when they paid a visit to
this city on 28
th
 June 1914.  The news of this murder
shocked many countries.  Austria-Hungary was
ARCH DUKE FERDINAND
Narrow Nationalism was also a cause for the war.  The love
of the country demanded the hatred of another. For instance, love of
Germany demanded the hatred of France.  Likewise the French
people hated the German people.  In Eastern Europe narrow
nationalism played a greater role.  The Serbians hated Austria-
Hungary.
The desire for the people of France to get back Alsace-Lorraine
was also a cause for the outbreak of First World War.  It was Bismarck
who had taken away Alsace-Lorraine from France and annexed them
with Germany in 1871.  The result was that there grew animosities
between these two countries.  It was this reason that forced Germany
to take steps to isolate France by making alliances with other
countries.
William II, the Emperor of Germany himself was a cause for
the First World War.  He wanted to make Germany a stronger power.
He was not prepared to make any compromise in international affairs.
He was mistaken in assessing Great Britain’s strength. It was a
misunderstanding of the British character by William II that was
responsible for the war.
Prussian spirit by Germany was also a cause for war.  The
Prussians were taught that war was a legal in the world.  War was
the national industry of Prussia.  The younger generation of Germany
was indoctrinated with such a philosophy of war.
Public Opinion
The position of public opinion by the newspapers was also a
cause.  Often, the newspapers tried to inflame nationalist feeling by
misrepresenting the situations in other countries.  Ambassadors and
cabinet ministers admitted the senseless attitude of the leading news
papers in their own countries.
291 290
army signed the armistice agreement on November 11, 1918 to mark
their surrender to the Allies.  The allies of Germany had earlier
suffered defeat at the hands of the Allied powers.
Results of the War
The Great War took a heavy toll of lives.  It is estimated that
about ten million lives were lost and twenty million people have been
wounded.  People all over the world suffered untold miseries.  There
was a large scale damage to civil property.
It is estimated that the direct cost of the war reached just over
two hundred billion dollars and the indirect cost more than a hundred
and fifty billion dollars.
A large variety of deadly weapons such as incendiary bombs,
grenades and poison gases were used.  Tanks, submarines and
aircrafts were also used.
The war wrought its havoc on the economics of the participating
countries.  It may be remembered that about 25 nations had joined
the allies at the time of the outbreak of war.  The victors felt the
devastating effects of the war even before the cessation.  All these
nations were burdened with the national debts.  The world economy
was in shambles.
Germany was forced to sign the Treaty of Versailles on 28
th
June 1919.  It was a dictated peace and Germany had by then become
even too weak to protest.  She lost everything.  Germany and her
allies suffered most since they had to pay heavy sums to the victorious
allies as reparation debts.
Austria Hungary signed the Treaty of St. Germaine.  Hungary
signed the Treaty of Trianon with the allies in 1920.  Bulgaria had
accepted the Treaty of Neuliy in 1919.  Turkey, which sided with
Germany during the war, signed the Treaty of Sevres in 1920.
already sick of Serbia and she decided to take advantage of the new
situation to crush her.  The murder of their crown prince and his wife
resulted in an ultimatum  being sent to Serbia for immediate compliance
of certain terms.  Serbia’s reply did not pacify Austria-Hungary.
Hence, Austria-Hungary backed by Germany declared war on Serbia.
Russia mobilised her forces in favour of Serbia.
Course of the War
During the war Germany and her allies were called Central
Powers. England and her allies were called Allied Powers. Germany
entered the war to defend Austria.  Shortly all the powers in the
hostile camps were automatically drawn into the war.  Turkey and
Bulgaria joined the war on the side of Germany. Italy left the Triple
Alliance and joined the opposite camp with the idea of recovering
Italian territories under Austrian control.
England joined the war against Germany. There was bitter
fighting on the French soil.  The Battle of Verdun decided the
fortunes of the war in favour of the Allies.  Germany started
submarine warfare in a large scale.  All the laws relating to naval
warfare were thrown out.
Russia fought on the side of Allies up to 1917. The Bolshevik
regime wanted peace with Germany.  Thus the Brest-Litovsk Treaty
was signed between Russia and Germany.
The Lusitania ship was drowned by a German
submarine and consequently many Americans lost
their lives.  This resulted in the declaration of war
against Germany by the U.S.A.  In spite of best
efforts, Germany could not stand and ultimately she
surrendered in November 1919.
The German Emperor Kaiser William lost all hopes of winning
the war.  He  abdicated his throne and fled to Holland. The German
KAISER WILLIAM 
Page 5


285 284
There are different types of colonies. Settler colonies, such
as the original thirteen states of the United States of America, Canada,
Australia, New Zealand and Argentina arose from the emigration of
peoples from a mother country. This led to the  displacement of the
indigenous peoples.
Colonies of dependencies came into existence due to the
conquest by foreign countries. Examples in this category include the
British India, Dutch Indonesia, French Indo-China , and the Japanese
colonial empire.
Plantation colonies such as Barbados, Saint-Dominguez and
Jamaica, where the white colonizers imported black slaves - who
rapidly began to outnumber their owners- led to minority rule, similar
to a dependency.
Imperialism
Imperialism is a policy of extending control or authority over
colonized countries. The term is used to describe the policy of a
nation’s dominance over distant lands. The “Age of Imperialism”
usually refers to the Old Imperialism period starting from 1860, when
major European states started colonizing the other continents. The
term ‘Imperialism’ was initially coined in the mid 1500s to reflect the
policies of countries such as Britain and France who expanded into
Africa, and the Americas. Imperialism refers to the highest stage of
capitalism which made it necessary to find new markets and
resources. This theory of necessary expansion of capitalism outside
the boundaries of nation-states was shared by Lenin and Rosa
Luxemburg.
Economic Market
Industrial Revolution created the need among the European
countries to find new markets for their industrial goods. Similarly,
they had to find raw materials for their industries. This dual need
COLONIALISM
Colonialism is the extension of a nation’s sovereignty over
another territory beyond its borders. Colonizers generally dominate
the resources, labor, and markets of the colonial territory. They also
impose socio-cultural, religious and linguistic aspects on the conquered
population.
European colonialism began in the 15
th
 century with the “Age
of Discovery”. This was led by Portuguese and Spanish explorations
of the Americas, and the coasts of Africa, the Middle East, India,
and East Asia.  By 17
th
 century, England, France and Holland
successfully established their own overseas empires, in direct
competition with each other and those of Spain and Portugal. Spain
and Portugal were weakened after the loss of their New World
colonies. But Britain, France and Holland turned their attention to
the Old World, particularly South Africa, India and South East Asia,
where colonies were established. The industrialization of the 19
th
century led to what has been termed the era of New Imperialism.
The fight among the European countries to control and establish new
colonies led to the First World War.
LESSON 27
FIRST WORLD WAR
Learning Objectives
Students will acquire knowledge about
1. The concepts of colonialism, imperialism and their impact.
2. The causes for the First World War.
3. The course of the First World War.
4. The end and results of the First World War.
287 286
First World War (1914 -1919)
CAUSES
System of Alliances
There were many causes for the World War I.  The most
important cause was the system of secret alliances.  Before 1914
Europe was divided into two camps.  It was Germany which created
the division in European politics before World War I. In order to
isolate France, Germany entered in to an alliance with Austria.
Bismarck formed the three Emperors League by making alliance
with Russia.  Later Germany did not care for Russia. Hence Russia
left. But Germany continued its alliance with Austria alone.  This
was known as Dual alliance. After Italy joined in this alliance, it
became a Triple alliance.
In the meantime Russia began to lean towards France.  In
1894 there came Franco-Russian alliance against Austro-German
alliance.  It was at this time England followed a policy of splendid
isolation.  She also felt that she was all alone.  First she wanted to
join with Germany. When this became a failure, she entered into an
alliance with Japan in 1902. In 1904 she made alliance with France.
In 1907 Russia joined this alliance.  This  had resulted in Triple
Entente. Thus Europe was divided into two camps.  The secret
nature of these alliances brought about the war of 1914.
Militarism
 The countries in Europe had been increasing their armies and
navies. This was the main reason for universal fear, hatred and
suspicions among the countries of Europe.  In Europe, England and
Germany were superior in Navy.  There were competitions between
these two countries in naval armaments.  For every ship built by
Germany, two ships were built by England.
pushed the European countries to compete with each other to establish
their political control over Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Improvement in Communications
Advancement in science and technology led to improvement in
transport and communication. Steamships, Railroads, roadways were
improved. This helped imperialism to have a firm hold over the
conquered territories.
Rise of Extreme Nationalism
The late 19th century was a period of intense nationalism.  Many
nations developed myths of superiority over other peoples. Each
country wanted to have colonies to add to its prestige and power.
Writers and speakers in England, France and Germany opened
institutions to promote the idea of imperialism. European countries
took great pride in calling their territories as empires.
The ‘Civilizing Mission’
In the minds of many Europeans, imperialist expansion was
very noble. They considered it a way of bringing civilization to the
‘backward peoples of the world. Explorers and adventurers, as well
as missionaries helped in spreading imperialism.
US Imperialism
The United States has enjoyed its status as a sole superpower.
Beginning at the end of World War II, the U.S. largely took over
from the United Kingdom certain roles of influence in the Middle
East. Several Middle Eastern nations such as Egypt, Iran, Iraq,
Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel have all been
directly or otherwise substantially influenced by U.S. policy.
289 288
The desire of Italy to recover the Trentino and the area
around the port of Trieste was also a cause for war.  The Italians
considered that these areas were inhabited by Italians.  But they
were still part and parcel of Austria-Hungary.  They cried for the
redemption of these territories.  Italy also entered into a competition
with Austria to control the Adriatic Sea.  As Austria was not prepared
to put up with the competition, there arose bitterness in the relations
of these two countries.
The Eastern Question was also a factor for the war.  This
complicated the situation in the Balkans.  The misrule of Turkey
resulted in discontentment.  There was a rivalry between Greece,
Serbia and Bulgaria for the control of Macedonia which had a mixed
population.  On the occasion of Bosnian crises Russia supported
Serbia.  Pan Slavism also created complications.
The questions Bosnia - Herzegovina in the Balkans was also
similar to the problem of Alsace-Lorraine.  Bosnia and Herzegovina
were given to Austria-Hungary by the Congress of Berlin in 1878.
This was strongly opposed by Serbia.  A strong agitation was started
in Serbia to separate these provinces from Austria-Hungary and unite
them with Serbia.  This created rivalry between Serbia and Austria-
Hungary.  This became very keen after 1909.  Serbia also received
moral support from her big brother Russia (The Serbs and Russians
belong to Slav Race).
Immediate Cause
The immediate cause was the assassination
of Arch Duke Francis Ferdinand who was heir to
the Austrian throne.  Arch Duke Francis Ferdinand
and his wife were assassinated by Serbians in the
Bosnian capital Sarajevo when they paid a visit to
this city on 28
th
 June 1914.  The news of this murder
shocked many countries.  Austria-Hungary was
ARCH DUKE FERDINAND
Narrow Nationalism was also a cause for the war.  The love
of the country demanded the hatred of another. For instance, love of
Germany demanded the hatred of France.  Likewise the French
people hated the German people.  In Eastern Europe narrow
nationalism played a greater role.  The Serbians hated Austria-
Hungary.
The desire for the people of France to get back Alsace-Lorraine
was also a cause for the outbreak of First World War.  It was Bismarck
who had taken away Alsace-Lorraine from France and annexed them
with Germany in 1871.  The result was that there grew animosities
between these two countries.  It was this reason that forced Germany
to take steps to isolate France by making alliances with other
countries.
William II, the Emperor of Germany himself was a cause for
the First World War.  He wanted to make Germany a stronger power.
He was not prepared to make any compromise in international affairs.
He was mistaken in assessing Great Britain’s strength. It was a
misunderstanding of the British character by William II that was
responsible for the war.
Prussian spirit by Germany was also a cause for war.  The
Prussians were taught that war was a legal in the world.  War was
the national industry of Prussia.  The younger generation of Germany
was indoctrinated with such a philosophy of war.
Public Opinion
The position of public opinion by the newspapers was also a
cause.  Often, the newspapers tried to inflame nationalist feeling by
misrepresenting the situations in other countries.  Ambassadors and
cabinet ministers admitted the senseless attitude of the leading news
papers in their own countries.
291 290
army signed the armistice agreement on November 11, 1918 to mark
their surrender to the Allies.  The allies of Germany had earlier
suffered defeat at the hands of the Allied powers.
Results of the War
The Great War took a heavy toll of lives.  It is estimated that
about ten million lives were lost and twenty million people have been
wounded.  People all over the world suffered untold miseries.  There
was a large scale damage to civil property.
It is estimated that the direct cost of the war reached just over
two hundred billion dollars and the indirect cost more than a hundred
and fifty billion dollars.
A large variety of deadly weapons such as incendiary bombs,
grenades and poison gases were used.  Tanks, submarines and
aircrafts were also used.
The war wrought its havoc on the economics of the participating
countries.  It may be remembered that about 25 nations had joined
the allies at the time of the outbreak of war.  The victors felt the
devastating effects of the war even before the cessation.  All these
nations were burdened with the national debts.  The world economy
was in shambles.
Germany was forced to sign the Treaty of Versailles on 28
th
June 1919.  It was a dictated peace and Germany had by then become
even too weak to protest.  She lost everything.  Germany and her
allies suffered most since they had to pay heavy sums to the victorious
allies as reparation debts.
Austria Hungary signed the Treaty of St. Germaine.  Hungary
signed the Treaty of Trianon with the allies in 1920.  Bulgaria had
accepted the Treaty of Neuliy in 1919.  Turkey, which sided with
Germany during the war, signed the Treaty of Sevres in 1920.
already sick of Serbia and she decided to take advantage of the new
situation to crush her.  The murder of their crown prince and his wife
resulted in an ultimatum  being sent to Serbia for immediate compliance
of certain terms.  Serbia’s reply did not pacify Austria-Hungary.
Hence, Austria-Hungary backed by Germany declared war on Serbia.
Russia mobilised her forces in favour of Serbia.
Course of the War
During the war Germany and her allies were called Central
Powers. England and her allies were called Allied Powers. Germany
entered the war to defend Austria.  Shortly all the powers in the
hostile camps were automatically drawn into the war.  Turkey and
Bulgaria joined the war on the side of Germany. Italy left the Triple
Alliance and joined the opposite camp with the idea of recovering
Italian territories under Austrian control.
England joined the war against Germany. There was bitter
fighting on the French soil.  The Battle of Verdun decided the
fortunes of the war in favour of the Allies.  Germany started
submarine warfare in a large scale.  All the laws relating to naval
warfare were thrown out.
Russia fought on the side of Allies up to 1917. The Bolshevik
regime wanted peace with Germany.  Thus the Brest-Litovsk Treaty
was signed between Russia and Germany.
The Lusitania ship was drowned by a German
submarine and consequently many Americans lost
their lives.  This resulted in the declaration of war
against Germany by the U.S.A.  In spite of best
efforts, Germany could not stand and ultimately she
surrendered in November 1919.
The German Emperor Kaiser William lost all hopes of winning
the war.  He  abdicated his throne and fled to Holland. The German
KAISER WILLIAM 
293 292
MODEL QUESTIONS
I. Choose the correct answer.
1. Which one of the following was grouped under the settler
colonies?
(a) British India (b) Indo-China
(c) 13 American colonies (d) Indonesia
II. Fill in the blanks.
1. The Three Emperors League was formed by …..
2. The Congress of Berlin was convened in the year …..
III. Match the following.
1. Treaty of Versailles a. Austria-Hungary
2. Treaty of Saint Germaine b. Turkey
3. Treaty of Sevres c. Germany
4. Treaty of Nueliy d. Bulgaria
IV. Find out the correct statement. One statement alone is
right.
a. When Italy joined Dual Alliance it became Triple Alliance.
b. Austrian Prince Francis Ferdinand was assassinated in Austrian
Capital.
c. During the First World War the world was divided in to Allied
Powers and Axis Powers.
d. After the War Bulgaria joined the Treaty of Trianan.
Learning Outcome
After learning this lesson the students will be to explain
1. The rise of colonialism and its impact.
2. Imperialism and its impact on the world politics.
3. The system of alliances and other causes for the First World
War .
4. The role of USA in the First World War and the victory of the
Allied powers in the war.
5. The Treaties concluded at the end of the First World War
and the results of the war.
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