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The Fall of Germany in World War I

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The Fall of Germany in World War I

None of the European power wanted World War I, but they feared

Germany. Germany was newly unified, and was beating the European

powers in population and Industry. France wanted to recover the

Alsace-Lorraine. Britain was a country used to being on the ocean, so

they felt threatened by Germany's colonial expansion and William II's

insisting on a large navy. Russia and Austria feared pressure on their

unstable empires. In 1887 William II refused to renew the Reinsurance

treaty with Russia, but continued the Triple Alliance of Germany,

Austria-Hungary, and Italy. In 1894 Russia made an alliance with

France, and Great Britain settled it's differences with France in the

Entente Cordiale in 1904 forming the Triple Entente.

The assassination, with Serbian Knowledge, of the liberal

Austrian archduke Francis Ferdinan in Sarajevo in June 1914 was the

spark that set off the war. Germany assured Austria full support,

which resulted in an Austrian ultimatum that Serbia could not accept.

Austria declared war on Serbia. Russia mobilized to defend Serbia,

then Germany declared war on Russia. Germany also declared war on

France. Germany wanted a quick defeat of France. To avoid the French

frontier, German forces moved through neutral Belgium thinking they

would take Paris by surprise. The Germans encountered more resistance

than expected in Belgium, giving France time to prepare. [Caidin 207]

This violation of international law destroyed all sympathy for the

Central Powers. Although German forces nearly reached Paris, the

British and French Miraculously turned back the Germans at the Battle

of Marne. The two sides dug trenches for a war that would last four

years. The Russians then attacked sending Germany into a two front

war. The Germans defeated the Russians Many times on the east, but the

Allies blockaded the Germans on the east by cutting off food and raw

materials, The Germans became desperate to break the blockade, so they

declared unrestricted submarine warfare. [Villiers 176] After several

American ships were sunk, the United States entered the war in 1917.

The Russians were in the middle of several revolutions so they were

not a threat to Germans. In 1918 when the Germans did not have to

worry about the east, they launched an all out offensive attack in the

west, but the United Allies slowly turned the tide. Realizing the

situation was hopeless the German High Command urged William to let a

new civil government sue for peace. Woodrow Wilson, U.S. President

from 1913 to 1921, insisted on dealing with citizens. William

grudgingly appointed Prince Max of Baden as chancellor. Even Though

Wilson was negotiating with the chancellor there were still many

problems. Fighting continued, sailors mutinied, socialist staged

strikes, workers and military ...

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