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When World War I broke out across Europe in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the United States would remain neutral, and many Americans supported this policy of nonintervention. However, public opinion about neutrality started to change after the sinking of the British ...read more
As the summer of 1914 approached, the balance of power in Europe looked shaky at best. It would take only a single crisis—the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife Sophie Chotek by a young Bosnian Serb nationalist in ...read more
The causes of World War I, also known as the Great War, have been debated since it ended. Officially, Germany shouldered much of the blame for the conflict, which caused four years of unprecedented slaughter. But a series of complicated factors caused the war, including a brutal ...read more
World War I was unlike any conflict the world had ever seen. From 1914 to 1918, the Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire were locked in a grueling battle against the Allied Powers—Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Romania, Japan and the ...read more
The instability created in Europe by the First World War (1914-18) set the stage for another international conflict–World War II–which broke out two decades later and would prove even more devastating. Rising to power in an economically and politically unstable Germany, Adolf ...read more
When Union Army general William Tecumseh Sherman famously said “War is hell,” he was referring to war in general, but he could have been describing trench warfare, a military tactic that’s been traced to the Civil War. Trenches—long, deep ditches dug as protective defenses—are ...read more
Born in a small English village to a haberdasher and an actress in 1901, Claude Choules was too young to enlist along with his two older brothers when war broke out in 1914. He lied about his age to join up at just 14. Though he wanted to be a bugler in the army, Choules—who went ...read more
The Treaty of Versailles, signed in June 1919 at the Palace of Versailles in Paris at the end of World War I, codified peace terms between the victorious Allies and Germany. The Treaty of Versailles held Germany responsible for starting the war and imposed harsh penalties in ...read more