By the early 1900s, European nationalism was very strong. Britain, Italy, France, and Germany wanted all to be mighty world powers, and they were in a race for claiming colonies.
They all built big armies, and countries were forming alliances. Britain, Russia, and France made one alliance that was called the Allies.
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Austria-Hungary and Germany also formed an alliance that was named the Central Powers.
In the year 1914, Austria-Hungary was declaring war on Serbia, and other countries started to join in. The Allies and the Central Powers then also declared war on each other, and World War I had begun.
America Enters the WW I
Most American citizens wanted the U.S. to stay away from the war. Still, when in 1917, Germany was attacking American ships, Congress was urged to declare war on Europe’s Central Powers, and the United States was joining the Allies.
Numerous young American men left to partake in the war, and many of America’s factories were losing lots of workers.
Quite a few African Americans set out to leave the South and started to work in factories in the North, and women worked in factories as well.
The Allies were trying to capture their enemies, and tens of thousands of men got killed in that war’s trench warfare. The fighting went on for 4 years.
In that period, many new weapons were introduced; for example, machine guns, cannons, and tanks were much used in fighting on the ground.
Submarines were sinking ships, and airplanes were being used for the first time to fight in a war.
America was helping the Allies to win WW I. In 1918, on November 11, the Central Powers and the Allies signed an armistice.
Both alliances sent leaders to Versailles, where they signed a peace treaty that ended the war.
President Wilson had wanted that the treaty included a new organization, named the “League of Nations,” an organization that would work toward peace.
Many American citizens, however, were feeling that they had done enough to help other countries, and the feeling of isolationism was growing, so eventually, The U.S. didn’t join this organization, the League of Nations.