Two old empires, Austria-Hungary and Ottoman Turkey, struggled to survive in an age of nationalism. In 1905 and again in 1911, competition for colonies brought France and Germany to the brink of war in Morocco, then under France's influence. In Eastern Europe, Russia sponsored a powerful form of nationalism called Pan-Slavism. In 1912, several Balkan states attacked Turkey and succeeded in taking large area of land away from Turkish Control.
The United States Declares War
World War I was a global conflict; Japan allied with Britain, used the war as an excuse to seize German outposts in China and islands in the Pacific. In 1915, the Allies sent a force of British, Indian, Australian, and New Zealander troops to open up the strait. Between 600,000 and 1.5 million Armenians died. Colonial recruits from British India and French West Africa fought on European battlefields.
The March Revolution Ends Tsarism
To achieve total war, governments began to take a stronger role in directing the economic and cultural lives of their people. Governments raised taxes and borrowed huge amounts of money to pay the costs of war. Almost 1,200 passengers were killed, including 128 Americans. In France and Germany, propaganda urged civilians to loan money to the government.
Reaction To the War
The United States declared war on Germany. In April 1917, Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany. By 1918, about two million American soldiers had joined the war-weary Allied troops fighting on the western front. In January 1918, Wilson issued the Fourteen Points, a list of his terms for resolving the future wars.
The outbreak of war in 1914 fueled national pride and united Russians. By 1916, Rasputin's influence over Alexandra had reached new heights and weakened confidence in the government. By March 1917, disasters on the battlefield, combined with food and fuel shortages on the home front, brought the monarchy to collapse. The Revolutions of March and November 1917 are known to Russians as the February and October revolutions.
Many countries were troubled by domestic problems. The outbreak of war brought a temporary relief from the internal divisions. Governments on both sides emphasized that their countries were fighting for justice and a better world. Now that the war had come at last, it seemed an exciting adventure.