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Friday, March 03, 2017



Schlieffen Plan
- General Schlieffen devised a plan based on the assumption of a two-front war with France and Russia. It called for a minimal troop deployment against Russia while most of the German army would make a rapid invasion of western France by way of neutral Belgium. After the planned quick defeat of the French, the German army expected to redeploy to the east against Russia. Germany issued an ultimatum to Belgium on August 2 demanding the right of German troops to pass through Belgian territory, and on August 3 declared war on France. On the 4th, Great Britain declared war on Germany over its violation of Belgian neutrality (in reality however, Britain’s reason for entering the war was to maintain their world power).
Here’s WHY you need to know that. War wasn’t inevitable. Diplomacy was still an option. However, it’s hard to negotiate in good faith when you have a great plan in place and a desire to use it.

Battle of the Somme- worst military disaster in British history.
Classic example of the wastage in WWI. British shelled German trenches for one full week with 1.5 million shells (the plan was to flatten the barb-wire with machine gun fire and then run across and kill the survivors). When the firing stopped, German machine gunners came up from the safety of their dugouts. The barb-wire was still there also, bent, but not broken and flattened. 110,000 British attacked; 60,000 were killed on the first day.

The Nature of Trench Warfare
- Trench Warfare, begun after the First Battle of the Marne, became a very elaborate form of defense. Trenches were protected by high entanglements of barbed wire; there were concrete machine-gun nests, mortar batteries, and heavy artillery farther back. The unexpected development of trench warfare baffled military leaders who had been trained to fight wars of movement and maneuver. The only thing they could think of was to “soften up” the enemy by firing artillery to flatten their barbed wire and then send men charging into no-man’s land. This was extremely ineffective; it killed millions of soldiers such as the Germans at Verdun, the British on the Somme, and the French in Champagne.

Battle of the Marne-
the Germans executed their Schlieffen Plan and within about a month had reached the Marne River in France, about 20 miles from Paris. In the first Battle of the Marne, the British had mobilized faster than the Germans had expected, and a British and French counterattack stopped the Germans. The French were too exhausted to pursue their advantage, and soon the war turned into a stalemate as neither side was able to dislodge the other from the trenches they had begun to dig for shelter. Soon, the two lines of trenches stretched from the Channel to the borders of Switzerland. There was little progress on this Western Front throughout all 4 years of the war

The German Republic & the Nature of the War’s End
- Germany had used up her resources by the time the Americans entered the war and was a defeated power. General Ludendorff knew they were defeated and urged the government to sue for peace. However, since the Allies were unwilling to make peace with the imperialistic government, Ludendorff instituted liberal government reforms. The reforms came too late for the angry and exhausted German people, who began forming their own versions of Russian soviets. In the face of this communist revolution, William II fled. Meanwhile moderate Socialists in the Reichstag announced the establishment of a German Republic. In December, left-wing socialists formed the German Communist Party, parallel to the Republic also in place. This Communist party, unlike the Russian one, was UNable to seize power. SIGNIFICANCE: the government and army that had conducted the war was NOT the same government that signed the hated Treaty of Versailles.

The Conflicting Goals of the Big Four
- The U.S. wanted to create democratic governments and a “general association of nations” that would guarantee the “political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike”. Wilson’s Fourteen Points summed up what he believed should result. Britain under Lloyd George felt that the Germans should pay for the dreadful war (the British people had been turned against the Germans by propaganda). France, under Clemenceau, wanted a demilitarized Germany, vast German reparations to pay for the costs of the war, and a separate Rhineland as a buffer state between France and Germany. Italy remained out of the major decision making.

“Peace without victory”
- Wilson’s seemingly far-fetched goal for a non-punitive peace settlement

David Lloyd George
Liberal Party British Prime Minister at the war’s end. Wanted to make sure Germany paid for the war and wanted an expansion of the British Empire.

- the Allies had promised to recognize the independence of Arab states in the Middle Eastern lands of the Ottoman Empire in order to gain support for the war. After the war however, the Allies returned to their imperialistic ways; France took control of Lebanon and Syria, and Britain received Iraq and Palestine. Both acquisitions were officially called “mandates” so as to not break their promise or anger the anti-imperialistic Wilson.

Ca$h payments a losing power makes to the victors. The Germans were forced to agree to huge reparations.

Article 231
The specific article of the Treaty of Versailles in which Germany accepts “sole guilt” for the war.

The 7 New Nations of 1919
- the German and Russian Empires lost considerable territory in Eastern Europe at the conclusion of the war, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire disappeared altogether. These changes resulted in the creation of several new nations: Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, and Hungary. Romania acquired additional lands from Russia, Hungary, and Bulgaria. Serbia formed the nucleus of the new Slav state Yugoslavia consisting of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes.

- small piece of land in the Rhineland taken from the French at the end of the Franco-Prussian war by Germany. Source of much French anger/hatred towards Germany. In WWI when Germany declared war on France, the French, having kept the grudge, went immediately for Alsace-Loraine against their best interest . It was returned to France in the Versailles settlement.

Armistice (11/11/18 11:00am)
- an armistice was called and the fighting ended on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918.

The Connection between Machiavelli & the Treaty of Versailles-
Machiavelli believed that if defeated your enemy, then you should either help them, or harm them enough so that they aren’t able seek revenge. The Treaty of Versailles unwisely fell in between the two, harming the Germans enough to anger and humiliate them but not enough to keep them from striking back later.

- leader of Italy, a member of the Big Four, but it was the smallest and most insignificant member.

French president of the 3rd Republic who represented France at Versailles. He was determined to weaken Germany (and get $$$)

Versailles, Paris
- site of the meeting of the delegates of the 27 Allied nations (Paris Peace Conference) who drew up the
Treaty of Versailles


Section 4
Varsity Terms
Nicholas II –
During the war, Nicholas (who lacked military ability and training) insisted that he take personal charge of the armed forces. Problems like this and others such as the incompetent and inefficient bureaucracy that controlled the political and military system led to the collapse of the monarchy and Nicholas’s abdication in March of 1917.

Romanov Dynasty
- the dynasty of Nicholas II and family, ended by his abdication in March of 1917.

- another name for St. Petersburg, The Capital of Russia

St. Petersburg
- capital of the Russian Empire (pre-1917, later it was moved to Moscow) and the site of the March Revolution and Women’s Day parade for Bread and Peace in 1917. It was also home to the Provisional Government and Petrograd Soviet.

February (March) Revolution
- on March 8, 1917 10,000 women marched through the streets of Petrograd (St. Petersburg) demanding “peace and bread” and “down with autocracy”. They were joined by other workers and together called for a general strike shutting down all factories in the city on March 10. The Duma capitalized on this situation by meeting two days after the strike and establishing a Provisional Government that urged the tsar to abdicate. He did so on March 15.

Alexander Kerensky
Leader of the ever-weakening Provisional Government. In September, when General Lavr Kornilov attempted to march on Petrograd and seize power, Kerensky released Bolsheviks from prison and turned to the Petrograd soviet for help. Kerenksky’s actions strengthened the Petrograd soviet and showed Lenin how weak the Provisional Government really was.

The Provisional Government-
a temporary government established during the March revolution by the Duma that met on the 12th, it was the moderate Constitutional Democrats that were responsible for its establishment. They represented a middle-class and liberal aristocratic minority who pushed a 19th century liberal agenda: freedom of speech, religion, assembly, and civil liberties. They wanted to carry on the war to preserve Russia’s honor; this contradicted the demands of the peasants and workers who wanted it to end. This Provisional Government was opposed by soviets (councils of worker’s and soldier’s deputies) such as the soviet of Petrograd and others that were popping up all over Russia. In the fall of 1917 the Provisional Government promised that a constitutional convention would confiscate and redistribute royal and monastic lands, but the offer was meaningless since the soviets now had the real power, and the peasants had already started seizing lands. The Provisional Government will be ousted by the Bolsheviks (Petrograd Soviet) in October of 1917.

October (November) Revolution
- on November 6-7, Lenin and Trotsky led Bolshevik forces as they seized the Winter Palace of the Provisional Government. In this coup d’etat , Lenin turned over the sovereignty of the Provisional Government to this Congress of Soviets. Real power, however, transferred to a Council of People’s Commissars, headed by Lenin. The Bolsheviks were now known as the Communists.

Lenin- Vladimir Ulianov (V. I. Lenin)
Russian Marxist was arrested for his activities in St Petersburg and sent into exile in Switzerland. Eventually assumed the leadership of the Bolshevik wing of the Russian Social Democratic Party. When the Provisional Government was formed in March of 1917, the German High Command (hoping to create disorder in Russia) shipped Lenin and a small group of his followers to Russia. There he issued his “April Theses” on April 20 with his own version of the Marxist theory and many promises to the Russian people. In July 1917, Lenin and the Bolsheviks were falsely accused of inciting an attempt to overthrow the Provisional Government, and Lenin was forced to flee to Finland. Later he returned and in the October revolution was able to overthrow the Provisional Government in favor of a proletariat rule under the Bolsheviks.

One wing of the Russian Social Democratic Party.
The Marxist Social Democratic Party in 1904 divided into two factions: the Mensheviks and the Bolsheviks. The Mensheviks wanted the Social Democrats to be a mass electoral socialist party based on a Western model. Like the Social Democrats of Germany, they were willing to cooperate temporarily in a parliamentary democracy while working toward the ultimate achievement of the socialist state.

a small faction of the Russian Social Democrats who came under the leadership of V. I. Lenin, who led the Bolsheviks to become a party dedicated to violent revolution. Lenin believed that only a violet revolution could destroy the capitalist system and that a “vanguard” of activists must form a small party of well-disciplined professional revolutionaries to accomplish the task. He also maintained that that the soviets of soldiers, workers, and peasants were ready-made instruments of power to execute his Marxist revolutionary plan. By the end of October the Bolsheviks had achieved a slight majority in the Petrograd and Moscow soviets (which had increased from 50,000 to 240,000 party members). The Bolsheviks took over the Winter Palace in the October/November revolution and retained power through the civil war. They became the new Communist regime.

The Winter Palace
- the seat of the Provisional Government that was seized by Bolshevik forces headed by Lenin and Trotsky on November 6-7. It fell quickly and with little bloodshed.

Social Democrats
In Russia, the Social Democrats separated into the mainstream Mensheviks and the radical Bolsheviks.

April Theses
- Lenin’s blueprint for revolutionary action based on his own version of Marxist theory. He maintained that the soviets of soldiers, workers, and peasants were ready-made instruments of power. The Bolsheviks must work to gain control of these groups and then use them to overthrow the Provisional Government.

“Peace, Land, Bread”
- Bolshevik message during Kerensky’s government. Lenin promised of an end to the war, the redistribution of land to the peasants, the transfer of factories and industries from capitalists to committees of workers, and the relegation of government power from the Provisional Government to the soviets. Three slogans summed up the Bolshevik program- “Peace, Land, Bread”, “Worker Control of Production” and “All Power to the Soviets”.

a council of worker’s and soldier’s deputies (radical socialist councils that sprang up in St. Petersburg, army units, factory towns, and rural areas). These soviets opposed the Provisional Government and represented the more radical interests of the lower classes. The most numerous group of socialists that composed soviets were the Socialist Revolutionaries who wished to establish peasant socialism by seizing the great landed estates and creating a rural democracy.

How Lenin modified Marxism
- Lenin argued that it was not necessary for Russia to experience a bourgeois period before it could move toward socialism, instead it could move directly into socialism from Feudalism.
He also rejected the idea of a popular mass revolution and replaced it with the idea of a small revolutionary group (vanguard)

Reforms of the Bolsheviks
- in the early reforms, the treaty Brest-Litovsk ended the war and required Russia to give up much of its eastern land, church and state were separated, there was a rule by the proletariat, the land was given to the peasants (who had already seized it but didn’t exactly own it), factories were owned by the workers, large industry was controlled by the government, they switched from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, ethnic groups were given equal rights, and women were decreed equals of men, also gaining the rights of legalized divorce and permitted abortions.

Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
- 1918, treaty between the new Communist government and Germany in which Russia exited the war and in return gave up eastern Poland, Ukraine, Finland, and the Baltic provinces. Lenin argued that this didn’t matter because the socialist revolution was going to spread throughout Europe and make the treaty irrelevant.

Red Army
- represented the Bolshevik (Communist) forces during the Russian civil war, they were able to survive and defeat their White enemies because they had become a well-disciplined and formidable fighting force under the organization of Trotsky (commissar of war).
White Army
- they represented the anti-Communist forces. Their disunity seriously weakened their efforts; the distrust disrupted cooperation with each other. Although several different white armies were closing in on the Bolsheviks in late 1919, they were eventually pushed back

Civil War
- although the Communist were in power, there were still many groups who opposed the new Communist (Bolshevik) regime: groups loyal to the tsar, bourgeois and aristocratic liberals, and anti-Leninist socialists (Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries). Also, thousands of Allied troops had been sent to Russia to get them back into the war. Between 1918-1921, the Red Army (Bolshevik Army) had to defend from many fronts. By the end of the civil war, the Communists had succeeded in retaining control of Russia; their regime had transformed Russia into a bureaucratically centralized state dominated by a single party.

Leon Trotsky
a former Menshevik who closely cooperated with Lenin. Together they organized a Military Revolutionary Committee within the Petrograd Soviet to plot the overthrow of the Provisional Government. After the successful October Revolution, he organized the Red Army during the Civil War.

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