Cluster 3: Becoming a Sovereign Nation - Ms Martin's History 30
The First World War and Beyond Cluster 3: Becoming a Sovereign Nation Militarism Militarism: military spirit. It is a policy of maintaining a strong military organization in aggressive preparedness for war.
Germany was competing with the UK to build battleships. The British feared an attack on their Empire Germany was competing with Russia and France to expand their armies This is called an arms race. Comparative figures on army
increase, 1870-1914: 1870 1914 Russia 700,000 1,300,000 France 380,000 846,000
Germany 403,000 812,000 Austria-Hungary 247,000 424,000 Britain 302,000 Alliances By 1914 all the major powers were
linked by a system of alliances. The alliances made it more likely that a war would start. Once started, the alliances made it more likely to spread. Imperialism
Imperialism is when a country takes over new lands or countries and makes them subject to their rule. By 1900 the British Empire extended over five continents and France had control of large areas of Africa. With the rise of industrialism countries needed
new markets. The amount of lands 'owned' by Britain and France increased the rivalry with Germany who had entered the scramble to acquire colonies late and only had small areas of Africa A World of Empires, 1914
Empires of the World, 1914 Nationalism Nationalism: a sentiment based on common cultural characteristics that binds a population. This was an age when all nations wanted to
assert their power and independence. In Europe Slavs, aided by Serbia and Russia, wanted to be free of Austrian rule. Serbias national flag
How to Start a War Soon, this volatile mix of suspicion and competition ignited into all-out war June 28, 1914, a radical Serbian nationalist shot and killed the archduke of AustriaHungary, Franz Ferdinand, and his wife, Duchess Sophia while they were visiting Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina
Austria-Hungary used the assassination as an excuse to invade Serbia The Domino Effect When Austria-Hungary invaded Serbia. Russia honoured an agreement with Serbia and came to their defense Germany then backed its ally, Austria-Hungary While Britain and France backed their ally,
Russia Canada, as a member of the British Empire, was now at war Just over a month after the assassination all of Europe was at war
Video: How WWI Started (9:09) Canadas Response Canada was expected to support Britain when it went to war Prime Minister Robert Borden (Conservative)
supported the decision to enter the war (as did the Liberals) It was up to Canada to decide what part it would play Borden pledged there would be no conscription, but also promised to provide whatever troops Britain needed
Although it had a standing army of only 3000 men, Canada agreed to supply 25,000 troops to assist Britain A huge groundswell of support by Canadians for the war effort, and a need for employment or desire for adventure, led to 30,000 men
registering in one month October 3, 1914, the first contingent of Canadian soldiers left for Britain Many believed they would be home by Christmas Trench Warfare
Though Germany came close to capturing Paris in late 1914, the Allies prevented this Both sides settled into a series of trenches that stretched from the English
Channel, through part of Belgium and France, all the way to Switzerland This Western Front was literally carved out by this intricate web of trenches In 1914, many leaders believed battles could
be won by quick attacks involving large numbers of soldiers As the war dragged on, a stalemate developed Much of the fighting done by Canadians took place along this front Soldiers spent about two weeks at a time
living in the trenches They moved from the front-line trench to the support-line to the reserve Besides battle deaths and injuries, random sniping and shelling killed or wounded about 80 men in each 800-man battalion in the trenches every month (approx. 10%)
Trench Warfare Problems Rain: The rain was a constant problem. Whenever it would rain, the trenches would fill up with water and the soldiers were forced to stand in icy water and mud. This caused some serious problems with their feet. Known as trenchfoot, their feet would swell and they would be in extreme pain. If they tried to take off their boots in relief,
they would not be able to get them back on. If left untreated, trench foot usually results in gangrene, which can require amputation. If trench foot is treated properly, complete recovery is normal, though it is marked by severe shortterm pain when feeling returns. Day after day, week after week, the men would eat and sleep in the wet muddy trenches crouched behind rifles in
soaking wet uniforms. The mud was everywhere and in it were bits of trees, shrapnel, rubble and body parts. Lice & Rats: Lice were called itchee-coos. They lived on clothes and in hair. The lice need a meal of blood every 12 hours in order to
survive. They would lay eggs in the seams of the soldiers clothes. They laid 6-7 eggs per day. Each female could lay up to 300 eggs that would hatch every 3 days. They would come onto the bodies to feed and then retreat into the seams of the clothes. Soldiers were supposed to get fumigated clothing but even the clean clothes had lice in them as large as grains of rice. All
bedding was crawling with vermin when they were out on rest. Rats had a constant supply of food. The men who died in No Mans Land could not be recovered so they became food for rats. The soldiers were forced to see their comrades being eaten (sometimes while they were still alive) and to listen to the sound of their dying. The smell of blood and rotting flesh was constant.
Gas: Gas was first used as a weapon by the Germans at the Battle of Ypres in 1915. The gas would blow across the Allies lines and would slowly choke the soldiers who had no masks. The gas was known a s mustard gas because of its colour. It was chlorine. The gas would corrode the
lungs of a soldier immediately and he would choke to death on his own lungs as they frothed up and consumed him. The Germans would wear their masks and attack. Even without the masks, the Canadian soldiers at Ypres stayed and fought for 2 days. 1 in 3 Canadians were hurt or killed but they never retreated.
Major Battles of WWI Canada made major contributions to WWI The Canadian Expeditionary Force gained a reputation for being capable and courageous on the front lines Canadians on the home front felt pride in
their troops and a sense of unity as they pulled together to support them Canadians first major military engagement Germans held the Belgian town and attacked the
French and British in the countryside On April 22, 1915, the Germans released poisonous chlorine gas to push back the Allies Soldiers choked, suffocated,
and died The Allies retreated and Canadians stepped in to fill the gap They were hit as well but held the line Some breathed through
urine-soaked handkerchiefs to survive Ypres 1916, Allied troops decided to push back the Germans at the
Somme Valley (northern France) Allies bombarded the German lines for over a week to destroy their barbed wire and weaken their defense Tens of thousands of troops
poured over No-Mans Land toward the German trenches German artillery fire devastated the advancing troops In the first day, 20,000 Allied troops were killed, 40,000 wounded
At the end of the battle, the Allies gained 13 km of land and 1,250,000 Allied and German troops were dead The Somme Video: The Western Front 3 (6:21)
Video: The Western Front 4 (5:12) Vimy Ridge Germans captured the ridge at the beginning of the war Its height and railway
connections made it a strategic point that Allies tried and failed twice to take 1917, Allies made a third attempt with Canadians taking a major role Four divisions of Canadian
soldiers 100,00 in total fought together as a single unit; each division led by a Canadian commander The attack was successful and the Canadians took the ridge
October 1917, Canadians were ordered to take Passchendaele Ridge to help infiltrate German lines at Ypres Years of shelling, combined with autumn rains, created a wet, muddy quagmire of a
battlefield Troops reached the outskirts in a violent rainstorm, shelled by the Germans and in mud sometimes waist-deep On November 7, the 27th Battalion (Winnipeg) captured the village three days later
the ridge was taken 250,000 Allies were wounded or killed many drowned in the mud Passchendaele Canadians on the Home Front The high demand for food, uniforms,
munitions, equipment, and other products was good for Canadian businesses Significant economic growth led to wage and job increases By 1917, the Imperial Munitions Board in Canada was the biggest business in Canada (150,000 workers)
Canada manufactured airplanes/engines, guns, cargo ships, chemicals, other weapons War manufacturing in Canada included 1500 factories and employed over 300,000 people Canadian Women in WWI 3000 women served as nurses in the Canadian Army Medical
Corps. in field hospitals and on hospital ships. 6000 women were employed by the government as civil servants back in Canada. Another 30000 + were working in munitions and other factories in order to free men for service. Some labour unions opposed the decision to let women work and paid them less than their male counterparts. This decision to allow women into the work force furthered
the goal of allowing women to have political equality as well. In 1917, female relatives of men serving overseas were given the right to vote federally. The 4 western provinces had already given women this right in 1916-1917. All women were given the right to vote in Canadian federal elections on May 24, 1918. Manitoba was the first province to give women the right to vote in January 1916. Quebec was the last province to do so in April of 1940.
Canadian Women in WWI With 620,000 Canadian men fighting, women were encouraged to take on skilled work at munitions factories Also ran businesses, worked on farms, Womens volunteer groups like the Red Cross and
Good Government Group rallied to support troops Womens contributions were key to Canadas successes in the war and growth as a nation When the war ended, women were expected to go back home, but many refused Women used their wartime contributions to argue
for greater equality in post-war Canadian society, like the right to vote
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