Recent Event Highlights: World War I begins as Austria declares war on Serbia, and 6 more...
Created by chelseaface on Mar 8, 2010
Last updated: 04/21/10 at 07:24 PM
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By 1930, the Nationalists and Communists were fighting a bloody civil war. Mao, and other communist leaders established themselves in the hills of south-central China. Mao tactic was recruiting the peasants to join his Red Army. He then trained them in guerilla warfare. The Nationalists attacked the Communists repeatedly but failed to drive them out. In 1933, Jiang Jieshi gathered an army then surrounded the Communists' mountain stronghold. Outnumbered, the Communist Party leaders realized that they faced defeat. In a daring move, 100,000 Communist forces fled. The began a hazardous, 6,000 mile journey called the Long March. Between 1934 and 1935, the Communists kept only a step ahead of Jiang's forces. Thousands died from hunger, cold, exposure, and battle wounds. Finally, Mao and the 7 or 8 thousand Communist survivors settled in caves and gained new followers. Meanwhile the civil war in China raged, Japan invaded China.
At the end of WWI, the Ottoman Empire was forced to give up all its territories, except Turkey. Turkish lands included the old Turkish homeland of Anatolia and a small strip of land around Istanbul. In 1919, Greek soldiers invaded Turkey and threatened to conquer it. The Turkish sultan was powerless to stop the Greeks. However in 1922, a brilliant commander, Mustafa Kemal, successfully led the Turkish nationalists in fighting the Greeks and their British backers. After winning a peace, the nationalists overthrew that last Ottoman sultan. In 1923, Kemal became the president of the new Republic of Turkey, the first republic in Southwest Asia. In his goal of transforming Turkey into a modern nation, he began many reforms.
The massacre at Amritsar set the stage for Mohandas K. Gandhi to emerge as the leader of the independence movement. Gandhi's strategy for battling injustice evolved from his deeply religious approach to political activity. When the British failed to punish the officers responsible for the Amritsar massacre, Gandhi urged the Indian National Congress to follow a policy of noncooperation with the British gov.t. In 1920, the Congress Party endorsed civil disobedience, the deliberate and public refusal to obey an unjust law, and nonviolence as their means to achieve independence. Gandhi then launched his campaign of civil disobedience to weaken the British gov.t's authority and economic power over India. These included boycotts, strikes and demonstrations, such as the Salt March.
Civil unrest in Russia caused them to withdraw from the war. Germany seized its chance for its one final, massive attack on the Allies in France in March 1918. Germany thought that they had victory in reach but their weakened military was sensed by the Allies. The Allies sent for aid and launched a counterattack. In July 1918 at the Second Battle of Marne, the Allies began to advance on Germany. Soon, the Central Powers began to crumble. Their allies surrendered and revolution swept though Austria-Hungary and Germany. Their soldiers mutinies, and the public turned on the kaiser. On Nov. 9, 1918, Kaiser Wilhelm II stepped down and Germany declared itself a republic. A representative of the new German gov.t met with French Commander Marshal Foch in a railway car near Paris. The two signed an armistice, or an agreement to stop fighting. On Nov. 11, WWI came to an end.
In 1917, the focus of the war shifted to the high seas. That year, the Germans intensified the submarine warfare and announced that their submarines would sink without warning any ship in the waters around Britain. This policy was called the unrestricted submarine warfare. The Germans had tried this policy before when they sunk the British passenger ship Lusitania. The attack left 1,198 people dead, including 128 US citizens. This enraged the American public. President Woodrow Wilson sent a strong protest to Germany. After two further attacks, the Germans finally agreed to stop attacking neutral and passenger ships. But Germans returned to the policy being desperate for an advantage over the Allies. They knew it might lead to war with the US but continued to sink three other American ships, ignoring warnings by President Wilson. Another German action, a telegram sent by Germany's foreign secretary, Arthur Zimmermann stated that they would help Mexico "re-conquer" their land lost tot he US if Mexico would ally itself with Germany. Zimmermann's note proved to by the last straw. America favored the Allies and shared a common gov.t, economic, and cultural system with them On April 2, 1917, President Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany. The US entered the war on the side of the Allies.
Europe was in a state of mutual dislike and mistrust. Into this bad atmosphere stepped the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and his wife, Sophie. One June 28, 1914, the couple paid a visit to Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia. But this would be their last. The royal couple was shot as they rode through the streets of Sarajeco in an open car. The killer was Gavrilo Princip, a 19 year old Serbian and member of the Black Hand. The Black Hand was a secret society committed to ridding Bosnia of Austrian rule. Becuase the assassin was Serbian, Austria decided to use the murder as an excuse to punish Serbia. On July 23, Austria presented Serbia with an ultinatum containing several semands. Serbia knew that refusing the ultimatum would lead to war against the more powerful Austira. Therefore, Serbian leader agreed to most of Austria's demands and offered to have the others settled by an international conference. Bur Austria did not wish to negotiate. The nation's leader, it seemed, had already settled on war. On July 28, Austria rejected Serbia's offer and declared war. That same day, Russia, and Serbian ally, also took action and ordered the mobilization of troops toward the Austrian border. Leaders all over Europe suddenly took notice and wanted the two countries to negotiate, but it was too late and the war had already begun.
Among the groups pushing for modernization and nationalization was the Kuomingtang, or the Nationalist Party. Its first great leader was Sun Yixian. In 1911, the Revolutionary Alliance, a forerunner of the Kuomintang, succeeded in overthrowing the last emperor of the long lasting Qing dynasty, Puyi.