Recent Event Highlights: World War I begins as Austria declares war on Serbia, and 6 more...
Created by jaizuss on Mar 12, 2010
Last updated: 03/12/10 at 02:51 PM
Unit 8: The Great War and the Impact of World War I has no followers yet. Be the first one to follow.
While countless other people in other nations were proponents of nationalism, in China there were two defined groups: the Nationalists and the Communists. At the head of the Nationalists was Jiang Jieshi (formerly called Chiang Kai-shek), who took over after Sun Yician died, and at the head of the Communists was Mao Zedong, who was also one of the founds of the Chinese Communist Party. At one point, the two ignored their political beliefs and fought together to defeat the warlords, but soon after Jiang turned against the Communists and killings ensued, nearly destroying all of the Chinese Communist Party; by 1928, Jiang was the president of the Nationalist Republic of China, a government recognized by Great Britain and the US but not by the Soviet Union, who supported the Communists. The Communists' rage about this massacre stewed and then heated up into a bloody civil war by 1930. Mao trained many peasants in guerilla warfare, remaining in the hills of south-central China despite the Nationalists' attempts to drive them out. But by 1933, Jaing had amassed an army of 700,000 men and then surrounded the Communists' refuge. Realizing that they were outnumbered and faced defeat, the 100,000 Communists fled, beginning a dangerous journey called the Long March, which spanned over 6,000 miles. Only a little bit ahead of Jiang's forces, thousands of the Communists surrendered to hunger, cold, exposure, and injuries. Finally, after a little over a year, Mao and the rest of the survivors took up residence in caives in northwestern China, where they gathered new followers.
While Indians battled to gain control of their nation after World War I, Southwest Asians did so as well after the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, among them Turkey. Turkey was the only land the Ottoman Empire wasn't forced to give up after World War I, and because of the extreme weakness of the Ottoman Empire, Greek soldiers invaded Turkey in 1919, coming with threats to conquer it. The Turkish sultan was powerless, but luckily, the brilliant commander Mustafa Kemal emerged in 1922, helming a group of Turkish nationalists who battled the Greeks. After achieving victory, they overthrew their Ottoman sultan. The nationalists then formed the first republic in Southwest Asia, the Republic of Turkey. The position of the first president was naturally given to Kemal, who created many reforms, altering Turkey to become a modern nation. He was so successful and influential he was given the name Ataturk after he died, or 'father of the Turks.'
Indian nationalism finally began to grow after World War I, when the Indian troops were outraged when the British's promise to implement reforms which would lead to self-goverment remained unfulfilled. To curb the violence radical nationalists had carried out, the Rowlatt Acts, which denied a trial by jury for protestors, were passed by the British in 1919. This led to the Amritsar Massacre; supposed to be a peaceful demonstration by both Hindus and Muslims to protest the acts, it alarmed the British (who had earlier banned public meetings, although most of those attending the gathering were unaware of this) and the British commander at Amritsar had his troops fire in the crowd for ten minutes, killing and injuring 1600 Indians. The last straw for many Indians who had been loyal British subjects, anger erupted across India and the Indians had become one large group of nationalists demanding independence. At the forefront of this movement for independence was Mohandas K. Gandhi, whose strategy evolved from a melding of many major religions; he gathered millions of followers. Upset by the British who wouldn't dole out punishment to the officers who caused the Amritsar Massacre, Gandhi pressed for a policy of noncooperation with the British government. The Indian National Congress finally agreed to this in 1920; it was given the name civil disobedience--the deliberate and public refusal to obey an unjust law, and nonviolence as the means to achieve independence. Gandhi meant for this campaign to undermine the rule and economic power of the British goverment. Gandhi called for boycotts (among them the very successful boycott of British cloth), strikes and demonstrations (though these, intended to be peaceful, would often turn into riots), and the Salt March, which gained worldwide recognition of Gandhi's struggles and the independence movement.
By March 1918, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk had been signed by Germany and Russia, cementing Russia's withdrawal from World War I; this let the Germans send a very large percentage of its forces to the Western Front and by late May, when Paris was less than forty miles away, a German victory seemed imminent. However, the long period of battle had left the German military weak and exhausted, in both men and supplies. A counterattack was launched by the Allies and eventually the Central Powers began to weaken and surrender. In November, Kaiser Wilhelm II stepped down and the French Commander Marshal Foch met with a representative of the newborn German government, a republic. An agreement to stop fighting, or an armistice, was signed by both and with that small meeting, World War I had ended.
By 1917, the center of the war had moved to the oceans, with the Germans focusing on unrestricted submarine warfare. Two years earlier, countries, including the US, had gotten upset when a German submarine had sunk a ship which left many dead, including American citizens; the Germans had promised to stop attacking neutral ships, but now they were at it again and sank three American ships, despite President Woodrow Wilson's warnings. Then, in February, officials took hold of a telegram from the German foreign secretary Arthur Zimmermann, which said that Germany would aid Mexico in the 'reconquering' of United States land if Mexico became an ally of Germany. Already feeling a bond with the Allies, for the American public this was the last straw and by April 2, President Wilson requested for Congress to declare war on Germany.
Serbian leaders who desired to rule the provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina were angered when Austria annexed these Slavic areas instead in 1908. This furthered already rising tensions between Serbia and Austria; Serbia decided to steal the provinces away from Austria at any cost, while Austria-Hungary promised to get rid of any attempt by the Serbians to undermine its authority. Among all this, the heir to Austria-Hungary's throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and his wife visited Bosnia's capital, Sarajevo, where they were shot and killed by a Serbian member of the Black Hand. Outraged by this, Austria made several demands of Serbia, which it offered to settle by a conference. Too angry to consider negotiation, Austria-Hungary instead declared war and the Serbian ally Russia prepared for battle. European leaders implored the two nations to be diplomatic, but neither would budge and World War I had begun.
In 1911, the Qing Empire, which had ruled China since 1644, was successfully overthrown by the Revolutionary Alliance, a group of nationalists. By 1912 this group had evolved into the Kuomintang, or the Nationalist Party, which was led by Sun Yixian, now known as the Kuomintang's first great leader; this party supported modernization and, of course, nationalization. In 1912 Sun became the first president of the Republic of China. Despite his good intentions (his Three Principles of the People included an end to foreign control, democracy, and economic security) and his fame and influence as a revolutionary figure, Sun was unable to unite China and relinquished his presidency to the powerful general Yuan Shikai, who went against Sun's ideals and sparked civil war after his death.