Recent Event Highlights: World War I begins as Austria declares war on Serbia, and 6 more...
Created by michellee on Apr 21, 2010
Last updated: 04/22/10 at 11:35 AM
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By 1930, China was split in a civil war between the Nationalists and Communists. Mao Zedong and other Communist leaders brought the revolution to the countryside to recruit peasants to join the Red Army. They were trained in guerilla warfare. In 1933. Jiang Jieshi gathered over 700,000 soldiers to surround the Communist stronghold. The Communist forces, numbered at around 100,000 fled and started a 6,000 mile journey called the Long March. The Communists crossed 18 mountain ranges and 24 rivers during this march. When they finally reached the caves in Shaanxi, only seven or eight thousand Communists remained.
After WWI, the Ottoman Empire was forced to give up all its land except for Turkey. In 1919, Greek soldiers invaded Turkey, while the sultan could do nothing but watch. In 1922, a commander named Mustafa Kemal led Turkish nationalists in fighting back. After defeating the Greeks, the nationalists overthrew the sultan. Mustafa Kemal became president of the new Republic of Turkey in 1923. He started reforms such as separating church and state, creating a new legal system based on European law, giving women the right to vote and hold office, and launching government-backed programs to industrialize Turkey. Kemal modeled the new republic after the U.S. and other European countries.
During WWI, Britain promised India reforms that would lead to self-government in exchange for troops. After WWI, however, the British made no move to start the promised reforms. Angry nationalists became violent to display their hatred of British rule. To opress these radicals, the British government passed the Rowlett Acts, which allowed the government to put protesters in jail without a trial. To protest, over 10,000 Indians met at Amritsar to fast, pray, and listen to political speeches. The British commander at Amritsar believed that these people were openly defying a ban to meet publicly and ordered his soldiers to fire into the crowd. This slaughter was called the Amritsar Massacre. Mohandas K. Gandhi urged the Indian National Congress to endorse civil disobedience as a form of peaceful protest. He called for boycotts, strikes, and demonstrations, all of which hurt the British financially.
As Germany launched their final attack on France, all seemed lost. Paris was 40 miles away, and German troops were already at the Marne. The German troops, however, were weakened and fatigued. With 14,000 fresh American troops, the Allies played off this weakness and launched a counterattack during the Second Battle of Marne. When 2 million more American soldiers arrived, the Allies began marching towards Germany. By November 9, 1918, Kaiser Wilhelm II stepped down. On November 11, an armistice was signed and WWI had ended.
In 1917, Germany announced that it would sink any ships near Britain without warning. This was called unrestricted submarine warfare. Two years earlier, Germany had sunk a passenger ship that held 128 U.S. civilians, who were all killed. Germany justified their attack by saying that the ship had been carrying ammunition. Even so, the U.S. was outraged. In 1917, Germany became desperate and hoped that they would be able to defeat the British before the U.S. mobilized. They sank three U.S. ships without warning. The final straw was an intercepted telegram from Germany's foreign secretary, Arthur Zimmerman, to leaders of Mexico, stating that Germany would help Mexico reclaim land that they had lost to the U.S. if Mexico allied itself with Germany. On April 2, 1917, President Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany.
The slow downfall of the Ottoman Empire was the breaking point for the great powers of Europe. Tensions had been high since the turn of the 20th century, as feelings of nationalism grew and militaries were built up. Territorial disputes, competition for materials and markets, and the quest for colonies only served to deepen mistrust. In response, nations began forming alliances with one another. Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy formed the Triple Alliance. Britain, France, and Russia formed the Triple Entente. With the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Serbia, which was mainly Slavic, longed to absorb all Slavs from surrounding areas. Russia, which was also mostly Slavic, supported Serbia. Austria-Hungary, however, was afraid that rebellion would stir from their own Slavic population. When Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina, two mainly Slavic nations, tensions only rose. The last straw was the assasination of the heir to the Austrian thone, Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Austria gave Serbia an ultimatum with a near-impossible list of demands. Although Serbian leaders agreed to most of the demands, Austria declared war on Serbia, which drew Russia into the war. World War I had begun.
Many Chinese people believed that in order to be great, China needed to modernize, reform education, and build up their army and navy. The emperor, Puyi, was slow in responding to the peoples' wants. In 1911, the Revolutionary Alliance, a precursor of the Kuomintang, overthrew the emperor. This gave birth to the Republic of China, whose first president was Sun Yixian.