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Section A — Chapter 10

The First World War

Class 10 - Total History & Civics Solutions


Short Answer Questions

Question 1

State two features of Imperialism.

Answer

Two features of Imperialism are-

  1. Imperialism refers to the state policy or practice by which a powerful nation establishes its control over another country, either by direct territorial acquisition or by gaining political and economic control. Once conquered, this country was claimed as a colony.
  2. These colonies were governed and administered by the imperial nation through its representatives or a puppet government.

Question 2

What was the cause of Franco-German rivalry?

Answer

Germany defeated France and annexed the French territory of Alsace-Lorraine. The war and the subsequent annexation caused widespread resentment and a strong desire for revenge in France. This was the cause of Franco-German rivalry.

Question 3

What was the cause of Anglo-German rivalry?

Answer

The arms race was a major reason for the Anglo German rivalry. Germany intended to create a fleet to match the Royal Navy and wanted to expand the limits of her empire by conquering overseas colonies. This led to Anglo-german rivalry.

Question 4

Name the signatory countries of the Triple Alliance. State the rival block that was formed and the signatory countries of that bloc.

Answer

The signatory countries of the Triple Alliance were Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. The rival block that was formed by France, Russia and England was called Triple Entente.

Question 5

How did the Sarajevo Crisis in 1914 lead to the First World War?

Answer

Sarajevo Crisis, the immediate cause of the war was the murder of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, the heir to the Austrian throne, on June 28, 1914 by a Serbian at Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia. Austria served an ultimatum on Serbia on July 23 making eleven demands. Serbia accepted most of the demands except those that would have led to the loss of her sovereignty.

Austria declared war on Serbia on July 28, 1914. Russia started preparation for war to support Serbia. On August 1, 1914 Germany declared war on Russia and on August 3, war was declared on France. German troops marched into Belgium to press on to France on August 4 and on the same day Britain declared war on Germany. Thus, the First World War began.

Question 6

Which country was blamed for the assassination of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand? Which country declared war on Serbia? Name two countries which supported Austria.

Answer

Serbia was blamed for the assassination of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand. Austria declared war on Serbia. Two countries which supported Austria were Germany and Turkey.

Question 7

Why did Britain declare war on Germany in 1914?

Answer

Great Britain declared war on Germany on 4th August, when the German army invaded Belgium whose neutrality had been guaranteed by England.

Question 8

Name the five major powers who got involved in the hostilities in 1914.

Answer

The five major powers that got involved in the hostilities in 1914 were Austria, Germany, Russia, France and Britain.

Question 9

Why is the war fought between 1914 and 1918 called the First World War?

Answer

The war fought between 1914 and 1918 is called the First World War because of the following reasons-

  1. The War was fought on the land and in the air, on the sea and under it. In the War were mobilised all methods of destruction, such as tanks, submarines, gunfire and bombardments.
  2. The War began in Europe, but very soon it spread to continents of Asia and Africa as well.

Question 10

Which country withdrew from the First World War and why?

Answer

Russia withdrew from the First World War after the October Revolution. The Russian Empire had suffered serious reverses in the War. Over 600,000 Russian soldiers were killed. The day after the Bolshevik Government came to power under the leadership of Lenin, it issued the Decree on Peace with proposals to end the War without any annexations and indemnities.

Question 11

Explain briefly the Treaty of Versailles?

Answer

The victorious powers or the Allies, met in a conference first in Versailles, a suburb of Paris, and later in Paris, between January and June 1919.

As a result of the discussions at the Paris Conference, on June 28, 1919, the Treaty of Versailles was signed. It ended the War. The basis of the treaty's negotiations was the American President Wilson's Fourteen Points. The treaty was designed to prevent Germany from going to war again.

Question 12

Name the country which emerged as a world power after the War. What happened to the Austrian Empire after the First World War?

Answer

The United States of America emerged as a world power after the War.

After the First World War, the ruling dynasty of Hapsburg in Austria-Hungary was destroyed and Austria and Hungary became separate independent states.

Question 13

Mention any two important consequences of the First World War.

Answer

Two important consequences of the First World War were-

  1. The war changed the political map of the world by giving a serious blow to monarchy and developed democracy in Europe. The treaty not only affected substantial territorial changes but also reduced the military strength of Germany.
  2. Formation of the League of Nations.

Question 14

What was the effect of the First World War on the colonial possessions of industrialised countries?

Answer

France got back Alsace-Lorraine which she had lost in the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871). France was given full ownership of the rich coal mines in the Saar basin for a period of 15 years. The fate of Schleswig was determined by a plebiscite. Germany had to surrender the areas of Eupen and Malmedy to Belgium. The city of Memel went to Lithuiana. The newly created State of Poland got back all the territories she had lost in the War.

Besides territorial losses in Europe, Germany lost all her colonies and overseas possessions. Togoland and the Cameroon were partitioned between Britain and France and German East Africa was shared between Britain and Belgium. Palestine and Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) were also held by Britain under a Mandate from the League of Nations.

Question 15

How was Denmark affected by the Treaty of Versailles?

Answer

According to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, Schelswig-Hostein was restored to Denmark.

Question 16

When and why was the League of Nations formed?

Answer

The League of Nations was created as a world organisation of all independent States in 1920.

The horrors of War convinced the leaders of the world that there must be a mechanism to prevent war and promote international cooperation. This culminated in the setting up of the League of Nations.

Question 17

State any two aims of the League of Nations.

Answer

Two aims of the League of Nations were-

  1. All the States of the world were prohibited from entering into any secret treaties and alliances.
  2. The member-States were not supposed to maintain huge armies, warships and destructive armaments.

Question 18

Name the two major countries which were not allowed to become the members of the League of Nations.

Answer

The two major countries which were not allowed to become the members of the League of Nations were Germany and the Soviet Union.

Structured Questions

Question 1

The First World War was unique in history. In this context, answer the following:

(a) Any three causes that led to the war.

(b) The extent and methods used in this war.

(c) Economic consequences of this war.

Answer

(a) Three causes that led to the war were as follows-

  1. Race for Armaments — Germany had acquired colonies in Africa and a few islands in the Pacific. In order to protect her colonies Germany began to build a powerful navy. The Germans dug the Kiel Canal deeper so that battle ships could find shelter in its waters. There was an arms race and the peculiar feature of such a race is that if one country increases its armaments, other countries are compelled to do the same. Such a race for armaments could end only in a war.
  2. Division of Europe into two armed camps — In 1879, Germany and Austria-Hungary had signed a Treaty to help each other in case of enemy attack. Three years later Italy joined the Pact, which came to be known as the Triple Alliance. As opposed to the Triple Alliance emerged the Triple Entente comprising Britain, France and Russia in 1907 to control German expansionism. Thus, Europe was divided into two major camps. The suspicions, fears, rivalry and enmity between the two camps was a major step towards World War I.
  3. Sarajevo Crisis — The immediate cause of the war was the murder of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, the heir to the Austrian throne, on June 28, 1914 by a Serbian at Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia. The assassination was organised by a secret society called 'Black Hand' or 'Union of Death' formed by extremist Serbian nationalists.

(b) The First World War was fought in many different areas called fronts.

  1. War on the Western Front — The war began when the German armies swept across Belgium and entered southern France. The French army along with the British army met the German forces in the Battle of Marne (after the river near which the battle was fought) some 15 miles from Paris. The European countries made use of the troops recruited from their colonies in the war.
  2. Trench Warfare — The opposing armies dug a series of trenches to defend themselves and to launch attacks. Living conditions in these trenches were pathetic.
  3. War on the Eastern Front — The fighting began with the invasion of Russia by Austria-Hungary. Germany and Austria succeeded in repulsing the Russian attack and capturing parts of the Russian empire. They were also successful against Romania, Serbia and Italy. Outside Europe, Japan occupied German possessions in East Asia, and Britain and France seized most of the German colonies in Africa.
  4. Policy of Blockade — The war involved total mobilisation of all the resources of the warring parties with all economic activities subordinated to the needs of the war. It also required that no goods including food, raw materials and war materials should be allowed to enter the enemy territory from anywhere.
  5. Entry of USA in the War — In 1915, the German U-Boats had sunk a British ship Lusitania. The Americans were generally sympathetic to Britain, and this incident further roused anti-German feelings in the USA. On 6 April, 1917, the United States of America declared war on Germany.
  6. Exit of Russia from the War — Another major development that took place in 1917 was the withdrawal of Russia from the War after the October Revolution.

(c) As a result of the War, the economy of many countries was shattered.

  1. The global economic depression of 1929-30 is attributed to this War.
  2. It gave rise to many serious social problems.
  3. According to some estimates the expenditure on the Allied side was nearly forty-one thousand million pounds and that on the German side over fifteen thousand million pounds.

Question 2

The First World War was precipitated by the assassination of the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, Archduke Francis Ferdinand. In this context, describe the following:

(a) Sarajevo Crisis.

(b) Why did the USA join the First World War?

(c) What was the impact of the War on Austria-Hungary?

Answer

(a) Sarajevo Crisis was the immediate cause of the First World War.

  1. Archduke Francis Ferdinand, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary was assassinated at Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia on June 28, 1914.
  2. The assassination was organised by a secret society called 'Black Hand' or 'Union of Death' formed by extremist Serbian nationalists whose aim was to unite all Serbians into a single Serbian State.
  3. Austria served an ultimatum on Serbia on July 23 making eleven demands.
  4. Serbia accepted most of the demands except those that would have led to the loss of her sovereignty.
  5. Austria declared war on Serbia on July 28, 1914. Russia started preparation for war to support Serbia.
  6. On August 1, 1914 Germany declared war on Russia and France.
  7. German troops marched into Belgium to press on to France on August 4 and on the same day Britain declared war on Germany.
  8. Many other countries soon entered the War.

(b) In 1915, the German U-Boats had sunk a British ship Lusitania.

  1. Among the 1153 passengers killed, 128 were Americans.
  2. The Americans were generally sympathetic to Britain, and this incident further roused anti-German feelings in the USA.
  3. The Allied Powers had raised vast amounts of loans in the USA to pay for the arms and other goods bought by them.
  4. Therefore the USA feared that if Germany won the war, she would become a serious rival to the USA.
  5. On 6 April, 1917, the United States of America declared war on Germany.

(c) The impact of the War on Austria-Hungary was as follows-

  1. Austria-Hungary was broken up and two separate kingdoms of Austria and Hungary were set-up.
  2. Austria had to cede territories to Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Poland and was forced to accept their independence.
  3. Italy also gained certain territories (such as Tyrol) from Austria.
  4. Austrian army was reduced to 30,000.
  5. Austria was also forced to pay a huge war-indemnity.

Question 3

With reference to the First World War, answer the following questions:

(a) State any three consequences of the war.

(b) Mention three points under the Treaty of Versailles, which affected Germany.

(c) What were the objectives of the League of Nations? Name the organisation formed in October 1945 with objectives similar to those of the League of Nations.

Answer

(a) Three consequences of the First World war were as follows:

  1. Treaty of Versailles was signed between the Allies and Germany on June 28, 1919.
  2. Territorial rearrangements — it changed the political map of the world by giving a serious blow to monarchy and developed democracy in Europe. The treaty not only affected substantial territorial changes but also reduced the military strength of Germany.
  3. The war led to the formation of the League of Nations.

(b) Three points under the Treaty of Versailles, which affected Germany were-

  1. The area of the Rhine Valley was to be demilitarised and the German territory west of Rhine was to be occupied by the Allied Troops for 15 years.
  2. Germany lost Alsace Lorraine to France; Eupen-et-Malmedy to Belgium, Schleswig to Denmark. Danzig became a Free Port in the Polish territory.
  3. Germany ceded parts of her pre-War territory to Denmark, Belgium, Poland, Czechoslovakia and France.

(c) The objectives of the League of Nations were —

  1. All the States of the world were prohibited from entering into any secret treaties and alliances.
  2. The member-States were not supposed to maintain huge armies, warships and destructive armaments.
  3. All States were to respect each other's independence.
  4. All States were to refer their mutual disputes, if any, to the League of Nations for a peaceful settlement.
  5. The member-States were to take necessary action as directed by the League against any State which tried to disturb world peace and order.
  6. Apart from political functions, the League of Nations was supposed to promote cultural, social and economic cooperation among the member-States.

The United Nations was formed in October 1945 with objectives similar to those of the League of Nations.

Picture Study

Question 1

Study the picture and answer the questions that follow:

Identify the event in the picture and state how it became the immediate cause of the First World War. State any three other causes of the First World War. Mention any three clauses of the Treaty of Versailles. The First World War, Total History and Civics Solutions ICSE Class 10.

(a) Identify the event in the picture and state how it became the immediate cause of the First World War.

(b) State any three other causes of the First World War.

(c) Mention any three clauses of the Treaty of Versailles.

Answer

(a) The picture shows the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, the Crown Prince of Austria and his wife at Sarajevo, by Gavrilo Princep, an Austrian subject. It became the immediate cause of the First World War.

  1. Though the assassin, Gavrilo Princep was an Austrian subject, the assassination had been planned in Serbia by a secret society of patriotic terrorists called 'Black Hand'.
  2. Serbia was blamed for Archduke's assassination.
  3. Austria presumed that Princep and fellow conspirators had received their guns and bombs in the Serbian Capital with the help of Serbian officials.
  4. Austria sent a stiff ultimatum to Serbia for apprehending the criminals and handing them over to Austrian government.
  5. She sought a ban on all anti-Austrian publications, anti-Austrian schools and anti-Austrian meetings.
  6. They were also required to take steps to suppress all revolutionary movements against the territorial integrity of the Austrian Government.
  7. The Serbian government refused to accept some of the demands of the ultimatum on the ground that they involved violation of its sovereignty, i.e., its authority to govern itself.
  8. Austria declared war on Serbia on 28 July, 1914.
  9. Russia supported Serbia, Germany declared war on Russia and Great Britain declared war on Germany.
  10. Italy left the Triple Alliance and joined the war against Germany.

(b) Three causes that led to the war were as follows-

  1. Race for Armaments — Germany had acquired colonies in Africa and a few islands in the Pacific. In order to protect her colonies Germany began to build a powerful navy. The Germans dug the Kiel Canal deeper so that battle ships could find shelter in its waters. There was an arms race and the peculiar feature of such a race is that if one country increases its armaments, other countries are compelled to do the same. Such a race for armaments could end only in a war.
  2. Division of Europe into two armed camps — In 1879, Germany and Austria-Hungary had signed a Treaty to help each other in case of enemy attack. Three years later Italy joined the Pact, which came to be known as the Triple Alliance. As opposed to the Triple Alliance emerged the Triple Entente comprising Britain, France and Russia in 1907 to control German expansionism. Thus Europe was divided into two major camps.
  3. Imperialism — By the end of the 19th century, England and France had built up a huge colonial empire in Asia and Africa. Britain had India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Egypt, South Africa, Caribbean Islands and many parts of Africa as its colonies. It grew rich from its success in trade in foreign resources, markets, territories and people. Some other countries of the world like Germany, Italy, Russia and Japan also wanted to increase their sphere of influence and create their colonies in Asia and Africa. These colonies were essential for their progress as they could provide raw materials for their industries and markets for their finished products. Besides, acquiring colonies would add to the power and prestige of these countries. This led to a clash of interest among these countries. They began to scramble for colonies which resulted in rivalries and wars.

(c) Three clauses of the Treaty of Versailles were-

  1. The area of the Rhine Valley was to be demilitarised and the German territory west of Rhine was to be occupied by the Allied Troops for 15 years.
  2. Germany lost Alsace Lorraine to France; Eupen-et-Malmedy to Belgium, Schleswig to Denmark. Danzig became a Free Port in the Polish territory.
  3. Germany ceded parts of her pre-War territory to Denmark, Belgium, Poland, Czechoslovakia and France.

Thinking Skills

Question 1

More than national pride, it was the greed to acquire colonies and thereby, more money and resources that led to the First World War. Explain.

Answer

By the end of the 19th century, England and France had built up a huge colonial empire in Asia and Africa. Some other countries of the world like Germany, Italy, Russia and Japan also wanted to increase their sphere of influence and create their colonies in Asia and Africa. These colonies were essential for their progress as they could provide raw materials for their industries and markets for their finished products. Besides, acquiring colonies would add to the power and prestige of these countries. This led to a clash of interest among these countries. They began to scramble for colonies which resulted in rivalries and wars. Thus, we can say that the greed to acquire colonies and thereby, more money and resources led to the First World War more than the national pride.

Question 2

Do you think the First World War could be avoided? Give reasons to support your answer.

Answer

Yes the First World War could have been avoided if the leaders of Russia and Germany would have shown some restraint. Franz Ferdinand was the strongest spokesman for peace in Austria-Hungary. He believed that a war with Russia would lead to the downfall of both empires. His assassination removed this brake on going to war. On the contrary, it became the immediate cause of the war.
Had Russia not declared war on Austria-Hungary, then Germany would have not declared war on Russia and the First World War could have been avoided at that moment. Use of some diplomacy on the part of Russia and Germany and Germany not giving unconditional support to its ally Austria-Hungary could have prevented the war.

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