Frederic William Maitland
Frederic William Maitland, FBA was an English historian and lawyer, regarded as the modern father of English legal history. Frederic William Maitland was born at 53 Guilford Street, London in 1850, the only son and second of three children of John Gorham Maitland and of Emma, daughter of John Frederic Daniell, his grandfather was Samuel Roffey Maitland. Maitland's father was a barrister but, having little practice, became a civil servant, serving as secretary to the Civil Service Commission. Maitland was educated at a preparatory school in Brighton before entering Eton College in 1863, where Edward Daniel Stone was his private tutor. At Eton, Maitland was not prominent either academically or athletically, although a close school friend thought he would become "a kind of philosophic Charles Lamb", he matriculated at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1869 as a commoner. A dislike of classics acquired at Eton led him to read mathematics, with little success. Inspired by Henry Sidgwick, he switched to the new moral sciences tripos in 1870, took first-class honours in 1872, being bracketed senior with his friend William Cunningham.
The following year, he won the Whewell Scholarship in international law. Popular among his contemporaries, Maitland was elected secretary president, of the Cambridge Union, he was like his father before him, a Cambridge Apostle. A lover of exercice since his Eton days, he rowed for Trinity and ran for the university, winning a blue for representing the university in three-mile races. Maitland's mother had died in 1851, shortly after the birth of his younger sister. Both his father and grandfather died when he was still at school. From his grandfather he inherited some land in Brookthorpe, Gloucestershire; the estate provided him with an income until the agricultural depression in the 1880s. After Cambridge, Maitland tried to gain a fellowship in philosophy at Trinity College in 1875 with a dissertation entitled A Historical Sketch of Liberty and Equality: As Ideals of English Political Philosophy from the Time of Hobbes to the Time of Coleridge, but was beaten out by fellow Apostle James Ward.
Having joined Lincoln's Inn as a student in 1872, he was called to the bar there in 1876, became a competent equity lawyer and conveyancer. Meanwhile, encouraged by Sidgwick, he began a book on property law, but abandoned it out of frustration at certain features of English property law, it was followed by three further articles in the Law Magazine and Review between 1881 and 1883. In 1880, Maitland was introduced by Frederick Pollock, to Eton and Cambridge with him, to the Sunday Tramps, a walking club founded by Leslie Stephen. Through Pollock, Maitland was introduced in 1884 to Paul Vinogradoff, a Russian medievalist, in England to study records lodged in the Public Records Office. Maitland would write that the day of his first meeting with Vinogradoff "determined the rest of my life". According to H. A. L. Fisher, Maitland was so chagrined by the fact that a Russian knew more about English legal records than he did that he made his first visit to the PRO shortly thereafter, though Geoffrey Elton points out that Maitland had been working in the archives before he met Vinogradoff.
The result of Maitland's initial work was Pleas of the Crown for the County of Gloucester, a transcription of the 1221 Gloucestershire eyre roll, which he published at his own expense in 1884 and dedicated to Vinogradoff. In 1884, Maitland was elected Reader in English law at Cambridge, having failed to be elected to a readership at Oxford the previous year; the post had been endowed by Sidgwick, to the tune of £300 a year for four years. In 1887, Maitland published, again at his own expense, an edition of Bracton's note book in three volumes, acting on a suggestion by Vinogradoff, he published extensively on legal history in the Law Quarterly Review, edited by Sidgwick. On 20 July 1886, Maitland married Florence Henrietta Fisher in a village church in Hampshire, he had met her through Stephen: her aunt was Stephen's second wife. Fisher was the daughter of Herbert William Fisher and the sister of H. A. L. Fisher, a future Liberal minister and Maitland's biographer, they had two daughters: Ermengard in 1887 and Fredegond in 1889.
By all account the marriage was a success, the household a happy one. In 1887, Maitland was among the founders of the Selden Society, established to promote the study of the history of English law through the publication of English legal manuscripts; the Society's first years were rocky: its treasurer, P. E. Dove, committed suicide in 1894, leaving behind a deficit of £1,000; the Society published a steady stream of volumes under Maitland's direction as its first literary director. He edited eight volumes for the Society, contributed to more, reviewed the proofs of every volume. In 1888, Maitland was elected Downing Professor of the Laws of England, becoming a fellow of Downing College. On 13 October 1888 he gave his inaugural lecture, "Why the History of English Law is Not Written"; the post carried with it an official residence, Maitland's family settled in happily. He held frequent musical gatherings, kept a series of exotic pets, including a monkey, a meerkat, a badger; the same year, he published Select pleas of the Crown, A.
D. 1200–1225, the first publication of the Selden Society. In addition to teach
History is the study of the past as it is described in written documents. Events occurring before written record are considered prehistory, it is an umbrella term that relates to past events as well as the memory, collection, organization and interpretation of information about these events. Scholars who write about history are called historians. History can refer to the academic discipline which uses a narrative to examine and analyse a sequence of past events, objectively determine the patterns of cause and effect that determine them. Historians sometimes debate the nature of history and its usefulness by discussing the study of the discipline as an end in itself and as a way of providing "perspective" on the problems of the present. Stories common to a particular culture, but not supported by external sources, are classified as cultural heritage or legends, because they do not show the "disinterested investigation" required of the discipline of history. Herodotus, a 5th-century BC Greek historian is considered within the Western tradition to be the "father of history", along with his contemporary Thucydides, helped form the foundations for the modern study of human history.
Their works continue to be read today, the gap between the culture-focused Herodotus and the military-focused Thucydides remains a point of contention or approach in modern historical writing. In East Asia, a state chronicle, the Spring and Autumn Annals was known to be compiled from as early as 722 BC although only 2nd-century BC texts have survived. Ancient influences have helped spawn variant interpretations of the nature of history which have evolved over the centuries and continue to change today; the modern study of history is wide-ranging, includes the study of specific regions and the study of certain topical or thematical elements of historical investigation. History is taught as part of primary and secondary education, the academic study of history is a major discipline in university studies; the word history comes from the Ancient Greek ἱστορία, meaning'inquiry','knowledge from inquiry', or'judge'. It was in that sense; the ancestor word ἵστωρ is attested early on in Homeric Hymns, the Athenian ephebes' oath, in Boiotic inscriptions.
The Greek word was borrowed into Classical Latin as historia, meaning "investigation, research, description, written account of past events, writing of history, historical narrative, recorded knowledge of past events, narrative". History was borrowed from Latin into Old English as stær, but this word fell out of use in the late Old English period. Meanwhile, as Latin became Old French, historia developed into forms such as istorie and historie, with new developments in the meaning: "account of the events of a person's life, account of events as relevant to a group of people or people in general, dramatic or pictorial representation of historical events, body of knowledge relative to human evolution, narrative of real or imaginary events, story", it was from Anglo-Norman that history was borrowed into Middle English, this time the loan stuck. It appears in the 13th-century Ancrene Wisse, but seems to have become a common word in the late 14th century, with an early attestation appearing in John Gower's Confessio Amantis of the 1390s: "I finde in a bok compiled | To this matiere an old histoire, | The which comth nou to mi memoire".
In Middle English, the meaning of history was "story" in general. The restriction to the meaning "the branch of knowledge that deals with past events. With the Renaissance, older senses of the word were revived, it was in the Greek sense that Francis Bacon used the term in the late 16th century, when he wrote about "Natural History". For him, historia was "the knowledge of objects determined by space and time", that sort of knowledge provided by memory. In an expression of the linguistic synthetic vs. analytic/isolating dichotomy, English like Chinese now designates separate words for human history and storytelling in general. In modern German and most Germanic and Romance languages, which are solidly synthetic and inflected, the same word is still used to mean both'history' and'story'. Historian in the sense of a "researcher of history" is attested from 1531. In all European languages, the substantive history is still used to mean both "what happened with men", "the scholarly study of the happened", the latter sense sometimes distinguished with a capital letter, or the word historiography.
The adjective historical is attested from 1661, historic from 1669. Historians write in the context of their own time, with due regard to the current dominant ideas of how to interpret the past, sometimes write to provide lessons for their own society. In the words of Benedetto Croce, "All history is contemporary history". History is facilitated by the formation of a "true discourse of past" through the production of narrative and analysis of past events relating to the human race; the modern discipline of history is dedicated to the institutional production of this discourse. All events that are remembered and preserved in some authentic form constitute the historical record; the task of histori
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's second-oldest university in continuous operation, it grew from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled north-east to Cambridge where they established what became the University of Cambridge; the two'ancient universities' are jointly called'Oxbridge'. The history and influence of the University of Oxford has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world; the university is made up of 38 constituent colleges, a range of academic departments, which are organised into four divisions. All the colleges are self-governing institutions within the university, each controlling its own membership and with its own internal structure and activities, it does not have a main campus, its buildings and facilities are scattered throughout the city centre.
Undergraduate teaching at Oxford is organised around weekly tutorials at the colleges and halls, supported by classes, lectures and laboratory work provided by university faculties and departments. It operates the world's oldest university museum, as well as the largest university press in the world and the largest academic library system nationwide. In the fiscal year ending 31 July 2018, the university had a total income of £2.237 billion, of which £579.1 million was from research grants and contracts. The university is ranked first globally by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings as of 2019 and is ranked as among the world's top ten universities, it is ranked second in all major national league tables, behind Cambridge. Oxford has educated many notable alumni, including 27 prime ministers of the United Kingdom and many heads of state and government around the world; as of 2019, 69 Nobel Prize winners, 3 Fields Medalists, 6 Turing Award winners have studied, worked, or held visiting fellowships at the University of Oxford, while its alumni have won 160 Olympic medals.
Oxford is the home of numerous scholarships, including the Rhodes Scholarship, one of the oldest international graduate scholarship programmes. The University of Oxford has no known foundation date. Teaching at Oxford existed in some form as early as 1096, but it is unclear when a university came into being, it grew from 1167 when English students returned from the University of Paris. The historian Gerald of Wales lectured to such scholars in 1188 and the first known foreign scholar, Emo of Friesland, arrived in 1190; the head of the university had the title of chancellor from at least 1201, the masters were recognised as a universitas or corporation in 1231. The university was granted a royal charter in 1248 during the reign of King Henry III. After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled from the violence to Cambridge forming the University of Cambridge; the students associated together on the basis of geographical origins, into two'nations', representing the North and the South.
In centuries, geographical origins continued to influence many students' affiliations when membership of a college or hall became customary in Oxford. In addition, members of many religious orders, including Dominicans, Franciscans and Augustinians, settled in Oxford in the mid-13th century, gained influence and maintained houses or halls for students. At about the same time, private benefactors established colleges as self-contained scholarly communities. Among the earliest such founders were William of Durham, who in 1249 endowed University College, John Balliol, father of a future King of Scots. Another founder, Walter de Merton, a Lord Chancellor of England and afterwards Bishop of Rochester, devised a series of regulations for college life. Thereafter, an increasing number of students lived in colleges rather than in halls and religious houses. In 1333–34, an attempt by some dissatisfied Oxford scholars to found a new university at Stamford, was blocked by the universities of Oxford and Cambridge petitioning King Edward III.
Thereafter, until the 1820s, no new universities were allowed to be founded in England in London. The new learning of the Renaissance influenced Oxford from the late 15th century onwards. Among university scholars of the period were William Grocyn, who contributed to the revival of Greek language studies, John Colet, the noted biblical scholar. With the English Reformation and the breaking of communion with the Roman Catholic Church, recusant scholars from Oxford fled to continental Europe, settling at the University of Douai; the method of teaching at Oxford was transformed from the medieval scholastic method to Renaissance education, although institutions associated with the university suffered losses of land and revenues. As a centre of learning and scholarship, Oxford's reputation declined in the Age of Enlightenment. In 1636 William Laud, the chancellor and Archbishop of Canterbury, codified the university's statutes. These, to a large extent, remained its gove
All Souls College, Oxford
All Souls College is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in England. Unique to All Souls, all of its members automatically become fellows, it has no undergraduate members, but each year recent graduate and postgraduate students at Oxford are eligible to apply for examination fellowships through a competitive examination and, for the several shortlisted after the examinations, an interview. All Souls is one of the wealthiest colleges in Oxford, with a financial endowment of £420.2 million. However, since the college's principal source of revenue is its endowment, as of 2007 it only ranked 19th among Oxford colleges in total income. All Souls is a registered charity under English law; the college is located on the north side of the High Street adjoining Radcliffe Square to the west. To the east is The Queen's College with Hertford College to the north; the current warden is a graduate of Oriel College, Oxford. The college was founded by Henry VI of England and Henry Chichele, in 1438, to commemorate the victims of the Hundred Years' War.
The Statutes provided for a forty fellows. The college's Codrington Library was completed in 1751 through the bequest in 1710 of Christopher Codrington, a wealthy slave and plantation owner from Barbados, who attended Oxford and became colonial governor of the Leeward Islands. Today the college is a graduate research institution, with no undergraduate members. All Souls did have undergraduates: Robert Hovenden introduced undergraduates to provide the fellows with servientes, but this was abandoned by the end of the Commonwealth. Four Bible Clerks remained on the foundation until 1924. For over five hundred years All Souls College admitted only men; the All Souls Library was founded through a bequest from Christopher Codrington, a fellow of the college. Christopher Codrington bequeathed books in addition to £ 10,000 in currency; this bequest allowed the library to be endowed. Christopher Codrington was born in Barbados, amassed his fortune from his sugar plantation in the West Indies; the library was completed in 1751, has been in continuous use since then.
The modern library comprises some 185,000 items, about a third of which were published before 1800. The collections are strong in law and history. Built between 1438 and 1442, the chapel remained unchanged until the Commonwealth. Oxford, having been a Royalist stronghold, suffered under the Puritans' wrath; the 42 misericords date from the Chapel's building, show a resemblance to the misericords at Higham Ferrers. Both may have been carved by Richard Tyllock. Christopher Wren was a fellow from 1653, in 1658 produced a sundial for the college; this was placed on the south wall of the Chapel, until it was moved to the quadrangle in 1877. During the 1660s a screen was installed in the Chapel, based on a design by Wren. However, this screen needed to be rebuilt by 1713. By the mid-19th century the Chapel was in great need of renovation, so the current structure is influenced by Victorian design ideals. All services at the chapel are according to the Book of Common Prayer. In the three years following the award of their bachelor's degrees, students graduating from Oxford and current Oxford postgraduate students having graduated elsewhere are eligible to apply for examination fellowships of seven years each.
While tutors may advise their students to sit for the All Souls examination fellowship, the examination is open to anybody who fulfils the eligibility criteria and the college does not issue invitations to candidates to sit. Every year in early March, the college hosts an open evening for women, offering women interested in the examination fellowship an opportunity to find out more about the exam process and to meet members of the college; each year several dozen candidates sit the examination. Two examination fellows are elected each year, although the college has awarded a single place or three places in some years, on rare occasions made no award; the competition, offered since 1878 and open to women since 1979, is held over two days in late September, with two papers of three hours each per day. It has been described in the past as "the hardest exam in the world". Two papers are on a single subject of the candidate's choice. Candidates may sit their two specialist papers in different specialist subjects, provided each paper is in one subject only.
Candidates who choose Classics have an additional translation examination on a third day. Two papers are on general subjects. For each general examination, candidates choose three questions from a list. Past questions have included: "'If a man could say nothing against a character but what he could prove, history could not be written' (S
Christ Church, Oxford
Christ Church is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in England. Christ Church is a joint foundation of the college and the cathedral of the Oxford diocese, which serves as the college chapel and whose dean is ex officio the college head. Founded in 1546 by King Henry VIII, it is one of the larger colleges of the University of Oxford with 629 students in 2016, it is the second wealthiest college with an endowment of £550m as of 2018. Christ Church has a number of architecturally significant buildings including Tom Tower, Tom Quad, the Great Dining Hall, the seat of the parliament assembled by King Charles I during the English Civil War; the buildings have inspired replicas throughout the world in addition to being featured in films such as Harry Potter and The Golden Compass. This has helped Christ Church become the most popular Oxford college for tourists with half a million visitors annually. Christ Church has many notable alumni including thirteen British prime ministers, King Edward VII, King William II of the Netherlands, seventeen Archbishops, writers Lewis Carroll and W.
H. Auden, philosopher John Locke, scientist Robert Hooke. Christ Church is partly responsible for the creation of University College Reading, which gained its own Royal Charter and became the University of Reading; the first female undergraduates matriculated at Christ Church in 1980. In 1525, at the height of his power, Thomas Wolsey, Lord Chancellor of England and Cardinal Archbishop of York, suppressed the Priory of St Frideswide in Oxford and founded Cardinal College on its lands, using funds from the dissolution of Wallingford Priory and other minor priories, he planned the establishment on a magnificent scale, but fell from grace in 1529, with the buildings only three-quarters complete, as they were to remain for 140 years. In 1531 the college was itself suppressed, but it was refounded in 1532 as King Henry VIII's College by Henry VIII, to whom Wolsey's property had escheated. In 1546 the King, who had broken from the Church of Rome and acquired great wealth through the dissolution of the monasteries in England, refounded the college as Christ Church as part of the reorganisation of the Church of England, making the demolished priory church the cathedral of the created Diocese of Oxford.
Christ Church's sister college in the University of Cambridge is Trinity College, founded the same year by Henry VIII. Since the time of Queen Elizabeth I the college has been associated with Westminster School; the dean remains to ex officio member of the school's governing body. Major additions have been made to the buildings through the centuries, Wolsey's Great Quadrangle was crowned with the famous gate-tower designed by Sir Christopher Wren. To this day the bell in the tower, Great Tom, is rung 101 times at 9 pm at the former Oxford time every night, for the 100 original scholars of the college. In former times this was done at midnight, signalling the close of all college gates throughout Oxford. Since it took 20 minutes to ring the 101, Christ Church gates, unlike those of other colleges, did not close until 12:20; when the ringing was moved back to 9:00 pm, Christ Church gates still remained open until 12.20, 20 minutes than any other college. Although the clock itself now shows GMT/BST, Christ Church still follows Oxford time in the timings of services in the cathedral.
King Charles I made the Deanery his palace and held his Parliament in the Great Hall during the English Civil War. In the evening of 29 May 1645, during the second siege of Oxford, a "bullet of IX lb. weight" shot from the Parliamentarians warning-piece at Marston fell against the wall of the north side of the Hall. Several of Christ Church's deans achieved high academic distinction, notably Owen under the Commonwealth and Fell in the Restoration period and Gaisford in the early 19th century and Liddell in the high Victorian era. For over four centuries Christ Church admitted men only. Christ Church, formally titled "The Dean and Students of the Cathedral Church of Christ in Oxford of the Foundation of King Henry the Eighth", is the only academic institution in the world, a cathedral, the seat of the Bishop of Oxford; the Visitor of Christ Church is the reigning British sovereign, the Bishop of Oxford is unique among English bishops in not being the Visitor of his own cathedral. The head of the college is the Dean of Christ Church, an Anglican cleric appointed by the crown as dean of the cathedral church.
There are a senior and a junior censor the former of whom is responsible for academic matters, the latter for undergraduate discipline. A censor theologiae is appointed to act as the dean's deputy; the form "Christ Church College" is considered incorrect, in part because it ignores the cathedral, an integral part of the unique dual foundation. The governing body of Christ Church consists of the dean and chapter of the cathedral, together with the "Students of Christ Church", who are not junior members but rather the equivalent of the fellows of the other colleges; until the 19th century, the students differed from fellows in that they had no governing powers in their own college, these residing with the dean and chapter. Christ Church si
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
World War I
World War I known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history, it is one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide. On 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb Yugoslav nationalist, assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, leading to the July Crisis. In response, on 23 July Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia. Serbia's reply failed to satisfy the Austrians, the two moved to a war footing. A network of interlocking alliances enlarged the crisis from a bilateral issue in the Balkans to one involving most of Europe.
By July 1914, the great powers of Europe were divided into two coalitions: the Triple Entente—consisting of France and Britain—and the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. Russia felt it necessary to back Serbia and, after Austria-Hungary shelled the Serbian capital of Belgrade on the 28th, partial mobilisation was approved. General Russian mobilisation was announced on the evening of 30 July; when Russia failed to comply, Germany declared war on 1 August in support of Austria-Hungary, with Austria-Hungary following suit on 6th. German strategy for a war on two fronts against France and Russia was to concentrate the bulk of its army in the West to defeat France within four weeks shift forces to the East before Russia could mobilise. On 2 August, Germany demanded free passage through Belgium, an essential element in achieving a quick victory over France; when this was refused, German forces invaded Belgium on 3 August and declared war on France the same day. On 12 August and France declared war on Austria-Hungary.
In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of the Alliance, opening fronts in the Caucasus and the Sinai Peninsula. The war was fought in and drew upon each power's colonial empire as well, spreading the conflict to Africa and across the globe; the Entente and its allies would become known as the Allied Powers, while the grouping of Austria-Hungary and their allies would become known as the Central Powers. The German advance into France was halted at the Battle of the Marne and by the end of 1914, the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, marked by a long series of trench lines that changed little until 1917. In 1915, Italy opened a front in the Alps. Bulgaria joined the Central Powers in 1915 and Greece joined the Allies in 1917, expanding the war in the Balkans; the United States remained neutral, although by doing nothing to prevent the Allies from procuring American supplies whilst the Allied blockade prevented the Germans from doing the same the U. S. became an important supplier of war material to the Allies.
After the sinking of American merchant ships by German submarines, the revelation that the Germans were trying to incite Mexico to make war on the United States, the U. S. declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917. Trained American forces would not begin arriving at the front in large numbers until mid-1918, but the American Expeditionary Force would reach some two million troops. Though Serbia was defeated in 1915, Romania joined the Allied Powers in 1916 only to be defeated in 1917, none of the great powers were knocked out of the war until 1918; the 1917 February Revolution in Russia replaced the Tsarist autocracy with the Provisional Government, but continuing discontent at the cost of the war led to the October Revolution, the creation of the Soviet Socialist Republic, the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk by the new government in March 1918, ending Russia's involvement in the war. This allowed the transfer of large numbers of German troops from the East to the Western Front, resulting in the German March 1918 Offensive.
This offensive was successful, but the Allies rallied and drove the Germans back in their Hundred Days Offensive. Bulgaria was the first Central Power to sign an armistice—the Armistice of Salonica on 29 September 1918. On 30 October, the Ottoman Empire capitulated. On 4 November, the Austro-Hungarian empire agreed to the Armistice of Villa Giusti after being decisively defeated by Italy in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. With its allies defeated, revolution at home, the military no longer willing to fight, Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated on 9 November and Germany signed an armistice on 11 November 1918. World War I was a significant turning point in the political, cultural and social climate of the world; the war and its immediate aftermath sparked numerous uprisings. The Big Four (Britain, the United States, It