Rail transport is a means of transferring of passengers and goods on wheeled vehicles running on rails known as tracks. It is commonly referred to as train transport. In contrast to road transport, where vehicles run on a prepared flat surface, rail vehicles are directionally guided by the tracks on which they run. Tracks consist of steel rails, installed on ties and ballast, on which the rolling stock fitted with metal wheels, moves. Other variations are possible, such as slab track, where the rails are fastened to a concrete foundation resting on a prepared subsurface. Rolling stock in a rail transport system encounters lower frictional resistance than road vehicles, so passenger and freight cars can be coupled into longer trains; the operation is carried out by a railway company, providing transport between train stations or freight customer facilities. Power is provided by locomotives which either draw electric power from a railway electrification system or produce their own power by diesel engines.
Most tracks are accompanied by a signalling system. Railways are a safe land transport system. Railway transport is capable of high levels of passenger and cargo utilization and energy efficiency, but is less flexible and more capital-intensive than road transport, when lower traffic levels are considered; the oldest known, man/animal-hauled railways date back to the 6th century BC in Greece. Rail transport commenced in mid 16th century in Germany in the form of horse-powered funiculars and wagonways. Modern rail transport commenced with the British development of the steam locomotives in the early 19th century, thus the railway system in Great Britain is the oldest in the world. Built by George Stephenson and his son Robert's company Robert Stephenson and Company, the Locomotion No. 1 is the first steam locomotive to carry passengers on a public rail line, the Stockton and Darlington Railway in 1825. George Stephenson built the first public inter-city railway line in the world to use only the steam locomotives all the time, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway which opened in 1830.
With steam engines, one could construct mainline railways, which were a key component of the Industrial Revolution. Railways reduced the costs of shipping, allowed for fewer lost goods, compared with water transport, which faced occasional sinking of ships; the change from canals to railways allowed for "national markets" in which prices varied little from city to city. The spread of the railway network and the use of railway timetables, led to the standardisation of time in Britain based on Greenwich Mean Time. Prior to this, major towns and cities varied their local time relative to GMT; the invention and development of the railway in the United Kingdom was one of the most important technological inventions of the 19th century. The world's first underground railway, the Metropolitan Railway, opened in 1863. In the 1880s, electrified trains were introduced, leading to electrification of tramways and rapid transit systems. Starting during the 1940s, the non-electrified railways in most countries had their steam locomotives replaced by diesel-electric locomotives, with the process being complete by the 2000s.
During the 1960s, electrified high-speed railway systems were introduced in Japan and in some other countries. Many countries are in the process of replacing diesel locomotives with electric locomotives due to environmental concerns, a notable example being Switzerland, which has electrified its network. Other forms of guided ground transport outside the traditional railway definitions, such as monorail or maglev, have been tried but have seen limited use. Following a decline after World War II due to competition from cars, rail transport has had a revival in recent decades due to road congestion and rising fuel prices, as well as governments investing in rail as a means of reducing CO2 emissions in the context of concerns about global warming; the history of rail transport began in the 6th century BC in Ancient Greece. It can be divided up into several discrete periods defined by the principal means of track material and motive power used. Evidence indicates that there was 6 to 8.5 km long Diolkos paved trackway, which transported boats across the Isthmus of Corinth in Greece from around 600 BC.
Wheeled vehicles pulled by men and animals ran in grooves in limestone, which provided the track element, preventing the wagons from leaving the intended route. The Diolkos was in use for over 650 years, until at least the 1st century AD; the paved trackways were later built in Roman Egypt. In 1515, Cardinal Matthäus Lang wrote a description of the Reisszug, a funicular railway at the Hohensalzburg Fortress in Austria; the line used wooden rails and a hemp haulage rope and was operated by human or animal power, through a treadwheel. The line still exists and is operational, although in updated form and is the oldest operational railway. Wagonways using wooden rails, hauled by horses, started appearing in the 1550s to facilitate the transport of ore tubs to and from mines, soon became popular in Europe; such an operation was illustrated in Germany in 1556 by Georgius Agricola in his work De re metallica. This line used "Hund" carts with unflanged wheels running on wooden planks and a vertical pin on the truck fitting into the gap between the planks to keep it going the right way.
The miners called the wagons Hunde from the noise. There are many references to their use in central Europe in the 16th century; such a transport system was used by German miners at Cal
Henry Rogers Seager
Henry Rogers Seager was an American economist, Professor of Political Economy at Columbia University, who served as president of the American Association for Labor Legislation. Inspired by the work of the Austrian School, Seager published his main work "Principles of Economics" in 1913. Inline with the institutional economics this textbook was typical "empirical and institutional in applied work, that dealt with real markets." In 1929 he published his most cited work, entitled "Trust and corporation problems." Seager was born to Schuyler Fiske Seager and Alice Seager in Lansing, where his father worked as a lawyer. He studied at the University of Michigan. B. in 1890. He continued his studies at Johns Hopkins University under Herbert Baxter Adams and Richard T. Ely for a year, in Europe at Halle and Vienna for two years, obtaiting his PhD back in the US from the University of Pennsylvania in 1894 under Simon Patten. In 1894 Seager started his academic career as an instructor in economics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, was promoted to assistant professor in 1896, to adjunct professor in 1902.
In 1905 he moved to Columbia University. Seager was a member of several commissions in New York to investigate labor conditions, he served as president of the American Association for Labor Legislation and served on the board of editors of the Political Science Quarterly. He died in 1930 in Russia when he was visiting to study Soviet economic philosophy. Seager work as economist was influenced by his training in "English classicism, in the German historical method and in the peculiar Austrian approach" of the Austrian School. In 1904 he published "Introduction to Economics" in 1904, which he developed into his main work "Principles of Economics," published in 1913. In the preface to Introduction to Economics, Seager explains, that "the principal feature which distinguishes it from other college text-books is its full treatment of the subject of distribution; this is the part of the study, of greatest interest and importance. And all the while there is room for his initiative and individuality.
No teacher inferior in training or wanting in class-room skill would better attempt this book... His catholic quality of temper and lack of dogmatism render. Professor Seager's doctrinal positions of less controlling importance for text-book purposes. While his work is noticebly Austrian in tone and method, yet it is such in a manner which need not offend the radically conservative; as indicating a general point of view, it may be noted that the marginal-productivity theory of distribution is adopted, with some degree of vagueness or vacillation as to the relation between distributive shares and competitive costs..." Seager expressed a specific view on the distribution in modern community. Modern business can be divided into twelve branches or principal businesses, as he expressed: "Looking at modern business in a concrete way we may distinguish the following main branches into which production is divided: hunting and fishing, stock-raising, forestry and quarrying, building, transporting and retail trading and stock broking and insurance.
Although by no means exhaustive this list includes the principal businesses to be found in a modern community arranged in about the order in which they have attained prominence..."According to Seager, the best adapted form of business organisation is different. In hunting, stock-raising, building and trading the dominant form is the single-entrepreneur and partnership systems. In lumbering and manufacturing single entrepreneurs and corporations exist side by side, in transportation and insurance the "corporate form of organisation holds undisputed sway. In general the corporate form of organisation is that preferred in branches of business where large-scale production is found to be most economical, while in businesses for which small-scale production is better adapted single entrepreneurs and partnerships still have the advantage." According to Seager and distribution in the modern community can be analysed, graphically pictured, by distinguishing three more basic branches of production: the extractive industries, which supply materials, the manufacturing industries, which combine and fashion materials into the forms desired by consumers, transportation and trade, which bring manufactured goods to those who are to use them.
About the basic interaction, Seager further explained: "As represented in the above figure the three great branches of production are being carried on and the goods produced are flowing in a vast stream from the extractive industries, where they originate as materials, to traders who dispose of them in finished forms either to consumers or to producers who use them as capital goods or aids to further production. Although working contemporaneously, successive groups of producers are, of course, engaged on materials produced
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the Federal Government of the United States. The legislature consists of two chambers: the House of the Senate; the Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D. C.. Both senators and representatives are chosen through direct election, though vacancies in the Senate may be filled by a gubernatorial appointment. Congress has 535 voting members: 100 senators; the House of Representatives has six non-voting members representing Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U. S. Virgin Islands, the District of Columbia in addition to its 435 voting members. Although they cannot vote in the full house, these members can address the house and vote in congressional committees, introduce legislation; the members of the House of Representatives serve two-year terms representing the people of a single constituency, known as a "district". Congressional districts are apportioned to states by population using the United States Census results, provided that each state has at least one congressional representative.
Each state, regardless of population or size, has two senators. There are 100 senators representing the 50 states; each senator is elected at-large in their state for a six-year term, with terms staggered, so every two years one-third of the Senate is up for election. To be eligible for election, a candidate must be aged at least 25 or 30, have been a citizen of the United States for seven or nine years, be an inhabitant of the state which they represent; the Congress was created by the Constitution of the United States and first met in 1789, replacing in its legislative function the Congress of the Confederation. Although not mandated, in practice since the 19th century, Congress members are affiliated with the Republican Party or with the Democratic Party and only with a third party or independents. Article One of the United States Constitution states, "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."
The House and Senate are equal partners in the legislative process—legislation cannot be enacted without the consent of both chambers. However, the Constitution grants each chamber some unique powers; the Senate ratifies treaties and approves presidential appointments while the House initiates revenue-raising bills. The House initiates impeachment cases. A two-thirds vote of the Senate is required before an impeached person can be forcibly removed from office; the term Congress can refer to a particular meeting of the legislature. A Congress covers two years; the Congress ends on the third day of January of every odd-numbered year. Members of the Senate are referred to as senators. Scholar and representative Lee H. Hamilton asserted that the "historic mission of Congress has been to maintain freedom" and insisted it was a "driving force in American government" and a "remarkably resilient institution". Congress is the "heart and soul of our democracy", according to this view though legislators achieve the prestige or name recognition of presidents or Supreme Court justices.
One analyst argues that it is not a reactive institution but has played an active role in shaping government policy and is extraordinarily sensitive to public pressure. Several academics described Congress: Congress reflects us in all our strengths and all our weaknesses, it reflects our regional idiosyncrasies, our ethnic and racial diversity, our multitude of professions, our shadings of opinion on everything from the value of war to the war over values. Congress is the government's most representative body... Congress is charged with reconciling our many points of view on the great public policy issues of the day. Congress is changing and is in flux. In recent times, the American south and west have gained House seats according to demographic changes recorded by the census and includes more minorities and women although both groups are still underrepresented. While power balances among the different parts of government continue to change, the internal structure of Congress is important to understand along with its interactions with so-called intermediary institutions such as political parties, civic associations, interest groups, the mass media.
The Congress of the United States serves two distinct purposes that overlap: local representation to the federal government of a congressional district by representatives and a state's at-large representation to the federal government by senators. Most incumbents seek re-election, their historical likelihood of winning subsequent elections exceeds 90 percent; the historical records of the House of Representatives and the Senate are maintained by the Center for Legislative Archives, a part of the National Archives and Records Administration. Congress is directly responsible for the governing of the District of Columbia, the current seat of the federal government; the First Continental Congress was a gathering of representatives from twelve of the thirteen British Colonies in North America. On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, referring to the new nation as the "United States of America"; the Articles of Confederation in 1781 created the Congress of the Confederation, a
Railroad Labor Board
The Railroad Labor Board was an institution established in the United States of America by the Transportation Act of 1920. This nine-member panel was designed as means of settling wage disputes between railway companies and their employees; the Railroad Labor Board's approval of wage reductions for railroad shopmen was instrumental in triggering the Great Railroad Strike of 1922. The Board was terminated on May 20, 1926 when President Calvin Coolidge signed a new Railway Labor Act into law. American railways were long the focus of turmoil between employers and employees, with the first use of federal troops to maintain order dating back to a strike of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in the early 1870s. With the continued functioning of the railways seen as a vital public interest, Congress had attempted to solve wage disputes through legislation as early as 1888, when an initial mechanism for voluntary arbitration was created; such voluntary arbitration had lacked an enforcement mechanism and labor turmoil had continued unabated.
Various attempts at stopgap legislation proved unfruitful, although the Erdman Act of 1898 did establish a more precise mechanism for mediating disputes between employers and those workers engaged in train operation. This voluntary mediation was resisted by the railroad companies and seldom used until 1906. In the subsequent eight years between 1906 and 1913, a total of 61 disputes were settled by mediation or arbitration. Despite this seeming success, neither the railroad companies nor the various unions representing railway employees were satisfied with either the process or the decisions rendered. Calls were made for a substantially-sized permanent board of arbitration, with representatives of the railroad companies rather than the unions taking the lead in calling for such a body; the result this desire for permanent, professional mediation of railway wage disputes was the passage of the Newlands Act of 1913. This legislation expanded and formalized the mediation and arbitration process, establishing a three-member "Board of Mediation and Conciliation" and increasing the number of professional arbitrators to six.
Although still lacking the power to enforce its decisions the Newlands Act was successful in resolving 58 of the 71 controversies which it handled between passage of the Newlands Act in 1913 and the end of 1917. During the period of American participation in World War I, operation of the American railway system was brought under national control to ensure efficient operation; the United States Railroad Administration was created to manage the entire system. President Woodrow Wilson issued an order for nationalization in 1917, Congress affirmed the action in 1918 with the Railway Administration Act; the USRA consolidated railroad operations, eliminated redundant services, standardized equipment, raised wages for railroad workers. Following the end of the war, Congress passed the Transportation Act of 1920, which returned control to the railroad companies, gave additional regulatory powers to the Interstate Commerce Commission, established the Railroad Labor Board. President Warren Harding appointed Ben W. Hooper as board chairman in 1921.
Hooper was a former Republican Governor of Tennessee. The 1920 law gave the board the power to oversee the wages and working conditions of more than 2 million American railway workers; the RLB soon destroyed whatever moral authority. In 1921 railway companies obtained approval from the board for deep reductions in wage rates for workers across the industry. In 1922 the RLB approved another cut in wages, this time a cut of 7 cents an hour targeted to railway repair and maintenance workers—a reduction representing a loss of an average of 12 percent for these workers. Chairman Hooper found the situation faced by members of the Railroad Labor Board to be untenable, likening the task of conciliating the demands of the "hardboiled railway executive" and the "radical labor leader" armed only with the "gentle, unenforceable admonitions of the Transportation Act" to pacifying a den of lions and tigers with bare hands. In response to the wage cuts, as well as the pressures of the Open Shop Movement, seven unions representing the railroad shopmen and maintenance of way workers voted to go on strike.
July 1, 1922, was the date set for the launch of a coordinated work stoppage. On that day some 400,000 railway workers walked off the job, in what became known as the Great Railroad Strike of 1922. On July 3, Hooper pushed through a so-called "outlaw resolution" which declared that all strikers had forfeited their arbitration rights guaranteed under the Transportation Act of 1920. Railroads were encouraged by the Railway Labor Board to hire replacement workers, who were to be regarded as permanent by the board. Bitter labor discord followed, with sabotage of railway equipment; the RLB attempted to mediate an end to the dispute, bringing together union and railroad representatives on July 14 in a joint conference. The conference was unsuccessful and the board declared that its efforts to resolve the stoppage had reached an end. Members of President Harding's cabinet, Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover and Secretary of Labor John Davis, sought a negotiated end to the strike. Harding proposed a settlement on July 28, but this compromise was rejected by the railroad companies.
United States Attorney General Harry M. Daugherty obtained a court injunction against the strike on September 1, the strike died out as many shopmen made deals with the railroads on the local level. Negotiations between the major railroad companies and the unions led to the enactment of the Railway Labor Act of 1926
Law of the United States
The law of the United States comprises many levels of codified and uncodified forms of law, of which the most important is the United States Constitution, the foundation of the federal government of the United States. The Constitution sets out the boundaries of federal law, which consists of Acts of Congress, treaties ratified by the Senate, regulations promulgated by the executive branch, case law originating from the federal judiciary; the United States Code is the official compilation and codification of general and permanent federal statutory law. Federal law and treaties, so long as they are in accordance with the Constitution, preempt conflicting state and territorial laws in the 50 U. S. in the territories. However, the scope of federal preemption is limited because the scope of federal power is not universal. In the dual-sovereign system of American federalism, states are the plenary sovereigns, each with their own constitution, while the federal sovereign possesses only the limited supreme authority enumerated in the Constitution.
Indeed, states may grant their citizens broader rights than the federal Constitution as long as they do not infringe on any federal constitutional rights. Thus, most U. S. law consists of state law, which can and does vary from one state to the next. At both the federal and state levels, with the exception of the state of Louisiana, the law of the United States is derived from the common law system of English law, in force at the time of the American Revolutionary War. However, American law has diverged from its English ancestor both in terms of substance and procedure, has incorporated a number of civil law innovations. In the United States, the law is derived from five sources: constitutional law, statutory law, administrative regulations, the common law. Where Congress enacts a statute that conflicts with the Constitution, state or federal courts may rule that law to be unconstitutional and declare it invalid. Notably, a statute does not automatically disappear because it has been found unconstitutional.
Many federal and state statutes have remained on the books for decades after they were ruled to be unconstitutional. However, under the principle of stare decisis, no sensible lower court will enforce an unconstitutional statute, any court that does so will be reversed by the Supreme Court. Conversely, any court that refuses to enforce a constitutional statute will risk reversal by the Supreme Court. Commonwealth countries are heirs to the common law legal tradition of English law. Certain practices traditionally allowed under English common law were expressly outlawed by the Constitution, such as bills of attainder.</ref> and general search rrts. As common law courts, U. S. courts have inherited the principle of stare decisis. American judges, like common law judges elsewhere, not only apply the law, they make the law, to the extent that their decisions in the cases before them become precedent for decisions in future cases; the actual substance of English law was formally "received" into the United States in several ways.
First, all U. S. states except Louisiana have enacted "reception statutes" which state that the common law of England is the law of the state to the extent that it is not repugnant to domestic law or indigenous conditions. Some reception statutes impose a specific cutoff date for reception, such as the date of a colony's founding, while others are deliberately vague. Thus, contemporary U. S. courts cite pre-Revolution cases when discussing the evolution of an ancient judge-made common law principle into its modern form, such as the heightened duty of care traditionally imposed upon common carriers. Second, a small number of important British statutes in effect at the time of the Revolution have been independently reenacted by U. S. states. Two examples are the Statute of 13 Elizabeth; such English statutes are still cited in contemporary American cases interpreting their modern American descendants. Despite the presence of reception statutes, much of contemporary American common law has diverged from English common law.
Although the courts of the various Commonwealth nations are influenced by each other's rulings, American courts follow post-Revolution Commonwealth rulings unless there is no American ruling on point, the facts and law at issue are nearly identical, the reasoning is persuasive. Early on, American courts after the Revolution did cite contemporary English cases, because appellate decisions from many American courts were not reported until the mid-19th century. Lawyers and judges used English legal materials to fill the gap. Citations to English decisions disappeared during the 19th century as American courts developed their own principles to resolve the legal problems of the American people; the number of published volumes of American reports soared from eighteen in 1810 to over 8,000 by 1910. By 1879 one of the delegates to the California constitutional convention was complaining: "Now, when we require them to state the reasons for a decision, we do not mean they shall write a hundred pages of detail.
We not mean that they shall include the small cases, impose on the country all this fine judici
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was an American statesman and academic who served as the 28th president of the United States from 1913 to 1921. A member of the Democratic Party, Wilson served as the president of Princeton University and as the 34th governor of New Jersey before winning the 1912 presidential election; as president, he oversaw the passage of progressive legislative policies unparalleled until the New Deal in 1933. He led the United States during World War I, establishing an activist foreign policy known as "Wilsonianism." Born in Staunton, Wilson spent his early years in Augusta and Columbia, South Carolina. After earning a Ph. D. in political science from Johns Hopkins University, Wilson taught at various schools before becoming the president of Princeton. As governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913, Wilson broke with party bosses and won the passage of several progressive reforms, his success in New Jersey gave him a national reputation as a progressive reformer, he won the presidential nomination at the 1912 Democratic National Convention.
Wilson defeated incumbent Republican President William Howard Taft and Progressive Party nominee Theodore Roosevelt to win the 1912 presidential election, becoming the first Southerner to serve as president since the American Civil War. During his first term, Wilson presided over the passage of his progressive New Freedom domestic agenda, his first major priority was the passage of the Revenue Act of 1913, which lowered tariffs and implemented a federal income tax. Tax acts implemented a federal estate tax and raised the top income tax rate to 77 percent. Wilson presided over the passage of the Federal Reserve Act, which created a central banking system in the form of the Federal Reserve System. Two major laws, the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Clayton Antitrust Act, were passed to regulate and break up large business interests known as trusts. To the disappointment of his African-American supporters, Wilson allowed some of his Cabinet members to segregate their departments. Upon the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Wilson maintained a policy of neutrality between the Allied Powers and the Central Powers.
He won re-election by a narrow margin in the presidential election of 1916, defeating Republican nominee Charles Evans Hughes. In early 1917, Wilson asked Congress for a declaration of war against Germany after Germany implemented a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare, Congress complied. Wilson presided over war-time mobilization but devoted much of his efforts to foreign affairs, developing the Fourteen Points as a basis for post-war peace. After Germany signed an armistice in November 1918, Wilson and other Allied leaders took part in the Paris Peace Conference, where Wilson advocated for the establishment of a multilateral organization known as the League of Nations; the League of Nations was incorporated into the Treaty of Versailles and other treaties with the defeated Central Powers, but Wilson was unable to convince the Senate to ratify that treaty or allow the United States to join the League. Wilson suffered a severe stroke in October 1919 and was incapacitated for the remainder of his presidency.
He retired from public office in 1921, died in 1924. Scholars rank Wilson as one of the better U. S. presidents, though he has received strong criticism for his actions regarding racial segregation. Thomas Woodrow Wilson was born to a Scots-Irish family in Staunton, Virginia, on December 28, 1856, he was the third of four children and the first son of Joseph Ruggles Wilson and Jessie Janet Woodrow, who were slaveholders. Wilson's paternal grandparents had immigrated to the United States from Strabane, County Tyrone, Ireland in 1807, settling in Steubenville, Ohio, his grandfather James Wilson published a pro-tariff and anti-slavery newspaper, The Western Herald and Gazette. Wilson's maternal grandfather, Reverend Thomas Wodrow, migrated from Paisley, Scotland to Carlisle, before moving to Chillicothe, Ohio in the late 1830s. Joseph met Jessie while she was attending a girl's academy in Steubenville, the two married on June 7, 1849. Soon after the wedding, Joseph was ordained as a Presbyterian priest and assigned to serve as a pastor in Staunton.
Before he was two years old, Woodrow Wilson and his family moved to Georgia. Wilson's earliest memory was of standing near the front gate of the Augusta parsonage on an autumn day in 1860, when a strange passerby said that Abraham Lincoln had been elected and that a war was coming. By 1861, both of Wilson's parents had come to identify with the Southern United States and they supported the Confederacy during the American Civil War. Wilson's father was one of the founders of the Southern Presbyterian Church in the United States after it split from the Northern Presbyterians in 1861, he became minister of the First Presbyterian Church in Augusta, the family lived there until 1870. After the end of the Civil War, Wilson began attending a nearby school, where classmates included future Supreme Court Justice Joseph Rucker Lamar and future ambassador Pleasant A. Stovall. Though Wilson's parents placed a high value on education, he struggled with reading and writing until the age of thirteen because of developmental dyslexia.
From 1870 to 1874, Wilson lived in Columbia, South Carolina, where his father was a theology professor at the Columbia Theological Seminary. In 1873, Wilson became a communicant member of the Columbia First Presbyterian Church. Wilson attended Davidson College in North Carolina for the 1873–74 school year, but transferred as a freshman to the College of New Jersey, he studied political philosophy and history, joined t
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