World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
A municipality is a single administrative division having corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws to which it is subordinate. It is to be distinguished from the county, which may encompass rural territory or numerous small communities such as towns and hamlets; the term municipality may mean the governing or ruling body of a given municipality. A municipality is a general-purpose administrative subdivision, as opposed to a special-purpose district; the term is derived from French Latin municipalis. The English word municipality derives from the Latin social contract municipium, referring to the Latin communities that supplied Rome with troops in exchange for their own incorporation into the Roman state while permitting the communities to retain their own local governments. A municipality can be any political jurisdiction from a sovereign state, such as the Principality of Monaco, to a small village, such as West Hampton Dunes, New York.
The territory over which a municipality has jurisdiction may encompass only one populated place such as a city, town, or village several of such places only parts of such places, sometimes boroughs of a city such as the 34 municipalities of Santiago, Chile. Powers of municipalities range from virtual autonomy to complete subordination to the state. Municipalities may have the right to tax individuals and corporations with income tax, property tax, corporate income tax, but may receive substantial funding from the state. In various countries, municipalities are referred to as "communes", notably in Romance languages such as French commune, Italian comune, Romanian comună, Spanish comuna, in Germanic languages such as German Kommune, Swedish kommun, Faroese kommuna, Norwegian, Danish kommune. However, in Moldova and Romania exist both municipalities and communes, a commune may be part of a municipality. Similar terms include Spanish ayuntamiento called municipalidad, Polish gmina, Dutch/Flemish Gemeente and Luxembourgish Gemeng.
In Australia, the term local government area is used in place of the generic municipality. Here, the "LGA Structure covers only incorporated areas of Australia. Incorporated areas are designated parts of states and territories over which incorporated local governing bodies have responsibility." In Canada, municipalities are local governments established through provincial and territorial legislation within general municipal statutes. Types of municipalities within Canada include cities, district municipalities, municipal districts, parishes, rural municipalities, townships and villes among others; the Province of Ontario has different tiers of municipalities, including lower and single tiers. Types of upper tier municipalities in Ontario include regional municipalities. Nova Scotia has regional municipalities, which include cities, districts, or towns as municipal units. In India, a Municipality or Nagar Palika is an urban local body that administers a city of population 100,000 or more. However, there are exceptions to that, as Municipality were constituted in urban centers with population over 20,000, so all the urban bodies which were classified as Municipality were reclassified as Municipality if their population was under 100,000.
Under the Panchayati Raj system, it interacts directly with the state government, though it is administratively part of the district it is located in. Smaller district cities and bigger towns have a Municipality. Municipality are a form of local self-government entrusted with some duties and responsibilities, as enshrined in the Constitutional Act,1992. In the United Kingdom, the term was used until the 1972 Local Government Act came into effect in 1974 in England and Wales, until 1975 in Scotland and 1976 in Northern Ireland, "both for a city or town, organized for self-government under a municipal corporation, for the governing body itself; such a corporation in Great Britain consists of a head as a mayor or provost, of superior members, as aldermen and councillors". Since local government reorganisation, the unit in England, Northern Ireland and Wales is known as a district, in Scotland as a council area. A district can retain its district title. In Jersey, a municipality refers to the honorary officials elected to run each of the 12 parishes into which it is subdivided.
This is the highest level of regional government in this jurisdiction. In Trinidad and Tobago, "municipality" is understood as a city, town, or other local government unit, formed by municipal charter from the state as a municipal corporation. A town may be awarded borough status and on may be upgraded to city status. Chaguanas, San Fernando, Port of Spain and Point Fortin are the 5 current municipalities in Trinidad and Tobago. In the United States, "municipality" is understood as a city, village, or other local government unit, formed by municipal charter from the state as a municipal corporation. In a state law contex
Jews or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and a nation, originating from the Israelites and Hebrews of historical Israel and Judah. Jewish ethnicity and religion are interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish people, while its observance varies from strict observance to complete nonobservance. Jews originated as an ethnic and religious group in the Middle East during the second millennium BCE, in the part of the Levant known as the Land of Israel; the Merneptah Stele appears to confirm the existence of a people of Israel somewhere in Canaan as far back as the 13th century BCE. The Israelites, as an outgrowth of the Canaanite population, consolidated their hold with the emergence of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah; some consider that these Canaanite sedentary Israelites melded with incoming nomadic groups known as'Hebrews'. Though few sources mention the exilic periods in detail, the experience of diaspora life, from the Ancient Egyptian rule over the Levant, to Assyrian captivity and exile, to Babylonian captivity and exile, to Seleucid Imperial rule, to the Roman occupation and exile, the historical relations between Jews and their homeland thereafter, became a major feature of Jewish history and memory.
Prior to World War II, the worldwide Jewish population reached a peak of 16.7 million, representing around 0.7% of the world population at that time. 6 million Jews were systematically murdered during the Holocaust. Since the population has risen again, as of 2016 was estimated at 14.4 million by the Berman Jewish DataBank, less than 0.2% of the total world population. The modern State of Israel is the only country, it defines itself as a Jewish and democratic state in the Basic Laws, Human Dignity and Liberty in particular, based on the Declaration of Independence. Israel's Law of Return grants the right of citizenship to Jews who have expressed their desire to settle in Israel. Despite their small percentage of the world's population, Jews have influenced and contributed to human progress in many fields, both and in modern times, including philosophy, literature, business, fine arts and architecture, music and cinema, science and technology, as well as religion. Jews have played a significant role in the development of Western Civilization.
The English word "Jew" continues Iewe. These terms derive from Old French giu, earlier juieu, which through elision had dropped the letter "d" from the Medieval Latin Iudaeus, like the New Testament Greek term Ioudaios, meant both "Jew" and "Judean" / "of Judea"; the Greek term was a loan from Aramaic Y'hūdāi, corresponding to Hebrew יְהוּדִי Yehudi the term for a member of the tribe of Judah or the people of the kingdom of Judah. According to the Hebrew Bible, the name of both the tribe and kingdom derive from Judah, the fourth son of Jacob. Genesis 29:35 and 49:8 connect the name "Judah" with the verb yada, meaning "praise", but scholars agree that the name of both the patriarch and the kingdom instead have a geographic origin—possibly referring to the gorges and ravines of the region; the Hebrew word for "Jew" is יְהוּדִי Yehudi, with the plural יְהוּדִים Yehudim. Endonyms in other Jewish languages include the Yiddish ייִד Yid; the etymological equivalent is in use in other languages, e.g. يَهُودِيّ yahūdī, al-yahūd, in Arabic, "Jude" in German, "judeu" in Portuguese, "Juif" /"Juive" in French, "jøde" in Danish and Norwegian, "judío/a" in Spanish, "jood" in Dutch, "żyd" in Polish etc. but derivations of the word "Hebrew" are in use to describe a Jew, e.g. in Italian, in Persian and Russian.
The German word "Jude" is pronounced, the corresponding adjective "jüdisch" is the origin of the word "Yiddish". According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, fourth edition, It is recognized that the attributive use of the noun Jew, in phrases such as Jew lawyer or Jew ethics, is both vulgar and offensive. In such contexts Jewish is the only acceptable possibility; some people, have become so wary of this construction that they have extended the stigma to any use of Jew as a noun, a practice that carries risks of its own. In a sentence such as There are now several Jews on the council, unobjectionable, the substitution of a circumlocution like Jewish people or persons of Jewish background may in itself cause offense for seeming to imply that Jew has a negative connotation when used as a noun. Judaism shares some of the characteristics of a nation, an ethnicity, a religion, a culture, making the definition of, a Jew vary depending on whether a religious or national approach to identity is used.
In modern secular usage Jews include three groups: people who were born to a Jewish family regardless of whether or not they follow the religion, those who have some Jewish ancestral background or lineage, people without any Jewish ancestral background or lineage who have formally converted to Judaism and therefore are followers of the religion. Historical definitions of Jewish identity have traditionally been based on halakhic definitions of matrilineal descent, halakhic conversions; these definitions of, a Jew date back to the codification of the Oral
A water park or waterpark is an amusement park that features water play areas such as swimming pools, water slides, splash pads, water playgrounds, lazy rivers, as well as areas for bathing and other barefoot environments. Modern water parks may be equipped with some type of artificial surfing or bodyboarding environment, such as a wave pool or flowrider. Water parks have grown in popularity since their introduction in early 1950s; the United States has the largest and most concentrated water park market, with over 1,000 water parks and dozens of new parks opening each year. Major organizations are the IAAPA and WWA, the industry trade association. Water parks which emerge from spas tend to more resemble mountain resorts, as they become year-round destinations. For example, Splash Universe Water Park Resort is themed to match the community in which it is located; the theme is intended to enhance the community's destination appeal. Therefore, the amusement and leisure-time industry is becoming more concentrated, as winter sports are becoming common themes in summertime water recreation.
A process of concentration can be observed in the hybrid versions of theme-, amusement-, water parks. Some water parks are more spa-oriented. For example, SchwabenQuellen has no water. In the 2000s, an effort was made to reduce long waiting lines by introducing conveyor belts to lift passengers or use water jets. An unusual feature at a water park is ice skating. Deep River Water Park in northwestern Indiana features ice skating, made possible by cooling pipes installed under their massive plaza; the first-ever indoor water park was built in Edmonton, Canada, in 1985 at the West Edmonton Mall as part of the $12.2-billion-dollar Phase III expansion. World Waterpark is the world's largest indoor water park, at over 655,550 sq ft in size, it includes the world's largest indoor wave pool, water slides of varying degrees, tube rides, bungee jumping, hot tubs. Tropical Islands Resort, with an area of 510,000 sq ft, is the second largest indoor water park in the world. With five indoor water parks, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin is recognized as the "Water Park Capital of the World".
It showcases several of America's largest indoor and outdoor water parks, such as Noah's Ark Water Park. Indoor water parks in Wisconsin Dells debuted in 1994 after the Polynesian Resort Hotel built the first one in the U. S. Success in extending the tourist season and turning water park resorts into vacation destinations has resulted in tremendous industry growth. Resort hotels featuring massive indoor water parks have been reserved for overnight guests. Companies like Great Wolf Resorts/Great Wolf Lodge and Kalahari Resorts have branched out from their origin in Wisconsin Dells to open new locations around the country. Mt. Olympus Theme and Water Park is another huge water park in the Dells; the largest indoor water park in the UK is Sandcastle Water Park in Blackpool, which opened in 1986. There are many water parks in southern Europe. For example, in Portugal's Algarve, there are three main parks: Aqualand and Slide n' Splash; the growth of indoor water parks have encouraged leisure centres across the world to begin implementing features of waterparks into their facilities, including slides and lazy rivers.
Water play areas are similar to water parks and include urban beaches, splash pads, smaller collections of water slides in many hotels and public swimming pools. For example, the Chelsea Hotel in Toronto features. Indoor water park List of water parks O'Niell, Karen. "The International Politics of National Parks". 24. Young, Terrance. "Modern Urban Parks". 85: 535–551. JSTOR 215924
The Munich Agreement or Munich Betrayal was an agreement concluded at Munich, September 29, 1938, by Germany, Great Britain and Italy. It provided "cession to Germany of the Sudeten German territory" of Czechoslovakia. Most of Europe celebrated because it prevented the war threatened by Adolf Hitler by allowing Nazi Germany's annexation of the Sudetenland, a region of western Czechoslovakia inhabited by 800,000 people German speakers. Hitler announced it was his last territorial claim in Europe, the choice seemed to be between war and appeasement. An emergency meeting of the main European powers – not including Czechoslovakia or the Soviet Union, an ally to both France and Czechoslovakia – took place in Munich, Germany, on 29–30 September 1938. An agreement was reached on Hitler's terms, it was signed by the top leaders of Germany, France and Italy. Militarily, the Sudetenland was of strategic importance to Czechoslovakia as most of its border defenses were situated there to protect against a German attack.
The agreement between the four powers was signed on the backdrop of a low-intensity undeclared German-Czechoslovak war that had started on 17 September 1938. Meanwhile Poland, relying on German–Polish Non-Aggression Pact moved its army units towards its common border with Czechoslovakia after 23 September 1938. Facing the combined force of Germany and Poland alongside most of its border, Czechoslovakia yielded to French and British diplomatic pressure and ceded the Sudetenland to Germany in line with the terms of the agreement; the Munich Agreement was soon followed by the First Vienna Award on 2 November 1938, separating Hungarian inhabited territories in southern Slovakia and southern Subcarpathian Rus' from Czechoslovakia, while Poland annexed territories from Czechoslovakia in the North. In March 1939, the First Slovak Republic was proclaimed, shortly by the creation of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia Germany took full control of the remaining Czech parts; as a result, Czechoslovakia had disappeared.
Today, the Munich Agreement is regarded as a failed act of appeasement, the term has become "a byword for the futility of appeasing expansionist totalitarian states". Czechoslovakia was created in 1918 following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the end of World War I; the Treaty of Versailles recognized the independence of Czechoslovakia with a population that included three million German-speaking people, 24 percent of the total population of the country. The Germans lived in border regions of the historical lands of Bohemia and Moravia for which they coined the new name Sudetenland, bordering on Germany and the newly created country of Austria; the Sudeten Germans were not consulted about. Although the constitution guaranteed equality for all citizens, there was a tendency among political leaders to transform the country "into an instrument of Czech and Slovak nationalism"; some progress was made to integrate the Germans and other minorities, but they continued to be under-represented in the government and the army.
Moreover, the Great Depression beginning in 1929 impacted the industrialized and export-oriented Sudeten Germans more than it did the Czech and Slovak populations. By 1936, 60 percent of the unemployed people in Czechoslovakia were Germans. In 1933 Sudeten German leader Konrad Henlein founded the Sudeten German Party, "militant and hostile" to the Czechoslovakian government and soon captured two-thirds of the vote in districts with a heavy German population. Historians differ as to whether the SdP was from its beginning a Nazi front organization, or evolved into one. By 1935, the SdP was the second largest political party in Czechoslovakia as German votes concentrated on this party while Czech and Slovak votes were spread among several parties. Shortly after the Anschluss of Austria to Germany, Henlein met with Hitler in Berlin on 28 March 1938, where he was instructed to raise demands unacceptable to the Czechoslovak government led by president Edvard Beneš. On 24 April, the SdP issued a series of demands upon the government of Czechoslovakia, that were known as the Carlsbad Program.
Among the demands, Henlein demanded autonomy for Germans living in Czechoslovakia. The Czechoslovak government responded by saying that it was willing to provide more minority rights to the German minority but was reluctant to grant them autonomy. With tension high between Germans and the Czechoslovakian government, on 15 September 1938 President Beneš offered secretly to give 6,000 square kilometres of Czechoslovakian territory to Germany in exchange for a German agreement to admit 1.5 to 2.0 million Sudeten Germans which Czechoslovakia would expel. Hitler did not reply; as the previous appeasement of Hitler had shown, the governments of both France and Britain were intent on avoiding war. The French government did not wish to face Germany alone and took its lead from Britain's Conservative government of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. Chamberlain considered the Sudeten German grievances justified and believed Hitler's intentions were limited. Both Britain and France, advised Czechoslovakia to accede to Germany's demands.
Beneš resisted and on 19 May initiated a partial mobilization in response to possible German invasion. On 20 May, Hitler presented his generals with a draft plan of attack on Czechoslovakia codenamed Operation Green, insisting that he would not "smash Czechoslovakia" militarily without "provocation," "a favourable oppor
The Moravian-Silesian Region, is one of the 14 administrative regions of the Czech Republic. Before May 2001, it was called the Ostrava Region; the region is located in the north-eastern part of its historical region of Moravia and in most of the Czech part of the historical region of Silesia. The region borders the Olomouc Region to the Zlín Region to the south, it borders two other countries – Poland to the north and Slovakia to the east. Once a industrialized region, it was called the "Steel Heart of the Country" in the communist era. In addition, it has several mountainous areas where the landscape is preserved. Nowadays, the economy of the region benefits from its location in the Czech/Polish/Slovak borderlands. Of the 302 municipalities, 39 are towns, 16 have populations over 10,000 inhabitants, five towns have over 60,000; these are the capitals of the region Ostrava, Havířov, Karviná, Frýdek-Místek. Traditionally, the region has been divided into six districts which still exist as regional units, though most administration has been shifted to the municipalities with extended competence and the municipalities with commissioned local authority.
Since 1 January 2003, the region has been divided into 22 municipalities with extended competence, which took over most of the administration of the former district authorities. Some of these are further divided into municipalities with commissioned local authority, they are unofficially named little districts. They are: Bílovec Bohumín Bruntál Český Těšín Frenštát pod Radhoštěm Frýdek-Místek Frýdlant nad Ostravicí Havířov Hlučín Jablunkov Karviná Kopřivnice Kravaře Krnov Nový Jičín Odry Opava Orlová Ostrava Rýmařov Třinec Vítkov The geography of the region varies comprising many land forms from lowlands to high mountains whose summits lie above the tree line. In the west lie the Hrubý Jeseník mountains, with the highest mountain of the region, Praděd, rising 1,491 metres; the mountains are forested, with many spectacular places and famous spas such as Karlova Studánka and Jeseník, so are popular with tourists. Several ski resorts are there, including Červenohorské Sedlo and Ovčárna, with long-lasting snow cover.
The Hrubý Jeseník mountains merge into the rolling hills of the Nízký Jeseníks and Oderské Vrchy, rising to 800 m at Slunečná and 680 m at Fidlův Kopec, respectively. To the east, the landscape descends into the Moravian Gate valley with the Bečva and Odra Rivers; the former flows to the south-west, the latter to the north-east, where the terrain spreads into the flat Ostrava and Opava basins, where most of the population lives. The region's heavy industry, in decline for the last decade, is located there, benefiting from huge deposits of hard coal; the confluence of the Odra and Olše is the lowest point of the region, at 195 m. To the south-east, towards the Slovakian border, the landscape rises into the Moravian-Silesian Beskids, with its highest mountain Lysá Hora at 1,323 m, the place with the highest annual rainfall in the Czech Republic, 1,500 mm a year; the mountains are forested and serve as a holiday resort for the industrial north. Three large landscape protected areas and a number of smaller nature reserves are in the region.
The countryside is man-made, but five natural parks with preserved natural scenery exist. The CHKO Jeseníky lies in the mountain range of the same name in the north east of the region; the terrain is diverse, with steep slopes and deep valleys. About 80%t of the area is forested by secondary plantations of Norway spruce, which were damaged by industrial emissions. Due to local weather conditions, the tree line in the area descends to 1,200–1,300 m. Alpine meadows can be found in low elevations in the Jeseník mountains. A few peat moors are found there, which are otherwise nonexistent in Moravia; the CHKO Poodří lies in the Moravian Gate, in close proximity to the region's capital Ostrava, on the banks of the meandering Odra. It is an area of floodplain forests, flooded meadows, many shallow ponds, on which water birds thrive; the CHKO Beskydy is the largest Czech CHKO. It lies along the Slovakian boundary. In the north, the mountains rise steeply from the Ostrava basin, to the south their elevation and severity decreases.
Most of the area is forested by Norway spruce plantations, which are not indigenous to the area. Many of these were damaged by emissions from the Ostrava industrial region. There are, however a lot of either newly planted or preserved forests of European beech, which in the past covered most of the mountains; the CHKO is typical by its mosaic of forests and highland meadows and pastures with hamlets scattered throughout all the mountains. In recent years bear and wolf sighting have become more frequent. Altogether, 125 small, protected nature areas cover an area of 20 sq mi; the most notable of them is the lime Šipka Cave near Štramberk, where remnants of a Neanderthal man were discovered in the late 19th century. There are three towns with protected historical centers. Příbor, the birthp
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