Leon Trotsky challenged the Allies to state what great cause they were fighting for that justified continuing the war. With the Central Powers showing signs of readiness to negotiate, Woodrow Wilson lays out his conditions.
Early 1918 saw both Germany and Russia each eager to make peace for their own reasons, but the power of the German military forced the Bolshevik government in Russia to accept the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.
The Chinese government (despite its many internal problems) was willing to enter the Great War in order to reclaim concessions lost to Germany and Austria. The Allies were initially hesitant, but as the casualties mounted and the shortage of manpower became acute, Chinese civilian laborers began working behind the front lines. Later, after a U-boat attack killed hundreds of Chinese, China formally entered the war.
Mata Hari earned internationally acclaim as a dancer during the Belle Époque by trading on her exotic (and mostly invented) origins. But during the Great War, being mysterious and not entirely honest can get you killed.
In the autumn of 1917, the Germans lend the Austrians a hand in their losing struggle with Italy. The result is the Battle of Caporetto, which undoes all of Italy's previous gains and brings the Central Powers within 20 miles of Venice.
By autumn of 1917, the Russian Provisional Government had failed. It lost popular support, the Army was collapsing, and the Germans were advancing on Petrograd. Lenin determined it was time for the Bolsheviks to make their move.
Following the July Days, Alexander Kerensky became convinced that the biggest threat to his government now loomed on the political right, and he became increasingly suspicious of the new army commander-in-chief, Lavr Kornilov.
The Kerensky Offensive was supposed to prove that the Russian Provisional Government was in control and that Russia could still field an effective army. Instead, it demonstrated that neither of these were true.
The Kerensky Offensive provoked discontent among soldiers in Petrograd which triggered a Bolshevik uprising against the Provisional Government. The uprising was put down and evidence was made public that the Bolsheviks were being supported and funded by Germany.
With the Bolsheviks relentlessly criticizing the Russian government, the question of war aims came to the fore. When the liberals in the government couldn't give a straight answer, a cabinet shuffle followed, giving socialists more power than before.
The US entered the war in early 1917, but it would take time for her to have an impact on the war. Brazil also joined the war in 1917, and in Canada, the political fight over conscription leads to a divisive general election.
By 1917, many in German and Austrian official and military circles had given up hope of winning the Great War on the battlefield and were ready to discuss peace terms. Hindenburg and Ludendorff, however, insisted that victory was at hand.