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19th century - 20th century - 21st century

1880s 1890s 1900s - 1910s - 1920s 1930s 1940s


1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919

The 1910s (usually pronounced "nineteen-tens") was a decade that began on January 1, 1910, and ended on December 31, 1919. However most of its inhabitants called it the 1900s or the Edwardian era, like the previous decade, similar to how the first two eras of the 21st century are both called the 2000s. The 1910s represented the culmination of European militarism which had its beginnings during the second half of the 19th century. The conservative lifestyles during the first half of the decade, as well as the legacy of military alliances, was forever changed by the assassination, on June 28, 1914, of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne. The murder triggered a chain of events in which, within 33 days, World War I broke out in Europe on August 1, 1914. The conflict dragged on until a truce was declared on November 11, 1918, leading to the controversial, one-sided Treaty of Versailles, which was signed on June 28, 1919.

The war's end triggered the abdication of various monarchies and the collapse of the last modern empires of Russia, Germany, China, Ottoman Turkey and Austria-Hungary, with the latter splintered into Austria, Hungary, southern Poland (who acquired most of their land in a war with Soviet Russia), Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, as well as the unification of Romania with Transylvania and Moldavia. However, each of these states (with the possible exception of Yugoslavia) had large German and Hungarian minorities, there creating some unexpected problems that would be brought to light in the next two decades. (See Dissolution of Austro-Hungarian Empire: Successor States for better description of composition of names of successor countries/states following the splinter.)

The decade was also a period of revolution in a number of countries. The Mexican Revolution spearheaded the trend in November 1910, which led to the ousting of dictator Porfirio Diaz, developing into a violent civil war that dragged on until mid-1920, not long after a new Mexican Constitution was signed and ratified. Russia also had a similar fate, since World War I led to a collapse in morale as well as to economic chaos. This atmosphere encouraged the establishment of Bolshevism, which was later renamed as communism. Like the Mexican Revolution, the Russian Revolution of 1917, known as the October Revolution, immediately turned to Russian Civil War that dragged until approximately late 1922.

Much of the music in these years was ballroom-themed. Many of the fashionable restaurants were equipped with dance floors. Prohibition in the United States began January 16, 1919, with the ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Politics and wars


  • World War I (1914–1918)
  • Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary in Sarajevo leads to the outbreak of the First World War
  • Germany signs the Treaty of Versailles after losing the first world war.
  • Armenian Genocide during and just after World War I. It was characterised by the use of massacres and deportations involving forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees, with the total number of Armenian deaths generally held to have been between one and one-and-a-half million.
  • Wadai War (1909–1911)
  • First Balkan Wars (1912–1913) – two wars that took place in South-eastern Europe in 1912 and 1913.
  • Latvian War of Independence (1918-1920) - a military conflict in Latvia between the Republic of Latvia and the Russian SFSR.

Internal conflicts

  • Leonid Perfetsky picture showing a conflict between the soldiers of Ukrainian Galician Army and Volunteer Army in the streets of Kiev during their joint operation against the Bolsheviks, under the command of General Denikin, Aug 1919.
  • October Revolution in Russia results in the overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of the world's first self-proclaimed socialist state; political upheaval in Russia culminating in the establishment of the Russian SFSR and the assassination of Emperor Nicholas II and the royal family.
  • The Russian Revolution (1917) is the collective term for the series of revolutions in Russia in 1917, which destroyed the Tsarist autocracy and led to the creation of the Soviet Union.
  • April 13, 1919 - The Jallianwala Bagh massacre, at Amritsar in the Punjab Province of British India, sows the seeds of discontent and leads to the birth of the Indian Independence Movement.
  • Xinhai Revolution causes the overthrow of China's ruling Qing Dynasty, and the establishment of the Republic of China.
  • Mexican Revolution (1910–1920) Francisco I. Madero proclaims the elections of 1910 null and void, and calls for an armed revolution at 6 p.m. against the illegitimate presidency/dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz. The revolution lead to the ouster of Porfirio Díaz (who ruled from 1876 to 1880 and since 1884) six months later. The Revolution progressively becomes a civil war with multiple factions and phases, culminating with the Mexican Constitution of 1917, but combat would persist for three more years.

Major political changes

  • Trotsky, Vladimir Lenin and Kamenev at the Second Party Congress of the Communist Party of Russia in 1919.
  • Germany abolishes its monarchy and becomes under the rule of a new elected government called the Weimar Republic.
  • Federal Reserve Act is passed by United States Congress, establishing a Central Bank in the US.
  • George V becomes king in Britain.
  • Dissolution of the German colonial empire, Austria-Hungary and the Russian Empire, reorganization of European states' territorial boundaries, and the creation of several new European states and territorial entities: Austria, Czechoslovakia, Estonia, Finland, Free City of Danzig, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Saar, briefly the Ukraine, and Yugoslavia.
  • Fourteen Points as designed by United States President Woodrow Wilson advocates the right of all nations to self-determination.
  • Rise to power of the Bolsheviks in Russia under Vladimir Lenin, creating the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic, the first state committed to the establishment of communism.

Decolonization and independence

  • Easter Rising against the British in Ireland; eventually leads to Irish independence.
  • Several nations in Eastern Europe get their own nation state, thereby replacing major multiethnic empires.
  • The Republic of China is established on 1 January 1912.


The 1910s were marked by several notable assassinations:

  • 18 March 1913: George I of Greece
  • 11 June 1913: Mahmud Şevket Pasha, Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
  • 28 June 1914: Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary in Sarajevo leads to World War I
  • 17 July 1918: Shooting of former Russian Emperor Nicholas II, his consort, their five children, and four retainers at the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic following the October Revolution of 1917, and the usurpation of power by the Bolsheviks.
  • 10 April 1919 Emiliano Zapata


  • The RMS Titanic, a British ocean liner which was the largest and most elegant ship at that time, strikes an iceberg and sinks in the North Atlantic during its maiden voyage on 15 April 1912. 1,517 people perished in the disaster.
  • On 7 May 1915, the British ocean liner RMS Lusitania is torpedoed by U-20, a German U-boat, off the Old Head of Kinsale in Ireland and sinks in 18 minutes. 1,198 lives are lost, including 128 Americans. The sinking proves to be a factor in the American decision to enter World War I two years later.
  • From 1918 through 1920, the Spanish flu killed 20 to 100 million people worldwide.
  • In 1916, the Netherlands is hit by a North Sea storm that floods the lowlands and kills 10,000 people.
  • From July 1-July 12, 1916, a series of shark attacks, known as the Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916 occurred along the Jersey Shore killing four and injuring one
  • 1914, Sakurajima erupted. 35 people died and the surrounding islands were consumed. Also an isthmus was created between Sakurajima and the main land.

Other significant international events

  • The Panama Canal is completed in 1914.
  • World War I from 1914 until 1918 dominates the Western world.
  • Hiram Bingham rediscovers Machu Picchu on July 24, 1911.

Science and technology


  • British World War I Mark V tank.
  • Gideon Sundback patented the first modern zipper.
  • Harry Brearley invented stainless steel.
  • Charles Strite invented the first pop-up bread toaster.
  • The Model T Ford dominated the automobile market, selling more than all other makers combined in 1914.
  • The army tank was invented. Tanks in World War I were used by the British Army, the French Army and the German Army.


  • Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity.
  • Max von Laue discovers the diffraction of x-rays by crystals.
  • Alfred Wegener puts forward his theory of continental drift.


  • In the years 1910 and 1911, there was a minor economic depression known as the Panic of 1910-1911, which was followed by the enforcement of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.

Popular culture

  • Radio programming becomes popular.
  • Flying Squadron of America promotes temperance movement in the United States
  • Edith Smith Davis edits the Temperance Educational Quarterly.
  • The first U.S. feature film, Oliver Twist, was released in 1912.
  • The first mob film, D. W. Griffith's The Musketeers of Pig Alley was released in 1912.
  • Hollywood replaces the East Coast as the center of the movie industry.
  • Charlie Chaplin débuts his trademark mustached, baggy-pants 'Little Tramp' character in Kid Auto Races at Venice in 1914.
  • The first African American owned studio, the Lincoln Motion Picture Company, was founded in 1917.
  • The four Warner brothers, (from older to younger) Harry, Albert, Samuel, and Jack opened their first West Coast studio in 1918.
  • First Crossword Puzzle.
  • The first Jazz music is recorded.
  • The Salvation Army has a new international leader, General Bramwell Booth who served from 1912 to 1929. He replaces his father and co-founder of the Christian Mission (the forerunner of the Salvation Army), William Booth.


  • 1912 Summer Olympics were held in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • 1916 Summer Olympics were cancelled because of World War I.

Original source: wikipedia