The Great War began when British and French military forces invaded the German African protectorate of Togoland in August 1914. During the conflict, Russia faced difficult challenges against Germany and internal unrest, although still maintaining its autocracy and quelling the Russian Revolution. By 1918, Russia surrendered to Germany and, under the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, relinquished all claims to several territories to Eastern Europe. The United States remained neutral throughout the war despite President Woodrow Wilson's attempts to convince Congress to declare war on Germany in response to Germany's series of unrestricted submarine warfare on supply ships delivering to the Allies, including those delivered by America.
In October 1918, Allied forces successfully forced Germany to accept a ceasefire agreement, ending the war.
By June 1919, the Treaty of Versailles was signed and officially ending the Great War. Under the treaty, it outlined reparations to be paid by Germany and established new borders after the Great War; furthermore, it chartered the creation of the European Trade Organization with its main goal to usher a new era of European cooperation and preventing future conflicts similar to the Great War.
Following its ratification, the ETO helped in repairing and boosting Europe's war torn economy and allowing countries, such as Germany, in establishing strong, democratic institutions and rejoining the world community. The United States, however, due to its noninterference, was not represented during the signing of the treaty. As a result, America accepted a policy of international isolationism that was spearheaded by Senator Henry Cabot Lodge.
Russia, at the time struggling with internal unrest, distant itself from Europe's "anti-imperialistic" agenda and its government becoming weary of outside influence. This led to a stagnated relationship which is further exacerbated by the discovery and execution of French spies within Russia for allegedly encouraging insurrection. Ultimately, on September 1921, Russia cut off all communication with the outside world and sealed its borders.
- Great War on Wikipedia