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World War I Declarations: Topics in Chronicling America

From 1914 to 1918, newspapers publish declarations of war as over 21 countries involve themselves in World War I. This guide provides access to material related to "WWI Declarations" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


On April 6, 1917, the United States joined its allies to fight in World War I. The Tacoma Times (Tacoma, Washington), April 7, 1917. Image 1. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

A month after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie on July 28, 1914, the Austro-Hungarian government declares war on Serbia.  Immediately, and within a period of six days, European countries declare war upon one another.  In a span of four years, over twenty-one countries declare war and involvement in World War I.  Known as the Great War, the conflict becomes the most destructive and widespread the world had ever seen. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.

July 28, 1914 Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia.
August 1, 1914 Germany declares War on Russia.
August 3, 1914 Germany declares war on France.
August 4, 1914 Britain declares war on Germany.
August 6, 1914 Austria declares war on Russia.
August 23, 1914 Japan declares war on Germany.
August 25, 1914 Austria declares war on Japan.
April 6, 1917 The U.S. declares war on Germany.
December 7, 1917 The U.S. declares war on Austria-Hungary.