Presentation on theme: "Chapter 15, Section 1 (cont’d). When archduke Francis Ferdinand was assassinated by a Serbian extremist, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Germany."— Presentation transcript:
When archduke Francis Ferdinand was assassinated by a Serbian extremist, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Germany pledged to support its ally, Austria-Hungary, and Russia pledged to support Serbia. When Germany invaded neutral Belgium and looked to attack France, Great Britain pledged to protect its ally. All of the fighting in Europe spread because of the alliance system.
Although fighting during WWI took place in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Italy, the Western Front became the main stage for conflict. It was located along the border between France and Belgium. New military technologies were showcased during WWI for the first time, including: Machine guns; Poison gas; Submarines; Tanks; Airplanes
Due to the complexity of ethnic layers found in the United States (i.e. ‘melting pot’), Wilson wanted the U.S. to remain neutral in the European conflict for as long as possible. He was afraid that having Americans choose sides would tear the country apart. The diverse opinions of the American people somewhat solidified as Germany invaded neutral Belgium. These opinions were: isolationists, interventionists and internationalists.
Isolationists: believed that the war was none of the U.S.’ business, and they should not get involved at all, isolating itself from the fighting. Interventionists: since the war affected American interests (specifically trade), the U.S. should enter the conflict and side with the Allies. Internationalists: believed that the U.S. should play an active role in world affairs and work toward negotiating a peace, but NOT enter the war.
As Wilson ran for re-election in 1916, he promoted himself with the slogan “He kept us out of war.” Although the election was close, Wilson did win re- election. The U.S. would not stay out of war for much longer, though. Actions by Germany forced the U.S. to enter the war. As Germany blockaded Britain, they used their submarines to attack any ships that attempted to bring war supplies for aid. The U.S. passenger ship Lusitania was sunk by one of these submarines, carrying 159 Americans on May 7 th, 1915.
Although the sinking of the Lusitania angered Americans, it still did not prompt war. It was not until almost 2 years later, in January of 1917 when the United States intercepted a telegram from Germany to Mexico. This telegram became known as the Zimmerman note. In it, the German Foreign Minister pledged the return of lands lost in the Mexican-American War to Mexico if Mexico declared war on the United States. Shortly after, the United States declared war on Germany, officially on April 6 th, 1917.