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US Involvement in WWI. What Events in Europe Led to World War I?

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Presentation on theme: "US Involvement in WWI. What Events in Europe Led to World War I?"— Presentation transcript:

1 US Involvement in WWI

2 What Events in Europe Led to World War I?

3 The Order of Events Serbian nationalists kill Austro-Hungarian duke. Austria Hungary warns Serbia, Serbia ignores Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia Russia (Serbia’s ally) mobilizes troops near Germany Germans declares war on Russia and France (allies) Germany sends troops through neutral Belgium, Britain declares war on Germany

4 The American Response Neutrality! Economic, cultural and linguistic ties with Britain Most Americans were anti-German, especially after they discover plans for industrial sabotage.

5 WWI: A Boon to the US Economy Britain and France bought products in great amounts. American bankers gave private loans to Allies.

6 German Threats Escalate Germans kept out of American trade by the British blockade. Began submarine warfare around British isles to break through blockade. Germans warned US might sink merchant ships.

7 Submarine Warfare The Germans warned Americans their merchant ships might be hit. Reaches a crisis point after Lusitania is torpedoed in 1915—128 Americans died. After sinking of British and French liners, Germans promised they would not sink unarmed ships without warning  SUSSEX PLEDGE

8 Wilson Wins Reelection (1916) Progressives die out in election after Roosevelt refuses to run again. Wilson wins over Charles Evans Hughes with his promise “He Kept Us Out of War.” Very close election, Wilson’s victory linked to his promise of further neutrality.

9 America Enters the War 1917—Germany announced unrestricted submarine warfare. US finds Zimmerman Note on “Overt” acts—German U- boats sank four unarmed American merchant vessels in two weeks. April 6, 1917: US declares war because of these German actions.

10 Getting Public Support for the War Difficult given traditions of isolationism and neutrality. Wilson cast war in moral terms— “making the world safe for democracy” This played on people’s ideas of America as the savior.

11 Wilson’s Fourteen Points Made Wilson the moral leader of the allied cause Goal was to keep Russia in war and boost morale of troops. Key ideas : abolish secret treaties, freedom of the seas, free trade, reduction of armaments, readjustment of colonial claims, self-determination 14 th Point: Creation of League of Nations Not everyone supported this idea

12 Propaganda in the War Government created Committee on Public Information—headed by George Creel. Goal—to sell the war to America and convince the world of the righteousness of Wilson’s war aims. 4-minute men, posters, movies, songs Anti-Germanism on the rise

13 “Remember Belgium”

14 The “Mad Brute”

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16 Government Excess & Threats to the Civil Liberties of Americans Espionage Act – forbade actions that obstructed recruitment or efforts to promote insubordination in the military. - ordered the Postmaster General to remove Leftist materials from the mail. - fines of up to $10,000 and/or up to 20 years in prison. 1. Espionage Act – forbade actions that obstructed recruitment or efforts to promote insubordination in the military. - ordered the Postmaster General to remove Leftist materials from the mail. - fines of up to $10,000 and/or up to 20 years in prison.

17 Government Excess & Threats to the Civil Liberties of Americans 2. Sedition Act – it was a crime to speak against the purchase of war bonds or willfully utter, print, write or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about this form of US Govt., the US Constitution, or the US armed forces or to willfully urge, incite, or advocate any curtailment of production of things necessary or essential to the prosecution of the war…with intent of such curtailment to cripple or hinder, the US in the prosecution of the war. 2. Sedition Act – it was a crime to speak against the purchase of war bonds or willfully utter, print, write or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about this form of US Govt., the US Constitution, or the US armed forces or to willfully urge, incite, or advocate any curtailment of production of things necessary or essential to the prosecution of the war…with intent of such curtailment to cripple or hinder, the US in the prosecution of the war.

18 Government Excess & Threats to the Civil Liberties of Americans 3. Schenck v. US – in ordinary times the mailing of the leaflets would have been protected by the 1 st Amendment. - BUT, every act of speech must be judged acc. to the circumstances in which it was spoken. -The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic. [Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes] - If an act of speech posed a clear and present danger, then Congress had the power to restrain such speech.

19 Council of National Defense e War Industries Board – Bernard Baruch e Food Administration – Herbert Hoover e Railroad Administration – William McAdoo e National War Labor Board – W. H.Taft & Frank P. Walsh

20 U. S. Food Administration

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22 National War Garden Commission

23 U. S. School Garden Army

24 Results of This New Organization of the Economy? 1. Unemployment virtually disappeared. 2. Expansion of “big government.” 3. Excessive govt. regulations in eco. 4. Some gross mismanagement --> overlapping jurisdictions. 5. Close cooperation between public and private sectors. 6. Unprecedented opportunities for disadvantaged groups.

25 Opportunities for African-Americans in WW1 e “Great Migration.” 1916 – 1919  70,000 e War industries work. e Enlistment in segregated units.

26 True Sons of Freedom

27 “Rescuing a Negro During the Race Riots in Chicago”, 1919

28 YWCA – The Blue Triangle

29 Munitions Work

30 Women Used In Recruitment

31 The Red Cross - Greatest Mother in the World

32 WWI Era Amendments 1919: 18 th Amendment—PROHIBITION Because of wartime spirit of self-denial, and partly because of anti-Germanic sentiment 1920: 19 th Amendment—Women’s suffrage Linked to women’s key role in war effort in factories

33 Workers and War Not all workers supported war Post-war labor unrest:  Coal Miners Strike of  Steel Strike of  Boston Police Strike of 1919.

34 Anti-LaborAnti-Labor “If Capital & Labor Don’t Pull Together” – Chicago Tribune

35 Coal Miners’ Strike “Keeping Warm” – Los Angeles Times

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37 1917 – Selective Service Act e 24,000,000 men registered for the draft by the end of e 4,800,000 men served in WW1 (2,000,000 saw active combat). e 400,000 African-Americans served in segregated units. e 15,000 Native-Americans served as scouts, messengers, and snipers in non-segregated units. e Women served in non-combat positions

38 Fighting the War US needed in France after Russia pulls out of war Played key role in stopping German invasion of France Second Battle of the Marne marked the point of German withdrawal from France (1918)

39 The End Nears Closer Germany wanted to surrender in October 1918, with a peace based on The 14 Points. US had mostly contributed food, munitions, money, oil and manpower The prospect of endless American troops was key.

40 The Treaty of Versailles and Wilson’s Downfall At end of war, Wilson was a hero. Began to lose credibility when Republicans won at home, rivalry between Wilson and Henry Cabot Lodge increased. Met with Big Four in Paris— US, Britain, Italy and France Compromises: The losers colonial holdings would be controlled by the League of Nations, the League would be included in the treaty.

41 The Final Treaty Had to work out compromises with France, Italy and Japan over colonized land. Germany forced to accept a peace they did not participate in—only about 4 of 23 principles of 14 Points in final treaty. Treaty punished Germany harshly! Wilson had been forced to compromise a moral peace, in order to keep the League of Nations Some good points: liberated many minority peoples—ex. Poles.

42 Wilson Fights for the Treaty Lots of critics—some believed too harsh, some too lenient Isolationists hate the idea of a League  Irreconcilables Over Lodge’s filibuster, Wilson went on a desperate speechmaking tour to sell the treaty to the public  stroke, and death soon after he left office Lodge Reservations: Deal where Republicans would only accept treaty with some reservations—esp. reserving rights of US under Monroe Doctrine and US sovereignty Wilson urges Democrats to reject treaty with reservations—in doing so, the treaty is killed.

43 The Election of 1920 Wilson wanted to make the campaign a referendum on the League. Republican Harding won with promise of “return to normalcy.” Women’s votes key in this election Death sentence for the League of Nations.

44 Key legacies of the war and the peace Weakened League meant world was unable to deal with tensions after WWI  WWII US hurt itself by remaining isolationist when it needed to take global responsibility. We are therefore, somewhat to blame for the problems between the wars that led to WWII. Wilsonianism: American interventionism, US spreads democracy and capitalism, American influence could bring peace to the world. Realism or idealism?

45 Multiple Choice Practice 1. With the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the great majority of Americans A. earnestly hoped to stay out of the war B. favored entering the war in support of the allies C. supported the Central Powers D. wanted to form a military alliance of neutral nations E. favored US mediation of the conflict

46 Multiple Choice ctnd. 2. The US declared war on Germany A. In response to demands of American munition makers B. As a result of treaty obligations C. Because Wall Street bankers demanded it D. After Mexico signed an alliance with Germany E. After German U-boats sank four unarmed American merchant vessels.

47 Last one! 3. During WWI, the government’s treatment of labor could be best described as A. Fair B. Strict and financially unrewarding C. Extremely brutal D. So good the right to form unions was finally granted E. Decent for native Americans but harsh for ethnic groups.


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