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World War I What caused it? How was it fought? What were the results? What was the impact on the home front?

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Presentation on theme: "World War I What caused it? How was it fought? What were the results? What was the impact on the home front?"— Presentation transcript:

1 World War I What caused it? How was it fought? What were the results? What was the impact on the home front?

2 I. European Origins Hopes for a world order of peace and progress by 1914 Competitive Nationalism Entangling Alliances A Growing Arms Race General Mobilization Theory --The German “Schlieffen Plan”

3 I. European Origins (cont.) A series of International Crises (1905-1914) Pan-Slavic nationalism and the Assassination in Sarajevo Europe tumbles into war

4 II. American Response to the Outbreak of WWI Traditional policy of isolationism Most Americans did not believe this was our fight Split loyalties among the American people Factors pushing US toward involvement

5 III. Possible Explanations for US Involvement in WWI “Tricky” British propaganda sucked us into the war Desire to protect American investments in Britain and France US economy tied in a significant way to the economies of Britain and France The significance of International Law and American neutrality rights American desire to shape the future peace of Europe

6 IV. The Issue of International Law and American Neutrality Rights What is international law? Wilson’s advocacy of international law Both British and Germans violated US neutrality rights Difference between British and German violations Inherent violations of International law with German submarines

7 V. Steps Toward US Entrance into World War I Falaba torpedoed (March, 1915) Conflict between Wilson and William Jennings Bryan Lusitania sunk (May, 1915) Wilson’s response

8 V. Steps Toward US Entrance into WWI (cont.) British ship Arabic sunk (August, 1915) German “Arabic Pledge” No response to US offer to negotiate a peace French ship Sussex torpedoed (March, 1916) Wilson’s “Sussex Pledge” Growing US preparedness movement Wilson wins the presidential election of 1916 -- “He kept us out of the war”

9 VI. A Desire to Shape the Peace Wilson calls for “peace without victory” The horror of WWI made a negotiated peace an impossibility In order to “make the world safe for democracy”, Wilson wanted to be included in the peace talks after the war

10 VII. American Entry into the War Germans pursue unlimited submarine warfare (February, 1917) Zimmerman telegram (February 25, 1917) Wilson asks Congress for a declaration of war (April 2, 1917)

11 VIII. A Fundamentally Different War Early fighting The development of trench warfare Deadly frontal assaults -- “Going over the top” -- “The Race with death” -- “No Man’s Land” --cavalry officers killed first --the role of the machine gun

12 VIII. A Fundamentally Different War (cont.) Daily Life of the WWI soldier “Industrial Death” Use of poison gas --Chlorine, phosgene and mustard gases Battles of attrition The changing atmosphere of war

13 IX. The Role of American Troops in WWI By 1917, the Allied cause was desperate US contribution to Allied naval strategy Few expected US soldiers to make much difference in the war American troops prevented an Allied defeat AEF kept separate from European troops Fight in Russia after the war

14 X. The Treaty of Versailles Wilson’s Fourteen Points Wilson decided to go to Paris himself Wilson’s mixed reception in Europe Wilson alienated Republicans back home Specific terms of the Versailles Treaty --League of Nations --War Guilt Clause

15 X. Treaty of Versailles (cont.) Republican opposition to the Treaty -- “irreconciliables” -- “reservationists” Other opposition to the Treaty Wilson’s speaking tour to defend the Treaty Failure to ratify the Treaty Failure to join the League of Nations

16 XI. The Impact of the War at Home

17 A. Economic Mobilization Food as a weapon of war 60% of costs funded through liberty bonds Stock prices and GNP rose dramatically Partnership between business and government US Railroad Administration National War Labor Board Food and Fuel administrations War Industries Board

18 B. Emotional Mobilization Perceived “need” for emotional mobilization Creation of the Committee on Public Information (CPI) --George Creel Dual goals: inspire patriotism and hate for the enemy Evolution of a culture of hatred

19 B. Emotional Mobilization The Espionage Act (1917) The Sedition Act (1917) --U.S. v. “The Spirit of 1776” --Schenck v. U.S. Why these acts if there was little opposition to the war? Hard to turn off the hate when the war ended

20 C. Impact of the War on American Culture Fashions and novelties coming out the War --Chanel #5 --wrist watches --cigarettes New Slang Phrases -- “Germs” -- “Dud” -- “Rats” -- “Gas Attack”

21 XII. The Immediate Aftermath of the War International Flu Epidemic (1918-1919) Unusually high death toll among young adults Economic transition from war to peace General labor unrest Racial Friction


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