Presentation on theme: "Was WWI a “just” war? (Aka: knowing that it was one of the biggest wars our world has ever seen, do you think the causes of WWI were reasonable? Does the."— Presentation transcript:
Was WWI a “just” war? (Aka: knowing that it was one of the biggest wars our world has ever seen, do you think the causes of WWI were reasonable? Does the end justify the means?)
World War I: U.S. Decides Neutrality v. Interventionism in America
Was it in the national interest of the United States to stay neutral or declare war in 1917?
Wilson allowed Americans to trade with warring countries – Stopping trade would have a negative impact on U.S. economy British blockade on North Sea to prevent food & weapons from getting to Germany – Wilson didn’t make big objections…we had greater economic ties with the Allies!!! “The European War is one with which we have nothing to do, whose causes cannot hurt us.” But can make us stinking rich!
Germany responded with a U-boat counterblockade in face of famine – Any British or Allied merchant ships in waters around Britain would be sunk May 1915: British liner Lusitania sunk 128 Americans killed Americans turned against Central Powers
March 1916: Germans sank unarmed French passenger ship Sussex Wilson threatened to break diplomatic relations (first step toward war) Sussex Pledge – Germany would not sink passenger ships at all and merchant ships would not be sunk without warning…if U.S. got Britain to lift its blockade
January 1917: German Kaiser resumes unrestricted submarine warfare in attempt to win war – All hostile or neutral ships on British waters would be sunk on sight Wilson learned of Zimmerman Note – Telegram stating Germany would help Mexico get back lost territories in U.S. if war with U.S. broke out – Aka: Germany was willing to go to war with the U.S.!!!
Russian monarchy fell to a representative government – U.S. now rationalized it as a war of democracies against brutal monarchies Wilson asked for Congress for declaration of war