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America and the Great War Chapter 23. I. The Road to War ► The Collapse of the European Peace  Imperialism, Nationalism and Militarism  Alliances ►

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Presentation on theme: "America and the Great War Chapter 23. I. The Road to War ► The Collapse of the European Peace  Imperialism, Nationalism and Militarism  Alliances ►"— Presentation transcript:

1 America and the Great War Chapter 23

2 I. The Road to War ► The Collapse of the European Peace  Imperialism, Nationalism and Militarism  Alliances ► Central Powers = Triple Alliance: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy ► Allied Powers = Triple Entente: Britain, France, Russia  Archduke Franz Ferdinand: Sarajevo, Bosnia, June 28, 1914  The Dominos fall…

3 Wilson’s Neutrality ► 1914 “Maintain impartial thought as well as deed” = Impossible ► Social  German and Irish Americans had hatred for British  General admiration for England’s tradition and culture (Wilson)  Lurid reports of German atrocities in Belgium ► Economic  United states could weather an embargo from the Central Powers, but not the Allies  War orders from Britain and France stimulated US economy  1915 US had gone from Neutral to arsenal for the Allies ► Submarines  viewed as barbaric  British passenger liner Lusitania sunk without warning, 128 Americans dead (ship was carrying passengers and munitions) ► huge American war fervor ► Wilson demands Central Powers recognize US neutral rights and allow passenger and trade ships ► Germany in a tough spot

4 Preparedness Versus Pacifism ► 1916 Election year ► Divided factions in the US: TR v. Bryan and LaFollette ► Wilson originally against military buildup, but as tensions grew with Germany he changed his mind. ► “He kept us out of the war” a campaign slogan never used by the candidate himself ► Wins close election

5 The War for Democracy  Wilson in need for support of war ► new world order, a league of nations  Germans become desperate ► launch a series of major assaults on the enemy’s lines in France ► unrestricted submarine warfare… against all ships… to cut Britain off from vital supplies ► Idea being that Allied forces would collapse before the US could intervene

6 The War for Democracy Continued  Two events to get the United States involved ► Zimmermann telegram ► Russian Revolution: US does not have to ally itself with a despotic regime  April 2, 1917 Wilson asks Congress for a declaration of war… would not receive it until April 6… dissent was strong.

7 II. “War Without Stint” ► Entering the War  Most immediate affect seen at sea ► 1917 only one out of every four British ships were returning ► American Destroyers aided the British navy in its assault on the U-boats ► Anti-submarine mines ► Sinking of Allied Ships: April 1917: 900,000 tons / December 1917: 350,000 tons / October 1918: 112,000  V.I. Lenin negotiates treaty with Germany  Eastern front troops would soon be available on the Western Front

8 The American Expeditionary Force  Army shortcomings ► only 120,000 soldiers in US army in 1917 ► little battle experience  Selective Service Act = Draft ► 3 million men brought into the army ► additional 2 million volunteer  New Army referred to themselves as The American Expeditionary Force (AEF)  Trench life = horrible

9 The American Expeditionary Force Again  1/10 soldiers gets VD  Diverse fighting force ► Women allowed to enlist, not allowed in combat, but played vital role in hospitals and offices ► 250,000 black soldiers enlisted or drafted  segregated units  most reduced to menial tasks  tensions on the home front  The introduction of the IQ test and “morons”

10 The Military Struggle  intense, brief fighting: European forces exhausted  Eight months after US entry into the war in Spring 1918, the war was over  John J. Pershing (remember Poncho Villa?)  See map on page 782 for key attacks and battles  Armistice (cease fire) November 11, 1918

11 III. The War and American Society ► Organizing the Economy for War  $32 Billion in expenses spent in war by USA… this was in a time when the entire federal budget seldom exceeded $1 billion before 1915 and GNP was only $35 billion in 1910  “Liberty Bonds” ► patriotic appeals / propaganda ► produced $23 billion  New taxes brining in $10 billion  Council of National Defense organized economy into different sectors based on function rather than geographic…(transportation, food, fuel supplies)

12 Organizing the Economy for War  War Industries Board: wielded powers greater than any other government agency before it ► Bernard Baruch ► Decided which factories would convert to war production ► Decided where supplies would go  appeared to be in line with Progressive ideals, but actually enhanced the private sector through a mutually beneficial alliance  prevailing belief that a close relationship between gov’t and business should continue after the war

13 Labor and the War  National War Labor Board est ► eight-hour day ► maintenance of minimal living standards ► equal pay for women doing equal work ► recognition of unions to bargain collectively ► workers cannot strike ► businesses cannot engage in lockouts  Union membership increased by more than 1.5 million between 1917 and 1919  1914 Ludlow Massacre (Colorado) ► miners walk out of mines owned by John D. Rockefeller ► joined by wives and daughters, they go on strike ► continue strike after being fired ► State Militia called in to “protect” the mines ► 39 people dead, 11 children

14 Economic and Social Results of the War  War caused a boom in the economy  Employment opportunity for women and minorities  “Great Migration” of blacks from rural South to urban centers in the North ► ads in newspapers ► word of mouth ► Backlash from established Northern blacks  revivalist religion  feared racism from whites ► Huge increases in Northern black population regardless (see p. 785) ► July 2, 1917 white mob attacked a black neighborhood in St. Louis  burned houses  shot blacks as they fled  40 African Americans dead

15 Economic and Social Results of the War Continued  1 million women worked in jobs that were previously thought of as male preserves: steel, munitions, trucking, public transportation  After war was over, almost all of the women working in previously male industrial jobs quit or were fired, the result: the percentage of women working for wages actually declined between 1910 and 1920

16 IV. The Search for Social Unity Progressive ideal: that war would lead America to unite behind a great common cause and create a lasting sense of collective purpose

17 The Peace Movement  German Americans: opposed American intervention  Irish Americans: opposed any support of British  Religious Pacifists: Quakers, Mennonites and others  Socialist Party / Industrial Workers of the World (Wobblies): saw war as a meaningless battle among capitalist nations for commercial supremacy

18 Women and The Peace Movement ► Opposition  Woman’s Peace Party: Carrie Chapman Catt  Jane Addams refused to support the war, criticized as a result  “mother half of humanity” ► Support  National American Woman Suffrage Association: supported the war  Catt abandon’s peace cause and calls upon the woman’s right to vote as a “war measure”

19 Selling the War and Suppressing Dissent ► Many Americans opposed to the war prior to declaration, but make a “spontaneous decision” to support the president, the government and the “boys” overseas  floods of voluntary enlistments  women joined local Red Crosses  children buy war bonds in their schools  churches include prayers for the President and troops ► Religious revivalism connected to war effort: Billy Sunday ► Government leaders concerned about significant minorities who continued to oppose the war even after the United States entered it

20 Selling the War and Suppressing Dissent Continued  Committee on Public Information (CPI) ► Distributed 75 million pieces propaganda ► directed by George Creel who believed in the importance of unity ► vile threats if reporters did not practice “self censorship” ► started with theory of only distributing the “facts”… but tactics grew crude  The Kaiser: Beast of Berlin  The Prussian Cur ► began to make efforts to suppress dissent  ran a full page ad encourage Americans to contact the justice department if they encountered anyone opposed to the war

21 Selling the War and Suppressing Dissent Continued Again  Espionage Act of 1917 ► created stiff penalties for spying, sabotage or obstruction of the war effort ► allowed the post to be censored ► all Socialist print would not be mailed  Sabotage and Sedition Acts of 1918 ► made illegal any public expression of opposition to the war ► widely interpreted

22 Selling the War and Suppressing Dissent Still Continued  Biggest target was Socialist Party and IWW members ► Eugene V. Debs: sentence to ten years prison in 1918 ► Bill Haywood fled to the Soviet Union ► 1,500 people were arrested in 1918 for the crime of criticizing the government  Vigilante Mobs assembled to “discipline” war opponents  American Protective League ► 250,000 agents who pried into the activities of their neighbors: opening mail, tapping telephones ► received gov’t funds for their work

23 Selling the War and Suppressing Dissent Concluded  Most frequent targets of repression were ► Irish: expressed hopes of a German victory prior to 1917 ► Jews: expressed opposition to the anti-Semitic policies of the Russian gov’t ► German American Community: public opinion turns bitterly hostile, even though many Germans supported American war effort after 1917  sauerkraut renamed “liberty cabbage”  hamburger renamed “liberty sausage”  German language removed from school curriculum  “something fundamentally wrong with the Teutonic soul”

24 The Search For A New World Order ► The Fourteen Points  January 8, 1918 Wilson appeared before Congress to present the principles for which he claimed the nation was fighting… became known as The Fourteen Points  First: eight specific recommendations for adjusting postwar boundaries and for establishing new nations to replace defunct Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires… reflected his belief in the right of all peoples to self-determination

25 The Fourteen Points Continued  Second: five general principles to govern international conduct in the future  freedom of the seas  open covenants instead of secret treaties  reductions in armaments  free trade  impartial mediation of colonial claims  Third: a proposal for a league of nations that would help implement these new principles and territorial adjustments and resolve future controversies

26 The Fourteen Points Continued Again  Flaws  provided no formula for deciding how to implement “national self-determination”  did not address political rivalries  Reflected belief that the world was capable of just and efficient government as were individual nations, human race was capable of living in peace… reflection of Progressive Ideals  Fourteen Points was also a response to Bolshevik government in Russia  effort to keep Russia in the War  response to V.I. Lenin’s statement weeks before  Wanted the world to look to the US, not Russia for guidance

27 Early Obstacles  Abroad  Leaders of Allied powers were preparing to reject Wilson’s plan even before the armistice was signed ► Wilson’s moral superiority ► US did not become their “ally” but rather was an “associate”  Enormous amount of bitterness towards Germans from France and Britain  At Home  Republicans capture majorities in both Houses in 1918  Domestic economic troubles  Republicans were supporting the 14 points until Wilson made it a ballot issue  Wilson did not appoint any Republicans to the negotiating team hat would represent the United States in Paris  Wilson believed the world would follow his lead

28 The Paris Peace Conference  Wilson looked upon as a savior in Europe… greeted by the largest crowd in Paris’s history  GB, France, Italy and US all represented at Peace conference (The Big Four) ► Russia and Germany not represented (fear of Russia)  Wilson adamant about being the lone representative at the conference despite warnings  Wilson’s idealism v. national aggrandizement

29 The Paris Peace Conference Continued  Many of Wilson’s plans shot down: freedom of the seas, free trade  Reparations  Wilson opposed demanding compensation from the defeated Central Powers  Other Allied leaders were adamant… slowly Wilson gave way  $56 billion / crippled German economy could only pay $9 billion  Idea: never again should the Germans be allowed to become powerful enough to threaten the peace of Europe  Wilson Victories  territories under “trusteeship”  designed Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia… ethnically diverse  Allies voted to accept the “covenant” of the League of Nations

30 The Ratification Battle  many Americans were comfortable with their country’s isolationism… now in a new major commitment to internationalism  Treaty of Versailles “Dare we reject it and break the heart of the world?”  Wilson = refusal to change, stubborn, perhaps from a stroke?  Politics: Republicans want to make Wilson look bad… Henry Cabot Lodge attempts delay  Senate refuses to budge, Wilson takes the issue to the public

31 Wilson’s Ordeal  exhausting cross country speaking tour  8,000 miles a day by train, speaking four times a day  collapses in Pueblo, Colorado  suffers major stroke in Washington  six weeks bed-ridden  Final 18 months of Presidency: paralyzed and unstable  Senate adds amendments and reservations… Wilson orders original document to be accepted or no document at all  League of Nations never passes the United States Congress

32 VI. A Society in Turmoil Aftermath of war did not usher in an age of liberal reform that progressives had predicted, but a period of repression and reaction

33 Industry and Labor  fighting ended sooner than anyone could have anticipated… gov’t contracts to businesses cut off  raging inflation in response to poor abandonment of wartime price controls  1921: GNP declines nearly 10%  soldier returning increase # of available workforce, decrease wages

34 Industry and Labor Continued  1919: over 3,600 strikes in response to employees rescinding war time benefits ► January: Seattle, Washington - General Strike Achieved, US Marines intervene ► September: Boston, Mass - Police force on strike, violence and looting breaks out… entire police force fired ► September: greatest strike in US history 350,000 steelworkers walk of job in demand of an 8 hour day  violence from employers, hired armed guards  AFL timidly retreats  Strike collapses in January, death blow to labor  “Where is that Democracy for which we fought?”

35 The Demands of African Americans  AA veterans marched in the main streets of industrial cities with other returning troops, but then again through the streets of black neighborhoods,  AA community looked to them as heroes: sign that a new age had come  Little impact on white attitudes / increased black determination to fight for their rights  1919 South: lynching increase - 70 blacks, some of them war veterans, died at the hands of white mobs  Race riots in St. Louis

36 The Demands of African Americans ► Chicago, segregated beach on Lake Michigan, young black boy stoned to death by whites  black crowds gathered in white neighborhoods to retaliate  white crowds roamed into black neighborhoods to retaliate  Chicago at war for a week  In the end 38 people dead, 537 injured, 1,000 left homeless ► New characteristic: Blacks fighting back  NAACP encouraged blacks to defend themselves ► Marcus Garvey  encouraged AA to take pride in their own culture  United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA)  Started black businesses  Began encouraging supporters to leave America and return to Africa  Garvey indicted in 1923 on charges of business fraud

37 The Red Scare  white middle class fearing of instability and radicalism ► racial violence ► feminists ► Russian Revolution  Communist International: “Comintern” purpose to spread communist revolution around the world  Terror in the US ► bombings in spring of 1919 ► mail bombs

38 The Red Scare Continued  Results ► inspired middleclass Americans to fight back against radicalism ► reinforced old-stock Protestant idea of “100% Americanism” ► reinforce fear: race riots = “the work of armed revolutionaries running rampant through our cities” ► Steel strike = “Bolshevik idea” ► Peacetime sedition laws ► Spontaneous acts of violence ► Restriction of press ► Removal of subversive books ► Against the war = criminal

39 The Red Scare Continued Again  Palmer Raids ► Michael Palmer = Attorney General (J. Edgar Hoover was his assistant) ► Raids on alleged radical centers: 6,000 people arrested / 500 non US citizens deported ► Intention was to uncover huge caches of weapons, what they found was three pistols and no dynamite  Sacco and Vanzetti ► 1920 two Italian immigrants charged with the murder of paymaster in Braintree, Massachusetts ► questionable evidence ► confessed anarchists, thus widespread presumption of guilt ► trial featured “extraordinary injudiciousness” and an openly bigoted judge, Webster Thayer ► August 23, 1927 amid widespread protests around the world, the two men were sentenced to die in the electric chair

40 The Retreat from Idealism  passage of 19th Amendment did not mark the beginning of an era of reform, but rather the ending of one  Social problems combine to create a general sense of disillusionment ► economic problems ► feminist demands ► labor unrest ► racial tensions ► intensity of anti-radicalism  WW hoped the 1920 election would be a referendum on the League of Nations… Ohio Governor James M. Cox was the Democratic Candidate / FDR was VP  Harding has no ideals, but promises a “return to normalcy”


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