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Presentation on theme: "WINNING THE WAR AND LOSING THE PEACE America and the Great War."— Presentation transcript:


2 Goals of this lecture After participating in this lecture, you should be able to answer these questions:  What were the MAIN causes of World war I? How were they set off by a political assassination in Bosnia?  How did Germany’s war strategy and America’ un-neutral neutrality draw America into the war?  How did France’s expectations and American war plans conflict?  How did America prepare the nation for a modern total war?  What role did America play in the armistice (cease fire) of 11 November 1918?  How were President Wilson’s plans for America and the post- war world foiled by European leaders and domestic politics?

3 The MAIN Causes: A Review Europe’s great nations were powerful, yet insecure by the early 20 th century  Many nations turned to militarism and military leaders to guarantee security  Alliances between great nations locked them in the disputes of allies  Imperialism increased the possibility of conflict –global rivals  Nationalism connected the populations of nations to the direction of the leadership- emotional and proud The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand set off a chain of events that would bring Europe to War

4 Europe at War The Allies  Russia- supporting Serbia against Austria  France- supporting Russia against Germany  Britain- defend France and Belgium  Italy- leaves Triple Alliance and joins Allies in 1915

5 Europe at War The Central Powers  Austria- Defend against Russian mobilization  Germany- defends Austria and French mobilization  Ottoman Empire- joins to defeat enemy Russia

6 From Parades to a War of Attrition Most Europeans looked at the war as a good thing  Quick and decisive  Settle lingering disputes  Germany planned to quickly defeat France then turn to beat Russia By 1915, war became a bloody stalemate  Western front would not move- Trench warfare  Germans turned to a strategy of attrition- kill as many French and British as possible 1916- Verdun and The Somme  Well over 1 million casualties  Verdun over 44 million rounds of artillery fired

7 A Look at War… 1916

8 Germany’s War Strategy and America America declared neutrality America's war time trade disproportionally favors Britain and France Germany needs to balance its interest in limiting British trade and keeping America out of the war Sinking of The Lusitania May 1915 risks war Germany pledges in 1916 to stop u-boat attacks (Sussex Pledge) Germany changes strategy by January 1917  Gambles that it can win the war before American forces can make an impact  Attempts to make an alliance with Mexico

9 America at War 2 April 1917 Bad time for allies  Allies near collapse on Western front  Russia on the verge of revolution- Germany can focus on west against France and Britain Allies encouraged by the infusion of fresh American soldiers and equipment America mobilizes the country for war against experienced and bitter foes

10 Mobilizing an Army Selective Service Act May 1917  Required registration for men 21-30 (expanded to 18-45)  24 million registered and nearly 3 million drafted  About half of America’s soldiers in WWI were drafted American soldiers became known as doughboys American forces in Europe- AEF (American Expeditionary Forces) Commanded by John Pershing

11 Mobilizing Resources America needed to raise funds to pay for the war  Increased taxes  Selling bonds “Liberty Bonds”  Bought as an act of patriotism Food will win the war  Food administration encouraged higher farm production and lower consumption  Farm production soared  Citizens planted “victory gardens” to lower demand for farm produce  Meatless and wheatless days  Limits encouraged but not enforced No rationing- Used in World War II

12 Mobilizing Industry and Labor The demands of supporting a large modern armyand that of its allies required mobilizing the economy War Industries Board  Set production priorities to support the war effort National War Labor Board  Arbitrated disputes between unions and industry Labor shortages in northern factories inspired the Great Trek North  African-Americans left sharecropping in the south to take jobs in northern factories  Racial violence in many northern cities

13 Mobilizing Public Opinion Balancing Freedom and democracy with the emergency of wartime is tricky  First Amendment protections on the freedom of speech need to be balanced by the emergencies of war The federal government made many efforts to control public opinion  Committee on Public Information (CPI)- generates propaganda supporting pro- war behaviors and opinions  Supported anti-German feelings and Americanization programs- some seem silly today  Liberty pups? Liberty cabbage etc…

14 Challenging the First Amendment Federal Government seriously concerned about opposition to the war  The Espionage Act (1917) and Sedition Act (1918)  Outlawed speech that questioned or challenged American participation in the war Socialist leaders go to jail Eugene V. Debs is among the over 1000 people who go to jail for opposing war  Supreme Court ruled that the federal government could do this due to the real and present danger of the war  What does this cartoon mean?

15 Over There First doughboys arrived in Paris by July 1917  France encouraged by the presence of a fresh allies.  American sent troops in convoys (2 million sent and none killed in route by u-boats) Pre-radar navigation  “Lafayette, we are here!”  France wanted American soldiers to fight under French command- Pershing refused- wanted to wait until American divisions were combat-ready to fight under American command

16 Wilson’s war Aims: The Fourteen Points As America builds its Army in France, President Wilson developed his vision for a post-war world Wilson’s peace plan became known as the Fourteen Points and addressed the MAIN causes of World War I- Presented to Congress January 1918  Self determination of nations to choose their own government  Acknowledges the nationalism of groups like the Serbs who are ruled by foreign empires  Ending secret treaties trade restrictions and protecting freedom of the seas  Create a League of Nations- an alternative to militarism in settling disputes This plan would become problematic after the war

17 Fighting in the Trenches Read the introduction from the secondary source tm tm  One student should then read section 1 and the other section 2  Discuss what you read with your partner and answer this in your journal  How did the conditions of trench warfare challenge those who fought in the Great War?  Note that the article does not deal with such problems as gas attacks and shell shock

18 A More Deadly Enemy While the war in Europe raged, the most deadly pandemic, The Spanish Influenza raged across the world  Spread by the increased movement of people during war  Killed 3% of the world’s population at the time  Killed 600,000 Americans- nearly as many who died in the Civil war  Killed 2 million Europeans and as many as 33 million Asians  Came in two major waves (1917 and 1918)

19 Turning the Tide Germany’s “Peace Offensive” of 1918 forces American troops to fight under French command Germans make a push for Paris  German attack at Chateau Thierry turned back by French with American troops- first major American engagement in war (June 3-4 1918)  American marines take village of Belleau Wood- protect Paris Germans begin one last assault near Reims  Americans help stop this attack  Begin counter-attack- begin to push the Germans back  flash map of 1918 battles flash map of 1918 battles

20 Armistice! German army and navy would suffer mutinies in the fall of 1918  German army still well within France, but its army was depleted and starving  German Kaiser (king) leaves the country and new German government seeks a cease fire (armistice) Germans sign armistice in a railroad car in Compiegne, France  Hitler would later use this same place to have France sign a surrender in WWII  Celebrated as Armistice Day (now Veterans Day) Peace Talks to begin in January

21 America and Separate Peace President Wilson’s war aims as addressed in the Fourteen Points and his call for peace without victory were not acceptable; neither to his European allies nor the American Senate  Allies were bitter and wanted to make Germany pay  France demanded reparations (payment for war damages) and other actions that would weaken its rival  Members of the American Senate did not want to belong to the League of Nations- an entangling alliance  President Wilson went on a national speaking tour to gain support for the treaty- he suffers a stroke while on this tour  Wilson refuses to compromise with Senate- Treaty rejected America signs a separate peace with Germany- stays out of the League

22 Costs of War World War I left Europe demoralized and bitter  11% of France’s population were casualties  8% of Britain  9% of Germany .37% of America America ended the war bitter regarding the Peace Treaty  A War to protect bankers  This would support America’s reluctance to stand up to Hitler before Pearl Harbor in 1941 The victor’s peace and other unresolved issues would inspire the rise of Nazi Germany and World War II

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