A. Militarism- aggressive building up of a nations military. This means to prepare for war. Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, Russia and Great Britain were the major world powers of the time and they were all competing militarily.
B. Alliances (Secret) —nations wanted to bolster their security and they entered numerous entangled alliances which led to war. The alliance system in1914 looked like:
C. Imperialism—there was a scramble for colonies in the late 1800’s this created bitter rivals and a need to out do other nations.
D. Nationalism—2 kinds: (1) countries were prideful and acted in their own self interest, and (2) In countries with diverse populations—many ethnic minorities declared independence.
E. June 28, 1914, Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife Sophie are assassinated. This was the event that “sparked” World War I.
G. One week after war started there were 2 sides: (1) Central Powers - Germany and Austria-Hungary (2) Allies - Russia, France, Serbia and Great Britain
H.America’s Reaction 1.U.S. Sympathetic to Central Powers – The U.S. had a natural alliance to Great Britain, however many living in the U.S. were sympathetic with the Central Powers due to a large number of immigrants from Germany, Bulgaria, Turkey, etc.
2. Freedom of the Seas – U.S. military action during this time was intended to protect the U.S. neutral rights at sea.
3.President Wilson officially announced American neutrality in August, 1914. 4.“Preparedness” – The U.S. wanted to be in a position to aid Great Britain if the need arose. 5.National Security League was formed to promote patriotic education.
6. By the summer of 1915—Wilson had men being trained for the US military. 7. 1916 Congress increased income taxes. 8. Wilson authorized American bankers to make huge loans to the Allies.
1. German u-boats were sinking U.S. merchant ships. This has a direct impact on American shipping…$$$$$$...Got it?
2. A U-boat sank the British ship Lusitania, killing more than a thousand people, including 128 Americans.
3. Germany violated the Sussex Pledge by announcing it would sink all ships in British waters on sight whether they were hostile or neutral.
4.Arthur Zimmerman, Germany’s foreign secretary made a secret offer to Mexico. He asked Mexico to join the Central Powers and invade the U.S. This would keep the U.S. out of World War I. Germany promised Mexico to recover lost territory in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. The Zimmerman Telegram was captured by intelligence and caused the U. S. to move closer to war.
5. Russian Revolution – Tsar Nicholas was driven from the throne and executed a communist government was installed under Lenin. This started a Red Scare in the U.S.
6. On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked the United States Congress for and received a Declaration of War against Germany. On April 6, 1917 The United States declared war on Germany.
7.Wilson no longer spoke merely of neutral rights. He said: “ The world must be safe for democracy. Americans must fight for the rights and liberties of small nations and bring peace and safety to make the world itself, free at last.”
1.Election of 1916 Wilson (D) was the “peace candidate.” He reminded the U.S. that he was the incumbent President that had kept the nation out of war thus far. Hughes (R) attacked Wilson’s foreign policy. Hughes felt like the Atlantic violations of US neutrality needed to be taken more serious.
2. Selective Service Act: When WWI started, the USA had only 110,000 enlisted men. Initially Wilson thought that patriotism alone would have men step forward and serve their country, but only 32,000 thousand men volunteered. So May 1917, Congress passed the Selective Service Act drafting men, ages 21-31, for military service. Over 24 million men registered for the draft and nearly 3 million served as a result of the draft.
3. American Expeditionary Force - The U.S. troops that were sent to Europe and were under the command of General Pershing.
4. Over 11,000 women volunteered to serve as nurses, drivers and clerks; 14,000 women served abroad working with the government.
5.Home Front: used to describe the civilian populace of the nation at war as an active support system of its military. Liberty Bonds - were sold to finance the war. Over $20 million dollars was raised and over $10 billion was loaned to the Allies.
The Food and Fuel Administrations were agencies formed to conserve resources during the war. FYI: It was urged but not mandatory.
Victory Gardens were also a popular program in which Americans grew their own food. Daylight savings time was also started to conserve fuel.
Three acts were passed during the war that definitely raised questions concerning whether or not civil liberties/rights of the American people were being jeopardized: 1.Espionage Act 2.Sedition Act 3.Trading with the Enemies Act
They were strictly enforced. Because the war was so controversial and divisive within the U.S.A. the federal government viewed these acts as being “absolutely essential” to winning the war. (Espionage means to spy for the enemy. Sedition is any act that can incite a movement to overthrow the government).
K. Schenck v. United States: this was a Supreme Court case that stated that 1st Amendment rights to free speech can be limited when the government is placed in “Clear and Present Danger.” Schenck sent 16,000 letters to drafted men, encouraging them not to show up. He was arrested and said that his actions were protected under the 1st Amendment. He was found guilty of sedition. (The government went after Schenck using the Sedition Act)
L. Herbert Hoover, the Director of the Food Administration, urged food conservation.
M. The War Industries Board was given complete control of the nation’s industries, in order to prepare for war. For the first time, women and African- Americans filled opened jobs due to a growing need for labor.
N. The Committee on Public Information was created to build support for the war at home. The government issued propaganda to encourage Americans to support the war effort. Slogans like “Loose Lips Sink Ships” and “Uncle Sam Wants You” were popular. Americans became anti-German during the war. The movies portrayed Germans as the villains and German food, like sauerkraut, became liberty cabbage.
The Great War 1. New weapons and tactics made WWI very destructive.
2. Trench Warfare- WWI became a war of trenches fought almost exclusively on the Western Front.
3. Problems that soldiers had to face during trench warfare were: (1) isolation, (2) suicidal charges into “no man’s land”, (3) diseases caused by life in the damp, unsanitary trenches (trench foot, trench mouth, trench fever), (4) use of new, little understood poisonous gases, and (5) the problems associated with shell shock—now labeled Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
P. Armistice Day (Veterans Day): On November 11, 1918, Germany was the last of the Central Powers that stopped fighting: the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month (the war technically lasted an additional seven months, until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles).
Wilson Fights for Peace Q. Fourteen Points – Wilson’s plan for peace that was presented to Congress in 1918 for ratification.
The fourteenth point called for a League of Nations – this international organization would address problems between countries before they led to war
R. The Treaty of Versailles ended WWI in 1919. Its weaknesses will be a major cause of WWII.