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World War I 1916-1918 A World at War 1914 growing militarism, nationalism, and a European alliance system lead to a world war War encompasses nearly.

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Presentation on theme: "World War I 1916-1918 A World at War 1914 growing militarism, nationalism, and a European alliance system lead to a world war War encompasses nearly."— Presentation transcript:

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2 World War I

3 A World at War 1914 growing militarism, nationalism, and a European alliance system lead to a world war War encompasses nearly all of Europe and much of Asia War grows to include European colonial possessions U.S. is officially isolationist under the Monroe Doctrine Isolationism does not include trade with nations at war US initially trades with most involved parties Technological advances in warfare lead to massive casualties and a stalemate in Europe by 1916 No clear sentiment by Americans emerges at the beginning of the war Divided loyalties Large German/Irish population Historic ties to Britain/France (cultural elites)

4 Motivating the American Public Reasons for US involvement are debatable Idealism of Woodrow Wilson plays a crucial role Felt Germany was undemocratic Envisioned a “new world order” lead by U.S. Unable to stay neutral British and German blockades (Brit. far more lethal) Sinking of the Allied/US ships (Lusitania May 1915) Massive US loans to Brit/France 2.3 billion vs. 27 million to Germany Growing fear by US businessmen of losing critical trade partners Despite economic events and submarine warfare war remains unpopular with average Americans Wilson win reelection in 1916 as antiwar candidate

5 Bringing the Nation to War January 1917 Germany began unrestricted submarine warfare Feb/Mar 1917 Five American ships sunk April 1917 Wilson convinces Congress to declare war Role of Propaganda British propaganda reached US throughout the war Accounts of German atrocities Zimmerman telegram Raising an army US is woefully unprepared to fight a major war Organizing the American economy WWI is largely a conflict of industrial production

6 WWI on the Home Front The Draft 1917 Selective Service Act passed All men 18 to 45 registered for draft Propaganda portrayed service as patriotic duty Managing the Economy Federal government creates War Industries Board Established production quotas and priorities Regulated prices Managed raw material supplies Create Food and Fuel Administrations (Hoover) Responsible for conservation efforts and resource allocation

7 WWI on the Home Front Controlling public opinion/suppressing dissent Wilson creates Committee on Public Information Most successful propaganda agency in American history Create massive anti German sentiment Censor news and attack socialism Congress passes Espionage and Sedition Acts Fines and prison time for those who openly opposed the war Used to imprison socialist labor leaders Supreme Court upheld decisions American public grows violent as a result of sweeping waves of propaganda

8 US Troops Fight the War AEF arrives in Europe in mid 1917 US troops provided needed morale boost US troops fight for less than a year and a half Armistice November 1918 US suffers only 49k casualties, comparatively tiny by WWI standards US plays a minor role in the war but a major role in the peace process

9 Treaty of Versailles The victors meet outside of Paris to negotiate peace terms France, Britain, Italy, and the US send representatives Wilson’s 14 Points Wilson arrives in Europe with a major agenda Plan includes: No secret treaties Freedom of the seas Lowering of trade restrictions Armies only for national defense Recognize colonial interests Key feature: League of Nations Wilson gets only the League of Nations in the final deal Out voted on other key points Treaty includes severe reparations against Germany

10 Treaty of Versailles To make the treaty law it must be approved by the Senate Major players in the Senate see the treaty as a threat Forces US into global affairs Takes away Congressional power to declare war Primary opponent: Henry Cabot Lodge Wilson unable to win approval Turns down opportunity to compromise Suffers a stroke during battle with the Senate Senate never ratifies treaty Costs are heavy for Wilson and the Democratic party In the 1920’s the US will make a decided return to isolationism and Republican party control


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