2 If the U.S. enters the war, which side will they choose? U.S. would like to stay NeutralNeutrality - The policy of a nation that does not participate in a war between other nations.But if forced to choose…Both sides broke International LawsGerman subs sank non-military shipsGB prevented free trade - blockadeGerman citizens were starvingGB had been a friend for 100 years??GermanyGreat BritainFranceRussiaOttoman EmpireAustria-HungaryPresident Wilson
3 America Favors the Allies (3 reasons) Germany attacking Belgium upset many Americans (attack a Neutral?)Unrestricted Submarine WarfareSink anyone trading with the AlliesUSW = Germany’s version of a blockadeUS warned Ger. = “You’ll be responsible for any loss of American life”Stronger connection to British culture(US chose to ignore British violations)
4 Germany Faced the Reality Either the US will……..Remain neutral or…Join the AlliesUS will never join GermanyUS continued trading w/ GB (weapons)Allies
5 Strike One vs. Germany (May 7, 1915) GB passenger ship Lusitania sunk by U-boatBelieved to be carrying war supplies1,200 died, including 128 AmericansAfter sinking the Lusitania, Germany agrees to stop using USW – Sussex Pledge
6 Strike Two vs. Germany (Feb. 1, 1917) GB blockade choking out GermanyGermany announced a return to USW (broke the Sussex Pledge)Germany claimed it was their only chance to win warGermany knows this will probably bring the US into the war, but they predict the US will need time to mobilizeGermany hoped to win before US gets there
7 Strike Three vs. Germany (Feb. 24, 1917) GB Intelligence intercepted a message between Germany and MexicoThe Zimmerman TelegramGermany offered TX, AZ, and NM to Mexico if they attacked the USMexico said no, but the “damage was done”Why?
8 Wilson Argued for War Reasons to join the Allies USW is evil, unfair Loss of American lives to German attacksThe US needs to protect innocent countries (like Belgium)Germany threatens “Democracy” (Germany and A.H. = Empires with single ruler)
9 The US Enters the War (April 6, 1917) - US declared war on Germany However… US was very unpreparedMobilization Process:Army was very small – needed a draftSelective Service Act – Men from 21 – 30 register (3 million draftees served in war).Draftees were untrained and were given old equipmentLiberty Bonds – Sold to U.S. Citizens, who would buy them to loan money to the Allies (to be paid back later). $20 billion sold in Bonds.Americans produce more food and supplies, and use less themselves, to fuel the Allied troops.
10 Wartime PersecutionWhile the war with Germany was overseas, some Americans refused to recognize the difference between the Central Powers and German-Americans living in the United StatesAnti-German hate propaganda, discrimination, and violence against German-Americans was common on the home front
11 Wartime Dissent (opposition) Despite potential mistreatment, not all Americans were on board with Wilson/Congress’ decision to enter the warThe U.S. Government responded with the Espionage (1917) and Sedition Acts (1918).Espionage - The practice of using spies to obtain information about the plans and activities of other countries/governments.The Espionage and Sedition acts imposed strict punishments (sometimes even prison sentences) on anyone who was convicted of “disloyal” activities or language (limited freedom of speech).Rosa Pastor Stokes – 10 years in prison – told an audience “I am for the people, and the government is for the profiteers”Kate Richards O’Hare – over 1 year in jail – declared, “The women of the United States are nothing more than brood sows, to raise children to get into the army and be made into fertilizer”Eugene Debs – 3 years in prison – gave a speech discussing the economic causes of the war