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The United States Enters World War I

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1 The United States Enters World War I

2 If the U.S. enters the war, which side will they choose?
U.S. would like to stay Neutral Neutrality - The policy of a nation that does not participate in a war between other nations. But if forced to choose… Both sides broke International Laws German subs sank non-military ships GB prevented free trade - blockade German citizens were starving GB had been a friend for 100 years ? ? Germany Great Britain France Russia Ottoman Empire Austria-Hungary President Wilson

3 America Favors the Allies (3 reasons)
Germany attacking Belgium upset many Americans (attack a Neutral?) Unrestricted Submarine Warfare Sink anyone trading with the Allies USW = Germany’s version of a blockade US 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 Allies US will never join Germany US continued trading w/ GB (weapons) Allies

5 Strike One vs. Germany (May 7, 1915)
GB passenger ship Lusitania sunk by U-boat Believed to be carrying war supplies 1,200 died, including 128 Americans After sinking the Lusitania, Germany agrees to stop using USW – Sussex Pledge

6 Strike Two vs. Germany (Feb. 1, 1917)
GB blockade choking out Germany Germany announced a return to USW (broke the Sussex Pledge) Germany claimed it was their only chance to win war Germany knows this will probably bring the US into the war, but they predict the US will need time to mobilize Germany hoped to win before US gets there

7 Strike Three vs. Germany (Feb. 24, 1917)
GB Intelligence intercepted a message between Germany and Mexico The Zimmerman Telegram Germany offered TX, AZ, and NM to Mexico if they attacked the US Mexico 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 attacks The 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 unprepared Mobilization Process: Army was very small – needed a draft Selective Service Act – Men from 21 – 30 register (3 million draftees served in war). Draftees were untrained and were given old equipment Liberty 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 Persecution While the war with Germany was overseas, some Americans refused to recognize the difference between the Central Powers and German-Americans living in the United States Anti-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 war The 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

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