“The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty. We have no selfish ends to serve. We desire no conquest, no dominion. We seek no indemnities for ourselves, no material compensation for the sacrifices we shall freely make.” -Woodrow Wilson (1917) The World War I Era 1914-1920 The World War I Era 1914-1920 The Guns of August: The Causes of the WWI Militarism- The glorifying of military power and keeping an army prepared for war. Great countries require great militaries. European arms race begins (1890s). All of the great powers have large militaries by 1914. Alliances- Intended for security. All of the great European powers had formed alliances by 1914. Entangled alliances will escalate a regional conflict into a world war. 2 The World War I Era 1914-1920 The Guns of August: The Causes of the WWI Imperialism- Competition for colonies in Africa and Asia. Colonial resources fueled the economies of the homeland. Imperial competition caused conflict. Nationalism- Deep devotion to one’s country. Can unify a country but also cause rivalries and competition. Examples: France had never forgotten the lost to Germany(1870), Germany and Great Britain competed economically, Austria and Russia and competed for control of the Balkans 3 The World War I Era 1914-1920 The Western Front: 1914-1917 The Schlieffen Plan- Germany attacked France to support Austria against Russia. Great Britain declared war on Germany after invasion of Belgium and France. Germans stopped at Battle of Marne. Germans must fight a two front war. Stalemate- Both sides were equal in size and strength. Tough to breakthrough. Trench Warfare- Result of stalemate. Dig in and hold territory. Old school tactics and modern weapons = SLAUGHTER U-boats vs. Blockade- Great Britain 4 blocks German ports. Germans respond by unleashing U-boats (submarines) The World War I Era 1914-1920 The Modern Weapons of World War I The Tank Big Bertha 5 The World War I Era 1914-1920 The Modern Weapons of World War I U-Boats Zeppelins 6 Airplanes The World War I Era 1914-1920 The Modern Weapons of World War I Flame Throwers Machine Gun Grenade 7 Launchers The World War I Era 1914-1920 The Modern Weapons of World War I Poison 8 Gas The World War I Era 1914-1920 The Great War Begins: US is neutral but... Central Powers in America- 11 million Americans could trace their ancestry to one of the Central Powers’ countries. Allied Powers in America- US traded 2x as much with France and England as they did with Germany. Reports of German atrocities (not all true) created anti- German feelings. England and the US shared a common ancestry. Public likes- The Allied Powers. The US was pulled out of a recession by the French and British ($2.3 9 billion) Anti-German propaganda wins. The World War I Era 1914-1920 War By Germany’s Actions: Steps to US Entry Lusitania- (1915). German submarine sunk British passenger ship. 1,198 killed (128 Americans). Germany claimed the ship was carrying ammo (true) and warned Americans to stay off. Sussex Pledge- (1916). Germany pledged not to sink passenger ships and merchant ships without giving a warning. Germany wanted the US to modify the Allied blockade of Germany. Unrestricted Sub Warfare- (1917). Germany was desperate (people starving). Announced unrestricted sub warfare in waters around Britain. Germany knows this will pull the 10 USA into the war. Germans hope to win before America mobilizes. The World War I Era 1914-1920 War By Germany’s Actions: Steps to US Entry Zimmerman Note- (1917). Telegram from Germany’s foreign secretary to German ambassador in Mexico. Germany would give Mexico Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona if Mexico would ally itself with Germany (this message was decoded by the British). War Declaration- Pushed by unrestricted sub warfare (4 US ships sunk in March) and the Zimmerman Note the US declared war on Germany (April 1917). President Wilson declared that America joined “to make the world safe for democracy.” 11 The World War I Era 1914-1920 The US Economy Goes To War Preparation prior to 1917-Limited preparation began in 1915. Ship building program and increased Army size to 100.000 (15th in the world). No idea how much steel, gun powder, or other military supplies the US could produce War Industries Board-(1918). Created to end economic confusion. Headed by Bernard Baruch. Federal government controls: Raw materials, production, prices, labor relations, fuel, railroads, and maritime shipping. Food Administration-Headed by Herbert Hoover. Preferred voluntary compliance. Victory Gardens and meatless Mondays. Worked because of patriotism Treasury Department-Liberty Loan drives to “halt 12 the Huns.” Raised $21 billion (2/3 of war costs). Remainder was raised by increased taxes The World War I Era 1914-1920 America Needs an Army Allies Need Troops-USA planned to only use the navy, ship war materials, and give loans. Allies demand US troops or else Western Front would collapse. The Draft-Disliked but believed necessary. All males 18- 45, no substitutes, key industry workers exempted. 4 million drafted. Minorities and women will serve (mainly in non-combat roles). USA’s Contributions-Provided the Allies with food, munitions, money, oil, and manpower. US troops only fought 2 major battles (St. Mihiel and the Meuse- Argonne, both in the last two months of the war). Size of American army, not US performance demoralized the Germans. US army depended on Allied supplies (artillery and planes were British and French made) and transportation 13 The World War I Era 1914-1920 World War I: Casualties 10,000,000 9,000,000 Russia 8,000,000 Germany 7,000,000 Austria-Hungary 6,000,000 France 5,000,000 4,000,000 Great Britain 3,000,000 Italy 2,000,000 Turkey 1,000,000 US 0 14 1918 Flu Pandemic: Depletes All Armies 50,000,000 – 100,000,000 died The World War I Era 1914-1920 Enforcing Loyalty: America on the Home Front German Americans- 8 million. Almost all were loyal to USA. Rumors of German spies resulted in hysteria (no German music, books removed from libraries, German classes cancelled, hamburgers became “liberty steak”) Committee on Public Information- Headed by George Creel. Job was to sell the war to Americans. Propaganda posters, songs, movies, 4- minute men, urged Americans to spy on neighbors Espionage Act (1917)- Prohibited the obstruction of military recruitment or promote insubordination. Ordered Postmaster to censor the mail. 20 year prison sentence. Sedition Act (1918)- Crime to be anti-war. Illegal to speak against buying Liberty Bonds, or 16 curtail war effort. Anti-labor union. The World War I Era 1914-1920 Peace Without Victory: Wilson’s 14 Points The First 5-Abolish secret treaties, freedom of the seas, reduction of arms, adjust colonial claims, independence (self-determination) for oppressed minority groups 14th Point-International organization that would provide a system of collective security (this is the League of Nations) Reaction-Wilson becomes the moral leader of the Allies, inspired the Allies and demoralized the enemy, starts the end of colonialism. Some Allies wanted more territory (Italy and Japan), so they hated the 14 Points. 17 The World War I Era 1914-1920 Treaty of Versailles (1919)-Get Ready for Hitler and el Duce The Treaty-Germans were forced to sign (June 1919). Included only 4 of Wilson’s points (does include the League of Nations). The treaty is about vengeance. The Allies (France and Great Britain) hated Germany. Germany’s Beatdown- 231 (War Guilt Clause), Reparations ($33 Billion), Reduced army (100,00 troops), limited navy (no u-boats), no tanks, no long-range artillery, no conscription (draft), France occupies the Rhineland, No alliance with Austria, no colonies. US Critics-Isolationists (Reservationists and Irreconcilables) didn’t like the League of Nations. German haters thought treaty was too soft. Liberals 18 thought the treaty was too harsh. Bottom Line: The US does not ratify the Treaty.
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