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World War I 1914-1920. Wilson, Mexico & US Foreign Policy. Woodrow Wilson- Southern Democrat History professor & intellectual Mind for grand ideas- role of US in postwar world Believed American economic expansion + democratic principles = civilizing force in the world

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Wilson, Mexico & US Foreign Policy

  • Woodrow Wilson-
    • Southern Democrat
    • History professor & intellectual
    • Mind for grand ideas- role of US in postwar world
    • Believed American economic expansion + democratic principles = civilizing force in the world
    • Emphasized foreign investments and industrial exports
    • Open Door principles of John Hay
      • Strong diplomatic and military measure to achieve economic supremacy
  • 1913 Wilson became president
  • Continued progressive activism of TR
    • Greater federal role in economic and business regulation
    • 16th Amendment- Federal income tax
    • Federal Reserve Act- created 12 reserve banks regulated by Washington
    • Clayton Antitrust Act- recognition of union legality, check big businesses
    • Federal Trade Commission- regulatory control of corporations

Wilson’s problems in Mexico foreshadowed those in WWI

  • 1911 Revolution in Mexico overthrows corrupt dictator
  • Madero- new democratic government in Mexico promised land reform
  • This made U.S. with $11 billion invested very nervous
  • Wilson refused to except murderer of Madero, Huerta, because he was unlawful
  • Wilson used a minor insult to attack Veracruz attempting to oust Huerta
  • Carranza w/ US arms ousts Huerta, then denounced Wilson
  • Poncho Villa tried to draw U.S. into war – raided U.S. and killed Americans
  • Villa evaded US army of 15,000 for over a year
  • Wilson’s involvement leads to Mexican distrust of US
  • Wilson didn’t go to war with Mexico because he didn’t want to weaken US position with Germany
  • Wilson believed capitalist development, democracy and free trade were wave of future
  • Wilson believed in Moral Values  WWI

The Great War

  • Europe:
  • Triple Alliance aka The Central Powers
    • Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy
  • Triple Entente aka The Allies
    • Great Britain, France, Russia
  • Competition of Great Britain and Germany
    • GB: long-standing dominant power
    • Germany: aspirations of empire
  • Alliances kept countries from going to war over small conflicts from 19th-20th century
  • Inclusiveness was its weakness
    • Could draw others into war that did erupt
  • 1914 archduke of Austro-Hungary assassinated in Bosnia by a Serbian nationalist
    • He thought Bosnia should be annexed by Serbia
  • Germany backed retaliation by Austro-Hungary
  • Serbia asked for Russian help
  • War declared by both sides
  • Stalemate in northern France
  • New weapons: machine guns, tanks, trench warfare = 5 million killed in 2.5 years
run up to war
Run-up to War
  • Wilson urged Americans to be “impartial in thought and action”
  • Germany declares waters around British Isle a war zone
  • May 7, 1915 German U-boat sinks Lusitania killing 1200, 128 Americans
  • Americans demand strong stance against Germany but don’t want war
  • March 1916 German U-boat torpedoes French Sussex injuring 4 Americans
  • Wilson threatens to cut off diplomatic relations w/ Germany
  • June 1916 National Defense Act doubles the size of US army and increases spending of new battleships, cruisers and destroyers
  • Anti-war feelings still very strong in US
  • Wilson’s “He kept us out of war” campaign 1916
  • Germany declares unlimited submarine warfare gambling to destroy Allies before America can arrive
  • March 1, 1917 Zimmerman Note intercepted
    • Germany encouraging Mexico to take back New Mexico, Texas and Arizona
  • US merchant ships are armed and allowed to shoot
  • Germans sink 7 US merchant ships killing many
  • April 2, 1917 Wilson asks congress for war
    • Wilson’s case based on America’s special mission as mankind’s most enlightened and advanced nation to make the world safe for democracy
selling the war
Selling the War
  • Committee on Public Information – CPI agency for war promotion led by George Creel
  • Enlisted 150,000 people to work on CPI committees
  • Produced more than 100 million pieces of literature- pamphlets, articles, books- explaining causes and meaning of war
  • Created posters, slides, newspaper ads and films
  • Used movie stars to help sell war bonds
  • 75,000 “Four Minute Men” gave patriotic speeches before stage and movie shows
  • Aggressively negative campaign against Germans
    • Huns = bestial monsters/ uncivilized
    • German music, language and books banned
the draft
The Draft
  • Lack of volunteers for service
  • Selective Service Act- registration of all men ages 21-35
  • Different from Civil War draft- couldn’t buy your way out of service by paying for a substitute
  • June 5, 1917 10 million register
  • Aug. 1918 extended age limits to 18-45
  • Illiteracy rates among troops as high as 25%
  • Low test scores of immigrants and African Americans reflect biases of tests
african americans in the military
African Americans in the Military
  • Organized in segregated units
  • Barred from Marines and Coast Guard
  • Worked as cooks, laundrymen, stevedores
  • Endured humiliating and violent treatment form southern white officers
  • Faced hostility from white civilians
  • 200,000 served in France
  • 1 in 5 saw combat compared to 1 in 3 white soldiers
  • Black combat units served with distinction in some French divisions
  • The all black 369th US infantry served in trenches for 191 days, longest of any American regiment
  • French government awarded entire regiment the Croix de Guerre
  • Enjoyed better treatment in military and by civilians in France than in US
america s effect on the war
America’s Effect on the War
  • AEF- American Expeditionary Forces=US troops
  • Led by General John J. Pershings, independent of European command
  • 70,000 AEF soldiers arrived in early 1918, helped the French stop the Germans from reaching Paris in June 1918
  • September 1918 AEF troops took over southern part of a 200 mile front in the Meuse-Argonne offensive  German surrender
  • November 11, 1918 war ends
  • Massive influx of American troops hastened the end of the war by ending the stalemate
  • 52,000+ died in battle, 60,000 died from influenza and pneumonia
  • Progressive reforms & the war agenda
  • War Industries Board (WIB)- mobilized national industry to support war effort
    • Led by Wall Street speculator Baruch
    • Regulation of production & prices
    • Maximization of productivity & efficiency
    • = BIG government
    • “voluntary cooperation” enforced w/ threats of military takeover (Ford, US Steel)
economy cont
Economy cont.
  • 1917 Food and Fuel Act-
    • Gave President authority to regulate commodities needed for the war effort
    • Hoover, millionaire engineer, leads
    • Price controls on agri. commodities (pork, sugar, wheat
    • Gov. buys products, distributes to licensed dealers & sold to public at high prices
    • Urged conservation ie. Limit consumption, grow your own veggies
cost of war
Cost of War
  • $33 billion dollars
  • Paid for with increased income & profit taxes
    • Min. income for taxation $1000
    • Highest brackets rates up to 70%
  • Liberty Bonds- $23 billion
      • government borrowed money from American public
  • Federal debt jumps from $1billion to $20 billion
business the war
Business & The War
  • War = expansion & high profits
  • Huge workforce growth
  • Corporate profits triple, large business doing the best
  • Investments in farm machinery & land -> 20-30% increase in production
  • Business/government cooperation
labor the war
Labor &The War
  • Economic expansion + army mobilization + decline in immigration = labor shortage
  • Despite overcrowding & inflation workers enjoy higher wages and standard of living
  • AFL saw sharp rise in membership (1mil) & increased influence, power
  • National War Labor Board- Gompers- avoid strikes & interruptions in production
  • NWLB: ensured right to organize, higher wages, less hours, over-time pay, equal pay for women
  • IWW- denounced “capitalist war,” attacked by gov. agents-> Espionage Act
the great migration
The Great Migration
  • Mass movement of African Americans from rural south to urban north
  • Labor shortage = job opportunities & higher wages
  • 1914-1920, 300,000-500,000 migrated north
  • Work on railroads, meatpacking plants, shipyards, steel mills…..lower paying jobs, unskilled
  • Violence and rioting against blacks in Northern cities
  • NAACP membership grows to 60,000- provide legal defense, influence legislation
suppressing the antiwar movement
Suppressing the Antiwar Movement
  • Espionage Act of 1917- vague prohibition of obstruction war effort
    • Used to crush dissent and criticism
    • Severe penalties, up to 20yrs prison, $10,000 fine
    • Aiding the enemy, obstruction recruitment, causing insubordination in the armed forces
    • Allowed postmaster gen. to censor mail
    • Police & surveillance increase
    • Leads to creation of FBI
  • 1918 Sedition Act
    • Amendment of Espionage Act
    • Outlawed “any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language intended to cause contempt, scorn, contumely, or disrepute” to the government
    • Used to strike out against socialists, pacifists, labor radicals
    • Eugene Debs (4 times presidential candidate) imprisoned for 2.5 yrs, defending antiwar protestors
women the war
Women & The War
  • 8 million women already working gained higher pay and access to new jobs
  • Another million joined workforce
  • Manufacturing jobs, munitions plants, train engineers, drill press operators, etc.
  • Women in Industry Service (WIS)- created standards, not legally enforced
  • ½ pay of men on average
  • End of war = end of women in “men’s” positions
women the vote
Women & The Vote
  • Before WWI:
    • State battle rather than nation
    • Led by western states (UT & WY 1st)
    • In east suffrage linked to prohibition
  • During WWI:
    • National campaign for constitutional amendment
    • Linked to patriotism
    • 2 main tactics:
      • NAWSA- war effort, moderate lobbying & orderly demonstrations
      • NWP- more aggressive, picketed White House, condemned the Pres. & Congress
  • 19th Amendment: “war measure” passed Aug. 1920 after 2 years gaining states for ratification
labor and unions after the war
Labor and Unions After the War
  • Wartime wage gains wiped out by inflation, high prices for food, fuel, housing
  • Government ended controls on industry, employers withdrew membership/recognition
  • 4 million Americans workers involved in 3,600 strikes in 1919 alone
  • Strikes receive nationwide attention
  • Seattle: citywide strike, 60,000 workers -> federal troops occupy the city
  • Boston police strike, entire force fired
  • Public opinion turns against organized labor, use of propaganda, strikers=revolutionaries
  • Russian Revolution, fears it could happen here
wilson s post war ambitions
Wilson’s Post-War Ambitions
  • 14 points in Versailles:
    • Postwar European boundaries, division of empires
    • Principles for governing international conduct
      • Freedom of the seas
      • Free trade
      • Open covenants instead of secret treaties
      • Reduce armaments
      • Mediation for competing colonial claims

League of Nations14th point: implement 1st 13 points, resolve future disputes

  • Collective security to keep the peace
  • Criticized as surrender of independence and sovereignty
  • Similarities to previous alliances?
  • Germany & the Treaty:
    • Germans need to be made to hate war
    • Wilson disagrees with Britain and France over reparations
defeat of the treaty
Defeat of the Treaty
  • Allies resist the call for independence of colonies
    • French and British carve up former German and Ottoman empires
  • French and British insist Germany pay $33 billion  resentment & rise of Nazis
  • Signed by everyone except US
    • US congress Republican controlled
    • Oppose collective security & restraints on F.P.
    • Entire point for going to war wasted in Wilson’s eyes
  • US becomes economic power in the world