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American reaction to war. Initial american reaction. Initial reaction was that war was Europe’s problem Isolationism – policy of not being involved in other nation’s affairs We remained neutral – however we sided with Allies because: We did not like German war tactics

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initial american reaction
Initial americanreaction
  • Initial reaction was that war was Europe’s problem
    • Isolationism – policy of not being involved in other nation’s affairs
  • We remained neutral – however we sided with Allies because:
    • We did not like German war tactics
    • Germany’s aggression in invasion of Belgium
    • Of our ties with Great Britain in political, economic, and culture
  • Germany wanted us to remain out of war – signed Sussex Pledge which said they would not sink merchant vessels without warning
what changed attitude of u s
What changed attitude of U.S.?
  • The use of German U-Boats (submarine warfare)
    • Germany swore to sink any boats in English waters
    • Germany sunk passenger and merchant ships
      • The sinking of Lusitania was a major problem for U.S.
        • Lusitania – British luxury ship with over 1900 passengers
  • Zimmermann Note – this was secret message sent Mexico by Germany to make a secret alliance against Americans
  • Final Straw – Germany sinks three American Merchant ships
    • April 6, 1917 – America declares war on Germany
america raises an army
America raises an army
  • Selective Service Act – passed on May 18, 1917
    • Called for:
      • All men between ages of 21 and 30 to register for draft
      • Did allow for religious groups to file as conscientious objectors giving them right not to have to enter war
      • Once you were selected you had to serve or go to jail
  • New American Army
    • Nothing was ready for soldiers when they went to train
    • American military was ill-prepared
    • Army was segregated – African Americans and Hispanics were discriminated against
      • Many black soldiers were not allowed to combat train
      • Latino soldiers had to speak English before they could fight
questions
Questions
  • What is isolationism? What did this view mean for the United States in relation to entering the war?
  • Why did we side with Allies?
  • What was the Sussex Pledge?
  • What three things changed the American view?
  • When did America enter World War I?
  • What was the Selective Service Act and what did it do?
  • What characterized the American Army when they declared war?
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