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America’s journey to war
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  1. America’s journey to war • When the war began in 1914 – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson declared the U.S.A. neutral (not taking sides) • Most American’s did not want to enter into a conflict half way around the world • Americans came from many European countries • Wilson feared the country would become divided

  2. British Blockade • Britain established a naval blockade of German ports, stopping all ships carrying goods bound for Germany • Germany responded by sinking all Allied merchant ships off the coast of Britain • May 1915, a German submarine (U-boat) torpedoed the Lusitania (a British passenger ship) • 1,198 killed, including 128 Americans

  3. British Blockade cont…… • Still, President Wilson keeps the U.S. neutral • Wilson demands Germany stop all “unrestricted submarine warfare” • Wilson wins re-election for keeping American out of war • Although America remains “neutral” they do financially support the Allies in the war

  4. American entry to WWI • In early 1917, Germany sank 3 American ships (after Lusitania 1915) The last straw – ZIMMERMAN TELEGRAM • German Foreign Minister Zimmerman sends a telegram to a German ambassador in Mexico to convince Mexico to join Germany & win back territory taken by the U.S.A. (Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona)

  5. U.S. entry to WWI continued….. • The telegram is intercepted by the British, and passed along to the U.S. who became furious with Germany • Wilson asks Congress to declare war in April 1917! • U.S. enters World War I

  6. American Homefront • Selective Service Act (Draft)– May 1917 Congress required all men between 21-30 to sign up for military. • Almost 40,000 women also volunteer • Women served as nurses in American Red Cross, clerks, interpreters, phone operators, entertainers & ambulance drivers • Government raises $$ for war by selling war bonds

  7. Major Battles Verdun – French fortress • Feb 1916 – Dec 1916 • German attack meant to devastate French • Result: stalemate continues; • 400,000 French casualties & approx. 400,000 German casualties

  8. Somme • June 1916 – Dec 1916 • British launch assault against Germans to lead Germans away from Verdun • Result: stalemate continues • Enormous casualties on both sides

  9. Battle of Ypres • July 1917 – November 1917 (3rd battle) • 3 major battles took place near Ypres, Belgium • Result: Disastrous for British • Front lines unchanged….stalemate continues

  10. Gallipoli Campaign • Ottomans joined Central pwrs in 1914 • Ottomans controlled Dardanelles – a sea passage connecting Black Sea & Mediterranean Sea • Allies used passage to transport supplies to Russia • Result: Allies lost 200,000 troops in an attempt to destroy forts & guns that lined this passage – Spring 1915

  11. Wilson 14 Points • While fighting continued in 1918, Wilson drafted a plan for world peace • Reduction of weapons • Right of ppl to choose own govt • Proposal to form an organization of world nations to protect each other from aggression

  12. Not all Allied countries agree with 14 pts. • France & Great Britain wanted Germany to be punished & France wanted Germany to pay for costs of war • Italy wanted to gain territory for themselves

  13. THE END • 11:00am, November 11, 1918 ARMISTICE DAY • ALL FIGHTING STOPS!! • Casualties: 8.5 Million soldiers died; 21 million injured • 1919 – Treaty of Versailles signed to officially end War

  14. Treaty of Versailles June 28 1919 • Treaty forces Germany to accept complete blame for the war. • Germany lost all of its colonies • Germany’s military was limited to only 100,000 • Germany also forced to pay $33 BILLION in reparations (money a country has to pay to help repair the damage caused during war)