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World War I. What caused it? How was it fought? What were the results? What was the impact on the home front?. I. European Origins. Hopes for a world order of peace and progress by 1914 Competitive Nationalism Entangling Alliances A Growing Arms Race General Mobilization Theory

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World War I


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    1. World War I What caused it? How was it fought? What were the results? What was the impact on the home front?

    2. I. European Origins • Hopes for a world order of peace and progress by 1914 • Competitive Nationalism • Entangling Alliances • A Growing Arms Race • General Mobilization Theory --The German “Schlieffen Plan”

    3. I. European Origins (cont.) • A series of International Crises (1905-1914) • Pan-Slavic nationalism and the Assassination in Sarajevo • Europe tumbles into war

    4. II. American Response to the Outbreak of WWI • Traditional policy of isolationism • Most Americans did not believe this was our fight • Split loyalties among the American people • Factors pushing US toward involvement

    5. III. Possible Explanations for US Involvement in WWI • “Tricky” British propaganda sucked us into the war • Desire to protect American investments in Britain and France • US economy tied in a significant way to the economies of Britain and France • The significance of International Law and American neutrality rights • American desire to shape the future peace of Europe

    6. IV. The Issue of International Law and American Neutrality Rights • What is international law? • Wilson’s advocacy of international law • Both British and Germans violated US neutrality rights • Difference between British and German violations • Inherent violations of International law with German submarines

    7. V. Steps Toward US Entrance into World War I • Falaba torpedoed (March, 1915) • Conflict between Wilson and William Jennings Bryan • Lusitania sunk (May, 1915) • Wilson’s response

    8. V. Steps Toward US Entrance into WWI (cont.) • British ship Arabic sunk (August, 1915) • German “Arabic Pledge” • No response to US offer to negotiate a peace • French ship Sussex torpedoed (March, 1916) • Wilson’s “Sussex Pledge” • Growing US preparedness movement • Wilson wins the presidential election of 1916 -- “He kept us out of the war”

    9. VI. A Desire to Shape the Peace • Wilson calls for “peace without victory” • The horror of WWI made a negotiated peace an impossibility • In order to “make the world safe for democracy”, Wilson wanted to be included in the peace talks after the war

    10. VII. American Entry into the War • Germans pursue unlimited submarine warfare (February, 1917) • Zimmerman telegram (February 25, 1917) • Wilson asks Congress for a declaration of war (April 2, 1917)

    11. VIII. A Fundamentally Different War • Early fighting • The development of trench warfare • Deadly frontal assaults -- “Going over the top” -- “The Race with death” -- “No Man’s Land” --cavalry officers killed first --the role of the machine gun

    12. VIII. A Fundamentally Different War (cont.) • Daily Life of the WWI soldier • “Industrial Death” • Use of poison gas --Chlorine, phosgene and mustard gases • Battles of attrition • The changing atmosphere of war

    13. IX. The Role of American Troops in WWI • By 1917, the Allied cause was desperate • US contribution to Allied naval strategy • Few expected US soldiers to make much difference in the war • American troops prevented an Allied defeat • AEF kept separate from European troops • Fight in Russia after the war

    14. X. The Treaty of Versailles • Wilson’s Fourteen Points • Wilson decided to go to Paris himself • Wilson’s mixed reception in Europe • Wilson alienated Republicans back home • Specific terms of the Versailles Treaty --League of Nations --War Guilt Clause

    15. X. Treaty of Versailles (cont.) • Republican opposition to the Treaty -- “irreconciliables” -- “reservationists” • Other opposition to the Treaty • Wilson’s speaking tour to defend the Treaty • Failure to ratify the Treaty • Failure to join the League of Nations

    16. XI. The Impact of the War at Home

    17. A. Economic Mobilization • Food as a weapon of war • 60% of costs funded through liberty bonds • Stock prices and GNP rose dramatically • Partnership between business and government • US Railroad Administration • National War Labor Board • Food and Fuel administrations • War Industries Board

    18. B. Emotional Mobilization • Perceived “need” for emotional mobilization • Creation of the Committee on Public Information (CPI) --George Creel • Dual goals: inspire patriotism and hate for the enemy • Evolution of a culture of hatred

    19. B. Emotional Mobilization • The Espionage Act (1917) • The Sedition Act (1917) --U.S. v. “The Spirit of 1776” --Schenck v. U.S. • Why these acts if there was little opposition to the war? • Hard to turn off the hate when the war ended

    20. C. Impact of the War on American Culture • Fashions and novelties coming out the War --Chanel #5 --wrist watches --cigarettes • New Slang Phrases -- “Germs” -- “Dud” -- “Rats” -- “Gas Attack”

    21. XII. The Immediate Aftermath of the War • International Flu Epidemic (1918-1919) • Unusually high death toll among young adults • Economic transition from war to peace • General labor unrest • Racial Friction