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America and WWI Part C

America and WWI Part C

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America and WWI Part C

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  1. America and WWIPart C

  2. When WWI began in August 1914, what did most Americans want to do? • Stay out of the war and be neutral…for the most part 2. But how was American pubic opinion a complicated thing at the beginning of the war? • Some Americans had ethnic/ancestral connections to Germany, a Central Powers nation • Many Americans had ethnic/ancestral connections to Great Britain, an Allied nation • Yet some Irish-Americans saw WWI as an opportunity for Ireland to gain independence from Great Britain • On the American political left, Socialists saw WWI as a war between capitalist nations, namely Great Britain versus Germany

  3. 3. But while most Americans seemingly wanted to stay out the war in a formal sense, the balance of American sympathy tended to be towards whom? • The Allied Powers, namely Great Britain and France 4. While the United States remained neutral, what did the U.S. do that helped the Allied side disproportionately? • American businesses sold all sorts of war supplies to Great Britain and France, namely dynamite, cannon powder, submarines, copper wire and pipes, armored cars, etc.

  4. 5. In terms of warfare, prior to WWI what had the United States never done? • The U.S. had never fought in a land war in Europe 6. Early in the war, what did Great Britain impose on Germany? • A naval blockade on Germany • Germany had a very difficult time importing foodstuffs and fertilizers for crops

  5. 7. Over time, what effect did the British blockade of Germany have on the German people? • Thousands starved, over the long haul 8. Initially, how did many Americans view the British blockade of Germany? • They viewed it negatively

  6. 9. Regarding naval actions, what caused American public opinion to shift more in the direction of sympathizing with Great Britain? • German submarines (U-Boats) and their attacks on Allied shipping on the high seas

  7. German U-Boat sinking a British Merchant Ship

  8. 10. How did Germany respond to the British blockade of German ports? • Germany responded with a blockade of Britain, namely with U-Boats 11. How did U-Boats sink ships? • Often by firing a torpedo (a propeller driven bomb) through the water into the hull of a ship (below the waterline)

  9. 12. What made German U-Boats particularly effective in WWI? • The U-Boat could submerge below the surface of the water and wait upon a British (or other Allied vessel) ship to cross its path • The U-Boat could watch the ship through a periscope (basically a telescope) and fire a torpedo through the water at the appropriate moment • Some WWI U-Boats would surface near the ship, ( allow the crew to abandon ship in some cases), and then sink the ship with either a torpedo or cannon fire from the deck of the U-Boat

  10. 13. What happened on May 7, 1915 that increasingly moved American public opinion towards the Allied side? • Near the coast of Ireland, a German U-Boat sank the British ocean liner, Lusitania, killing 1,198 people, of which 128 were Americans • The Germans claimed that the Lusitania was carrying ammunition as cargo, in addition to passengers • But in general, American public opinion turned against Germany

  11. The Sinking of the LusitaniaMay 7, 1915

  12. 14. In 1916, in response to American protests, Germany agreed to suspend what? • Unrestricted submarine warfare around the British Isles against Allied shipping • Basically, under “unrestricted submarine warfare” Germany claimed a right to attack any ship from an Allied country (e.g. Great Britain or France) that was a warship or a merchant ship carrying war material

  13. 15. In 1916, while seeking re-election, what slogan did President Woodrow Wilson (Democrat) use during his campaign? • “He Kept Us Out of War” 16. Who was Woodrow Wilson’s Republican opponent in 1916? • Charles Evans Hughes

  14. 17. What were the results of the 1916 Presidential election? • Woodrow Wilson was re-elected by a close margin 18. What did Germany’s Kaiser Wilheim announce on January 31, 1917? • That German U-Boats would sink all ships in British waters—hostile or neutral—on sight

  15. Unrestricted Submarine Warfare, 1917Darkened Areas show the operating zones for U-Boats

  16. 19. How did President Wilson initially respond to Germany’s announcement of the resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare? • He knew that war with Germany was imminent, but he waited for “actual overt acts” to trigger an American response

  17. 20. What was the Zimmermann Telegram? • It was a message from the German foreign minister to the German ambassador in Mexico in which Germany discussed the possibility of a German-Mexican alliance against the United States, an alliance which might restore to Mexico certain lands lost to the United States in the 1800s, such as “Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.”

  18. 21. How did the United States learn of the Zimmermann Telegram? • It was intercepted by British agents 22. What happened next that moved the United States towards war? • Germany sank four unarmed American merchant ships, killing 36.

  19. 23. What happened in March 1917 in Russia? • Czar Nicholas II abdicated the Russian imperial throne • 300 years of rule by the Romanov family had come to an end • In November 1917, the Bolsheviks, a Marxist revolutionary group led by Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky, seized power in Russia…and shook the world

  20. Nicholas II, the Last Czar of RussiaAbdication: March 1917

  21. 24. In early April 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to do what? • Declare war on Germany • A few days later, Congress declared war on Germany, and in doing so, the United States had entered WWI on the Allied side

  22. Woodrow Wilson’s War AddressApril 2, 1917