World War I Chapter 11
WWI • Causes of WWI • A) imperialism- the policy, practice, or advocacy of extending the power and dominion of a nation especially by direct territorial acquisitions or by gaining indirect control over the political or economic life of other areas • B)Militarism- the aggressive buildup of armed forces • C) Nationalism- a sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations • D)Complex alliances with other nations • The European powers formed alliances to protect themselves and began mobilization, which means getting their forces ready for war. • Central Powers- Germany, Austria-Hungary • Allies- Britain, France, Russia, and Serbia • A few weeks into the war there was a stalemate, this happens when neither side has an advantage. • Both sides used trench warfare which was costly in lives and resources. • Modern weapons like machine guns, artillery, hand grenades, and poison gas were used.
WWI • Most Americans wanted to remain neutral, however, many did not like the German leader, Kaiser Wilhelm II as he was an autocratic ruler, which means that he ruled with unlimited power. • They also saw Germany as too militaristic. • There was a great deal of false propaganda, which is information intended to sway public opinion, from Britain that turned many people in the U.S. against Germany. • President Wilson declared that he wanted the U.S. to be neutral and work towards a peaceful solution. • American business leaders were concerned with how the war would disrupt trade and urged a policy of preparedness. • Many social reformers were against preparedness as they wanted the U.S. to stay out of the war. • Wilsons campaign motto was “ He Kept us out of the War.”
WWI • Tensions between the U.S. and Germany continued as the Germans began using a new weapon, the U-Boat to strike without warning. The U-Boat was a small submarine that attacked both enemy ships and neutral ships suspected of carrying weapons. • In 1915, a German U-Boat torpedoed a British ship that they rightly suspected was carrying weapons. Among the dead were 128 Americans. • President Wilson demanded that Germany sign the Sussex pledge, a pledge that Germany would not fire on ships without warning. • Germany would take back its promise in 1917 and continue unrestricted warfare. Wilson’s hopes of a peaceful solution were fading. • Germany refrained from attacking American ships at the time but the British intercepted a telegram from the German foreign secretary, Arthur Zimmermann to the Mexican government promising the American Southwest to Mexico if it declared war on the U.S. Most people did not take the Zimmermann note seriously but it pushed people into war. • In 1917 the Russian Revolution overthrew the Czar. • America had always used the non-democratic Russians government as an excuse not to join the war as they did not want to ally themselves with that form of government. • With the Czar gone America was willing to join the Allies. • The final straw came when Germany sank three more American ships. • President Wilson declared war on April,6,1917.
WWI • The U.S. was unprepared for war in 1917. • Congress passed the Selective Service Act that authorized a draft of men into the military. • Three million men were selected to join the American Expeditionary Force, or the (AEF). • Thousands of women contributed to the war effort by volunteering as nurses, drivers, and cooks. • African- Americans served in segregated army units. • To get soldiers to Europe without being attacked by the U-Boats, the U.S. army formed a convoy. • Convoy- system in which troop and merchant ships sailed to Europe surrounded by armed warships. • The Russians, led by Vladimir Lenin, signed a truce with Germany. This truce allowed Germany to move its troops into France and attempt a final offensive. • The Germans were turned back by Paris and the Americans and the rest of the Allies pushed the Germans back in July of 1918.
WWI • The war ended on November11,1918 with an armistice, or ceasefire. • Many Americans died in battle but more died from disease. • Adding to the casualties was the genocide, or deliberate killing of a group of people, of the Armenians as the Turkish government attempted to wipe out the Armenians. • When soldiers fought in Europe, U.S. soldiers fought in finance the war. • They financed the war by Liberty Bonds, which were war bonds sold to Americans. • The government would managed the production and distribution of food and established price controls. Price controls are when the government sets the prices on food. • The government also brought about the policy of rationing, or distributing foods to consumers in a fixed amount. • A fuel agency instituted daylight savings time, turning the clocks back an hour to increase the number of daylight hours to work. • The U.S. also censored the press so that the war was always supported.
WWI • A fear of foreigners and the possibility of spies approached hysteria as the government repressed civil liberties and passed a Sedition Act, which quelled or stopped any disloyal speech or actions. • Groups of vigilantes often took the law into their own lands to hound and lynch radicals, and German immigrants. • WWI made social changes as the war halted immigration and the need for workers led many factories to recruit Mexican, African-American, and female workers. • To make the world safe from war President issued out his Fourteen Points, which included an end to alliances, removal of trade barriers among nations, reduction of military forces and the right of ethnic groups to self-determination. • Self-Determination- the right for ethnic groups to make decisions about future policies. • At the Paris Peace Conference of1919 President Wilson was forced to compromise as Britain, France, and Italy wanted the spoils, or rewards of war. • Wilson did get the Allies to join the League of Nations, an organization of all nations to work for worldwide security and peace.
WWI • The Allies rejected Wilsons plans for self-determination and the Allies redrew the map of Europe. • Britain, France, and Italy demanded that Germany pay reparations, making amends for injuries done in the war. • The Versailles Treaty officially ended the war in June 1919. Germany never forgave or forgot this humiliation. • Wilson met with opposition over the League of Nations in the U.S. as many felt that this would lead to another war. Though Wilson campaigned for the League of Nations, it was not adopted in America. • Effects of the war- • A) America in leadership position • B) Jobs were scarce, and many women and minorities had to give up their jobs. • C) War brought postwar gloom to the American people.