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U.S. Imperialism: World War I. Do Now. Agenda. Ch. 21 Quiz WWI Overview - Video Wilson’s Fourteen Points Homework:. Get out a pen/pencil and red pen. Be prepared to take quiz at the bell. Unit 7 Overview. This week… you will be able to.

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u s imperialism world war i
U.S. Imperialism: World War I

Do Now


Ch. 21 Quiz

WWI Overview - Video

Wilson’s Fourteen Points


  • Get out a pen/pencil and red pen.
  • Be prepared to take quiz at the bell.
this week you will be able to
This week… you will be able to...
  • Explain the War in Europe and American neutrality
  • Identify the main components, causes of and effects of The First World War at home and abroad
  • Identify and explain the Treaty of Versailles
  • Analyze the wars effects on society and economy in the postwar years
world war i

World War I


the war in europe
The War In Europe

George Washington’s Warning:

“Avoid European entanglements!”

Outbreak of War

The Two Alliances:

The Allies

Great Britain



The Central Powers



Turkey/ The Ottoman Empire

  • A Serbian assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand (Austria-Hungary)
  • Austria threatens Serbia, but backed by Russia, they do not waver
  • Germany (A-H’s ally) invades France (Russia’s ally) through neutral Belgium
  • Great Britain (France’s ally) declares war against Germany

Stages of United States Involvement:

Neutral Nation

Warring for Peace

Victorious World Power

Isolationist Nation

american neutrality
American “Neutrality”

Submarine Warfare

  • Britain established a naval blockade of Germany.
  • Germany responded by using U-boats (submarines) to sink any ships around Britain.
  • When Germany sank the British Lusitania [128 Americans were killed], Wilson threatened “accountability.” (Jennings resigned)
  • 3 months later, the Arabic (French ship) was sunk
    • Wilson demanded an end to “unrestricted submarine warfare.”
  • 7 months later, the Sussex (British ship) was sunk
    • Germany made the Sussex Pledge, promising not to sink merchant or passenger ships without warning.

Economic Links with Great Britain and France

  • The war brought the U.S. out of a recession; trading war supplies to Britain and France helped the U.S. economy to boom.
  • Because of the British blockade of Germany (which the U.S. tolerated), U.S. didn’t trade as much with Germany.
  • 1914-1917: US allied trade quadrupled; trade w/ Central powers dwindled.


  • JP Morgan & other bankers extended $3 billion in credit to Great Britain and France.
    • Secured U.S. prosperity.
    • Sustained the Allied war effort.

Public Opinion

Ethnic Influences

30% of Americans = 1st or 2nd generation immigrants.

  • They supported U.S. neutrality, but tended to sympathize with their “mother nation.”
  • Most native-born Americans supported the Allied Powers

British Propaganda

Britain cabled news stories to U.S. newspapers depicting German soldiers committing atrocities in Belgium and France, so Americans became disgusted with the Germans.


American Neutrality

Germans Challenge American Neutrality

Germany launched campaign of unrestricted submarine warfare in Feb. 1917

B/C stalemate in trenches across France & Brit. Blockade so exhausted fighting

Feb. 1917  German foreign secretary, Arther Zimmerman, sent secret telegram to German minister in Mexico to join a military alliance vs. US

GY would help MX recover territories lost in Mexican War

  • President Wilson sought to distance American from WWI by issuing a proclamation of Neutrality
  • Wilson’s policy of neutrality was consistent with American’s traditional policy of avoiding European “entanglements”
  • Wilson insisted that all belligerents respect American neutral rights on the high seas
the war debate

Election of 1916: Wilson won the presidency on the slogan “He kept us out of war.”

The War Debate


National Security League [Eastern Republican business leaders, led by Theodore Roosevelt] argued for more defense spending in preparation for war.

1916: Wilson convinced Congress to pass the National Defense Act , increasing the army and navy.

Opposition to War

Midwestern and Western Americans opposed the preparedness movement.

Opponents of war included:

  • Populists
  • Progressives
  • Socialists

Anti-war leaders were:

  • William Jennings Bryan
  • Jane Addams
  • Woman suffragists (initially)

The Decision for War

Germany launched unrestricted submarine warfare.

The Zimmerman Telegram was intercepted from Germany promising to help Mexico regain New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas if they joined the war on the side of the Germans.

Russian Revolution brought a democracy to Russia

Submarine Attacks: Germany attacked five unarmed U.S. merchant ships.

Wilson’s Peace Efforts

Wilson sent his Chief Foreign Advisor to Europe to unsuccessfully negotiate a peace settlement (“peace without victory”).

  • Declaration of War
  • Wilson declared that Germany’s submarine policy was “warfare against mankind.”
  • He asked Congress to declare war because “the world must be made safe for democracy.”
summary wilson s war message
Summary: Wilson’s War Message
  • Wilson accused the Germans of violating freedom of the seas, killing innocent Americans and interfering with Mexico
  • Wilson galvanized public opinion by calling on America to launch a “noble” crusade “to make the world safe for democracy”
mobilizing the country to support the war
Mobilizing the Country to Support the War

War Agencies

  • War Industries Board: set production priorities and control over materials and prices
  • Food Administration: encouraged U.S. households to eat less meat and bread, so more food could be shipped abroad. (US shipments x3)
    • Meatless Mondays
    • Wheat-less Wednesdays
    • Victory Gardens
  • Fuel Administration: efforts to save coal:
    • Established daylight savings time
    • Heatless Mondays
    • Gasless Sundays
  • National War Labor Board: arbitrated disputes between labor and owners.
    • Wages rose, 8-hour workday, union membership increased.

Financing the War

  • Liberty Bonds
    • Americans gave their savings to the federal government
    • The government promised to pay back the money at a fixed rate of interest on a certain date.
  • Taxes

Congress increased…

    • Personal income tax
    • Corporate tax
    • Tax on luxuries

Congress raised $33 billion for the war.

Civil Liberties

  • Espionage Act
    • Imprisonment for anyone who incited rebellion in the army or obstruction of the national draft
  • Sedition Act
    • Prohibited anyone from making disloyal or abusive comments about the U.S. government.
  • Schenck v. United States
    • Free speech could be limited when it represented a “clear and present danger” to the public safety.
  • Armed Forces
  • Selective Service Act: All men 21-30 would have to register for the national draft. 2.8 million men were called to armed service by lottery.
  • The army was racially segregated. Few African Americans were allowed to become officers.
    • WEB Du Bois believed by fighting in the war, African Americans would earn equal rights at home.
  • Committee on Public Information
    • Enlisted artists, writers, performers, and movie stars to depict the boys as heroes and the Kaiser as a villain.
    • Urged Americans to watch out for German spies and “do your bit.”
    • Stir American support for war and get rid of dissent
    • Americans persuaded to buy war bonds and believe Germany = barbarous
  • (Nativist)American Protective League
    • “Hate the Hun” campaign: prejudice against “disloyal” minorities—attacked all things German.
world war i and american society
World War I and American Society


  • More jobs (New types of jobs) were available for women as men left jobs for the army.
  • Some women entered the workforce for the first time.
  • Most women had to give up their jobs for men when the war ended.
  • Women’s contributions convinced the President and Congress to support the 19th Amendment (suffrage)


  • Because of the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920) and wartime job opportunities, many Mexicans crossed the border to work in agriculture and mining.
  • Most stayed in the Southwest, but some came to the Midwest for factory jobs.
  • Thousands of Mexican Americans also fought in the armed forces, despite facing discrimination.

African Americans

  • The “Great Migration” of African Americans was encouraged by job opportunities in northern factories and in the west during the war.
making peace
Making Peace

Wilson’s 14 Points included…

  • Freedom of the Seas
  • End to Secret Treaties
  • Reduction of national armaments
  • Impartial adjustment of colonial claims
  • Self-determination within Austria-Hungary
  • An International Peace Organization:
    • Political independence
    • Territorial integrity

Treaty of Versailles

  • Germany:
    • Disarmed
    • Lost colonies in Asia and Africa
    • Accepted guilt for the war
    • Gave the Rhineland to France
    • Paid reparations to Allied countries
  • Italy and Japan:

Felt they were not fairly compensated for their efforts

  • United States

The League of Nations was formed, but the US never did join…

Wilson’s Ratification Battle

Congress’s concern: The League of Nations would interfere with U.S. sovereignty and cause Europe to violate the Monroe doctrine.

  • Opponents to L.o.N.:
    • Irreconcilables: rejected it outright.
    • Reservationists: would accept if the wording was changed.
  • Wilson’s Western Tour:
    • Wilson toured the country in a huge speaking tour to convince Americans to support the League of Nations. He suffered a major stroke.
  • Rejection:
    • Wilson refused to reword the treaty, and ultimately, the treaty was defeated.

Peace without Victory?


Revenge against Germany & compensation?

The Fourteen Points

Reasons the US didn’t Join League of Nations

Wilson refused to compromise on the issue of America’s unconditional adherence to the charter of the League of Nations (hardened Senate opposition)

Opponents believed that the League would lead to further involvement in foreign wars

Senator Lodge = skillful opponent of the League

Personal & political rivalry b/n Lodge and Wilson = no chance of compromise

  • Fourteen Points included a call for:
    • Open diplomacy
    • Freedom of the seas
    • The creation of an international organization to preserve the peace & security of its members
    • National self-determination for oppressed minority groups
  • Fourteen Points didn’t include:
    • Recognition of Allied economic & territorial agreements made during the war
    • A provision to create the International Monetary Fund
postwar problems

The Palmer Raids

    • AG A Mitchell Palmer established an office under J Edgar Hoover to investigate radicals.
    • Caused by fear of communism and radicalism
    • Raids on anarchists, socialists, and labor agitators arrested “en masse ” on limited evidence.
    • Most arrestees were foreign-born; 4,000+ people jailed w/p counsel; 500 were deported
    • When May Day riots never happened, Palmer lost credibility and the hysteria receded.
    • Disregarded basic civil liberties
      • Govt. agents in 33 cities broke into meeting halls & homes w/o search warrants
Postwar Problems:

Demobilization & Recession

  • 4 million white men took jobs from women and African Americans.
  • The Business Boom of the war fell flat; farmers suffered from falling crop prices.
  • In 1921, the nation faced 10% unemployment.

Red Scare

  • The Bolshevik Revolution in Russia
    • Led by Lenin, the Bolsheviks overthrew the czar & seized power in Russia
  • Source:
    • Unhappiness with the peace process
    • Fear of socialism (communist takeover of Russia)
    • Labor unrest  confused and frightened Americans

= (anti-German hysteria ) Anti-Communist Hysteria

postwar problems1
Postwar Problems:

Labor Conflict

Union gains: Under Roosevelt’s Square Deal, the Clayton Antitrust Act, and the National War Labor Board, labor made many gains.

Strikes of 1919:

  • Seattle: shipyard workers struck (higher pay)
  • Boston: Police struck (protested that police officers who tried to unionize were fired) =National Guard sent in.
  • US Steel Corporation: violent strike took 3-4 months to break.

these strikes turned public opinion against unions.

Race Riots

African American migration to northern cities during the war yielded racial tension.

Whites saw them as competitors for jobs.

Race riots erupted during the war (East St. Louis, Illinois = largest)

In 1919, there were violent riots in many cities.

    • Chicago: 40 people were killed; 500 people were injured.
  • In the South, racism and fears of African American soldiers returning led to increased violence and lynching by Whites.