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The USA and the “War to End All Wars”. American Reactions to the Outbreak. “Again and ever, I thank Heaven for the Atlantic Ocean” – US Ambassador to Britain, Walter Hines Page, July 29, 1914 describing “The Great Smash”. American outrage at atrocities Who is to blame?

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slide1

The USA and

the “War to End All Wars”

american reactions to the outbreak
American Reactions to the Outbreak
  • “Again and ever, I thank Heaven for the Atlantic Ocean” – US Ambassador to Britain, Walter Hines Page, July 29, 1914 describing “The Great Smash”
slide3

American outrage at atrocities

  • Who is to blame?
  • How should the US react?
neutrality
Neutrality
  • What did the term mean?
  • Equal impact on all sides?
  • No impact on the war at all?
  • Total US freedom of action?
slide5

The Germans are killing people. The British are merely inconveniencing them – Wilson on the two blockade strategies.

the rivals
The Rivals

Woodrow Wilson

Theodore Roosevelt

Born 1858

Governor (NY): 1899-1901

President: 1901-1909

Died: 1919

  • Born 1856
  • Governor (NJ): 1911-1913
  • President: 1913-1921
  • Died: 1921 (stroke in 1919)
roosevelt s critiques
Roosevelt’s Critiques
  • Neutrality is “utter folly” akin to disarming the NYPD to fight crime in Central Park
  • US policy should be “righteousness backed by force.”
  • Wilson’s policy is “object cowardice and weakness.”

Plattsburg Camps

germany and usw
Germany and USW
  • Wilson supported a “peace without victory”
  • “A War to End All Wars”
  • “Make the World Safe for Democracy”
  • Use the American Army to solve Europe’s problems through reason and morality
  • Roosevelt sought to use US military might to punish Germany
  • Use the war to make America a world power
  • Roosevelt wanted to lead a division personally
  • All of his sons fought, one was killed
the american army
The American Army?
  • Smaller than Romania’s
  • Equipment, doctrine, knowledge of European war all badly out of date
  • “I watched them leave and wondered how they could possibly do any good” – Elizabeth Coles Marshall.
the american army1
The American Army?
  • Volunteers, National Guard, or Draftees?
  • Combination of systems
  • An army drafted from a nation that had volunteered en masse
  • “Channeled manpower”
slide12

Amiens

Second Marne

St. Mihiel

Argonne Forest

meuse argonne
Meuse-Argonne
  • Then the largest battle ever fought by American forces
  • 27,000 Americans killed and 95,000 wounded, plus thousands of “stragglers”
  • Views on an armistice and Pershing’s plans for 1919
wilson and the usa
Wilson and the USA
  • Elections of 1918
    • Irreconcilables
    • Sen. Lodge
  • 14 Points
    • Should they guide the conference? Can they?
    • Contradictions?
  • “God Himself only gave mankind ten, and we soon learned how to break those” – Georges Clemenceau
fourteen points abridged
Fourteen Points (abridged)
  • I. Open covenants of peace, openly arrived at.
  • II. Absolute freedom of navigation
  • III. The removal of all economic barriers
  • IV. national armaments will be reduced to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety.
  • V. A free, open-minded, and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims,
  • VI. The evacuation of all Russian territory.
  • VII. Belgium, the whole world will agree, must be evacuated and restored.
  • VIII. All French territory should be freed and the invaded portions restored, and the wrong done to France by Prussia in 1871 in the matter of Alsace-Lorraine, should be righted.
slide17
IX. A readjustment of the frontiers of Italy should be effected along clearly recognizable lines of nationality.
  • X. The peoples of Austria-Hungary, whose place among the nations we wish to see safeguarded and assured, should be accorded the freest opportunity to autonomous development.
  • XI. The relations of the several Balkan states to one another [should be] determined by friendly counsel along historically established lines of allegiance and nationality.
  • XII. The nationalities which are now under Turkish rule should be assured an undoubted security of life, and the Dardanelles should be permanently opened as a free passage to the ships.
  • XIII. An independent Polish state should be erected which should include the territories inhabited by indisputably Polish populations, which should be assured a free and secure access to the sea.
  • XIV. A general association of nations must be formed under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike.
impacts
Impacts
  • Isolationism vs. internationalism
  • Home front impacts
    • Great migration
    • 100% Americanism
    • Growth of government influence
  • Birth of modern American foreign policy