Lesson_6_The_Great_War

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World war IThe Great War : 

World war IThe Great War Lesson 6

Background : 

Background More aggressive foreign policy in the early 20th century. Progressive Diplomacy Commercial expansion was backed by a growing military presence in the Western hemisphere. Theodore Roosevelt (Lasting impression on U.S. foreign policy): Superiority of the United States. Strong military. “Speak softly and carry a big stick…”

Background : 

Background William Howard Taft: Business investment – the more “effective weapon”. Assumed political influence would follow trade and investment. During his presidency, investment in Central America (etc) grew.

Background : 

Background Woodrow Wilson: Emphasized foreign investment and industrial exports. Believed America could achieve supremacy in commerce if barriers to free trade were removed. A moral crusade. Complexities of “real world” interfere with “moral crusade” rooted in American exceptionalism. Believed militarism (“big stick”) was outdated. Peaceful commerce and political stability.

Start of War : 

Start of War European powers avoided war since 1871. European powers continued to ally themselves. Two major alliances: The Triple Entente (The Allies): Britain, France, and Russia (Japan, Romania). The Triple Alliance (Central Powers): Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. The events that would bring war occurred in the midst of a European arms race.

Start of War : 

Start of War June 28, 1914 Sarajevo Serbian terrorist kills Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Ferdinand was the heir to the Austria-Hungary throne. Austria, with Germany’s backing, declared war on Serbia.

Start of War : 

Start of War Russia and France mobilized in support of Serbia. August 1, 1914: Germany declares war on Russia. Germany declares war on France.

Start of War : 

Start of War Belgium denies Germany the right to cross into France. Germany invaded Belgium. Belgians resisted. French/British troops block Germans. By August 4: Europe at War.

Start of War : 

Start of War Germany and Austria-Hungary along with Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire form the Central Powers. Italy joins The Allies.

American Neutrality : 

American Neutrality Wilson’s response: August 4, 1914: United States not committed to either side and was to be accorded all neutral rights (trade with both sides). Hope America could remain outside the conflict. Hoped he could play “peacemaker” role. Unrealistic. Economic ties with the Allies. U.S. ceased trade with Germany after Britain imposed a trade blockade on all shipping to Germany.

Preparedness and Peace : 

Preparedness and Peace February 1915: Germany declared British waters to be a war zone. All “enemy ships” subject to U-boat attack. May 7, 1915: German U-boat sinks British Liner Lusitania off Ireland coast. 128 Americans killed in attack. Wilson denounced attack. Military supplies were on Lusitania. U-boat attacks continued as did Wilson’s warnings.

Preparedness and Peace : 

Preparedness and Peace March 1916: Sinking of the Sussex. Injured several Americans. Wilson warned Germany that America would end diplomatic relations if attacks continued. Sussex Pledge: Germany promised to stop sinking merchant ships without warning. Wilson accepted pledge. President Wilson readied for war. German U-boat torpedoes an English steamer

Preparedness and Peace : 

Preparedness and Peace June 1916: Congress passed the National Defense Act. More than doubled the size of the army. Integrated the state National Guard under federal control. August 1916: Congress passed bill increasing military spending (for battleships, cruisers, and destroyers).

Preparedness and Peace : 

Preparedness and Peace February 1, 1917 Germany declared unlimited submarine warfare against all neutral and enemy ships. Germany expected the U.S. to get involved. Hoped they could defeat the British and French before America arrived. President Wilson ended diplomatic relations with Germany. Wilson called on Congress to approve the arming of U.S. merchant ships. German U-boat attacks took toll on Atlantic shipping.

Preparedness and Peace : 

Preparedness and Peace March 1, 1917: Wilson released decoded message from German foreign minister Arthur Zimmermann. Message to the German minister in Mexico. Mexico should ally with Germany and attack the U.S. Message outraged Americans. Increased support for Wilson’s proposal to arm merchant ships. Wilson authorized the arming.

Safe for Democracy : 

Safe for Democracy Between February 3 and March 21, German u-boats sink six American ships. April 2, 1917: Wilson asks Congress to declare war on Germany. Germany’s “war against mankind”. “the world must be safe for democracy” The U.S. would fight for, “the rights and liberties of small nations”. Wanted a “league of nations” to “bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world at last free.”

Declaration of War : 

Declaration of War The U.S. Senate adopted the war resolution 82-6. The House adopted the war resolution 373-50. April 6: President Wilson signed the declaration of war.

American Mobilization : 

American Mobilization Groups that opposed Wilson’s policy: German Americans. Irish Americans. Members of the growing Socialist Party. 1917: The Committee on Public Information: Mobilize people in favor of war effort. George Creel (former muckraker) Lecturers, writers, artists, actors, scholars, etc. Whipped up hatred for the “Huns”. Wartime Patriotism Creel Committee. Four-Minute Men (volunteers who gave four minute speeches for the war). Sparked extreme measures against those considered slackers or pro-German.

American Mobilization : 

American Mobilization Americanization drives pushed rapid assimilation among immigrants. German language, books, and music banned. Mobs hounded people with German names. Sometimes attacked. Sometimes lynched. German Americans, pacifists, socialists, etc, became targets for government repression and vigilante action.

American Mobilization : 

American Mobilization 1917: Congress Passed: Espionage Act: Mandated harsh penalties for anyone found guilty of interfering with the draft or encouraging disloyalty to the United States. 1918: Congress Passed: Sedition Act: Extended the Espionage Act by extending the penalty to anyone deemed to have abused the government in writing. Violators faced fines and prison terms. Court challenges failed with the Supreme Court ruled that freedom of speech is not absolute.

American Mobilization : 

American Mobilization President Wilson won over many Americans by defining the War as a great moral crusade to: Defend democracy. Spread liberal principles. Redeem European decadence and militarism.

American Mobilization : 

American Mobilization The U.S. and British Navies began striking at the German fleet. Convoy technique. Cut shipping losses in half by late 1917. Spring 1918: U-boat danger gone.

American Mobilization : 

American Mobilization April 1917: U.S. Army/National Guard: 372,000 men. May 1917: Selective Service Act: Established compulsory military service for men ages 21-30. Exempted those opposed to war on religious grounds (conscientious objectors). Women exempted.

American Mobilization : 

American Mobilization 13,000 women joined the Navy and Marines. Clerical jobs. Held full naval and marine rank status. The Army refused to admit women. 18,000 women served in the Army Corps of Nurses. No rank, pay, or benefits. The Red Cross. The largest number of serving women. Staffed hospitals and rest homes.

American Mobilization : 

American Mobilization African-Americans in WWI: 400,000 African Americans served. 200,000 served overseas. 30,000 served on front lines. Treated as second class citizens. Served under white commanders. Served in segregated units in the Army. Limited to food service the Navy. Excluded from the Marines. Assigned to menial tasks behind the lines

American Mobilization : 

American Mobilization The French: Awarded several all-black units. Presented awards to several individual soldiers. The Americans: Refused to allow African-American soldiers to march in the grand victory parade. Though the British and the French allowed all races. 1918: Popular Tune, “OVER THERE”.

American Mobilization : 

American Mobilization The American Expeditionary Force (AEF): Commanded by General John J. Perishing. Arrived in France – June 1917. President Wilson tried to keep American and Allied forces apart. Distrust of Allies. America to have a prominent role. Influence peace process.

American Mobilization : 

American Mobilization When American troops began to arrive in France, it seemed as if the Central Powers were winning: French offensives in April 1917 failed. British offensives over the summer were difficult. Russia withdrew in late 1917. German commanders shifted troops from east to west. Massive German offensive planned for Spring 1918.

American Mobilization : 

American Mobilization Picardy: 64 divisions of German troops. Smashed into French/British lines. AEF hurry to support Allies. Late May: Germans 50 miles from Paris. French rushed troops to line. AEF suffered heavy losses. Allied counter offensive. American forces poured into France.

American Mobilization : 

American Mobilization Americans joined the Allies in the Meuse River Argonne Forest. Last major assault of war. October 1918: German military leaders urged government to seek armistice.

American Mobilization : 

American Mobilization End of fighting: 11:00 A.M. November 11, 1918 By then, 2 million + American soldiers in France. 32 nations declared war on one or more Central Powers. 9 million uniformed dead. 1.4 million French lost. 908,408 British lost. 115,000 Americans lost.

Allied Victory : 

Allied Victory January 8, 1918: President Wilson spoke to Congress. Elaborated on war objectives. Fourteen Points: 1-5: Context for lasting peace. 6: Russia to be welcomed “into the society of free nations”. 7-13: Specific situations. 14: League of Nations. Allies showed no enthusiasm for Wilson’s points.

Uneasy Peace : 

Uneasy Peace January 18, 1919: Peace conference opened outside of Paris. Terms to be imposed on Germany. Wilson forced to compromise most of his “Fourteen Points”. Treaty of Versailles: Imposed harsh terms on Germany. Created several territorial mandates. The League of Nations: World organization that worked to promote peace and international cooperation. America never joined.

Election of 1920 : 

Election of 1920 Democrats: Woodrow Wilson ill. Does not run for re-election. Dies in 1924. Nominated James Cox (Ohio). Republicans: Nominated Warren G. Harding (Ohio). Won largest landslide in history (to date). Held both Houses of Congress.

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