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The United States Enters the First World War

Background for War


-Competing Alliances:
~Triple Alliance
*Austria-Hungary, Germany, Italy
*Began in 1882
~Triple Entente
*France, Great Britain, Russia
*1907
*The system of alliances played an important part in turning the assassination
into the war
-Nationalism in Europe was Strong
~Imperialist rivalries threatened peace in Europe
Assassination
-June 28, 1914: Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, was
assassinated in Sarajevo
-Killer: Gavrilo Princip; a Serbian Nationalist
~Member of the Black Hand
Mobilization and Invasion of Belgium
-Central Powers
~Austria-Hungary and Germany
~Anticipated a swift victory
~Germany marched through Belgium to France; August 3rd Invasion
-200,000 Belgium Troops could not stop Germany, but did slow them down as the other allies
mobilized.
-Eastern and Western Battlefronts
~Opposing armies dug trenches from which to fire on enemy lines
*Most extensive trench warfare took place in France
American Neutrality
-Proclamation of Neutrality
~Wilson thought the allies could win without U.S. involvement
~The U.S. adopted a Neutral position
~Americans had a tough time remaining uninvolved
Propaganda
-Both sides used propaganda to try to influence public opinion
-Most major American papers backed the Allies
-Immigrant papers
~Supported Central Powers
-Allied Propaganda
~Had greatest impact
~Germans were portrayed as the aggressors
New German Weapons
-Submarines and Poison Gas
**Machine Guns had a huge impact on war**

The United States Enters the First World War


(United States) Economic Ties
-Economic ties to the Allies made strict neutrality impossible
-Military orders from the Allies created an economic boom
-Trade with Allies grew
~$500 million in 1914
~$3.5 billion in 1917
-British set up a naval blockade to keep military contraband from reaching Germany
Unrestricted Submarine Warfare
-1914-1915
~German submarines began attacking Allied ships
-International Law:
~Required ships to warn that it was about to sink an enemy vessel
*Subs could not do this
-1915 Germans
~Ships risked attack in war zone around Britain
-May 1915 Lusitania
~British Passenger ship; torpedoed and sunk
*1200 dead
*128 Americans
Pressures for Preparedness
-Sussex Pledge
~Germany promised, with certain conditions, to sink no more merchant ships without
warning
-Roosevelt criticized Wilson for not preparing for war
-1916
~Could not ignore the possibility of war
*Doubled army, built a larger navy
Election of 1916
-Nation favored peace
-Republican nominee: Charles Evans Hughes
-Labeled as a war candidate by democrats
-Democrats portrayed Wilson as the man who would keep the U.S. out of war
-Wilson won the close election
Renewed effort at Mediation
-1917
~Germany unleased its submarines to sink ALL ships in war zone
-Wilson then broke off relations with Germany
-Zimmerman Telegram
~Germany was trying to lure Mexico and Japan to its side
*Mexico may gain land back from US
-April 6, 1917
~US declared war on Germany
American Participation
-By June 5, 1917; almost 10 million men between the ages of 21-31 had registered for the war
-American Mobilization
~America was caught short on supplies
~Needed Participation

The United States Enters the First World War


-Wartime Agencies
~War Industries Board (WB)
*Spur production and coordinate war industries
*Similar efforts brought order to the shipping and railroad industries
*Led by Bernard Baruch
+Prepared industry
~Food Administration
*Increasing American food production became a top priority
*The country came together to raise the food
*Victory gardens
+Promoted by Hoover
~Committee on Public Information (CPI)
*150,000 citizen lectures
*Said the war was fought for freedom and democracy
*Helped spur the sale of Liberty Bonds
-American Preparation
~2 million soldiers were sent to France
~Slow mobilization
*fewer than 300,000 fighting troops within a year
~The U.S. used convoys to get ships safely to Europe
The American Expeditionary Force
-American Expeditionary Force (AEF)
~American troops involved in WWI
*Led by General John J. Pershing
-Wanted to keep U.S. troops together
~Russia drops out of the war in 1917
~Battle of Belleau Woods
*US troops distinguished themselves
+Stopped the Germans, drove them back, broke through the line
~Battle of the Argonne Forest
*Massive American counterattack
~Allies pressed on to victory
*November 11, 1918
~American troops and supplies helped turn the tide of battle
Wilsons Fourteen Points
-Wilsons proposal for peace in WWI
-First Five Points
~Open treaties, freedom of the seas, free trade, arms reduction, and important
adjustment of colonial claims
-Points Six-Thirteen
~National self-determination and realignment of borders
-Point Fourteen
~An establishment of an international organization to settle disputes between nations
and prevent future wars.
****Set up the League of Nations****

The United States Enters the First World War


Peace Making
-Big Four
~Leaders of United States, Great Britain, France, Italy
~Dominated the peace negotiations at Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations
-European leaders
~Wanted the treaty to be more selfish and vengeful
-Wilson wanted the treaty to be more just and noble
-Victors
~Received land in secret treaties
The US Senate and the Treaty
-The US did not accept the Versailles Treaty
-The US most strongly opposed setting up the League of Nations
-US
~Never joined the League of Nations