Published on February 20, 2014
WWI The War and Aftermath
Spark Franz Ferdinand: Assassinated by a Bosnian student in June, 1914 Austria-Hungary blamed Serbia Declared war on July 28
This led to… Russia had a secret alliance with Serbia, they were ready to fight Germany declared war on Russia Germany declared war on France by invading neutral Belgium Britain declared war on Germany on Aug. 4, due to invasion of Germany on Belgium
Taking Sides Allied Powers: Britain, France, Japan, Russia, later Italy Central Powers: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, later Bulgaria
War in Other Areas Spread to other areas in the world such as the Middle East, China, Africa Due to imperial competition for land This worldwide scope was the reason the war was called the “Great War” &“The War to End All Wars” Additionally, the devastation that was caused to civilian populations
So… WHERE IS THE UNITED STATES?
Why Not There? Americans saw no reason to involve themselves in the struggle among Europe’s imperialistic powers No vital US interests were at stake US had positive relationships on both sides US was able to provide war materials for both sides (weaponry and transportation) Good for our economy!
Neutrality: Would it last? Wilson called for it to continue: …“neutral in fact as well as in name, impartial in thought as well as action” Difficult to do though; most favored one side or the other Wilson wanted to be the chief negotiator after the end of the war
Immigrants: What Did They Think? Divided among their loyalties Most Americans believed that we should side with Britain or France Some Irish resented the British 10 million German immigrants sided with the Central Powers to some extent Other Americans took no side at all It was NOT a partisan issue
Biggest Issue: Trade US wanted to trade with both sides August 1914: Britain imposed a naval blockade on Central Powers Intent was to cut off supplies and starve Germany into submission US thus did not trade with Germany either Didn’t affect economy, as trade with Allied Powers was up due to war production needs
U-Boats Germany warned that Allied Powers or anyone who would side with them could be subject to being fired upon May 7, 1915: U-Boat fired on Lusitania 1,198 killed; included128 Americans Munitions on board Fueled anger of Americans Sept. 1915: Germany said they would no longer fire on unarmed ships without warning
Wilson’s War Feelings Wanted to negotiate the end of the war Nobody was serious about it Wilson felt that war was inevitable He began to strengthen army and navy National Defense Act of 1916 passed Created Council of Defense Planned industrial mobilization in event of war Still was elected in 1916 for 2nd term on neutrality stance…but it looks like he was far from neutral!
Entry of US Into War January 1917: Germany started unrestricted submarine warfare US broke off diplomatic relations with Germany Germany tried to get Mexico to join Central Powers Promised Mexico would get back TX, NM, and AZ from US
Entry of US Into War March 18, 1917: U-Boats attacked 3 American ships with no warning By April 2, Wilson asked Congress to declare war Stated that it was the role of the US to be “champions of the rights of mankind”
War Mobilization US did not have a large peacetime army Conscription into effect Selective Service Act of 1917 passed to get civilians registered to enter the military 4.4 million troops called to duty
American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) American troops nicknamed “Doughboys” Boosted Allies’ morale John J. Pershing led forces into war First task was to secure safety of the seas American troops arrived on Western Front by mid-1918 They were fresh and outnumbered German troops Battle of Chateau-Thierry—American/French force stopped Germans from taking Paris WWI ended on November 11, 1918 This allows US to emerge as THE world power
Facts about WWI: 48,000 servicemen died in action or being wounded 27,000 died from influenza alone 8 million Allied and Central Powers died 25% of all Native Americans served in military (12,000) 20% of those who served were born elsewhere 400,000 African Americans served (13% of force) Early post-war feelings were positive, romantic?
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