From Neutrality to War Americas entry into WWI The Firestarter June 28, 1914 Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, made an official visit to Sarajevo, Bosnia
The Archduke was the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne A few years earlier, Bosnia had been taken over by Austria-Hungary Gavrilo Princip fired several shots into the royal car, killing the royal couple. Entangling Alliances lead to war. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia Gavrilo Princip was Serbian
Russia declared war on AustriaHungary Russia & Serbia were allies Germany declared war on Russia & France Germany & Austria-Hungary were allies France was allied with Russia
Britain declared war on Germany Britain was allied with France M.A.I.N. Causes Militarism: Militarism occurs when military values and goals take over civilian society.
Kings wore military uniforms, even in daily life. Generals became influential in government. Because it took time to assemble and move armies on railroads, military leaders thought it was better to attack first than to wait to be attacked. This created pressure to mobilize and act quickly. Alliances:
By 1914, Europe had come to be divided into two large alliances. On one side stood Germany and AustriaHungary. Italy joined them to form the Triple Alliance in 1882. On the other side stood Russia, France, and Great Britain, known as the Triple Entente. Although the alliances sought to preserve the existing balance of power, any dispute involving any two of these countries threatened to drag in all the others. M.A.I.N. Causes Imperialism:
Many European powers believed that the sign of a great power was possession of overseas colonies. The European powers had become accustomed to competing for colonies in Africa and Asia. Competing claims created an atmosphere of tension between the major powers. Nationalism:
Nationalism is the belief that each ethnic group should have its own nation. It is also the belief among citizens of existing nation-states that they should promote their nation's interests. Nationalists sometimes also assert that their own nation is superior to others. Nationalism encouraged rivalries between France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia. The U.S. Adopts a Policy of Neutrality August 19, 1914 - Wilson urged Americans to remain impartial in
thought, as well as action. The European war, he said, is one with which we have nothing to do, whose causes cannot touch us. A Mississippi senator asserted, There is no necessity for war with Germany - there is no necessity for war with any of the belligerent powers. Three thousand miles of water make it impossible for us to be drawn into that vortex of blood and passion and woe. As a neutral nation, the U.S. would make loans and sell supplies Problems with Neutrality In 1914, more than 32 million Americans - a full of the population - were either foreign born or the children of foreignborn parents. many had strong emotional ties to their homelands and found it hard to remain
neutral German and Austrian Americans were sympathetic to the Central Powers Irish Americans also sided with the Central powers out of their long-standing hatred of the British the majority of the Americans favored the Allied powers due to connections by ancestry, language, culture, and democratic values others had economic ties to Britain and France War of Two Fronts Challenges to U.S. Policy of Neutrality 1.The British blockade 2.U-Boat attacks
3.Preparedness, Promises, and Propaganda The British Blockade Britain turned back any vessels carrying weapons, food, and other vital supplies to Germany Britain stopped U.S. ships heading for Germany Wilson complained to Britain about the policy of stopping neutral ships, but he did not threaten to take action. U.S. had strong economic ties to Britain An officer at Morgan bank recalled, Our firm had never for one moment been neutral...We did everything we could to contribute to the cause of the Allies. U-Boat Attacks
February 1915 - Germany began using their Unterseeboot (undersea boat) or U-Boats Submarines 1915 - Germany declared the waters around Britain a war zone in this zone, German U-Boats would sink enemy ships without warning because Britain would sometimes disguise its ships by flying the flags of neutral nations, neutral ships in this zone were also at risk Wilson warned that the U.S. would hold Germany to strict accountability for any American casualties in such attacks U-Boat Attacks May 7, 1915 - a U-Boat sank the British passenger liner Lusitania
without warning among the 1,198 dead were 128 Americans Germany argued that the ship was armed and was carrying weapons and ammunition Britain said it was not, later we found out that it was indeed carrying weapons and ammunition Teddy Roosevelt denounced Germanys actions as murder on the high seas William Jennings Bryan believed Americans had a higher mission than helping one European monarch fight out his quarrels with another said they should warn Americans that they traveled on British ships at their own risk Robert Lansing argued that not only did Americans have the right to travel on British ships, but also that the U.S. should vigorously protect that right.
President Wilson sided with Lansing sent Germany a series of notes demanding that it stop unrestricted submarine warfare U-Boat Attacks After more letters from Wilson, German officials promised that Germany would sink no more passenger ships without warning March 1916 - they broke this promise by sinking the French liner Sussex, and attack that left several Americans injured Wilson threatened to break off diplomatic relations with Germany if it did not stop surprise attacks The Sussex Pledge: Germany promised to spare all lives in any future U-Boat attacks on merchant ships
BUT!!! The U.S. must force Britain to end its illegal blockade Wilson accepted the pledge but would not accept the condition. Preparedness, Promises, and Propaganda The preparedness movement led by Theodore Roosevelt pointed out that the U.S. was ill-prepared for war should it need to fight 1915 - the army had only 80,000 men and lacked equipment toured the country promoting preparedness many newspapers took up his cause When the next Presidential election came up, Wilson took up the
preparedness cause in order to ensure his re-election promised a navy second to none pressed Congress to allocate money to double the size of the army and begin construction of the worlds largest navy won the election by a paper-thin majority on the slogan, He kept us out of Preparedness, Promises, and Propaganda Allied and Central powers both launched propaganda campaigns designed to whip up support for their side Propaganda: information or rumor spread by a group or government to promote its own cause or ideas or to damage an opposing cause or idea. The Allies waged the most successful campaign
the British circulated stories of atrocities committed by German soldiers in Belgium The Bryce Commissions report on these atrocities was filled with stories of German soldiers torturing innocent women and children and using civilians as human shields during combat Germans angrily denied these stories as did American reporters traveling with the German army Wilsons Speech January 22, 1917 declared he wanted to find a way to end the stalemated war in Europe called on the warring powers to accept a peace without victory spoke of forming a league of honor to help nations settle conflicts peacefully
Germanys response to Wilsons peace efforts was to launch an all-out effort to win the war returned to unrestricted submarine warfare Keeping to the Sussex pledge, Wilson broke off diplomatic relations with Germany The Zimmermann Note February 1917 - Britain intercepted a note sent in code by the German foreign minister, Arthur Zimmermann, to the German minister in Mexico. Zimmerman suggested that is the U.S. entered the war, Mexico and
Germany should become allies Germany would then help Mexico regain lost territory in New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona. created a sensation in the U.S. and stirred anti-German feeling across The Russian Revolution March 1917 - a revolution in Russia toppled Czar Nicholas II Wilson had not wanted to be allied to a dictator with the hope of democracy in Russia in sight, the U.S. could now see Russia as
a fit partner in a war against German aggression. Wilson requests War April 2, 1917 - Wilson spoke to a special session of Congress reminded them about the loss of life caused by German unrestricted submarine warfare and how these attacks hurt the nations ability to trade freely with other countries main theme: Neutrality is no longer feasible...where the peace of the world is involved...The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty...The right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts - for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own governments.
Congress cheered the speech Wilson later said, Think what it was they were applauding. My message today Opposition to Wilsons war speech Nebraska Senator George Norris argued that the U.S. was going to war for economic reasons only. We have loaned many hundreds of millions of dollars to the Allies. saw American involvement in the war as a way of making...payment of every debt certain and sure. Wisconsin Senator Robert LaFollette argued that the nation had gotten itself into war by failing to treat the belligerent nations of Europe alike.
urged the government to remain neutral and enforce our rights against Great Britain as we have enforced our rights against Germany. U.S. Declares War April 4, 1917, the Senate voted 82 to 6 declare war on Germany. The House followed on April 6 by a vote of 373 to 50
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