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World War I Causes of World War I • In 1914, a war erupted in Europe between the “old world” powers. • Great Britain, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, the Ottoman Empire. • At first, Europeans thought it would be a short war, it would be over by Christmas 1914. • However, the conflict soon became a global conflict, the First World War. Causes of World War I • The Causes of World War I 1. Nationalism: A feeling that people have of being loyal to and proud of their country often with the belief that it is better and more important than other countries. 2. Colonial Empires: The contest between European nations for colonies in Africa and Asia (European powers were jealous of each others’ colonial empires). 3. The Alliance System: An alliance is a group of nations that promise to protect one another. (i.e., In WWI, Great Britain (a powerful nation) promised to protect Belgium (a weak nation). 4. The Arms Race: European powers were building massive militaries to protect their nation. • • Great Britain built the largest navy. Germany built the largest army. Causes of World War I Causes of World War I • The “spark that ignited the war.” • In June 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, visited Bosnia, a province of Austria-Hungary. • On June 28, Archduke Franz Ferdinand was killed by a Serbian terrorist, Gavrilo Princip. • Princip was part of a Serbian terrorist organization that wanted Bosnia to break away from Austria-Hungary and become part of Serbia. • As a result of the assassination, Austria-Hungary declared war against Serbia. • However, Serbia had made an alliance with Russia, and Austria-Hungary had made an alliance with Germany. A war that was supposed to be between two weak European nations soon became a European conflict between all the nations of Europe. • The two sides would be known as the Allies & the Central Powers. Causes of World War I Causes of World War I Causes of World War I The Allies The Central Powers Great Britain Germany France Austria-Hungary Russia The Ottoman Empire Causes of World War I The First Years of WWI • In 1914, the European powers thought they would fight a quick war. • The war soon became a stalemate, neither side could win the war. • Both sides started to dig trenches, the soldiers lived, suffered, and died in these trenches (trench warfare). • Between both trenches were a stretch of land called “noman’s land.” Soldiers had to climb out of their trenches and cross “no-man’s land” in order to reach the enemy trench. Millions of soldiers died crossing “no-man’s land.” The First Years of WWI The First Years of WWI • The casualties in WWI were so high because of new technology and weapons, including, • • • • • The machine gun Tanks Poison Gas Submarines Airplanes • This was also the first war in which large numbers of civilians were killed. The fighting took place in villages and towns, and civilians died from bombs and cannon fire. Many civilians also suffered from starvation and disease. The First Years of WWI The First Years of WWI The First Years of WWI The First Years of WWI Conclusion Slide Who: ________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ What: _______________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ When: ______________________ Why/How: ___________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ The United States Enters the War The United States Enters the War • When the war broke out in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson declared that America would remain neutral. • President Woodrow Wilson believed the United States should help end the conflict, rather then joining the Allies or Central Powers. • However, many Americans wanted the United States to join the war and support the Allies, others wanted America to join the Central Powers. • Both the Allied Powers and Central Powers created propaganda to convince the United States to support their cause. The United States Enters the War • The Sinking of the Lusitania • Early in the war, Great Britain used its powerful navy to blockade Germany. Germany did not have a navy large enough to break the British blockade or blockade British ports. • In 1915, Germany started to use its submarines, called U-boats, to attack British ships, in hopes of preventing Great Britain, an island nation, from receiving supplies that would allow it to continue to fight the war. • Germany also stated that it would not allow its U-boats to attack ships from neutral nations. The United States Enters the War • The Sinking of the Lusitania • On May 7, 1915, a German U-boat sunk the Lusitania, a British ocean liner. • 1,200 passengers died when the ship was sunk, including 128 Americans. • The Germans accused the U.S. of supplying Great Britain with weapons, which were being transported on ocean liners. • The U.S. denied the accusation, however, it was later discovered that the Lusitania was carrying weapons from the U.S. for Great Britain. • American citizens were outraged by the sinking of the Lusitania, and demanded revenge. • President Wilson forced Germany to agree to stop sinking merchant ships without warning in the Sussex Pledge. • However, President Wilson was reelected as president in in 1916. The Democratic slogan for the election of 1916 was “He Kept Us Out of War.” • By 1917, Germany revoked the Sussex Pledge, and was was carrying out unrestricted U-boat warfare, sinking any merchant vessel that came near Great Britain, thousands of soldiers and civilians were killed by the German U-boat fleet. The United States Enters the War The United States Enters the War The United States Enters the War • The Zimmermann Telegraph • In February 1917, the British secret service informed the United States of a secret telegram they discovered from the German Foreign Minister, Arthur Zimmermann, to the German ambassador in Mexico. • The Zimmerman Telegraph instructed the German ambassador to convince Mexico to make a secret alliance with Germany and join the Central Powers. Germany promised Mexico that if they joined the Central Powers, they would help Mexico regain land lost in the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo. • Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The United States Enters the War The United States Enters the War • The Zimmermann Telegraph • Following the discovery of the Zimmermann Telegraph, American newspapers printed the Zimmermann telegram. • American citizens were outraged by the Zimmerman telegraph. • In 1917, German’s unrestricted U-boat warfare resulted in the sinking of several U.S. merchant vessels. • On April 4th and 6th, respectively, 1917, the U.S. Congress declared war against Germany, at the request of President Woodrow Wilson. Conclusion Slide Who: ________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ What: _______________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ When: ______________________ Why/How: ___________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ The War on the Home Front The War on the Home Front • In 1917, the American Army was small and not large enough to fight in the Great War. • President Woodrow Wilson created the Selective Service Act of 1917. The law stated that all American males between the ages of 21 and 30 (later changed to 18 and 45) had to sign up for a draft. • The Select Service Act was successful, over three million Americans were drafted into the U.S. Army. The War on the Home Front • The war for Women and minorities. • During the war, millions of men left their factory jobs to serve in the U.S. Army. • However, the United States still needed people to work in factories and build weapons and supplies for the U.S. and its allies. • This situation allowed American women to gain job opportunities they could never have before the war. • 1 million jobs were opened to women during WWI. • Women worked in factories, drove trucks, and took railroad jobs. • The absence of the workforce also benefited African Americans. Many African Americans from the South moved to Northern cities to work in factories. • 500,000 African Americans moved to Northern cities between 1914 and 1919. • 200,000 African Americans fought in WWI, however, they served in segregated units. The War on the Home Front The War on the Home Front • The U.S. government asked American men, women, and children to help the war effort by making several sacrifices. • The U.S. Army needed the food grown by American farmers to feed the troops. Therefore, the U.S. government asked American citizens to grow their own food, in their own gardens, known as victory gardens. • Americans also supported the war by buying war bonds. The bonds gave the U.S. government money to support the war effort. • Women and children helped support the war effort by sewing and knitting clothing for troops, writing letters to soldiers, and sending items of comfort to the soldiers (i.e., books, newspapers, food, etc.). The War on the Home Front • Although Wilson claimed America was fighting a war to preserve freedom and democracy, he passed several laws to limit the free speech of Americans who opposed the war. • The Espionage Act (1917): This act made it illegal for Americans to disrupt the recruiting process. The act also made it illegal to mail materials (letters, posters, etc.) that were against America’s involvement in WWI. A person who was convicted of aiding the enemy or disrupting the recruitment process could be fined up to $10,000 or placed in prison for up to twenty years. • The Sedition Act (1918): The act made it illegal for an American to say anything against the war, (i.e., including making statements against the practice of buying war bonds, the U.S. Constitution, or the government). Americans could not makes speeches against the war, or publish newspaper articles or posters against America’s involvement in WWI. • Eugene Debs, the Social Party candidate in the election of 1912, was sentenced to ten years in prison for making an anti-war speech. • Schenck v. United States (1919): In 1919, Charles Schenck challenged the constitutionality of the Espionage Act, claiming that it violated the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (Freedom of Speech). Schenck had violated the Espionage Act by distributing circulars encouraging American draftees not to report to recruiting stations. However, the U.S. Supreme Court stated that freedom of speech can be limited when it presents a “clear and present danger” to the United States. Conclusion Slide Who: ________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ What: _______________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ When: ______________________ Why/How: ___________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ The Spring Offensive The Spring Offensive • The Allies were in danger of losing the war by the time the U.S. Army arrived in Europe. • The Russian Revolution • Russia, one of the most powerful nations on the side of the Allies, had dropped out of the war following the Russian Revolution. • By 1917, Russian citizens were poor, and unhappy with the large casualties endured by Russian soldiers in the war. • In March 1917, a Russian Revolution started, one of the main goals of the revolution was to sign a peace treaty with Germany and end the war for Russians. • In November 1917, Communists took power of the Russian government. • On March 3, 1918, the Communist government signed a peace treaty with the Central Powers. • Russia was out of the war, and Germany could now focus on defeating France and Britain, the remaining Allied Powers. The Spring Offensive • The first American forces, The American Expeditionary Force (AEF), reached Paris on July 4, 1917. • The Spring Offensive (1918): • Germany wanted to try to defeat France and Great Britain before all of the American forces arrived in France. • Germany set its sights on capturing Paris, the capital of France. However, 50 miles before reaching their goal, Germany was stopped by French and U.S. troops. The Spring Offensive • The American Army helped the Allied Powers win two major victories in France. • The Battle of Belleau Wood: • For 2 weeks, U.S. forces fought a constant battle against the German Army for control of the Belleau Wood forest. The Americans won the battle, but lost 8,000 American soldiers in doing so. • The Battle of the Argonne Forest: • On September 26, 1918, 1.2 million American troops attacked German positions in the Argonne Forest. • The battle lasted for 47 days, however, the Americans were victorious. • 120,000 Americans soldiers lost their lives in the Battle of the Argonne Forest. • Other Allied Powers including France, Great Britain, and Belgium defeated German Armies along the Western Front, causing a massive retreat of the German Army from France. • On November 11, 1918, an armistice was declared between the Allies and Central Powers. The Great War was over. The Spring Offensive • Although the United States fought in the war for a short period of time, they played a critical role in the Allied Victory. • The United States was an industrial superpower, with an endless supply of Americans to fight the war. • Germany and the other Central Powers could not stand up to the industrial might of the U.S. • The United States changed the course of the war for the Allies. The Spring Offensive • The Cost of War for America: • 126,000 American soldiers were killed in the war. • 204,002 American soldiers were wounded in the war. • The war cost the United States $33.7 billion dollars. • The cost of the War for all soldiers and civilians involved in the conflict. • 13 million soldiers and civilians had died in World War I. • Many Europeans were left starving and poor. • Many historians claim that the filth and disease associated with trench warfare caused the outbreak of the Spanish Flu, a virus that would kill 20 million people. Conclusion Slide Who: ________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ What: _______________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ When: ______________________ Why/How: ___________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ The Fourteen Points & Treaty of Versailles The Fourteen Points & Treaty of Versailles • The Fourteen Points • President Wilson viewed World War I as the “war to end all wars.” • In January 1918, Wilson created the Fourteen Points, a plan to restore peace and stability to a world devastated by war. Wilson wanted to create a world “fit and safe to live in.” • One of Wilson’s Fourteen points was the creation of the League of Nations. • The League of Nations would be an organization in which all nations could meet and resolve their problems without going to war. The Fourteen Points & Treaty of Versailles • The Treaty of Versailles was the peace agreement made between the Allied Powers and Germany. • In January 1919, European powers met at the Palace of Versailles in France to discuss the surrender terms for Germany. • The Peace Conference was dominated by the Big Four: President Woodrow Wilson (U.S.), Prime Minister David Lloyd George (G.B.), Premier Georges Clemenceau (France), and Prime Minister Vittorio Orlando (Italy). • George, Clemenceau, and Orlando wanted to punish Germany for the war. Wilson believed the European powers should work towards reconciliation with Germany. • However, the European powers did not listen to Wilson. The Fourteen Points & Treaty of Versailles The Fourteen Points & Treaty of Versailles • In June 1919, the Allied Powers and Germany signed the Treaty of Versailles. • The Treaty made Germany take full blame for World War I. • Germany was also forced to pay $33 billions dollars in war reparations (damages) to the Allied Powers. • The treaty also included the creation of the League of Nations. • However, the United States Senate never approved the treaty, and the United States never became a member of the League of Nations. • Some U.S. Senators were fearful that joining the League of Nations would pull the United States into another foreign war. • In September 1919, Wilson went on a train tour across America to convince citizens to support the treaty. • On September 25, Wilson collapsed while making a speech in Pueblo, Colorado. • A few days later, he suffered a massive stroke in Washington, causing him to become paralyzed. • On November 19, 1919, the U.S. Senate voted against the Treaty of Versailles, America would not become part of the League of Nations. • In the election of 1920, Warren G. Harding was elected the 29th President of the United States. Harding promised America “a return to normalcy,” a return to isolationism. The Fourteen Points & Treaty of Versailles The Fourteen Points & Treaty of Versailles The Fourteen Points & Treaty of Versailles Conclusion Slide Who: ________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ What: _______________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ When: ______________________ Why/How: ___________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ Conclusion Questions • Why is World War I important? • How did World War I affect the United States? • What important roles did America play in World War I? • What is your assessment of Wilson’s role in the peace negotiations? • Was it right for American to return to a policy of isolationism after World War I ended?