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World War I: The Great War PowerPoint Presentation by Mr. Hataway La Vega High School Created 11/11/04 Revised 10/11/11 U.S. Enters the War American Neutrality Wilson’s Proclamation of Neutrality in 1914. – American tradition stay out of European affairs – maintain economic ties with both sides Reasons for U.S. Entry to WWI German Proclamation (1915) – Said waters around British Isles were considered an official war zone. – Germany attempted to sink any ship that entered this area. – Unrestricted submarine warfare Reasons for U.S. Entry to WWI Unrestricted Submarine Warfare – German submarine torpedoed British ocean liner Lusitania off southern coast of Ireland, resulting in death of 128 Americans in May 1915. – Sink the Sussex in March 1916 German U-Boats German U-Boats, or submarines (German = Unterseeboot) Reasons for U.S. Entry to WWI Sussex Pledge (1916) – Germany makes a pledge not to sink merchant ships without warning (did not uphold their pledge) Reasons for U.S. Entry to WWI Jan. 1917 – Germany resumes U-Boat attacks on U.S. ships. – Diplomacy failed to call off unrestricted submarine warfare. Reasons for U.S. Entry to WWI Historic Ties to Great Britain – The U.S. conducted a significant amount of trade with Great Britain which would be affected if Germany won the war. Reasons for U.S. Entry to WWI Zimmerman Telegram – British intelligence intercepted the Zimmerman telegram which revealed Germany’s plan to approach the Mexican government for a military alliance. U.S. Declares War Wilson’s 2nd term – began in March 1917 April 2, 1917 – Wilson asks Congress to declare war “to make the world safe for democracy” Moving Toward War (cont.) What events led to the United States declaring war against Germany? Moving Toward War (cont.) The British navy blockaded Germany to keep it from getting supplies. To get around the blockade, Germany deployed U-boats. The Lusitania, a British passenger liner, was hit by the Germans, killing almost 1,200 passengers including 128 Americans. A German official, Arthur Zimmermann, cabled the German ambassador in Mexico, proposing that Mexico ally itself with Germany. In return, Mexico would regain territory it had earlier lost to the United States. The Zimmermann telegram was intercepted by British intelligence and leaked to American newspapers. In February 1917, Germany went back to unrestricted submarine warfare and, soon after, sank six American merchant ships. On April 6, 1917, the United States declared war against Germany. WWI: Mobilizing America’s Home Front Essential Question: How did Americans help with the war effort (mobilize) at home? Home Front The Draft – Passage of the Selective Service Act (May 1917) • Men age 21 to 30 (later 18 to 45) • Put 3 million men into uniform Home Front The Draft – Women not drafted. • Women served in “noncombat” positions • Nurses, secretaries, and telephone operators. Home Front Selling the War – – Increased the income tax “Liberty Bonds” and “Victory Bonds” • • • loan to the government government used famous artists to make posters, and used movie stars to host bond rallies. Al Jolson, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin were among the celebrities. Home Front Home Front Economic Effects – WWI led to great levels of industrialization in the U.S. – Increase exports – Increased agricultural production Home Front Constitutional Issues – Soon after declaring war in 1917, Congress ruled that the U.S. mail could not be used for sending any material urging “treason, insurrection or forcible resistance to any law.” – Punished offenders with a fine of up to $5,000 and a five-year prison term. Home Front Constitutional Issues: Schenk v. the United States (1919) – Supreme Court ruling limiting individual’s freedom of speech if words spoken constitute a “clear and present danger.” – Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes The American Expeditionary Force in WWI Contributions of the A.E.F American Expeditionary Forces – U.S. military sent to the Western Front (France predominately). – Fought alongside British and French allied forces the last year of World War I. – Nicknamed the “Doughboys” Contributions of the A.E.F General John J. Pershing – Commander of the American Expeditionary Forces. – Nickname “Black Jack” – Insisted on an American Army, not divisions fighting for British and French militaries. Battle of Argonne Forest September 26 November 11, 1918 a.k.a. the MeuseArgonne Offensive. Part of the final Allied offensive of World War I that stretched along the entire western front. Battle of Argonne Forest Objective was the capture of an important railroad/train station which would break the rail network supporting the Germany Army in France. Allied victory in the battle is credited for leading to the Armistice. Sergeant York Alvin York – Most decorated American soldier in World War I – Awarded the Medal of Honor for leading an attack on a German machine gun nest. Sergeant York Alvin York – Took out 32 machine guns, killed 28 German soldiers, and captured 132 others. – Event occurred during the U.S.-led portion of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in France. War’s End Ottoman Empire (Turkey) surrendered Oct. 31 Austria-Hungary granted cease-fire on Nov. 4 War’s End Armistice Day – 11/11/1918 at 11:00 a.m. – cessation of hostilities on the Western Front between Germany and the Allied Powers – German Kaiser, Wilhelm II abdicated thrown Nov. 9 Weapons of World War I New Weapons of War The Tank First introduced by the British New Weapons of War Big Bertha – Long range cannon – Could fire a shell up to 9 miles Impact of Significant Technological Innovations in WWI Machine Guns – Relatively new technology at the beginning of the war. – Many difficulties with keep machine cool. – Made it nearly impossible to cross defended ground. – Late in war used on tanks and airplanes. British gun crew firing a Lewis machine gun during WW1, circa 1918 German infantrymen operating a Maxim machine gun during World War I New Weapons of War Machine guns – The 1914 machine gun, usually positioned on a flat tripod, would require a gun crew of four to six operators. – 90% of deaths in WWI caused by machine guns New Weapons of War Flame Thrower – Could be used against tanks Impact of Significant Technological Innovations in WWI Airplanes – Early in the war used as spotters. – Planes were unarmed but pilots would carry handheld weapons. – Later larger plan4es crated and able to bomb the enemy. New Weapons of War Airplanes – Observation and “dog fights” Impact of Significant Technological Innovations in WWI Poison gas – Chlorine gas and Mustard gas – Sometimes used to create a smoke screen to hide attacking soldiers. – Used to force evacuation of enemy trenches. New Weapons of War Poison Gas (and the gas mask) First use of poison gas (chlorine gas) introduced by the Germans on 22 April 1915, at the start of the Second Battle of Ypres Over 100,000 deaths and millions of casualties. German Gas Canisters New Weapons of War Submarines – Called U-boats by the Germans Impact of Significant Technological Innovations in WWI Trench Warfare – Resulted in stalemate on the Western Front – Form of warfare in which combatants occupy fighting lines, comprised of trenches. – Area between opposing trench lines was known as “no man’s land. Trench Warfare New Weapons of War Trench Warfare – – – – – – Snipers Rat infestation Lice and trench fever Boredom Patrols in no man’s land Smells and poison gas Some information and pictures obtained from www.firstworldwar.com Major Issues of WWI Major Issues of WWI World War I – Isolationism v. Internationalism – Self-determination of all peoples Major Issues of WWI Fourteen Points Plan – League of Nations and its defeat in U.S. – How its defeat defined our international position Major Issues of WWI Treaty of Versailles – Unjust treatment of Germans in Treaty of Versailles, including the reparations payments – Established new political boundaries in Europe.