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America and the Great War/ Essay / Paper by AssignmentLab.com
 

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    America and the Great War/ Essay / Paper by AssignmentLab.com America and the Great War/ Essay / Paper by AssignmentLab.com Document Transcript

    • AMERICA AND THE GREAT WAR Nationalism, imperialism, and militarism were present at European countries before World War I. They were taking over territories of each other, and building their systems of defense. People supported them because they were patriots of their countries and were ready to do anything to protect them. Then assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand took place and people stated blaming each other for this. As a result, the war was started. Nationalism undermined some Great powers. In many countries it contributed to the war atmosphere and made it difficult for the policymakers to step back. At the same time imperialism created a new field for competition among the Great Powers – Germans saw that powerful navy and overseas colonies were necessary elements of Great Power. Nationalism has played a key role in creating a crisis of survival for Austro-Hungary, and effect of nationalism and imperialism led Germany towards Britain (Role of Nationalism in Outbreak of WWI). Pan-Slavism raised in the decade preceding World War I in the Easter Europe. It was a movement that promoted the cultural and political unity of all Slavic people. Pan-Slav agitation played a significant role in the growing conflict between Austria and Russia in the Balkan Peninsula, where Austria was opposed by the Serbs. In 1908 Russia had to allow Austrian annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but already in 1914 it supported Serbia in the crisis that started World War I. Pan-Slavism was renounced by the Soviet government after the Bolsheviks triumph in the Russian Revolution of 1917 (Pan-Slavism). The alliance system contributed to the ultimate outbreak of war because it encouraged countries to enter into mutual alliance to protect each other in the case of war, at the same time grouping against other alliance: 28 July 1914 – Austria blamed Serbia for the assassination of Franz Ferdinand and declared a war on Serbia. Russia was allied with Serbia, but Germany did not believe that 1
    • AMERICA AND THE GREAT WAR mobilization must take place and offered Austria its help. Russia did not perform mobilization and through alliance with France, called it to mobilization. 1 August 1914 – Germany declared a war on Russia. 3 August 1914 – Germany declared a war on France and poured its troops into Belgium. Germany received an ultimatum from Britain demanding their withdrawal from the territory of Belgium. 4 August 1914 – Britain declared a war on Germany as it did not withdraw its troops from Belgium. British colonies offered Britain their support. 23 August 1914 – Japan declared a war on Germany as it had alliance with Britain. 25 August 1914 – Austria-Hungary responded to Japan and declared a war to it. 29 October 1914 – Turkey helped to Germany to bombard Russia. 2 November 1914 – Russia declared a war on Turkey. 5 November 1914 – Britain and France supported Russia and declared a war on Turkey (History of the First World War). Several events caused the United States of America entering into World War I. In 1914, at the outbreak of the war, America announced that it was neutral. When the war was started, the Wilson Administration proclaimed that America will follow the policy of strict neutrality “in thought and deed”. The goal of this policy was to save peace. Besides, staying neutral, America could continue conducting its business and trade clothing, food, medicine, equipment, arms to both sides of the war (Neutrality in the Great War 1914-1917). Ethnicity was one of the main reasons why neutrality was very hard to maintain as 30 million Americans either had parents in Europe or were born there, so they felt loyalty towards both sides participating in the war (World War I). 2
    • AMERICA AND THE GREAT WAR During the period of its neutrality there were several factors that provoked America to broke it neutrality, but policy of Germany of unrestricted submarine warfare became the major factor that drew it into the war. Sinking of the Lusitania began to push America away from neutrality as of the 1,198 passengers who died, 128 were the citizens of America. The ship was also carrying ammunition made in America that had been sold to the military of Great Britain. This fact was not disclosed to the American public after United States had begun selling munitions and arms to Britain. A U-boat (a French passenger ferry) sank in May 1916 in Sussex and the government of Germany promised that its U-boats would be provided with warning sights and passengers would be allowed to abandon the ships safely before these would be sank. Later the German military managed to convince the leaders to abandon this policy and unannounced U-boat attacks renewed. After this, on 2 April, 1917, Wilson declared entering into the war (World War I). The US entry into World War I has brought massive shipments of food and munitions that enabled the Allies to gain the victory over Germany. From the very beginning of the World War I American people sympathies were with France and Britain. Between 1914 and 1917 (US entry in the war), United States authorized credits and loans that exceeded several billions. This money was used by Allies for purchasing war material from America (American Contributions to World War I in 1918). While America remained neutral, Britain could control the seas and thus had access to the bountiful produce of US farms, raw materials such as oil and metals. Manufactured goods were also ordered from America (World War I: American Contribution). Contribution of the USA to the World War I had bad consequences for the country: the government had to reduce the ranks of the soldiers and many of them became unemployed, while those who saved their job experienced severe salary cut. 3
    • AMERICA AND THE GREAT WAR The years between 1918 and 1921 were difficult for the American economy: inflation rose, wartime production ceased, people were unemployed, nativist sentiments were inflamed because some Americans believed that immigrants were economic competitors. The period of recession was short as the World War I stimulated investment and development of new technology that contributed to business boom of the 1920s after which the Great Depression came. Entering the War was one of the reasons why it has been so dreaded and so costly (America in the 1930s). President Woodrow Wilson led the United States of America through the hard years of World War I. In 1914 he called upon the America to be neutral in actions and “even in spirit”. For two years the president made efforts to avoid the war. And even after the sunk of Lusitania he argued: “There is such a thing as a man being too proud to fight.” Wilson was reelected in 1916 with the campaign slogan “He kept us out of war”. He tried to end the war by means of active mediation, however Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare and in 1917 the president announced the war. He managed to build an army of 4 million soldiers in the next 18 months; sent 2 million military people to France, and united the population behind the war effort (World War One: Woodrow Wilson). During the World War I several world leaders, including Woodrow Wilson, began to promote the need to create an international organization that would preserve peace and settle disputes by arbitration. When peace negotiations began in 1918, Wilson insisted on using his Fourteen Points as a basis for the Armistice signing. This included the League of Nations formation. Its constitution was adopted by the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 and it was called for peaceful settlement and collective security. It was decided that any county that resort to war would be subjected to sanctions. The US Congress did not ratify the Versailles Treaty, so the United States never joined the League of Nations (Breaking the Heart of the World). 4
    • AMERICA AND THE GREAT WAR 5 References America in the 1930s. Available from: http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/REVhistory1930s.htm [Accessed 01/06/2011] American Contributions to World War I in 1918. Available from: http://www.suite101.com/content/american-contributions-to-world-war-i-in-1918a133223 [Accessed 01/06/2011] Breaking the Heart of the World. Available from: http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/FWWleague.htm [Accessed 01/06/2011] History of the First World War. Available from: http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?ParagraphID=qby [Accessed 01/06/2011] Neutrality in the Great War 1914-1917. Available from: http://www.sparknotes.com/biography/wilson/section8.rhtml [Accessed 01/06/2011] Pan-Slavism. Available from: http://www.factmonster.com/ce6/history/A0837499.html [Accessed 01/06/2011] Role of Nationalism in Outbreak of WWI. Available from: http://www.lotsofessays.com/viewpaper/1694440.html [Accessed 01/06/2011] World war I. Available from: http://www.threeworldwars.com/world-war-1/ww1.htm [Accessed 01/06/2011] World War I (2). Available from: http://www.westga.edu/~hgoodson/World%20War%20I.htm [Accessed 01/06/2011] World War I: American Contribution. Available from: http://histclo.com/essay/war/ww1/camp/fgo/fgo-us.html [Accessed 01/06/2011] World War One: Woodrow Wilson. Available from: [Accessed 01/06/2011] http://history-world.org/wilson.htm