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The nations involved in World War I needed tocommit to a strategy of total war to support amodern mechanized war. They:• Imposed universal military conscription• Set up systems to arm, transport, and supply armies• Raised taxes and borrowed money• Rationed food and other products• Set prices and forbade strikes• total war – channeling all of a nation’s resources into a wareffort• conscription – “the draft,” which required all young men to beready for military or other service
International law permitted wartimeblockades to confiscate contraband, but notitems such as food.In 1915, Germany saidit would use U-boats tosink all ships carryinggoods to Britain.Britain’s navyblocked shipsfrom carryingany goods toGermany, andmany Germanswent hungry.• contraband – during wartime, military supplies and raw materialsneeded to make military supplies that may legally be confiscatedby any belligerent
A German U-boat torpedoed and sank the Britishpassenger ship Lusitania in May 1915.U.S. President WoodrowWilson threatened to cutoff diplomatic relationswith Germany over theissue.Germany agreed to warnpassenger ships, thusstopping submarinewarfare for the moment.• Lusitania – a British liner torpedoed and sunk by a Germansubmarine in May 1915
• Exhorted civilians to enlist or to loan money to thegovernment• Played up atrocities committed by theopposing side• Censored the press and the arts to keep upsettingwar news from the publicBoth sides in the conflict waged apropaganda war. They:• propaganda – spreading ideas to promote or damage a cause• atrocity – a horrible act committed against innocent people
Their work helped convince many governments tofinally give them the vote.Total war meant that women had to take over thejobs of men who left to serve in the military.• War industries• Manufacturing• Nursing• Farming• Armed forcesWomenworked in:
Russia’s withdrawal meant that Germany only needed tofight on the Western Front.In Russia the protests set off a revolution that brought downthe Russian monarchy.Early in 1918, Russia’s new leader signed a treaty withGermany that withdrew Russia from the war.In 1917, as morale fell, soldiers from manycountries began to mutiny or revolt, and civilianscalled for peace.
Before Germany could strike a decisive blow,the United States joined the war.• Cultural ties betweenthe U.S. and the Allieswere strong.• Germany resumed U-boatattacks in early 1917.• The 1917 Zimmermannote proved Germanywas trying to rally Mexicoagainst the U.S.Ships sunk by U-boats,May 1917–Jan. 1918
In April 1917, President Wilson asked the UnitedStates Congress to declare war on Germany.Before the Americansarrived, Germany madeone last big push on theWestern Front.
By 1918, two million U.S. soldiers had joinedthe fighting on the Western Front and helpedreverse any gains the Germans had achieved.• German generals told William II that the war couldnot be won; William II fled into exile inthe Netherlands.• Austria-Hungary was already on the verge ofcollapse. The empire broke apart.• Bulgaria and the Ottoman empire asked for peace.
The new German government sought an armisticewith the Allies, and the Great War officially endedon November 11, 1918.Hoping toresolve WWIand all futurewars, Wilsonurged adoptionof his FourteenPoints.Wilson’s Fourteen Points included:• Freedom of the seas• Free trade• Arms reductions• An end to secret treaties• Self-determination for EasternEurope• An association of nations to keepthe peace• self-determination – the right of people to choose their own formof government• armistice – an agreement to end fighting
The Allies were weakened when Russia left thewar, but were strengthened when the United Statesjoined. The Germans attempted one last drive, butit failed and morale in Germany plummeted. TheAllies were able to drive the Germans back. Thegovernment in Germany toppled and the new oneasked for peace.LEQ: How did the Allies win World War I?