Causes of WWI: Growing Imperialism Small Balkan nations feuded with each other Immediate cause – Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary were assassinated by a Slavic nationalist from Serbia. Austria-Hungary did not accept Serbia’s attempted mediation, and declared war on Serbia. System of alliances and treaties came into place – Russia began to mobilize to help Serbia. Germany, ally of Austria-Hungary, prepared to defend them. Germany declared war on Russia and France, then moved to destroy France before Russia could attack. Britain joined to aid France due to treaty, declared war vs. Germany. Ottomans also joined Germany’s side.
Americans couldn’t see the reason for US to go to war. Wilson advocated a strong policy of neutrality. Wanted to have peace at all costs. Wilson thought America could be a model for Democratic process.
International law dictated that neutral vessels could trade with warring nations, though they could be inspected. If ships were to be sunk, warning needed to be given and the civilians accounted for. Britain wanted to starve Germany so they began taking more than they were supposed to at sea. Germans decided to violate International law with U-boats, bombed things without warning.
Germans decided to violate International law with U-boats, bombed things without warning.
Wilson said Americans wouldn’t restrict themselves on how they travelled, warned Germans to stop attacking boats.
Reps. Chose Charles Evans Hughes over Roosevelt due to Roosevelt’s aggressiveness not playing well during war time. Hughes went to sleep thinking he had won, but votes from California came in over night and swayed election to Wilson.
German Minister – Arthur Zimmermann
Alliance with Britain needed to be preserved for Americans to continue trading at sea. Britain was friendly with America and used its navy to protect it. If Germans won, American freedom of the seas was not guaranteed.