MILITARISM – aggressively building up armed forces in preparation for war
NATIONALISM – acting in your own country’s interest; OR ethnic minority looking for independence
ALLIANCE – agreement to come to a country’s aid in event of an attack
MOBILIZATION – getting troops ready for war
CENTRAL POWERS – Germany and Austria-Hungary (later the Ottoman Empire added)
ALLIES – Russia, France, Great Britain and Serbia (later Italy added)
STALEMATE – situation in which neither side has an advantage
AUTOCRAT – ruler with unlimited power (Kaiser Wilhelm II)
PROPOGANDA – information intended to sway public opinion
PREPAREDNESS MOVEMENT – getting ready to aid Great Britain: promote patriotism and start training camps, increase armed forces
PEACE MOVEMENT – women suffragettes, labor leaders, some members of Congress demonstrate for peace
Why did the US stay neutral at the start of the war??
Protect American investments ($3.5 billion by 1914)
The United States Declares War
U-boat - Unterseeboot or submarine; changed the rules for naval warfare
Lusitania - sunk on May 7, 1915 in the Irish Sea; carrying munitions;
Sussex Pledge - March, 1916; German promise to warn ships before attacking
Pacifism - votes against the resolutions for war (Jeannette Rankin, e.g.)
The Zimmerman Note - coded message from Germany to Mexico to start a war with the US
Russian Revolution - March 1917, Nicholas II forced to give up the throne and a republican government formed; November 1917, Bolsheviks (“Majority”) led by Lenin overthrow the republic; “red” army vs. “white” army battle within Russia, Russia quits the War
The War Resolution - April 2, 1917, Wilson speech to Congress for war was greeted with applause
What role did public opinion play in the US decision to enter the war?
Propaganda, demonstrations, posters and editorials influenced President Wilson and Congress toward involvement in the war.
Americans on the European front See the maps of the major battles of the war Selective Service Act – May 1917 authorized a draft of young men for military service; 24 million registered by November 1918 (3 million selected to serve) American Expeditionary Force – the US forces in the War Convoy – group of unarmed ships surrounded by a ring of armed naval vessels equipped to detect submarines Zeppelin – floating airships used for observation and delivering bombs Armistice – written a cease-fire or suspension of hostilities (can have a stated duration or it can end at any time) Genocide – the organized killing of an entire group of people (1 million Armenians)
What were conditions like at the end of the war in the US? In Europe?
Europe lost an entire generation of young men ; inflation, physical devastation and the flu epidemic.
Americans on the Home Front
Liberty Bond – sold to raise money for the War; later redeemed for principal and accumulated interest (raised $20 billion)
Price controls – part of Food and Fuel Control Act, gave government the right to regulate output of food and its prices, to control how much food Americans bought
Rationing – also part of the Act, the Food Administration distributed goods to consumers in a fixed amount
Daylight Saving Time – the Fuel Administration created gasless days and turned clocks ahead 1 hour to save artificial light cost and allow more work time
Sedition – Espionage Act of 1917 and Sedition Act of 1918, made it illegal to disrupt sale of Liberty Bonds or to speak badly about the US government
Vigilantes – citizens took the law into their own hands and lynched those who spoke out against the war, particularly Socialists
How did the US government enforce loyalty to the war effort?
The government censored the press, banned certain films, passed the Espionage Act and Sedition Act.
Fourteen Points – Woodrow Wilson’s goals for peace after the War, including the reduction of military forces and removing trade barriers
Self-determination – the right of a people to make their own decisions (Austria-Hungary’s ethnic groups)
Spoils – the rewards of war (land and money from the “loser”); Wilson allegedly not interested in those
League of Nations – Wilson’s main goal: permanent agency where the world’s countries could work together to resolve disputes (Article 10 – an attack on one member is an attack on all)
Reparations – payment for economic injury suffered during the war
Versailles Treaty – WW I peace treaty signed in Versailles; Germany signed only after being threatened with invasion by France
How did Americans (and their government) react to the end of the war?
The “irreconcilables” opposed the League of Nations. “Reservationists” wanted restrictions on US participation; treaty never signed. US becomes world’s bank, but the economy suffers.
The War’s Legacy
Genocide emerged as an act of war. So did the use of poison gas on the battlefield. On the political right fascism came out of the war; on the left a communist movement emerged backed by the Soviet Union. Reluctantly, but unavoidably, America became a world power. Britain never recovered from the shock of war, and started her decline to the ranks of the second-class powers. The German, Turkish, and Austro-Hungarian empires were broken up. New boundaries were drawn in Europe and the Middle East, boundaries -- as in Iraq and Kuwait -- which were still intact at the end of the century.
Just as the war was ending, German Nationalists like Hitler gathered millions who rejected the peace and blamed Jews and Communists for their defeat. The road to the Second World War started there.