Steps to Involvement Originally NEUTRAL German Submarine Warfare changed this Wilson: This violated international law Reality: British blockade of Germany Lusitania sunk Zimmerman Telegraph (translation on next slide) Germany announces unrestricted submarine warfare US entered war in April 1917 to protect neutral rights
Translation of Zimmerman Note "We intend to begin on the first of February unrestricted submarine warfare. We shall endeavor in spite of this to keep the United States of America neutral. In the event of this not succeeding, we make Mexico a proposal or alliance on the following basis: make war together, make peace together, generous financial support and an understanding on our part that Mexico is to reconquer the lost territory in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The settlement in detail is left to you. You will inform the President of the above most secretly as soon as the outbreak of war with the United States of America is certain and add the suggestion that he should, on his own initiative, invite Japan to immediate adherence and at the same time mediate between Japan and ourselves. Please call the President's attention to the fact that the ruthless employment of our submarines now offers the prospect of compelling England in a few months to make peace." Signed, ZIMMERMANN.
Wartime Economy War Industries Board: Government mass-produced weapons Gave out contracts Women’s fashions changed (corsets; hemlines) Food Administration (Hoover): Meatless & wheatless days Increased farm production NO rationing used (victory gardens; restaurants served less during meals) Daylight Savings Time
Social Changes Women entered workforce Women volunteered (Red Cross; Armed Forces) Conscientious Objectors (religion) African-American participation in armed forces (segregeated) The Great Migration
Enforcing Loyalty Committee for Public Information (George Creel): make Americans feel war was a just cause Speakers, posters, ads Germany was cruel! Espionage Act (1917): Illegal to print treasonable material Penalties for interfering with draft or aiding enemy Up to $10,000 fine & 20 yrs. Sedition Act (1918): Unlawful to speak out against the war E.V. Debs (10 years)
Schenck v. United States (1919) Charles Schenck (Socialist) mailed 15,000 circulars to draftees: draft violated 13th Amendment Take peaceful action(petitioning) Charged with conspiracy to violate the Espionage Act by attempting to cause insubordination in the military and to obstruct recruitment. Is the law a violation of free speech? U.S. Supreme Court: Schenck is not protected in this situation. "The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent." During wartime, free speech can be stopped
A Few Items About The End of the War President Wilson’s Idealism: “War to end all wars”; “Make the world safe for Democracy” His ideal: Peace without victory But…the USA rejected the Versailles Treaty & League of Nations—why? Article 10—defensive alliance (War w/o consent of Congress) Wilson would NOT compromise Two names to remember: Henry Cabot Lodge & Edith Wilson US: wanted to be ISOLATIONIST