Chapter 19 guided notes

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1. Chapter 19: The World War I Era 1914 -1920 2. Causes of World War I The immediate cause of the Great War, later to be known as World War I, was the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on June 28, 1914. However, the main causes of the war existed long before 1914. At the time of his assassination, Francis Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, had been visiting Bosnia, a new Austro-Hungarian province. He was shot by Gavrilo Princip, a 19-year-old Bosnian nationalist who believed that Austria-Hungary had no right to rule Bosnia. 3. Main Causes of World War I Imperialism: Competition for colonial lands in Africa and elsewhere led to conflict among the major European powers. Militarism: By the early 1900s, powerful nations in Europe had adopted policies of militarism, or aggressively building up armed forces and giving the military more authority over government and foreign policy. Nationalism: One type of nationalism inspired the great powers of Europe to act in their own interests. Another emerged as ethnic minorities within larger nations sought self-government. Alliances: In a complicated system of alliances, different groups of European nations had pledged to come to one anothers aid in the event of attack. 4. The Conflict Expands Convinced that Serbia was behind the Archdukes assassination, AustriaHungary declared war on Serbia on July 28, 1914. Russia, as Serbias protector, began mobilization, or the readying of troops for war. France, Russias ally, and Germany, Austria-Hungarys ally, also began mobilization. Germany, located between France and Russia, wanted to conquer France quickly to avoid the need to fight on two fronts. To get to France, German forces had to pass through neutral Belgium; the invasion of Belgium brought Britain into the conflict as well. One week after the war started, all the great powers of Europe had been drawn into it. Germany and Austria-Hungary formed the Central Powers, while Russia, France, Serbia, and Great Britain were called the Allies. 5. Stalemate and Modern Warfare Stalemate By September 1914, the war had reached a stalemate, a situation in which neither side is able to gain an advantage. When a French and British force stopped a German advance near Paris, both sides holed up in trenches separated by an empty no mans land. Small gains in land resulted in huge numbers of human casualties. Both sides continued to add new allies, hoping to gain an advantage. 6. Stalemate and Modern Warfare Modern Warfare Neither soldiers nor officers were prepared for the new, highly efficient killing machines used in World War I. Machine guns, hand grenades, artillery shells, and poison gas killed thousands of soldiers who left their trenches to attack the enemy. As morale fell, the lines between soldiers and civilians began to blur. The armies began to burn fields, kill livestock, and poison wells. 7. Trench Warfare 8. Life in the Trenches 9. The American Response Because many Americans were European immigrants or the children of European immigrants, many felt personally involved in the escalating war. Although some had sympathies for the Central Powers, most Americans supported the Allies. Support for the Allies was partially caused by Germanys rule by an autocrat, a ruler with unlimited power. In addition, anti-German propaganda, or information intended to sway public opinion, turned many Americans against the Central Powers. To protect American investments overseas , President Wilson officially proclaimed the United States a neutral country on August 4, 1914. 10. The Committee on Public Information: Propaganda Agency 11. German Submarine Warfare To break a stalemate at sea, Germany began to employ U-boats, short for Unterseeboot, the German word for submarine. U-boats, traveling under water, could sink British supply ships with no warning. When the British cut the transatlantic cable, which connected Germany and the United States, only news with a pro-Allied bias was able to reach America. American public opinion was therefore swayed against Germanys U-boat tactics. 12. Sinking of the Lusitania and the Sussex Pledge The Sinking of the Lusitania On May 7,1915, a German U-boat sank the British passenger liner Lusitania, which had been carrying both passengers and weapons for the Allies. Since 128 American passengers had been on board, the sinking of the Lusitania brought the United States closer to involvement in the war. The Sussex Pledge More Americans were killed when Germany sank the Sussex, a French passenger steamship, on March 24,1916. In what came to be known as the Sussex pledge, the German government promised that U-boats would warn ships before attacking, a promise it had made and broken before. 13. Moving Toward War Unrestricted Submarine Warfare On January 31, 1917, Germany announced its intent to end the Sussex pledge and return to unrestricted submarine warfare. This action caused the United States to break off diplomatic relations with Germany. Despite this announcement, the German navy did not attack any American ships in February, causing the United States to continue to hope for peace. The Zimmermann Note During this time, Britain revealed an intercepted telegram to the government of Mexico from Germanys foreign minister, Arthur Zimmermann. In this telegram, known as the Zimmermann note, Germany offered to return American lands to Mexico if Mexico declared war on the United States. Neither Mexico nor President Wilson took the Zimmermann note seriously, but it brought America closer to entering the war. 14. The War Resolution When the Russian Revolution replaced Russias autocratic czar with a republican government in March 1917, the United States no longer needed to be concerned about allying itself with an autocratic nation. This removed one more stumbling block to an American declaration of war. As Germany continued to sink American ships in March, President Wilsons patience for neutrality wore out. On April 6, 1917, the President signed Congresss war resolution, officially bringing the United States into the war. 15. Moving Toward War Building an Army Despite the preparedness movement, the United States lacked a large and available military force. Congress therefore passed a Selective Service Act in May 1917, drafting many young men into the military. Draftees, volunteers, and National Guardsmen made up what was called the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), led by General John J. Pershing. Training for War New recruits were trained in the weapons and tactics of the war by American and British lecturers at new and expanded training camps around the country. Ideally, the military planned to give new soldiers several months of training. However, the need to send forces to Europe quickly sometimes cut training time short. 16. Turning the Tide of War New methods of military transportation, including tanks, airplanes, and German zeppelins, or floating airships, influenced the manner in which the war was fought. In the spring of 1918, Germany provided safe passage for Vladimir Lenin, leader of the Russian Bolsheviks, from Switzerland to Russia. The Bolsheviks successfully overthrew the Russian republican government and made peace with Germany. The resulting truce ceded valuable Russian land to Germany and also meant that the German military could concentrate exclusively on the Western front. Before the arrival of American troops, Germany was able to gain ground in France, coming within 50 miles of Paris. General Pershings troops, however, pushed back the Germans in a series of attacks. Finally, the German army was driven to full retreat in the MeuseArgonne Offensive begun on September 26, 1918. 17. Ending the War In the face of Allied attacks and domestic revolutions, the Central Powers collapsed one by one. Austria-Hungary splintered into smaller nations of ethnic groups, and German soldiers mutinied, feeling that defeat was inevitable. When the Kaiser of Germany fled to Holland, a civilian representative of the new German republic signed an armistice, or cease-fire, in a French railroad car at 5am on November 11, 1918. Although guns fell silent six hours later, many more deaths were to follow. The influenza epidemic of 1918 killed more people, both in the United States and Europe, than all of the wartime battles. 18. Results of the War Dead and Wounded: The estimated death toll of World War I was 8 million soldiers and civilians, including tens of thousands of Americans. Many more had lost limbs or been blinded by poison gas. However, the efforts of the Red Cross and other agencies had helped save many lives. Loss of Young Men: Many sensed that the war had destroyed an entire generation of young men and grieved for the loss of their talents and abilities. Genocide: In an act of genocide, or organized killing of an entire people, the Ottoman Empire had murdered hundreds of thousands of Armenians suspected of disloyalty to the government. 19. Enforcing American Loyalty Fear of Foreigners: Fear of espionage, or spying, was widespread; restrictions on immigration were called for and achieved. Hate the Hun: The war spurred a general hostility toward Germans, often referred to as Huns in reference to European invaders of the fourth and fifth centuries. German music, literature, language, and cuisine became banned or unpopular. Repression of Civil Liberties: Despite Wilsons claim that the United States fought for liberty and democracy, freedom of speech was reduced during the war. Sedition, or any speech or action that encourages rebellion, became a crime. 20. President Wilsons Proposals As the war neared an end, President Wilson developed a program for peace around the world known as the Fourteen Points, named for the number of provisions it contained. One of Wilsons Fourteen Points called for an end to entangling alliances; another involved a reduction of military forces. Another dealt with the right of Austria-Hungarys ethnic groups to selfdetermination, or the power to make decisions about their own future. Although both Wilson and the German government assumed that the Fourteen Points would form the basis of peace negotiations, the Allies disagreed. During peace negotiations, Wilsons Fourteen Points were discarded one by one. 21. The Paris Peace Conference Wilson Forced to Compromise Although Wilson claimed that he was not interested in the spoils, or rewards, of war, his Allied colleagues were interested in making the Central Powers pay for war damages. Wilson was forced to compromise on his views, especially concerning selfdetermination for former German colonies. The League of Nations One of Wilsons ideas, the formation of a League of Nations, was agreed upon at the Paris Peace Conference. The League of Nations was designed to bring the nations of the world together to ensure peace and security. Republicans in Congress, however, were concerned about Article 10 of the Leagues charter, which contained a provision that they claimed might draw the United States into unpopular foreign wars. 22. The Peace Treaty The treaty which was negotiated at the Paris Peace Conference redrew the map of Europe to the Allies advantage. Nine new nations were created from territory taken from AustriaHungary, Russia, and Germany. Although most borders were drawn with the division of ethnic minorities in mind, the redivisions created new ethnic minorities in several countries. France insisted that Germany be humiliated and financially crippled. The peace treaty required Germany to pay billions of dollars in reparations, or payment for economic injury suffered during the war. Wilson, however, opposed this plan, claiming that these demands would lead to future wars. On June 28, 1919, the peace treaty, which came to be known as the Versailles Treaty, was signed at Versailles, outside of Paris. 23. Reactions at Home Congress and the Treaty of Versailles Despite Wilsons intensive campaign in favor of the Versailles Treaty, Congress voted against ratifying it in November 1919. The United States declared the war officially over on May 20, 1920. It ratified separate peace treaties with Germany, Austria, and Hungary. However, the United States did not join the newly formed League of Nations. 24. Reactions at Home Difficult Postwar Adjustments The war had given a large boost to the American economy, making the United States the worlds largest creditor nation. Soldiers returned home to a heros welcome but found that jobs were scarce. African American soldiers, despite their service to their country, returned to find continued discrimination. Many American artists entered the postwar years with a sense of gloom and disillusionment.


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