a. Nationalism
b. Militarism
c . Imperialism
d. Secret alliances
2. Long range causes of U.S. involvement:
a. Sympathy for England and France
b. Economic Ties:
1. We have loaned the allies over 2.25
billion dollars, if they lose the war, will
we be repaid?
c. Fear of and hostility toward German power
1. supported a thinly veiled dictatorship
controlled by the Kaiser and the military
2. invasion of Belgium
d. Allied propaganda – transatlantic cable was
in the control of the Allies - so all news coming
from the war was tilted in their favor
3. Short Range Causes of U.S. Intervention:
a. Unrestricted German submarine warfare
U.S. contended that German submarines
violated international law by interfering with
our freedom of the seas.
Before we entered the war 200+ Americans
died as a result of German submarine warfare
b. Sinking of the Lusitania – 1915
A British passenger liner that was sunk by the
Germans. 1000+ lives were lost
128 Americans were killed
Allied Propaganda
c. Sussex Pledge: 1916
Germany agrees to not sink merchant vessels
without first attempting to save lives.
Germany demands that we talk the British into
dismantling their blockade of the North Sea.
When we can’t accomplish that, they return to
unrestricted submarine warfare.
d. Zimmerman note: March 1, 1917
Coded message sent from German minister to
German diplomat in Mexico. If Mexico enters war
on Germany’s side – they will get land lost to the
Zimmerman Note and decoded copy.
4. Election of 1916:
Submarine warfare and the relationship of the
U.S. to the European powers - became the
major political issues.
Democratic Candidate : Woodrow Wilson
against a large standing army in peace time.
1916 – he doubled the size of the army
campaigned under the title of “kept us out
of the war”
Republican candidate: Charles Evans Hughes
known as the “war candidate” - held
moderate position
Woodrow Wilson
Charles Evans Hughes
America’s desire for peace - elected Wilson
5. The United States at War 1917-1918
a. Presidential power:
1. Increase the power of the President Congress gave the Pres. broad powers to direct
the economy and spur the war effort.
b. Mobilizing the economy:
1. War Industries Board - allocated raw
materials and expanded war production
2. War Labor Board - mediate labor disputes
to prevent work stoppages
3. Railroad Administration - took control of
railroads , unifying and improving their
4. The Fuel Administration - stepped up the
production of coal, gas, and oil.
5. Food Administration - increased food output and encouraged the public to observe
“wheatless” and “meatless” days.
c. Punishing espionage and sedition:
1. Espionage Act - 1917
provided penalties for spying, sabotage,
obstructing the war effort.
2. Sedition Act - 1918
provided penalties for speaking or writing
against the American form of government
or the war effort.
These laws led to the arrest of some 1500 pacifists
and pro-Germans, reflected wartime unwillingness
To tolerate dissent.
Committee on Public Information:
- directed by George Creel
-used every imaginable medium to
raise American consciousness to the
war effort.
-patriotic songs - Over There
-posters - Uncle Sam
-four minute men - men who went
throughout the U.S. giving four minute
patriotic speeches.
3. Schenck v U.S. 1919
Charles Schenck was responsible for printing,
distributing, and mailing to prospective
military draftees during WWI.
This was in violation of the Espionage Act.
Schenck appealed his conviction to the
Supreme Court - the court decided that the
conviction was valid because his actions
created “a clear and present danger” to the
4. Financing the war:
a. Raised income taxes and levied new
and heavier excise taxes, secured 1/3 of the
money needed $11b
b. Borrowed from the American people sold Liberty and Victory bonds - secured
2/3 of the money needed $21b
5. Providing Military Forces:
Congress passed several Selective Service
Acts - drafts
American army:
2 million volunteers
3 million draftees
6. Military aspects of the War:
a. Worldwide involvement: all major nations in
the world involved in a war for the first time.
b. New weapons:
1. dirigibles
2. submarines
3. giant artillery guns (Big Bertha)
4. poison gas
5. airplane
Effects of mustard gas
c. Naval Warfare:
British blockade of North Sea - resulted
in 250,000 Germans dying of starvation.
German Unrestricted Submarine warfare.
U. S. began to use the “convoy” system
in crossing the Atlantic Ocean.
6. Germany surrenders on November 11, 1918.
7. Treaty of Versailles:
a. Territorial Changes:
Germany surrendered:
1. Alsace-Lorraine
2. Minor border regions to Denmark
and Belgium
3. Parts of Prussia
4. Saar Valley and Rhine Valley
b. Colonial losses:
Germany ceded all its colonies to the Allies,
to be held as League of Nations Mandates.
c. Disarmament:
1. German army was limited to 100,000
2. Conscription was forbidden
3. Rhineland was demilitarized
4. Navy reduced to a few nations
5. Submarines, military aircraft, and war
war industries were prohibited.
d. War Guilt and Reparations:
Germany accepted sole responsibility for
the war and thus accepted the entire cost
of war
e. League of Nations: world-wide organization
aimed at avoiding future wars.
8. Results of WWI:
a. Social:
1. almost 10 million soldiers were killed and
over 20 million wounded.
2. millions of civilians died
3. world left with a legacy of hatred, intolerance,
and extreme nationalism
b. Economic:
1. total cost of war over $350 billion
2. after war international trade suffered
3. Communism spreads throughout Russia
4. economic dislocation helps create Depression
c. Political:
a. Three major dynasties were dethroned
1. Hohenzollerns of Germany
2. Hapsburgs of Austria-Hungary
3. Romanovs of Russia
b. New nations arose in Central Europe
c. Beset by economic and political
discontent , many European countries
turned to dictatorships - Russia, Italy
and Germany
d. League of Nations was formed
e. U.S. emerges as a world power.