Causes of WW1:
- Nationalism : Serbia’s growing strength threatened Austria-Hungary’s control of its territories in the Balkans. This encouraged the Slavs to push for independence.
- Militarism : Germany had a longtime ally in Austria. France’s 1892 alliance with Russia threatened to surround Germany with enemies. Eventually, Italy joined Austria-Hungary and Germany in one alliance, and Great Britain joined France and Russia in another. The alliances avoided war for a time but created the risk that a single incident could trigger a major war.
- Assassination- June 1914- Archduke Franz Ferdinand was shot and killed by Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip
- Austria-Hungary almost immediately declared war on Serbia. Germany immediately offered its support. Russia was compelled to honor its alliance with Serbia. The alliance system soon turned a local conflict into a global war. The Allied Powers of Britain, France, and Russia were pitted against the Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria.
Cause of U.S. Entry:
- At the start of the war, the U.S. claimed neutrality
- Countries like Great Britain, attempted to draw the U.S. into the war by using propaganda to depict the German as savages
- Rape of Belgium: the atrocities that the Germans were committing in the neutral Belgium swayed American opinion strongly anti- German
- Economic Interest: The US had helped fund the Allies(the French and the British)- about 3 billion dollars- U.S. feared that they wouldn't be compensated if the Allies lost the war
- The German U- Boats sunk a British passenger ship, Lusitania, because of the belief that there were weapons on board, 128 Americans died, further infuriating the US
- In respond to the British blockade, Germany started to use unrestricted subs to keep goods from reaching Britain. After the Litutantina incident Germany promised not to target passager ships, but shortly after they broken the agreement when they torpedoed the Sussex (cross-English Channel passenger ferry)
- Zimmmer Telegram: 1917- German foreign minister Auther Zimmerman sent telegram to Mexico to declare war on the U.S. Germany would in turn help retrieve Mexican territories lost in Mexican American war. Telegram was intercepted by the Bristish and was given to the American (published in the newspaper), which pushed the U.S. to the brink of war
Profile of American Soliders:
- American doughboys were members of the United States Army or Marine Corps.
- Selective Service Act of May 18, 1917 required men between the ages of 21 and 30 to register with local draft boards but was later changed to men between the ages of 18 and 45.
- Upon arrival at a training camp, recruits underwent a series of medical examinations. They spent most of their days learning military rules, drilling with their equipment, exercising, and preparing for inspections.
- Soldiers also spent a lot of time learning how to fight. Recruits spent many hours on the rifle range and practiced hand-to-hand combat using bayonets
Battle of Passchendaele/Third Battle of Ypres:
- Objective: break through the German defences, seize the highlands of Passchendaele Ridge and from there capture and destroy the German Belgian channel ports and sub bases
- The aggressively planned offensive ran by British Sir Haig’s belief that the German army was close to collapse
- After an opening barrage of some 3,000 guns, Haig ordered nine British divisions, led by Sir Hubert Gough’s 5th Army, to advance near the Belgian village of Passchendaele on July 31- joined by six French divisions.
- The eleven mile front of the Allies, suffering heavy casualties, made significant advances–didn't make as much progress Haig had hoped
- Heavy rains and thickening mud severely hampered the effectiveness and progress of Allied infantry and artillery
- Dissatisfied with his army’s gains by the end of August, Haig had replaced Gough with Herbert Plumer at the head of the attack; the British were able to establish control over the ridge of land east Ypres
- Unwilling to give up, Haig ordered a final three attacks on Passchendaele, leading to capture of the village, by Canadian and British troops, on November 6, 1917
- Haig was finally able to claim victory, despite about 310,000 British casualties, (260,000 on the German side) and a failure to make any real breakthrough on Western Front.
- The Battle of Passchendaele was also known as the Battle of Mud- many tanks, horses, and soldiers simply disappeared into the watery mud holes- many soldiers in the battle still marked as MIA
- Economic: knowing the need money to help fund the war, the gov't collected money through Liberty bonds (during the war) and Victory bonds (after the war)- also increased taxes with a nex tax program- set prices and production of goods and regulated businesses
- American industries found themselves desperately short of labor as they geared up for the war effort. Taking advantage of this situation, unionized workers across the country went on strike. They demanded higher wages and other benefits.
- President Wilson established the National War Labor Board (NWLB) in April 1918. Composed of representatives from business and labor, the NWLB arbitrated disputes between workers and employers.
- The labor shortage strengthened unions and brought about changes in the workforce. The number of women working outside the home grew by about 6 percent during the war. Many of these women took traditionally male jobs.
- Women’s war efforts helped produce one very important political change—the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment. President Wilson threw his support behind the amendment in recognition of women’s wartime contributions.
- Whether for religious, political, or personal reasons, many Americans believed that the United States should have stayed out of the war
- Committee on Public Information was hard on German Americans, many of whom lost their jobs.
- Quakers and Mennonites were particularly outspoken. They were committed by their faith to pacifism—the refusal to use violence to settle disputes. Considered traitors by many Americans, they experienced violence and abuse.
- The Socialist Party also proclaimed its opposition to the war. To most party members, the warring nations were simply using working people as tools in a capitalist struggle for control of world markets. The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) had a similar view and led strikes in a number of war-related industries.
Outcomes of WW1:
- After Russia left in 1917, the Central powers collapsed- and with the help of the Americans the Allies won the war
- Lands lost: Collaspe of Austria-Hungary and lost of Ottoman Empire
- Treaty of Versailles: 1919 in Paris, was written by the Allies with almost no participation by the Germans
- Germany was forced to take full responsibility for both starting the war and all the damage cause by the war
- Alsace- Lorraine, Eugene, Malmedy, Northern Schleswig, Hultschin, West Prussia, Posen, and Upper Silesia- territories taken from Germany
- German army allowed only 100,000 men and all tanks and Air Force was banned- reduced to 6 capital naval ships, and no subs allowed
- Treaty of Versailles and the 1921 London Schedule of Payments required Germany to pay about $33 billion (US) in reparations to cover civilian damage caused during the war
- The U.S. never signed the treaty- due to 12 to 18 senators, aka Irreconcilables, who strongly opposed the treaty- most were Republican 'enemies' of President Wilson- believed that the League of Nations was a British fabrication to protect its empire
- Fourteen Points: The peace proposal, based on Wilson’s concept of peace without victory
- Called for the Allies to set unselfish peace terms: freedom of the seas, the restoration of territories conquered, and the right to national self-determination
- Wilson called for the establishment of a general association of nation- eventually became the League of Nations- to guarantee political independence to and protect the territorial lines
- Human cost: 8.5 million died, 21 million wounded
- Economically drained the European treasuries- war cost billions of dollars- caused inflation after the war