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U.S. and WWI

by: Katharine Anthony

U.S. and WWI HIS113U

Katharine Anthony
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About this Document

The notes from the first week of class.
The American Experience: The United States and the World
Barbara Blumberg
Class Notes
American History, 1914-Present, history




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Katharine Anthony on Sunday February 21, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HIS113U at Pace University taught by Barbara Blumberg in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 33 views. For similar materials see The American Experience: The United States and the World in History at Pace University.


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Date Created: 02/21/16
I. Causes of WWI in Europe, 1914 a. Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in June 1914 b. System of entangling alliances in Europe i. Impossible to have a limited war ii. Triple Entendre : Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Empire iii. Triple Alliance: Italy, England, France, Russia c. National aspirations for independence (suppressed nationalities, like Poland) d. Colonial Rivalries (imperialism) i. They straight up decide to start going after Africa and the Middle East and Pacific islands ii. By early 1900s, all that was left of independent countries in Africa were super small countries. Liberia and Ethiopia, everything else was something else. iii. Colonies were called upon in WWI , because they had to e. Military and Naval arms race i. More the tensions mounted the more they tried to make sure they would be safe from their rivals. II. Why the U.S. Entered WWI - April 1917 a. Zimmerman Telegram i. The Germans sent a telegram to the Mexicans saying "gee wouldn't it be great if you guys happened to go to war with the Americans if they say they are gonna go to war with us and then you get the Southwest back?" ii. The British had a spy in Mexico who intercepted this message and made a copy. iii. Wilson is shocked, which is goddamn sad. Shares this with the American people. b. German U-boats/ Unrestricted submarine warfare i. Lusitania 1. Wilson told Americans to not take the Lusitania 2. People didn't listen, it also had arms and ammunition 3. Bad things happened, no one was surprised. ii. Declared a warzone around British isles and France 1. There were warnings in US Newspapers 2. Wilson didn't listen and didn't warn Americans not to take these ships a. Let the British do their crimes because there were not many civilian casualties. iii. Sussex Ultimatum 1. Stop or all diplomatic ties will be ended. 2. Germans stopped unrestrained sub warfare, as of 1916, they never gave formal reply 3. They then stopped that because of the stalemate. 4. Jan 31, 1917, unrestricted warfare resumed. c. Fear of German Power i. Woodrow Wilson wasn't actually neutral towards this war. Wilson anglophile, he loved the British government as a politic professor. ii. British Propaganda 1. “Baby throwing onto bayonets”, the "Huns" iii. Sept. 1914 Wilson says he's neutral.Tells the American people to be so too, no one really is majority wise. iv. Germany had people against them because 1. Germany wasn't very neutral a. Belgium invasion d. Belief that if US entered the war, we'd shape the peace i. If we did remain neutral than no one was going to listen to us. e. Economic ties and loans i. Invested 2 Billion with the Triple Alliance 1. By 1917 US investors had an economic stake in the win with the triple alliance. ii. War is nearly always good for business iii. We end up sending supplies to the British and French and any country that could pay well. 1. They ran into trouble with this (look at the German U-Boats/ Unrestricted sub warfare) 2. Trade with the French and English mostly. III. The Fighting a. April 1917 the declaration of war is called. b. Trench warfare i. Firepower is so great and sophisticated soldiers who tried to get across no man's land were mowed the fuck down. ii. Lasted four years pulled in nearly every country in Europe, many countries beyond Europe. Asia, South, Central America, Africa and other colonies. iii. 10 million people were killed in World War One. Exceeded only by World War 2 iv. 20 million were seriously wounded and disabled worldwide. v. The Eastern Front, Germany did super well against Russia. vi. The Western Front, they stuck in the trenches vii. November, the Bolshevik Revolution happens. viii. U.S. Draft were enacted ix. Germans were not totally defeated. However once the Americans were there as of spring 1918 all of the fighting was going to start happening in Germany and that would be bad. c. Armistice and peace conference i. Germany would get a break if they had a democratic gov’t suing for peace, the German people thought they were winning. ii. There was a revolution because the people were angry that they were suddenly being told they are losing. Then they signed the armistice with the Allies. iii. 11/11/1918- Armistice day


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