Week 4- Widening the War, 1914-1915
Week 4- Widening the War, 1914-1915 HIST 388
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Austin McManus on Wednesday September 23, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 388 at George Mason University taught by Harry Butowsky in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 35 views. For similar materials see World War I in History at George Mason University.
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Date Created: 09/23/15
HIST 388 Notes Week 4 Widening the War Ottoman Empire Italy amp the United States 1915 A Widening the War Within the first few months of the war European governments of both the Allied and Central Powers realized that in order to keep fighting while maintaining popular and logistical support for the war the fronts needed to be widened so that more nations joined the fighting B Ottoman Empire C Italy At the time of the outbreak of the war the Ottoman Empire was notoriously known as the sick man of Europe Since Turkey s invasion of the Balkans in 1683 and its subsequent military defeat and detrimental loss of territory in 1699 the Empire had been gradually declining both in prestige on the world stage and formidability against potential aggressors from Europe Africa and Asia From the 1700s to the 1900s Russia and AustriaHungary had taken large chunks of Ottoman territory threatening their dominance in the Middle Eastern region rather than allow Russian or Austrian dominance in the region the European powers continued to support Turkey financially and militarily allowing the Empire to keep its head above water by the outbreak of war in 1914 Political strife was a contributor to the decline in Turkey s centralization of power as attempts by the Young Turks and other groups for power brought further dissolution to the former glory and dominance of the Ottomans By the time proGerman politician Enver Pasha began his reign over Turkey in 1913 via a coup d tat Turkey was on the decline the Empire needed some sort of stimulating effort as a last full measure to hold on to what little global power and prestige it had left Despite British efforts to keep Turkey out of the war Germany s persuasion prevailed as early as August 1914 when Germany offered to negotiate an alliance treaty with the Turkish government an offer that was accepted bringing Turkey formerly into the war against Russia by November of that year Many nations on the world stage considered Italy to be the weakest of all the European powers including in the mix AustriaHungary and Turkey in 1914 despite having a population only slightly less than that of France the country was relatively impoverished lacking the important aspects of a modern industrialized state and remaining fairly politically fragile having been unified as a country only since 1866 Italy s aspirations for territorial expansion Adriatic Sea territory and empire North Africa were also shut down by surrounding European powers such as France and AustriaHungary Despite signing a defensive alliance with Germany and AustriaHungary in 1882 Italy claimed neutrality when war broke out since no nations acted aggressive towards them there was also political strife when Germany beckoned to Italy to enter the war when the Italian government made territorial claims to Trentino that was held at the time by AustriaHungary and the Hapsburg Empire refused to cooperate as their entire reason for going to war was to prevent the collapse of their empire Although Italy and AustriaHungary had reached a concession by March of 1915 Britain and France had already taken the opportunity to pay for Italy s entrance into the war by promising disputed territorial claims in North Africa and the Mediterranean in addition to previous demands for the Hapsburg Empire to cede to Italy When Italian Prime Minister Antonio Salandra attempted to resign to get out of the public circle due to increased tensions in Italy about entering the war on the Allied side former King Victor Emmanuel III refused his resignation returned to power and took Italy into the war in May of 1915 D The United States When the war began in 1914 the United States was in a fairly productive and peaceful state of being having defeated Spain in 1898 and subsequently gaining territory as well as being an industrial powerhouse of the world in both manufacturing and exporting goods the US had no special interests in getting involved in European affairs following the isolationist ideology inspired by the Monroe Doctrine issued in 1823 Attempts by the Allied and Central Powers to bring the United States into the war were made as early as the end of 1914 despite President Woodrow Wilson declaring neutrality when the war broke out Being neutral however did not exclude the United States from profiting from the war effort for the first three years by selling arms and munitions to the Allied Powers Germany instigating submarine warfare in 1915 against the Allies primarily Britain represented the first major step for the United States going to war when the Canadian cruise liner Lusitania was sunk by a German submarine Uboat in the summer of 1915 resulting in the killing of 128 Americans Despite events such as these early on in the war American interests remained in favor of staying neutral for another two years