Week 6- U.S. Military Buildup & the First World War
Week 6- U.S. Military Buildup & the First World War HIST 370
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Austin McManus on Thursday October 8, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 370 at George Mason University taught by Zayna Bizri in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 37 views. For similar materials see War in American Society in History at George Mason University.
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Date Created: 10/08/15
HIST 370 Notes Week 6 Military Preparedness amp the First World War 19021918 A The White Man s Burden 0 Following American territorial acquisitions in the Caribbean and the Pacific as a result of its war with Spain the United States was facing a new cultural paradigm that would enforce the new American imperialism made up of the perceived need for economic expansion the pseudoscientific theory of Social Darwinism and a deeply rooted desire based in the historical tendencies of nationstates for American civilization to expand 1 2 A potent symbol of this intensifying social phenomena is the infamous poem by the British imperialist The White Man s Burden Kipling s immediate motive was to try to convince young white American men to go to the war in the Philippines to suppress the insurrection there That being said the poem became a political justification of both European and American governments for maintaining overseas empires from Kipling s perspective they believed it their duty as white Christian men to bring EuropeanAmerican civilization to the uncivilized peoples of the world particularly in Asia and Africa B America in World War One 19171918 0 Military Preparedness 1 Between the SpanishAmerican War and the commencement of war in Europe in 1914 the United States looks towards a future defined by maintaining economic interests in its newly acquired overseas colonies in the Pacific and the Caribbean This brought about a need to look out for possible threats from European con icts that would spread to European colonies particularly in Asia this led to a publicopen commitment to isolationism by 1914 in terms of committing to not sending troops to overseas should a major con ict arise However this streak of neutrality was basically impossible to maintain once war broke as the United States was determined to keep its armed forces out of Europe while openly maintaining trade interests with European nations primarily Britain and disproportionately Germany This time period defined by both military preparedness and preserving international neutrality symbolizes a sort of sociocultural and political paradox while both the US government and the American people wanted to stay out of European con icts and affairs there was still a societal desire to expand American culture ie values morals ideas to uncivilized areas of the world This paradox made it utterly impossible for the United States to remain neutral in any sense of the word by the time war broke out in Europe in 1914 A number of factors including but not limited to the sinking of the Lusitania and the interception of the Zimmerman Telegram convinced more and more Americans that going to war on the Allied side was important for keeping the world safe for democracy After declaring war in April of 1917 and sending mass amounts of American troops into France by the summer of 1918 the United States being one of the least involved nations in the war used the chance on the world stage to prove itself as a world power This new acquisition of hegemonic status would play a major role in the decades to come