"balance of power"
If one nation were to build up its army, then all the other nations would as well.
This meant that an allie was fully behind the other allie, and were totally supportive of them. Austria-Hungary gave Germany the blank check.
problem of neutriality
We were neutral up until the British set up a blockade so that the US could not get into Germany to trade. Then the Germans start sinking our ships with their underwater boats. This was our problem with neutriality, both sides were doing things to us.
Untersee-boots - submarines
These were also known as U-Boats. They were underwater boats brought into the war first by the Germans. They were using these subs to sink ships.
- On May 15, The Lusitania was sunk and it was a British ship. It was full of civilian passengers, Americans were aboard this ship as well. The Germans sink the ship. This does NOT force us to enter WW1. We later find out the Lusitania was a legitiment target of war because it was carrying heavy armor.
- The Germans restricted their sub-warfare after this.
Election of 1916
- Rep:Charles Evans Hughes
- Wilson's slogan was "He kept us out of war". This was not our war.
- Both candidates went to bed thinking that Hughes had won, but Wilson wins by a slim margin.
- Wilson saw himself as a peace maker.
- "peace without victory" was his peace program. This was saying that everyone needed to just go home and no one would win or lose.
- Neither side willing to do this.
Feb 1917, Zimmermann was the German foreign minister and he was sending a communication to Mexico and it was somehow intercepted by the US. The message said that when the US declares war on us that Mexico should go to war against the US, and Germany would help Mexico get their "lost provinces" back after Germany wins.
Reason's We got into WW1.
- 1) The resumption of unrestricted sub-warfare.
- 2) The propaganda, convincing us that Germans were horrible.
- 3) The belief that the allies are democracies, and we fight for democracy.
- 4) Zimmermann Note.
- 5) Cultural Ties that we have to the Allies.
- 6) Economic ties to the Allies, that we do not have to The Central Powers.
This was a government propaganda effort. This was also known as the Committee on Public Information. This Committee was created to educate the public about the war, it was also to make us aware of the war effort. Some were lies, mostly about Germans, pretty much what were told about the Germans. German Americans were targeted and lots were being beaten up. German language classes were dropped from the school curriculums.
Espionage and Sedition Acts
- 1917-1918, The Espionage act provided prisonment for people who aided the enemy, for people who tried to stop people from entering the military, and it allowed the postmaster general to exclude from the mail any material he saw as anti-war.
- The Sedition Act, said that you could be held for a crime for talking bad about the government.
Eugene V. Debs
This man was arrested under these laws.
To be a patriotic American you had to buy these. These helped us raise money for the war. The government also increased the income taxes to help pay for the war.
This man was given enourmous power to be incharge of Industry.
This man was in charge of the Food Administration.
American Expeditionary Force (AEF)
John J. Pershing was the man in charge of this. This was also known as the rainbow division. This division was to show that Americans were here but had to get suited up and ready to fight first.
Armistice, November 11, 1918
- In November 1917, there was a counter revolution. Bolshevik revolution or a communist led by Lenin.
- Lenin basically takes Russia out of the war. He betrays the allies and makes a separate treaty with Germany. Agrees to give Germany huge amounts of territory so that he could do his thing. Now Germany does not have not have to fight a 2 front war. Once we get there we begin to push the Germans farther and farther back. The Germans agree to Armistice, which is a cease fire.
"Lafayette, we are here!"
When the Americans soldiers first arrived in France, one of the officers said, "Lafayettee, we are here!" We made the difference in the victory of the West front. We only lost like 112,000 people. But that was nothing compared to the other countries. About half of that was due to illness and injury.
- Wilson made a statement that the US wasn't fighting for any selfish aim on the part of any belligerent. Wilson said in the State of the Union address that he issues the 14 points. this is a program for piece, generally. Governments have objection to this, but the US people do not.
- 1. No secret treaties.
- 2. Freedom of a cease.
- 3-13. The main part of these points was redrawing the map of Europe along ethnographic lines. (He says that we need to recreate the nation of Poland.)
- 14. Wants a general association of nations to come together so that we would never have war again. (League of Nation's). This does not work.
Congressional Election of 1918
Wilson said that he needed the support of the entire country. His first mistake was apporaching the Congressional Election. Wilson said that he needed democrats elected to the House and Senate to get his peace program through. Republicans took over both houses of congress as a result of the election.
Paris Peace Conference
- This was in 1919. The treaty of Versailles was the treaty with Germany Germany is not at the table, and are not represented. Wilson decides he will represent the US. The Senate must ratify the treaty before it is a treaty.
- Henry Cabot Lodge is the Chairman of The Senate Foreign Relation Committee. Wilson and Lodge hate each other. Anything that Lodge says in the Senate goes.
- The Big Four was Wilson(US), David Lloyd George(GB), George Clemenceau(France), and Victorio Orlando(Italy).
Treaty Of Versailles
- French wants to get two provinces back(Alsace and Lorraine). They want Rhineland to be demilitarized.
- In the drawing of the map of Polan, they draw a polish corridor. This is a stretch of land cutting through German territory so that Poland wouldn't be land locked.
- They created a new nation called Czechoslovakia, this was artificially created and does not exsist anymore. A large valley was included in this country and had about 3 million inhabitants mostly Germans.
- Then they finally arrive at what is known as the Mandate system. This means that the winners will get a mandate of the former positions of the losers. Japan gets a mandate over some islands. GB gets a mandate over Palestine.
- They were basically just dividing up everything. The mandate system was a joke.
- The Germans are forced to pay reparations. This obviously angered them the most.
- The put the War Guilt Clause which said that Germany was solely responsible for the War. Wilson actually gets them to lower the payment that Germany has to pay.
- The League of Nations is in the treaty. Now Wilson has to bring it home and get it ratified.
- The Irreconcilables are the ones that said there was no way they would ratify it. He went on speaking tours talking to the American people. He almost died during this tour by a massive stroke. The treaty was voted on as is. The treaty was failed to be ratified.
- We later made a separate peace with Germany. Therefore, we never joined The League of Nations.