US history notes WW1 Essays

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Section I The Road to War

Cause of WWI (The Great War)- assassination of archduke Ferdinand
Imperialism - late 1800s European powers rushed to claim the remaining uncolonized areas of the world, particularly in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific
Militarism- policy of aggressively building up a nation’s armed forces in preparation for wa, as well as giving the military more authority over the government and foreign policy
Early 1900s Europe
Nationalism- 2 kinds
The first was the tendency for countries such as the great powers to act in their own national interest
Great Powers- Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, GB, Russia
One source of trouble was the German region of Alsace-Lorraine, a strip of land along Germany's border with France. The French people considered the return of Alsace-Lorraine, which had been conquered by Germany in 1871, a matter of national pride.
The second kind of nationalism occurred in countries with diverse ethnic populations, particularly those in central and eastern Europe. Poles in Russia, Germany, and Austria-Hungary wanted to reunite and build an independent Poland
Alliances- complicated system of alliances developed in Europe
Germany and Austria-Hungary were linked by treaty, as were Russia and France. Great Britain and France shared a looser alliance called the Entente Cordiale, or simply Entente
The Conflict Expands- July 28, 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia.
Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand
Bosnia was the focal point of a nationalist dispute between Austria-Hungary, which had recently annexed Bosnia, and its neighbor Serbia, which shared a language and common history with Bosnia. Convinced that Serbia was behind the assassination, Austria-Hungary used the event as an excuse to crush its small enemy mobilization- readying of troops for war- Russia mobilize July 29 to protect Serbia. G, F mobilize
Aug 1- G declare war on R
G- Schleiffen Plan- avoid fighting R and F same. G knock F off first then go for R
G go through Belgium to get F- and get GB involved on Aug 4 bc of Bel
Central Powers- G and Aus-Hun
Allies- R, F, S and GB
Stalemate- situation in which neither side is able to gain the advantage
Marne River in F- GB/F vs G stalemate no mans land- in between trenches
Modern Warfare- artillery shells and machine guns- very deadly the armies began using any tactic available. Erasing the distinction between soldier and civilian, they burned fields, killed livestock, and poisoned wells. They tunneled under the no man's land to plant bombs below enemy trenches. G submarines torpedoed any ship they believed to be carrying arms to the Allies. B naval blockade slowly starved the G
The American Response- USA majority immigrants ¼ G, ⅛ Irish
Most A opposed CP bc most sided w B bc of roots
Kaiser Wilhelm II of G- emperor- was autocrat- ruler w unlimited power
Americans see G as ppl of militarism and efficiency
B publish false propaganda- info intended to sway public opinion- make A opposed G
American Neutrality- bc of trade
Between 1897 and 1914, American commercial investments overseas had increased fivefold, from $700 million to $3.5 billion
Pres Wilson declared USA as neutral- try to be peacemaker
The Preparedness Movement- aid GB if necessary summer of 1916, Wilson had worked out an agreement with Congress for large increases in the armed forces.
Peace Movement- populists, Midwest Progressives and social reformers
In November 1915, a group of social reformers founded the American Union Against Militarism.

Section II The United States Declares War

German Submarine Warfare
Germany abandoned the old rules and permitted U-boats to remain hidden and fire on merchant ships without warning. broke stalemate for Germans at sea
The German High Seas Fleet did make one attempt to enter the North Sea and confront the British fleet in 1916. The British encountered the Germans north of Denmark, where at the ensuing Battle of Jutland both