World War I and Germany Declares War Essay

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The Great War: World War I
The War to End All Wars
“The lamps have gone out all over
Europe and we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”
- British Prime Minister Lord Grey

Long Term Causes of World War I

Peace time alliances
Long-standing ethnic grudges

Map 22.1 European Alliances in 1914 (p. 638)


Short term timeline leading to
World War I
• June 28 - Assassination of Austro-Hungarian Archduke and heir, Francis Ferdinand (and Sophie, his wife)
• July 23 - Austria issues ultimatum to Serbia and invades on July 27
• July 28-30 - Russians mobilize as Serbia’s ally
• August 1 - Germany, Austria-Hungary’s ally, declares war on Russia (and Serbia)
• August 3 - Germany declares war on France (allied with Russia) and invades Belgium en route to Paris,
• August 4 - Great Britain, France’s ally, declares war on

The sides formed
• Triple Entente

Great Britain
Russia (1917 exit)
United States (1917 entry) • Central Powers
– Germany
– Austria-Hungary
– Ottoman Empire
– Bulgaria

United States remains neutral
• Woodrow Wilson: “Remain neutral in thought as well as deed”
• To protect international trading rights
• “He kept us out of war.” 1916 presidential campaign slogan

U.S. Neutrality under fire

British blockade of North Sea
Germans engage in submarine (u-boat) warfare
Lusitania crisis (May 1915)
British liner sunk by German
Arabic and Sussex sinkings
(Germans issue Sussex pledge) Economic ties with Britain and
France - war time trade and
US financing of allied war effort Shifting US public opinion
• Reports of German cruelty (Huns) reinforced by Lusitania
• Ethnic loyalties
• Native born Americans
(not Indians) favored
Britain and French victory • British War Propaganda
• Pro-War politicians (TR)

More Propaganda

• Greater $ for military spending necessary
• National Security
• National Defense Act:
June 1916
• Midwest and Western
Americans opposed to preparedness (Populists,

Election of 1916

“He Kept us out of War”
Peace efforts had failed
Wilson narrowly won
January 1917, “Peace without Victory”
• April 1917, Wilson asked for declaration of war.

From Neutrality to War
• Zimmermann Telegram
• Russian Revolution
• Unrestricted Submarine
• “The World Must be made safe for
(Progressive crusade)

Mobilization in the USA
• War Industries Board
(Bernard Baruch) coordinated production and price controls
• Food Administration
(Herbert Hoover) voluntary efforts to conserve food for soldiers • Financing - Liberty


America and the War Effort (p. 636)

“Remember Your First Thrill of American Liberty” (p. 649)

Wartime Public Opinion
• Committee on Public
Information propaganda agency in America (George
Creel) “do your bit” for the war
• Hate the Hun,
Liberty Cabbage,
Salisbury Steak,
Can the Kaiser

Wartime Civil Liberties
• Espionage and Sedition
Acts (1917-18) jail sentences for those critical of disloyal or abusive remarks toward
US war effort
• Schenck v. United
States (1919) “clear and present danger” - free speech could be limited

The Armed Forces
• Selective Service Act (1917) draft: 2.8 million draftees, 2.9 million volunteers
• Eventually 2 million were sent to Europe
• Blacks - 400,000 served, few officers
• Blacks hoped for service abroad = equal rights at home (not so)

American Society
• Women took mens jobs while men were “Over