Chapter 9, Section 1. The United States Enters World War I

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1 Chapter 9, Section 1 The United States Enters World War I

2 World War I Begins Big Ideas: A network of alliances, nationalism, and militarism set the stage for World War I.

3 World War I Begins For centuries the Great Powers of Europe were obsessed with maintaining a balance of power, but with the creation of Germany in 1871, the balance was upset. France felt vulnerable. Germany s growing navy worried the British.

4 Militarism & Alliances After losing the territory of Alsace and Lorraine to Germany in 1871, France began to rely on Russia as an ally to keep the Germans from taking more. The Russians looked towards expanding their influence in the Balkans where there were Slavs, Croats, and Serbs. Russia had a dream of uniting all Slavic people. There were also Slavs, Serbs, and Croats in Austria-Hungary, an ally of Germany, and the Russians encouraged them to rebel.

5 Militarism & Alliances The system of alliances encouraged militarism: the build-up of armed forces to intimidate or threaten other nations. In Germany the military was the dominant social class. The Kaiser always appeared in military uniform with the rank of All Highest Warlord. Germany s naval ambitions forced Britain to back her traditional rivals, France & Russia. Germany also surpassed Britain in the production of steel and coal.

6 Imperialism & Nationalism Nationalism, a feeling of intense pride in one s homeland became a powerful idea in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Nationalism fueled the competition between nations as each thought of their culture as being superior to all others Nationalism, being incompatible with imperialism, also encouraged dominated populations to seek independence.

7 Imperialism & Nationalism Nationalism became a serious issue in the Balkans, a southeast region of Europe. The weak Ottoman Empire was losing its grip on the area. Serbia was the first of the nations to achieve independence from the Ottomans and they encouraged the unification of Slavic peoples, many of whom lived in Austria- Hungary. Austria-Hungary worked against this plan, while Russia encouraged it.

8 Assassination Brings War In order to curb Slavic nationalism in the Balkans, Austria-Hungary annexed the nation of Bosnia from the Ottoman Empire who had ruled the region for 400 years. The annexation of Bosnia infuriated Serbians. In June 1914, the heir to the Austrian-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife were shot to death as their motorcade passed through the streets of the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo.

9 Assassination Brings War The assassin, 19-year-old Gavrilo Princip, was a member of the Serbian nationalist group The Black Hand. The Serbian government hoped it would start a war that would bring down the Austro-Hungarian Empire. They knew the Russians would back them. And the Russians knew the French would support them if they went to war. The Austro-Hungarians issued an ultimatum that would place Serbia under its authority. They knew full well that it would probably lead to war, so they first got the okay that Germany would back them up.

10 Assassination Brings War On July 28, 1914, the Austro-Hungarian government declared war on Serbia. Russia mobilized its troops. The Serbs expected Russia to keep Germany busy long enough to allow them to take Bosnia. On August 1 st, Germany declared war on Russia. August 3 rd Germany declared war on France.

11 Assassination Brings War The Germans knew that backing Austria would lead to war, but it was a war they expected to win. However, they were counting on the Brits to remain neutral. Russia could not let Serbia fall or they would give up their goal of uniting the Slavs, and probably end up with a revolution at home. If France let the Germans beat Russia, the French would become a 3 rd rate power under the thumb of the Germans.

12 Assassination Brings War The Schlieffen Plan called for German troops to march through Belgium in order to flank the French and close off the coastal ports to any possible British reinforcements. Belgium was neutral, but they declared war on Germany when the Germans invaded. The British had previously guaranteed to protect the neutrality of Belgium. In order to solidify their authority over the Belgians, the German troops captured and executed 5,000 civilians.

13 Assassination Brings War The British could not allow German aggression to go unchecked. The British people demanded action; Great Britain entered the war. The Triple Entente, known as The Allies, comprised France, Russia, & Britain. Italy joined in The alliance of Germany, Austria- Hungary, & the Ottoman Empire became known as the Central Powers.

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15 The Schlieffen Plan Fails The Germans hoped for a quick victory over France so they could reinforce their eastern borders against the Russians. The Belgians fought back and slowed the German advance. Also, the Russians mobilized faster than expected and invaded Germany. The Germans were within 30 miles of Paris, but were stopped at the Battle of the Marne. In the East, the Germans advanced into Russia scoring multiple victories.

16 America Declares War Big Ideas: President Wilson campaigned on keeping America neutral, but it was becoming more and more difficult to remain so.

17 America Declares War While the President declared the US to be neutral, the public discussed the war in Europe openly and chose to support one side or another. Some saw Britain as a natural enemy of the US. The large population of Irish immigrants in the US favored the Central Powers. However, many Americans remembered France as a helpful ally during the American Revolution and were disgusted by stories of atrocities committed by the Germans occupying Belgium.

18 America Declares War Wilson s advisors, except William Jennings Bryan, supported the Allies. They feared an upset in the balance of power should Germany win the war. The British used propaganda to influence US public opinion. They even cut the telegraph line from the US to Europe so that England would be the sole supplier of war news to the US.

19 America Declares War American business supported the Allies. With the British controlling the seas, the Allies were the easiest customer for US weapons. American banks bet on American involvement and an allied victory, and loaned billions of dollars to the British and French.

20 America Declares War The British searched ships heading for Europe to ensure that they were not bringing contraband items that would aid the German war effort. The Germans also wanted to stop their enemies from receiving shipments of food and materials. With the Brits in control of the ocean s surface, the Germans controlled the region beneath the waves using submarines (U-Boats).

21 America Declares War The use of unrestricted submarine warfare angered President Wilson. In 1915, Germans sank the British cruise ship Lusitania, killing 1,200 (128 Americans). Germany issued a promise, the Sussex Pledge, that they would no longer sink merchant ships without warning. The Germans did not want the US to enter the war. The US stayed neutral and Wilson s pledge of neutrality earned him a narrow reelection.

22 America Declares War The American public ceased their efforts to be neutral when a memo, the Zimmermann Telegram, was leaked. In the Zimmerman Telegram, the Germans said they would help Mexico take back Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona if they joined the war against the US. Also, in the beginning of 1917, the Germans resumed unrestricted submarine warfare. They felt that they could starve the Brits into surrender before the US could organize an offensive.

23 America Declares War President Wilson addressed Congress and asked for a declaration of war against Germany.

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