United States, 1914-1945 Notes

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7The Great War Begins
Underlying Causes
Nationalism- built on “we”, common culture, history and language, defines us as a nation, also defined in who we are NOT, opposition, contradistinction to others Militarism- heavy spending, defend sacred borders

Industrialization- scramble for scarce resources (ex: coal steal became coveted & cotton) around the world Imperialism
Alliances- against rivals, build networks of security
The Spark: Franz Ferdinand (assassination) air to Austrian throne 1914: War Begins
Allies: Britain, France, Russia, Japan
Central Powers: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Empire
Modern Warfare, Massive Slaughter
Airplanes, Machine Guns (first time in Europe; had been used in Africa), Tanks, Poison Gas (Mustard Gas) 10 million soldiers die
Total War: Civilians die in the millions
(no line between civilians and line of war; civilians are targeted; entire generation of Europeans wiped out) 21 million die in famine, influenza epidemic that engulfed world in the wake of the war “Neutrality in Thought”

Wilson’s Position
Neutrality to War: Four Reasons
Ethnic Identities
Role of WASPs
Propaganda
Invasion of Belgium
“Eating Babies”
Economics
Shipping and Loans
European economy came to holt, America came in
Submarine Warfare
Lusitania (1915) 128 Americans; luxury liner; Sussex Pledge- Germans said “just kidding” continued submarine warfare, “He Kept Us Out of War”- Wilson’s saying when trying to get elected for a 2nd term U-Boat (German)

Final Straw: Zimmerman Note
Supposed to be top-secret telegram (Germany Mexico)
Decoded and Published
Supposedly Germany said that if Mexico attacked US then Mexico would get back the territory it lost 50 years previously Most historians today say that it was fraud
Wilson’s Vision for New Global Order
Jan 1918 Fourteen Points: self-determination for all nations, freedom of the seas, free trade, greater political participation of colonialized peoples War Ends: Nov 9, 1918- Germany sues for peace, 100,000 American soldiers die Germany doesn’t surrender, they “sue” for peace

Paris Peace Conference- 1919
Immediate Impacts:
France and Great Britain’s Designs
Wanted to punish Germany; hope to saddle them with reparations, cut back military so they wouldn’t attack again; want to humiliate and cripple Germany; didn’t want them to be a threat ever again Demand Germany takes 100% of the blame of war

Germany humiliated
Germany lost colonies
Self-Determination in Europe
Wilson wanted to create a league of nations
Lasting Impacts:
Territories Established in Middle East
Japan shut out of negotiations- sent delegates to France
They were considered as an inferior Asian race
Ho Chi Minh Ignored- Vietnamese nationalist
Russian Revolution and Europe
Versailles Treaty and Its Aftermath
Versailles Treaty ends Paris Peace Conference
Response in U.S.
Fear of Entanglements
Futility of Intervention, War Fatigue
Treaty Rejected by Senate
Impact on Wilson
Effects of Peace Process on American Foreign Relations
“Safe for Democracy”?
Rise of Isolationism
“Lost Utopia”
Harding and “Normalcy”
* All above also influenced by domestic changes brought by World War I War and Propaganda
Skepticism, Vigorous Opposition to War
April 1917 Wilson creates Committee on Public Information (CPI), headed by George Creel; “Creel Committee” 75 million pamphlets distributed
Ads, Posters, Movies
Four-Minute Men: Paid by CPI to show up at public events and stand up and give a 4 minute speech (why you should support it and why it was in American interests) Committee on Public Information
Represented U.S. as beacon of freedom, juxtaposed with tyranny of Germany Targeted war protestors, represented Germans as animals
Function of unpopularity of war and new mass media and technology First of many efforts in the 20th century by U.S. government to shape public opinion War and Civil Liberties
War raised questions about rights in wartime; issue also reverberates into future...
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