Unit 10 Major Understandings
1. The following led the United States to enter WWI on the Allied Powers’ Side: * Allied Propaganda - Propaganda was a popular attempt to sway the public opinion in America just before its involvement. While German propaganda organizations such as the German Literary Defense Committee distributed over a million pamphlets during 1914 stressing their strength and will, Allied propaganda called on historical ties and exploited German atrocities, both real and alleged. In World War I, British propaganda took various forms, including pictures, literature and film. Britain also placed significant emphasis on atrocity propaganda as a way of mobilizing public opinion against Germany. In the beginning, the American public wanted neutrality, but over time, because of yellow journalism and British propaganda systems (even in NYC), almost everyone began to lean towards involvement siding with the Allies. * Submarine Warfare – in order to help level the playing field between Germany and Britain, Germany began using subs to target British ships. However, they began to kill Americans as a result. One example was the Lusitania in May 1915. 128 Americans were killed on this passenger ship, and the press used this to turn the public against Germany. Then in August of 1915, the Arabic was hit, killing 2 Americans. Wilson, president at the time, protests and Germany pledges to no longer use subs on passenger ships. However, Germany does not abide by their agreement because in March 1916, the Sussex, a passenger ship was hit. Wilson again protests and Germany creates the Sussex pledge, saying they’ll no longer have submarine attacks. This all pushes the American nation to look at Germany with contempt. * Trade and loans to Britain and France – In the middle of the nineteen-teens, the United States witnessed a recession. It was able to be ended with WW1 due to trade with these two nations. The trade among these nations increased 400%, while trade with Germany dropped to nothing. The Allies made America profitable. Also, in 1916, Britain and France could no longer afford supplies, so the United States allowed J.P. Morgan to loan $3 billion dollars to the Allied Powers, tying Americans to an Allied victory. This became a leading cause for our involvement in the War later on. * American bias towards Britain - In early 1917 Germany renounced restricted sub warfare and returned to "unrestricted" sub warfare. By now, American merchants were showing an unabashed bias toward Great Britain, and the British rightly feared renewed German sub attacks would cripple their trans-Atlantic supply lines. Great Britain actively courted the United States -- with its manpower and industrial might -- to enter the war as an ally. America had been so linked to Britain for so long, and took the same stance against Germany due to Propaganda, so readily sided with Britain when it finally did enter the War. * Zimmerman Telegram – Newspapers published an intercepted telegram, received from Britain intelligence, from German Foreign Minister Arthur Zimmerman to his ambassador in Mexico, proposing a German-Mexican alliance and promising that Mexico would be able to reconquer the lost territory in New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona. This infuriated Americans and due to the exposure that the media gave it, was a short-term cause for America to enter the War on the side of the Allies. They would not want Germany helping their rival neighbor.
2. America’s participation in the Great War greatly affected the home-front climate. Socially, there occurred an influx of women into the workforce, as most of the men had been conscripted to serve during the period of U.S. involvement. The social and economic upheaval of half of the population, as well as an overall sense of loss of innocence, contributed to the period of the twenties of as one of the "Lost Generation" of poets, writers, and...
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