The War to End Wars
I. War by Act of Germany
On January 22, 1917, Woodrow Wilson made one final, attempt toavert war, delivering a
moving address that correctly declared only a“peace without victory” (beating Germany
withoutembarrassing them) would be lasting.
Germany responded by shocking the world, announcing that it wouldbreak
the Sussex pledge and return to unrestricted submarine warfare,which meant that its U-
boats would now be firing on armed and unarmedships in the war zone.
Wilson asked Congress for the authority to arm merchant ships, but a band of
Midwestern senators tried to block this measure.
Then, the Zimmerman note was intercepted and published on March 1, 1917.
Written by German foreign secretary Arthur Zimmerman, it secretlyproposed
an alliance between Germany and Mexico. It proposed that ifMexico fought against the
U.S. and the Central Powers won, Mexico couldrecover Texas, New Mexico, and
Arizona from the U.S.
The Germans also began to make good on their threats, sinkingnumerous ships.
Meanwhile, in Russia, a revolution toppled the tsaristregime.
On April 2, 1917, President Wilson asked Congress to declare war,which it did four days
later; Wilson had lost his gamble at staying outof the war.
II. Wilsonian Idealism Enthroned
Many people still didn’t want to enter into war, for Americahad prided itself in isolationism
for decades, and now, Wilson wasentangling America in a distant war.
Six senators and 50 representatives, including the first Congresswoman,
Jeanette Ranking, voted against war.
To gain enthusiasm for the war, Wilson came up with the idea ofAmerica entering the
war to “make the world safe fordemocracy.”
This idealistic motto worked brilliantly, but with the new Americanzeal came
the loss of Wilson’s earlier motto, “peacewithout victory.”
III. Wilson’s Fourteen Potent Points
On January 8, 1917, Wilson delivered his Fourteen Points Address to Congress.
The Fourteen Points were a set of idealistic goals for peace. The main points were…
No more secret treaties.
Freedom of the seas was to be maintained.
A removal of economic barriers among nations.
Reduction of armament burdens.
Adjustment of colonial claims in the interests of natives and colonizers.
“Self-determination,” or independence for oppressed minority groups who’d
choose their government
A League of Nations, an international organization that would keep the peace
and settle world disputes.
IV. Creel Manipulates Minds