The War to End War

The War to End War - The War to End War I. War By Germany's...

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The War to End War I. War By Germany’s Actions a. Unrestricted Submarine Warfare i. January 1917 – Failed crops, as well as a British naval blockade, caused severe food shortages in Germany ii. Desperate to strike back, Germany decided to establish its own naval blockade around Britain. They decided to sink any ship in the waters around Britain without warning, called unrestricted submarine warfare iii. Germany hoped to defeat Britain before America could mobilize their army b. Zimmerman Note i. February 1917 – The British intercepted a telegram (Zimmerman note) from Germany’s foreign secretary, Arthur Zimmerman, to the German ambassador in Mexico. The message said that Germany would help Mexico “reconquer” the land it had lost to the United States if Mexico would ally itself with Germany (Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona) ii. The British decoded the message and gave it to the U.S. government. The American public called for war c. Sinking of More American Vessels i. Four unarmed American merchant vessels were sunk in the first two weeks of March ii. At this time, Russia had to deal with a revolution and backed out of the war. If America entered the war now, they wouldn’t have to be on the side of the Russians d. Declaration of War i. April 1917 – The U.S. entered the war on the side of the Allies ii. British harassment of American ships was endurable; Germans sunk and killed many American ships with innocent civilians on them II. Wilsonian Idealism Enthroned a. Isolationists i. America had a tradition of being isolationist ii. 60 Senators and 50 representatives voted against the war resolution iii. The Midwest was unconcerned about the war because they didn’t care about submarine warfare b. Glorifying the U.S.’s War Aims i. To unify the country, Wilson declared that the war was being fought “to make the world safe for democracy” – without the fear of autocrats or militants
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ii. He contrasted the selfish war aims of the other belligerents with America’s goals and ideals. America didn’t fight for money or territory c. Wilson’s Beliefs i. He truly believed in the principles mentioned above and his appeal worked ii. He also thought that the modern world could not afford to have a huge destructive war that advanced industrial States were not capable of waging iii. Americans, it seemed, could be either isolationists or crusaders, but nothing in between III. Wilson’s 14 Points a. The First 5 Points i. A proposal to abolish secret treaties (wanted open peace treaties) ii. Freedom of the seas (appealed to the Germans, as well as to Americans who distrusted British sea power) iii. A removal of economic barriers iv. Reduction of arms (burden to taxpayers in all countries) v. An adjustment of colonial claims (in the interests of both native people and the colonizers) b. Other Points i. Held out the hope of independence (“self- determination”) to oppressed minority groups, such as the Poles (many of whom were under the control of Germany and Austria-Hungary)
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The War to End War - The War to End War I. War By Germany's...

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