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hist 1302 chapter 23 notes

hist 1302 chapter 23 notes - CHAPTER 23 AMERICA AND THE...

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CHAPTER 23: AMERICA AND THE GREAT WAR 1914—1920 I. WAGING NEUTRALITY A. The Origins of Conflict 1. A complex system of alliances divided the continent into two opposing blocs. 2. In central Europe, the expansionist Germany of Kaiser Wilhelm II allied itself with the multinational Austro-Hungarian Empire. Confronting them, Great Britain and France entered into alliances with tsarist Russia. 3. On June 28, 1914, a Serbian terrorist assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, in Sarajevo. 4. With Germany’s support, Austria declared war on Serbia on July 28. 5. Soon Turkey and Bulgaria joined Germany and Austria to form the Central Powers . 6. The Allies —Britain, France, and Russia—were joined by Italy and Japan. 7. Britain drew on its empire for resources, using troops from India, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. The war had become a global conflict, waged not only in Europe but also in Africa, the Middle East, and East Asia. B. American Attitudes 1. Most believed that the United States had no vital interest in the war and would not become involved. 2. However, neither the American people nor their president stayed strictly neutral. 3. German Americans often sympathized with Germany, and many Irish Americans hoped for a British defeat that would free Ireland from British rule. But most Americans sympathized with the Allies. 4. Like other influential Americans, Wilson believed that a German victory would threaten America’s economic, political, and perhaps even strategic interests. 5. Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan was genuinely neutral, but most officials favored the Allies. 6. Robert Lansing, counselor of the State Department; Walter Hines Page, the ambassador to England; and Colonel Edward House, Wilson’s closest adviser on foreign affairs—all assisted British diplomats, undercut official U.S. protests against British violations of American neutrality, and encouraged Wilson’s suspicions of Germany. 7. British propaganda bolstered American sympathies. British writers, artists, and lecturers depicted the Allies as fighting for civilization against a brutal Germany that mutilated nuns and babies. C. The Economy of War 1. Economic issues soon threatened American neutrality. 2. International law permitted neutral nations to sell or ship war materiel to belligerents and with the economy mired in a recession when the war began, many Americans looked to war orders to spur economic recovery. 3. But the British navy prevented trade with the Central Powers. Only the Allies could buy American goods. 4. Other Americans worried that this one-sided war trade undermined genuine neutrality.
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5. A second economic issue complicated matters. To finance their war purchases, the Allies borrowed from American bankers. By April 1917, American loans to the Allies exceeded $2 billion, nearly a hundred times the amount lent to Germany.
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