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World War I and the United States 1914-1920


Title: War and the American State 1914-1920 Author: rauchtilstrag Last modified by: mike Created Date: 3/8/2003 8:01:53 PM Document presentation format – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: World War I and the United States 1914-1920

World War I and the United States1914-1920
Timeframe of WWI
  • Europe 1914-1918
  • US 1917-1918
  • War ends on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day
    of the eleventh month.
  • 11/11/1918
  • Veterans Day is November 11th now celebrated in
    honor of those who fought in all wars.

The Two sides
  • Triple Entente
  • Became Allied Powers
  • England
  • France
  • Russia left war 1917 because of revolution
  • Japan joined later
  • Triple Alliance
  • Became Central Powers
  • Germany
  • Austria-Hungary
  • Italy switched sides 1915
  • Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria joined later

Isolationism Policy from 1914-17
  • The US believed they could stay neutral
    couldnt clearly see the war as democracy v.
  • Cultural ties to both sides
  • Ties to British culture
  • Irish-Americans
  • German-Americans
  • Russia sided with Britain but seen as an
  • Feminists, pacifists and social reformers said
    the country needed to deal with other issues.

Both sides made it difficult for the US to remain
  • 8/1914 British blockaded Central Powers
  • As result cut American trade with Germany
  • US couldnt complain too much trade with allies
    up from 824m in 1914 to 3.2b 1916, also lent
    allies 2.5b
  • In comparison trade and loans with Germany 29m
    and 27m
  • Germans used U-boat (submarines) to challenge
    British control of the seas

The Lusitania and Americas response?
  • Passenger ship torpedoed May 7, 1915
  • 1198 died (128 Americans)
  • Was a passenger ship but had been carrying
  • American newspapers called it mass murder
  • Wilson protested to German govt
  • US-German tensions reduced when German govt said
    they would no longer attack non-combatants
  • Not enough to cause war for US (US doesnt enter
    for two years), but does turn public opinion
    against Germany and Wilson starts preparation for
    possible war

Wilsons attitude toward war was changing in 1915
  • 1b buildup of military
  • ran for re-election in 1916 with slogan He kept
    us out of war.
  • Wilson had long opposed womens suffrage
  • Irony was that he won a very close race with the
    support of 10 of the 12 states that had adopted
    womens suffrage
  • They liked his isolationist stance

Changes led to a decision to go to war
  • Jan. 1917 Germany announced resumption of
    submarine warfare (against ships sailing to
  • Several American merchant ships sunk
  • Feb. 1917 Zimmermann telegram
  • Germany urged Mexico to go to war against the US
    and recover lands lost in mid-1800s
  • Feb. 1917 revolution in Russia maybe a
  • 4/2/1917 Wilson went to Congress to ask for a
    declaration of war
  • No desire to conquest or make gains
  • Socialists and IWW against the war
  • gained more votes 20 in mayoral elections
  • Jan 1918 Wilson issued 14 Points

New Technologies and Strategies that were used in
  • Machine gun
  • Long range high velocity rifles
  • Poison gas
  • Trench Warfare stagnant front
  • 25,000 miles heavily fortified trenches with no
    mans land in between
  • Stalemate in many battles
  • High casualties

End of Introduction
What contribution did the allies want from the US
and how was this accomplished?
  • Men
  • Draft
  • Little resistance
  • About 300,000 evaded the war
  • 4,000 conscientious objectors
  • By end of the war 4m men in armed forces
  • 48,000 killed in action or from wounds
  • 27,000 died from other causes
  • War claimed 8m lives

Major military accomplishments of US forces?
  • Secured shipping lanes in the Atlantic
  • Helped French against Germans at battles of
    Château-Thierry and Belleau Wood
  • Pushed Germans back from the Marne River
  • Won the Meuse-Argonne campaign near Verdun which
    broke the German defenses
  • Kaiser abdicated 2 days later on Nov 11
  • Nov 11, 1918 Armistice Day

Paying for the War
  • Federal Reserve System enabled govt to expand
    money supply
  • 2/3 from loans Liberty Bonds
  • Increased income taxes
  • Excess profits tax
  • Govt also worked with businesses suspended
    anti-trust laws in favor or cooperation

Mobilization of Industry
  • July 1917 War Industries Board created led by
    Bernard Baruch used personal contact to avoid
    forcing business and people to comply
  • Allocated scarce resources
  • controlled flow of raw materials
  • Ordered conversion from peacetime to wartime
  • Set prices
  • Coordinated purchasing

Food Administration
  • Created August 1917 led by Herbert Hoover
  • Slogan food will win the war
  • Convinced population for the need for self-denial
    and self-sacrifice
  • Farm acre expanded from 45m to 74m acreas
  • Rationing unnecessary people complied voluntarily
  • wheatless Mondays
  • meatless Tuesdays
  • porkless Thursdays and Saturdays

Transportation and Temporary Nationalization
  • Govt took over control of Railroads in Dec 1917
    to ensure easy movement of troops.
  • Fulfilled their promise to return RR to their
    owners after war

Need for Labor
  • Established National War Labor Board April 1918
  • Representatives of labor, management and the
    general public
  • Helped labor in the long run by reforms during
  • 8 hour workday for war workers
  • Time and a half for overtime
  • Equal pay for women
  • Strikes not allowed in war industries but used
    arbitration to solve disputes

New faces in the Workforce
  • Mexicans crossed the borders for industrial jobs
    in southwestern cities (100,000)
  • Women joined workforce in record numbers (one
  • Most people believed this would be a temporary

Progressive Reform during WWI
  • Temperance movement
  • Urban areas and areas with high immigrant
    populations opposed prohibition
  • Many southern states already had prohibition laws
  • 18th amendment ratified 1919
  • Womens groups supported Wilson and the war hopes
    of winning the right to vote
  • January 1918 Wilson withdrew his opposition to
    female suffrage amendment
  • Took until Aug 1920 to have the amendment
  • 72 years after goal of womens suffrage declared
    at Seneca Falls in 1948

Progressive Reform during WWI
  • Temperance movement
  • Urban areas and areas with high immigrant
    populations opposed prohibition
  • Many southern states already had prohibition laws
  • 18th amendment ratified 1919
  • Birth Control
  • to protect soldiers from VD gave out birth
    control info and devices
  • Reversal of the treatment of Margaret Sanger and
    Emma Goldman

Womens Suffrage
  • Americas entry into the war threatened to tear
    apart the suffrage movement
  • Jeannette Rankin opposed war first woman member
    of congress
  • women in general supported the war
  • The National Womans Party was militantly
    fighting for suffrage
  • Alice Paul compared Wilson to the Kaiser denying
    democracy, chained herself to white house fence,
    force fed in prison
  • The combined efforts of women during the war won
    them suffrage Wilson finally gave in
  • January 1918 Wilson withdrew his opposition to
    female suffrage amendment
  • Took until Aug 1920 to have the amendment
  • 72 years after goal of womens suffrage declared
    at Seneca Falls in 1948

Propaganda During WWI
  • The Wilson administration decided that patriotism
    was too important to leave to the private sector
  • The Committee on Public Information (CPI) was
    created 1917 shape public opinion in later
    international conflicts prowar propaganda
  • posters, pamphlets, newspaper ads, movies
  • Four-Minute Men standardized talks in different
  • The CPI couched its appeal in the Progressive
    language of social cooperation and expanded
  • Freedom took on new significance enlist, buy
    liberty bonds

Patriotism v. Freedom
  • Committee on Public Information encouraged ethnic
    groups to give up old world customs
  • Especially aimed at German immigrants
  • Espionage Act 1917 Sedition Act 1918
  • Penalties for anti-war activities
  • Govt could ban treasonous material
  • Individuals arrested
  • Eugene Debs 10 yrs jail saying that the master
    classes declared war while the subject classes
    fought battles
  • Pardoned 1921
  • Schenck v. US Supreme Ct upheld that Schenk
    guilty of sending pamphlets urging draft

Patriotism v. Freedom cont.
  • The American Protective League (APL) helped the
    Justice department identify radicals and critics
    of the war spied on neightbors and conducted
    slacker raids checking on draft cards
  • IWW crushed by employers and govt
  • IWW leader Frank Little lynched in Butte Montana
  • broadest warrant in U.S. history fed agents went
    to IWW offices and
  • arrested hundreds of leaders and seized files and
  • Bisbee, Arizona copper miners rounded up strikers
    and sympathizers ? took them to desert and left
    them there

Immigrants and WWI
  • The war led to further growth of the Southwests
    Mexican population
  • legally classified as white thought they would
  • public officials in SW kept them segregated
  • On the eve of American entry into World War I,
    Congress terminated the status citizen of Puerto
    Rico and conferred American citizenship on
    residents of the island
  • subject to draft but couldnt vote in Am
  • Even more restrictive were policies toward
  • 1906 all Asian students in one school
  • Gentlemens Agreement of 1907 end immigration
    to US except for wives and children
  • 1913 CA banned aliens incapable of becoming
    citizens (Asians) from owning land

African Americans and WWI
  • Black leaders saw the war as an opportunity for
  • World War I did not bring significant gains
  • navy barred blacks, army segregated units
    supply units
  • The Great Migration
  • The war opened thousands of industrial jobs to
    black laborer
  • 500,000 migrated north
  • increased presence and demands for change ?
    Dozens of blacks were killed during a 1917 riot
    in East St. Louis, Missouri
  • Also riots and lynching up in the South
  • Marcus Garvey launched a separatist movement
    African indep and black self-reliance
  • Violence led to a silent march of protest on NY
    5th Ave Mr. President, Why Not Make America
    Safe for Democracy?
  • deported for mail fraud

Wilsons 14 Points v. Treaty of Versailles
  • Wilson
  • Permanent league of nations (1 goal)
  • Open diplomacy
  • Free navigation of seas
  • Self-determination for nations
  • Succeeded in creation of Austria, Hungary,
    Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia
  • Embraced ideals of democracy and freedom
  • End imperialism only Germany
  • Versailles
  • Established League of Nations
  • Germany and Russia not invited to peace
  • Allies goal punish Germany
  • Demanded reparations from Germany

Wilson v. Senate
  • Wilson asked country to support his treaty in the
    congressional elections failed
  • Senate against the League of Nations
  • Didnt like premise of permanent US participation
    in European Affairs
  • Desire to return to isolationism
  • Against the call for collective security if a
    member nation was attacked
  • Undermine Congresss authority to declare war
  • Wanted US to pursue a unilateral foreign policy
  • Wilson speaking tour to gain support but had a
  • Treaty never ratified by US

Aftermath of WWI - Labor
  • Workers thought they would retain gains after the
  • The strike wave began in January 1919 in Seattle
    united AFL and IWW ? for 5 days commission of
    laborers ran the city until federal troops called
    in and strike ended
  • 1919 4m workers went on strike demanding
    freedom in the workplace
  • portrayed management as Kaiser
  • Boston police strike MA governor Calvin
    Coolidge (pres 1924) called out national guard
    cant strike against public safety
  • Great Steel Strike after war tried to get rid of
    the union and reverse wartime gains
  • striked for union recognition, higher wages, and
    an eight-hour day
  • immigrant workers questioned why they had
    supported the war
  • Steel magnates launched a concerted
  • associated the strikers with the IWW
  • became immigrant workers v. American workers
  • middle class turned against the unions
  • strike collapsed 1920

Aftermath of WWI Red Scare
  • Fear because of Russian Rev. and strikes
  • Attorney General Palmer in November 1919 and
    January 1920 dispatched federal agents to raid
    the offices of radical and labor organizations
    throughout the country
  • J. Edgar Hoover oversaw the Palmer Raids
  • 5000 arrested many w/o warrants, held for months
    w/o charges
  • hundreds of immigrant radicals deported Emma
  • compiled files of thousands of suspected radicals
  • Palmer criticized by Congress and the press
  • Secretary of Labor Louis Post began releasing
    imprisoned immigrants and the Red Scare collapsed
  • bomb outside of NY Stock Exchange didnt rekindle
    the red scare
  • 40 died biggest U.S. terrorist explosion before
    Oklahoma City 1995
  • in the long run Palmer raids led to protection
    of civil liberties, but in the short run it hurt
    radical and labor groups
  • IWW and Socialist Party destroyed