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World War I


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Title: World War I

World War I
Causes of WWI
Alliance system
  • Empires were expensive to build and defend. The
    growth of nationalism and imperialism led to
    increased military spending. Because each nation
    wanted to be stronger than a potential enemy,
    these imperial powers followed the policy of
    militarism- the development of armed forces and
    their use as a tool of diplomacy.

  • By the end of the 19th century Germany had become
    the strongest nation in Europe. They had a large
    standing army, and a large army reserve system.
    Britain, at that time, was the largest empire in
    the world and it also had the largest navy. Their
    navy was so big and strong because they needed to
    protect their empire and maintain the sea routes
    between the different colonies.

  • Kaiser Wilhelm II, of Germany, hated and envied
    Britain for having a stronger navy than his. He
    increased the German navy and built many
    warships. Britain responded with building more
    ships and increasing its navy too. This started a
    race for building more and better warships and it
    created tension and competition between those two

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  • The competition between Germany and Great Britain
    also brought France, Italy, Japan, and the U.S.
    into the naval arms race. The major symbol of
    this arms race was the Dreadnought. These
    British ships caused a revolution, by making the
    battleships of all other navies obsolete. Soon
    every nation was trying to build bigger, more
    heavily armed ships.

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Alliance System
  • Because every country was trying to get an
    advantage over their enemies, they started to
    form military alliances with other countries. By
    1907 there were two major defense alliances in
    Europe. The Triple Entente (the Allies)
    consisted of France, Great Britain, and Russia.

  • The Triple Alliance consisted of Germany,
    Austria-Hungary, and Italy. Later, Germany,
    Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire became the
    Central Powers. These alliances were supposed to
    provide protection from other countries, and
    peace within Europe. As it turned out, these
    alliances helped turn a small incident into a
    major conflict.

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  • As we have talked about before, imperialism is a
    policy in which stronger nations extend their
    economic, political, or military control over
    weaker territories. European countries had been
    establishing colonies for centuries. In the late
    19th century Africa and Asia were prime targets
    for European expansionism.

  • Colonies supplied the European powers with raw
    materials, and provided markets, for manufactured
    goods. As Germany industrialized, it competed
    with France and Britain in the contest for

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  • Throughout the 19th Century western politics were
    deeply influenced by the devotion to the
    interests and culture of ones nation. Often
    nationalism led to competitive and antagonistic
    rivalries among nations. In this atmosphere many
    feared Germanys growing power in Europe.

  • More importantly, various ethnic groups resented
    domination by others and longed for their own
    independence. Many ethnic groups looked at
    larger nations for protection. Russia was
    regarded as the protector of the Slavs, no
    matter what government they lived under. Among
    these Slavic people were the Serbs, who were
    under the rule of the Austria-Hungary.

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  • As a result, Russia and Austria-Hungary were
    rivals for influence over Serbia.

Franz Ferdinand
  • The Balkans have long been known as the powder
    keg of Europe. Ethnic rivalries and the
    interests of the major powers put all of these
    different groups at odds. Russia wanted access
    to the Mediterranean Sea. Germany wanted a rail
    link to the Ottoman Empire. Austria-Hungary
    accused Serbia of undermining their authority in
    Bosnia. The powder keg was ready to explode.

  • In June of 1914 the Archduke Franz Ferdinand,
    heir to the Austrian throne, was visiting the
    Bosnian capital of Sarajevo. During this visit
    the Black Hand, a secret nationalist group,
    decided to assassinate him. With their first
    attempt a thrown bomb glanced off Franz
    Ferdinand's arm, bounced off the folded car top
    and into the street behind them. The explosion
    injured about a dozen spectators.

  • The failed bomber swallowed cyanide and jumped
    into the river. The trouble was, the poison was
    old -- it only made him vomit -- and the river
    was only a few inches deep. He was quickly seized
    by the crowd and arrested. The motorcade
    continued on. Later, as the royals drove through
    the city Gavrilo Princip, another member of the
    Black Hand, stepped from the crowd and shot the
    Archduke and his wife.

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  • The murders of Franz Ferdinand and his wife
    brought Austro-Serbian tensions to a head.
    Austria-Hungary declared what was supposed to be
    a short war against Serbia. The alliance system
    pulled one nation after another into the
    conflict. Russia declared war on Austria-Hungary,
    Germany declared war on Russia. On August 3rd
    Germany declared war on Russias ally, France.

The Schlieffen Plan
  • On August 3, 1914 Germany started to execute the
    grand strategy known as the Schlieffen Plan.
    This plan called for a holding action against
    Russia combined with a quick drive through
    Belgium to Paris. After France had fallen the
    two German armies would turn to defeat Russia.

  • As German troops swept across Belgium thousands
    of civilians fled in terror. Unable to save
    Belgium, the Allies retreated to the Marne River,
    in France, where they were able to halt the
    German advance. Both sides spent the next few
    weeks trying to outflank each others armies, but
    were unsuccessful so they dug in for a long

  • Most trenches were only a few feet above sea
    level. As soon as soldiers began to dig down they
    would invariably find water two or three feet
    below the surface. Water-logged trenches were a
    constant problem for soldiers on the Western
    Front. Frontline trenches were usually about
    seven feet deep and six feet wide. This made it
    impossible to see over the top so a ledge known
    as a fire-step was added.

Trench Warfare
  • By the spring of 1915 these armies had built
    parallel systems of trenches from the Belgian
    coast to the Swiss Alps. As the Germans were the
    first to decide where to stand fast and dig, they
    had been able to choose the best places to build
    their trenches. The possession of the higher
    ground not only gave the Germans a tactical
    advantage, but it forced the British and French
    to live in the worst conditions.

  • Trenches were not dug in straight lines.
    Otherwise, if the enemy had a successive
    offensive, and got into your trenches, they could
    shoot straight along the line. The front-line
    trenches were also protected by barbed-wire
    entanglements and machine-gun posts. Land between
    opposing trenches was called No-Man's Land.

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  • The scale of the slaughter was horrific. During
    the first Battle of the Somme, which lasted for
    almost five months, the British suffered 60,000
    casualties the first day alone! Final casualties
    for the battle totaled 1.2 million men, but the
    lines only changed about seven miles. This type
    of warfare continued for three more years.
    Elsewhere the fighting was just as devastating
    and inconclusive.

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U.S. Neutrality
  • In 1914 most Americans saw no reason to join the
    slaughter that was going on in Europe, especially
    since it did not threaten American lives or
    property. Americans, though, were divided in
    their opinions on the war. Socialists criticized
    the war because of its origins in imperialism.

  • Pacifists, like William Jennings Bryan, believed
    war was evil, and that the U.S. should not get
    involved and set an example of peace. Most of
    all, Americans didnt want their sons going to
    Europe to die. Depending on their heritage,
    Americans sympathized with opposing sides. Most
    Americans, however felt closer to Britain because
    of a common language, democratic institutions and
    legal system.

  • The most important tie to the Allies was
    economic. Before the war American trade with
    Britain and France doubled U.S. trade with
    Germany. During the wars first two years this
    became even more lopsided, as the Allies flooded
    American manufacturers with orders for war
    supplies. The U.S. shipped millions of dollars
    of war supplies to the Allies, and requests kept
    coming. by 1915 the U.S. was experiencing a
    labor shortage.

The war hits home
  • As the war continued Britain began to use its
    navy to blockade Germany, to keep weapons and
    food from getting through. They even blockaded
    neutral ports and mined the entire North Sea.
    Americans stopped shipments to Germany, and they
    started to starve. By 1917 as many as 750,000
    Germans had starved to death.

  • Germanys response to this blockade was a counter
    blockade with submarines (U-boats). Any ship
    found in the waters around Britain would be sunk,
    and no guarantee was made that the crews of those
    ships would be warned before an attack. One of
    the worst of these attacks came in May 1915, when
    a U-boat sank the British passenger liner
    Lusitania off the coast of Ireland.

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  • Of the 1,198 people that died, 128 were
    Americans. The Germans defended the sinking,
    claiming that it was carrying ammunition to the
    Allies. Despite this explanation Americans were
    outraged with Germany, and public opinion turned
    against Germany and the Central Powers. Despite
    this President Wilson ruled out a military
    response, in favor of a strong official protest.

Reaction to the Lusitania and other U-boat
attacks in America
  • Other attacks against passenger liners, with
    Americans aboard, included the Arabic and the
    Sussex. Again the U.S. warned that it would
    break off diplomatic relations with Germany,
    unless it changed its tactics. Germany countered
    that the unrestricted submarine warfare would
    continue until the U.S. persuaded Britain to
    allow food and fertilizers through to Germany.

The Election of 1916
  • This election was between Woodrow Wilson (D) and
    Supreme Court Justice Charles Evans Hughes (R).
    Wilson campaigned on the slogan He Kept Us Out
    Of War, while Hughes pledged to uphold Americas
    right to the freedom of the seas. This election
    was very close, with Wilson squeaking out a

Declaration of War
  • After the election Wilson tried to work out an
    agreement between the warring nations, of course
    this failed. Wilson had hoped that both sides
    would stop fighting and work to extend democracy,
    maintain the freedom of the seas, and reduce the
    militarism in Europe. The Germans ignored the
    call for peace.

  • On January 31, 1917 Germany resumed their
    unrestricted submarine warfare, after stopping
    for less than a year. All ships, hostile or
    neutral, would be sunk on sight. Wilson was
    stunned, and America was afraid this would bring
    us into the war. Wilson held back, waiting for
    actual overt acts before declaring war. Those
    acts came soon.

  • The first of these was the Zimmermann Note, a
    telegram from the German foreign minister to the
    German ambassador in Mexico (which was
    intercepted by the British). It proposed an
    alliance between Germany and Mexico, and promised
    that if war broke Germany would assist them in
    recovering lost territory in Texas, New Mexico,
    and Arizona.

  • Soon afterward came the sinking of four unarmed
    American merchant ships. Finally, in March of
    1917 the Russian Tsar was overthrown and replaced
    with a representative form of government. Now
    Americans could support the war on the premise
    that the war was now a war of democracies versus
    brutal monarchies. On April 4, 1917 the U.S.
    declared war on Germany.

  • With the idea of U.S. neutrality shattered the
    U.S. started to mobilize for war. U.S. troops
    would now follow the stream of money and
    munitions across the Atlantic. Wilsons plea to
    make the world safe for democracy wasnt an
    idle promise. Wilson really believed that the
    U.S. had to join this war to pave the way for
    future peace and freedom.

U.S. Mobilization
  • Even though war had been declared the U.S. was
    not immediately prepared. There were only
    200,000 men in service and very few of the
    officers had combat experience. Drastic measures
    were needed to create an army large and modern
    enough to make an impact in Europe.

  • Congress passed the Selective Service Act, in May
    1917, to meet the need for more soldiers. This
    law required men to register with the government
    in order for them to be randomly selected for
    military service. By the end of 1918 24 million
    men had registered and almost 3 million had been
    drafted. Most of these draftees had not attended
    high school and about 20 were foreign-born.

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  • An eight-week training period took place before
    these men were ready for combat. During this time
    they spent 17 hour days doing target practice,
    combat drills, kitchen duty, and cleaning their
    camps. Since weapons were in short-supply they
    often used fake weapons for their training.

  • Of these recruits almost 400,000 were
    African-American. More than half served in
    France, although in segregated units. Most were
    assigned to non-combat units. Women were also
    allowed to serve in the army, but only as nurses.
    They were denied rank, pay, and benefits.
    Almost 13,000 women served in the navy and
    marines, with full military rank, as nurses,
    secretaries, and telephone operators.

  • Factories also needed to mobilize for war. They
    needed to supply the army with transportation,
    food, and equipment and get it across the
    Atlantic. This was an immense task, which was
    made even more difficult because of the success
    of Germanys submarine warfare. The Germans
    were sinking twice as much tonnage, every year,
    as the Allies could build.

  • To expand the U.S. fleet the government exempted
    most shipyard workers from the draft and delayed
    drafting others until later. These shipyard
    workers were given many of the benefits that
    soldiers were. There was also a change in the
    way ships were built. The assembly line idea was
    transferred to ships. Ship parts were being
    built in many factories, and then assembled in
    the shipyards.

  • This method greatly reduced the time and space it
    took to build ships, and production increased
    greatly. As a result on just one day, July 4
    1918, the U.S. launched 95 ships. Also, many
    private ships were taken over by the government,
    and were converted for use in the war. Still,
    these ships had to deal with the U-Boats as they
    crossed the Atlantic, and took serious losses.

The Convoy System
  • To reduce the effectiveness of the U-boats the
    navy came up with a new system in which a heavy
    guard of destroyers would escort merchant ships
    back and forth across the Atlantic. By the fall
    of 1917 Allied naval losses had been cut in half.
    The U.S. Navy also started to mine the North Sea
    to keep U-boats out of the Atlantic.

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  • By 1918 the Germans found it increasingly
    difficult to replace their losses and to staff
    their fleet with trained submariners. Of the 2
    million Americans who sailed for Europe only 637
    were lost to U-boat attacks.

The American Expeditionary Force
  • After 2 ½ years of fighting the Allied forces
    were exhausted and demoralized. One of the
    greatest contributions that the U.S. made to the
    war effort was to supply troops that were fresh
    and full of enthusiasm. The AEF was led by
    General John J. Blackjack Pershing. He had to
    transform the Army as rapidly as possible and to
    learn the techniques of modern warfare at the
    same time.

  • His force included men from every state and
    economic background. Most had never been far
    from home. These men were awed by the sights and
    sounds of Paris, and shocked by the horrors of
    the battlefield. These doughboys were now
    exposed to a type of warfare that the world had
    never seen, especially on this scale.

  • The Allies expected to use the AEF as
    replacements for their depleted armies, and also
    hoped that this would lessen the effects of their
    inexperience. Pershing, however, envisioned a
    different role for his force. He felt that the
    solution to the stalemate that had developed was
    to reestablish maneuver on the battlefield.

  • This meant that the AEF would avoid the trench
    warfare mentality that the Allies had accepted
    and instead train and fight using what he termed
    open warfare. This also meant that he would
    need the AEF to operate as an independent
    fighting force, under American command. Although
    the Allied leaders were skeptical they had to

The New Warfare
  • The battlefields of WWI saw the first large-scale
    use of weapons that would define modern warfare.
    Some of these weapons were new while others had
    been refined to the point of being so effective
    that they changed the battlefield forever. The
    machinegun, tank, airplanes, heavy artillery and
    poison gas were mainstays of this new battlefield
    and helped contribute to a horrible number of

  • The machine gun, which so came to dominate and
    even to personify the battlefields of WWI, was a
    fairly primitive weapon when the war began.  They
    were heavy and ill-suited for rapidly advancing
    infantry troops. When established to cover
    potential enemy attack routes, the machine gun
    proved a fearsome defensive weapon.  Infantry
    assaults upon such positions proved very costly.

  • The British found the futility of massed infantry
    attacks against entrenched positions protected by
    machine guns. The first day of the Somme
    Offensive amply illustrated this, although the
    lesson was lost on the British high command. On
    the opening day of the offensive the British
    suffered a record number of single day
    casualties, 60,000, the great majority lost
    because of machine gun fire.

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  • Artillery, in the First World War was used to
    defend against attacks, prepare for assaults,
    destroy trenches, and protect soldiers as they
    advanced toward enemy trenches. At the outset of
    the war, artillery was used as a mobile weapon
    but, as the war progressed and both sides became
    entrenched, it was increasingly used as a means
    of bombarding enemy trenches from fixed

  • As the war continued, different types of
    artillery were quickly developed. Larger guns
    were built that could fire great distances and
    shells that carried high explosives were used to
    destroy defenses that were carefully constructed
    and defended. Immense guns mounted on train cars
    were also used as a means of having heavy
    portable weaponry. They were often nicknamed "Big
    Bertha", "Mother", and "Granny.

  • A photo of a French Naval gun used by the
    American Army. This looks to be like that of the
    400mm railway gun type.

  • Gas was invented (and used very successfully) as
    a terror weapon meant to instill confusion and
    panic among the enemy prior to an offensive. They
    ranged form the non-lethal tearing agents to the
    dreaded mustard gas. Unlike the other gases which
    attack the respiratory system, mustard gas acts
    on any exposed, moist skin.

  • This includes the eyes, lungs, armpits and groin.
    A gas mask could offer very little protection.
    The oily agent would produce large burn-like
    blisters wherever it came in contact with skin.
    It also had a nasty way of hanging about in low
    areas for hours, even days, after being
    dispersed. A soldier jumping into a shell crater
    could find himself blinded, with skin blistering
    and lungs bleeding.

The total number of casualties from gas attacks
was over 1.2 million wounded and 91,000 deaths.
  • Airplanes were used, throughout the war, in
    various roles. Initially airplanes were so
    flimsy that they were only used for scouting.
    After a while the two sides used them for bombing
    the enemy or attacking each others planes.
    These early dogfights (individual air combat)
    were very non-lethal, often ending when one plane
    ran out of gas or crashed.

  • As airplanes began to be able to fly faster,
    further, and were more maneuverable (eventually
    machine guns were mounted on the airplanes)
    flying became a dangerous business. The best
    fighter pilots became famous and sometimes, like
    Germanys Baron von Richthofen, racked up over 80
    victories over their enemy.

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  • Tanks were a new idea developed to provide a
    moving platform for machine guns so that they
    could support infantry attacks. They were
    replacing armored cars which could not drive over
    trenches or roll over barbed wire. The earliest
    tanks were very slow, broke down often, and were
    very clumsy. Although tanks were never used in
    large numbers they signaled a new era in modern

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The U.S. goes on the Offensive
  • When Russia pulled out of the war in 1917
    (because of the Russian Revolution) the Germans
    shifted their armies from the eastern front to
    the front in France. By May they were within 50
    miles of Paris. The Americans arrived just in
    time to stop the German advance at Cantigny in

  • In that battle 4,000 men from the U.S. 1st
    Division captured the village of Cantigny, held
    by the Germans. In taking the village the
    Americans expanded their front by approximately a
    mile. Most importantly, the Americans proved that
    they could be effective against the best the
    enemy had to offer. This success was followed by
    attacks at Chateau-Thierry and Belleau Wood in
    the first half of June.

  • In July and August the U.S. troops helped the
    Allies win the Second Battle of the Marne.
    Because of American enthusiasm, freshness, and
    lack of experience with the horrors of war the
    tide had turned against the Central Powers. In
    September U.S. troops began to mount offensives
    against the Germans, especially in the Argonne
    Forest area.

American War heroes
  • During the fighting in the Argonne forest one of
    Americas greatest war heroes was made. A
    backwoodsman and blacksmith from Tennessee, York
    had initially tried to be exempt from the draft
    as a conscientious objector (a person who opposed
    war on moral grounds). York changed his mind,
    believing that killing was alright if it was for
    a just cause.

  • On October 8, 1918 York, armed only with his
    rifle and a pistol, killed 25 Germans and with
    the help of six other soldiers captured 132
    Germans. For his heroic acts he was promoted to
    the rank of sergeant and became a celebrity in

  • Eddie Rickenbacker was the greatest American
    flying Ace. He had proposed to form a flying
    squadron made up entirely of racing drivers.  He
    later transferred to the famous "Hat in the Ring"
    squadron, so called because of their insignia.
    Eddie finished the war with 26 victories, the
    Congressional Medal of Honor, the Distinguished
    Service Cross, and the French Croix de Guerre.

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  • The "Harlem Hellfighters", the American 369th
    Regiment, fought with the French 16th Division.
    The longest fighting American unit in World War
    I, they received a total of 171 Croix de Guerre

  • On November 2, 1918 Austria-Hungary surrendered
    to the Allies. That same day German sailors
    mutinied against the government. The mutiny
    quickly spread. German soldiers and workers
    formed revolutionary councils. On November 9
    socialist leaders established a republic in
    Berlin. The Kaiser abdicated the throne.

  • Although no Allied troops were on German
    territory, and no decisive battle had been
    fought, the Germans were too exhausted to
    continue. Finally, on the 11th hour of the 11th
    day, of the 11th month Germany agreed to an
    armistice (cease-fire). In the end the war cost
    about 22 million deaths, half of them civilians.
    20 million more were wounded and 10 million were

  • The U.S., despite being involved in the actual
    fighting for only six months, lost 48,000 men in
    battle, 200,000 wounded and another 62,000 died
    from disease. Combined the world spent 180
    billion, with the U.S. spending 22.6 Billion.
    With the war over Americans expected to return
    back to normal life in America. Many found their
    lives at home had changed almost as much as those
    who had fought in Europe.

  • Hollywood's first generation of horror films were
    a direct descendant of World War I. Americans saw
    the newsreels and photographs of damaged bodies,
    read tales of shell-shocked soldiers, and faced
    the trauma of war in a way no national audience
    had ever done. Prior to World War I, casualties
    were hidden away from the public, locked in the
    attic and ignored. Tales of glory and heroism
    could whitewash the horror.

  • The Hunchback and the Phantom were men who, like
    many WWI veterans, had to live with
    disfigurements. Many other films, especially
    Frankenstein, recalled the wars bleak
    landscapes. Many in this generation were
    profoundly disturbed by the horrors that the war
    had unleashed.

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Two of the 20,000 WWI facial casualties with
  • Between 1914 and 1921 over 41,000 men lost at
    least one limb as a result of their injuries, and
    this was in the British armed forces alone.

Trench Foot
The Home Front
Watershed in US History
  • US steps out of Isolationism
  • Expansion of central government
  • America optimistic it could fix the worlds

  • Because WWI was such an immense conflict the
    entire economy had to be refocused on the war
    effort. The shift from producing consumer goods
    to war supplies was too complicated and important
    a job to let big business handle it on their own.
    Big business and the government had to work
    together to make this work right. In the process
    the power of the government was expanded greatly.

War Industries Board
  • Congress gave Wilson the power to direct much of
    the economy, including the power to fix prices
    and to regulate certain war-related industries.
    Bernard Baruch, a prosperous businessman, was put
    in charge. The 6 member board had
    representatives of Army, Navy, War Materials,
    Finished Products

  • The board encouraged companies to adopt
    mass-production techniques to increase efficiency
    and to eliminate waste. The WIB also set
    production quotas and allocated raw materials
    throughout the U.S. Under the WIB production
    throughout the U.S. increased by 20.
  • The WIB had very little real power, though. It
    could intimidate, urge, negotiate

U.S. artillery being produced at Bethlehem Steel
  • In reality the WIB could only control prices on
    the wholesale level. Retail prices soared, and
    many prices soon doubled from pre-war levels.
    Corporate profits, especially in the chemical,
    meatpacking, oil, and steel industries.
  • The Railroad and Fuel Administrations also were
    given regulatory power. Many people adopted
    gasless Sundays, and lightless nights to
    conserve fuel.

The War Economy
  • Wages in the U.S. rose during the war years.
    Hourly wages for blue-collar workers rose by 20.
    These incomes were largely undercut by rising
    food prices and housing costs. In contrast, many
    government contractors saw huge profits. The
    DuPont Company saw its stock multiply
    1600between 1914 and 1918. DuPont was earning
    68 million/year.

  • The pay gap between labor and management
    increased greatly. Work hours, child labor, and
    sped-up working conditions also grew greatly.
    So did labor unions. Union membership doubled to
    4 million members, and they held 6,000 strikes
    during the war. To deal with these disputed the
    National War Labor Board was formed, their chief
    threat was that strikers could lose their draft

Food Administration
  • The Food Admin. was set up to help conserve and
    produce food. Herbert Hoover was made its
    leader. It gets the US in a position to feed the
    war industry, not by rationing but by a great
    coercion of the public. Hoover called for
    Meatless, Sweetless, Porkless and
    Wheatless days.

  • Homeowners were convinced to plant Victory
    Gardens in their yards. Schoolchildren spent
    their time, after school, growing vegetables in
    public parks. Farmers put an additional 40
    million acres into production, especially growing
    wheat and other staples. As a result of these
    efforts, food shipments to the Allies tripled.

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Financing the War
  • US starts out selling to all nations, and
    businessmen start to get rich
  • British blockade limits sales to Allies only
  • By early 1917 American companies had loaned 1.5
    Billion to Allies
  • US economy geared up for producing war goods

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  • The U.S. spent about 35.5 billion on the war
    effort, the government raised about 1/3 of this
    through taxes. It raised the rest through public
    borrowing by selling Liberty Loans and Victory
    Loan bonds to Americans. The government sold
    these through tens of thousands of volunteers,
    including movie stars. Patriotic pressure was
    used to sell these loans, saying only unpatriotic
    people wouldnt buy them.

  • Secretary of Treasury-William Gibbs McAdoo
    (Wilsons son-in-law) was put in charge of this
    effort. The plan was to borrow from public to
    pay for war, and keep inflation down!
  • The expansion of currency causes spending
    inflation in the U.S. In many cases inflation
    causes prices to raise to 5x prewar levels.

  • George Creel was put in charge of popularizing
    the war. He was the leader of the Committee on
    Public Information. He was a former muckraker,
    and his propaganda campaigns have been seen
    throughout this presentation. Creel persuaded
    artists and advertising agents to create
    thousands of paintings, posters, and cartoons to
    promote the war. These campaigns often used
    characters of different races and inflamed

Attacks on Civil Liberties
  • Both official and unofficial attacks on Civil
    Liberties appeared during the war. The main
    targets of these attacks were Americans who had
    emigrated from other countries, especially
    Germany and Austria-Hungary. Many Americans with
    German sounding names lost their jobs.
    Orchestras refused to play music by Mozart, Bach
    and Beethoven.

  • Finally, in a burst of patriotic fervor,
    Americans changed the names of German measles to
    liberty measles, and hamburgers to Liberty
  • In June 1917 Congress passed the Espionage and
    Sedition Acts. Under these laws it was illegal
    to interfere with the war effort or say anything
    disloyal about the government or the war effort.

  • Violating these laws could bring fines up to
    10,000 and up to 20 years in jail. These laws
    clearly violated the spirit of the First
    Amendment, but prosecutions still occurred.
    Socialists and labor leaders, like Eugene Debs
    and Big Bill Haywood, were targeted. Debs was
    convicted and was sentenced to 10 years in prison
    while Haywood got 30 years, for speaking out
    against the war.

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  • Although Debs was sentenced to 10 years in
    prison, he only ended up serving 2 ½ years.
    President Harding commuted his sentence on
    Christmas Day in 1921. While in prison he had
    run for president (1920 election) and received
    about 919,000 votes!
  • Big Bill Haywood never served his sentence
    because he fled the country, during an appeal,
    and wound up in the Soviet Union working with

The Great Migration
  • The greatest effect of WWI on African-Americans
    lives was the large-scale movement of hundreds of
    thousands of Southern blacks to cities in the
    North. This population shift had begun before
    the war, when blacks were trying to escape the
    conditions of Jim Crow. Several factors
    contributed to the tremendous increase in black

  • Many blacks were escaping racial discrimination
    in the South, which made it hard to make a living
    and threatened their lives.
  • Economic opportunities in the South were
    shrinking while opportunities in the North were
    increasing. Boll weevil infestations, floods,
    and droughts hurt Southern agriculture. At the
    same time Henry Ford was now hiring black workers.

  • During the war job opportunities in steel mills,
    munitions plants, and stockyards. Northern
    manufacturers were so in need of labor that they
    distributed free railroad passes through the
    south. Once they got to the north they realized
    they still had to deal with discrimination. In
    addition to this they had to deal with housing
    shortages and increased racial tensions. Race
    riots broke out in several cities.

Womens Efforts
  • During the war women were also moving into jobs
    that were previously denied them. They became RR
    workers, cooks, dockworkers, mined coal, worked
    in shipyards and were bricklayers. They also
    served in the military, served with the Red
    Cross, and planted victory gardens. President
    Wilson acknowledged their service, although they
    didnt ever get equal pay.

Female ship riveters
The Influenza Epidemic
  • In the fall of 1918 the U.S. suffered a health
    epidemic that affected about ¼ of the U.S.
    population. This was part of a larger,
    world-wide influenza epidemic. The effect of
    this on the economy was devastating. Mines shut
    down, telephone service is cut in half,
    factories, schools and offices all shut down to
    stop contagion. Cities ran out of coffins and
    bodies often lay unburied for weeks.

  • This mysterious illness seemed to strike
    completely healthy people and death could occur
    in days. Doctors didnt know what to do and
    could only recommend cleanliness and quarantine
    effected people. The army was affected even
    more. Almost ¼ of all soldiers caught this
    disease. In total 500,000 Americans died from
    the flu. (Maybe 30 million died worldwide)

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The Fourteen Points
  • In January 1918 the representatives of the Allies
    met at the Palace of Versailles. President
    Wilson was there to persuade the Allies to
    construct a plan to bring a lasting peace and to
    establish a League of Nations. Rejection was the
    last thing Wilson expected when he arrived in
    Europe. Wilsons plan was developed even before
    the war was over.

  • The key to his plan was called the Fourteen
    Points. These points were divided into three
    groups. The first five points were supposed to
    prevent another war 1) There should be no secret
    treaties among nations. 2) Freedom of the seas
    should be maintained for all. 3) Tariffs should
    be lowered in order to foster free trade. 4)
    Arms should be reduced. 5) Colonial policies
    should also consider the interests of both
    colonial peoples.

  • The next eight dealt with boundary changes, based
    on self-determination. Historical boundaries and
    ethnic groups should be used to decide where new
    nations should be formed. The fourteenth point
    called for a League of Nations to provide a forum
    for nations to discuss and settle their
    grievances without having to resort to war.
    Wilson didnt understand the anger of the Allied

Treaty of Versailles
  • The Allies were more worried about punishing the
    defeated nations and getting reparations
    (payments for war debts incurred) from Germany
    and Austria-Hungary. The Big-Four worked out the
    treatys details, with Wilson having little say
    in the results. In the end the treaty was
    structured to punish Germany, rather than create

  • The treaty established nine new nations including
    Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Finland,
    Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia. It shifted the
    boarders of many nations and carved five areas
    out of the Ottoman Empire and gave them to
    Britain and France. They were to rule them until
    they were ready for self-rule and independence.
    The treaty also barred Germany from maintaining
    an army.

  • It also required Germany to return the region of
    Alsace-Lorraine to France and to pay reparations
    totaling 33 billion to the Allies. Finally, it
    required Germany to accept full responsibility
    for the war. In total, Germany was humiliated,
    stripped of some of their most valuable lands
    including colonies, and required to pay huge
    reparations without any way of making that

  • Many countries, including the U.S., opposed the
    treaty, but were forced to live with its
    conditions. When Wilson returned home he faced
    strong opposition to the treaty. Many believed
    its terms were too harsh. Others thought it was
    simply helping the Allies continue with their
    imperialism. In the end the U.S. refuses to sign
    the treaty. Because of his support of it Wilson
    loses his political support.

League of Nations
  • Because of U.S. opposition to the Treaty of
    Versailles the U.S. also opposed the League of
    Nations. Many conservative senators, headed by
    Henry Cabot Lodge, push against both the Treaty
    and the League. In Wilsons fight to get the
    treaty accepted he suffered a stroke. With his
    voice gone the Republicans carry the argument.
    The U.S. refused to join the league of nations.

Effects of the War
  • After the was the U.S. calls for a return to,
    what Warren Harding called normalcy. The U.S.
    wanted to fade back into political obscurity,
    despite the fact that we had become one of the
    most powerful nations in the world. Now the
    government and army were much stronger.
    African-Americans and women were dissatisfied
    with how they were being treated at home.

  • The U.S. economy was booming, but producing only
    war goods. They needed to change back to
    consumer goods, but that would take time. At the
    same time millions of soldiers are returning home
    to no jobs, and our economy falters. Europe is
    in ruins, both politically and socially, which
    leads to instability and eventually conditions
    that will cause WWII.