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World War I Storyboard

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by

Lucy Hooper

on 29 April 2010

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Transcript of World War I Storyboard

World War One The World War of 1914-1918 was the first man made catastrophe of the 20th century. "The Great War was without precedent ... never had so many nations taken up arms at a single time. Never had the battlefield been so vast… never had the fighting been so gruesome..." United States was under attack despite its neutrality. In Febuary 1915, German military leaders announced that they would attack all merchant shipping on the waters around the British Isles. President Wilson declared that the US would hold Germany accountable for the loss of American vessels or lives. Soon afterward Germany sunk the British liner Lusitania and 128 of the people aboard that were killed were Americans. On August 19, orders were ignored, the British steamer Arabic was sunk - without warning. In March of 1916, Germans attacked the French ship Sussex - injuring many Americans. President Woodrow Wilson announced an ultimatum stating that if Germany did not desert its current methods of submarine warfare, the US would cut ties with Germany. In an effort by both the allied and the central powersto involve the Americans, the American nation was heavily immersed with propaganda. United States Economic Investments The U.S. had huge economic investments with the British and French. If they were to lose, then they would not be able to pay the U.S. debt back (amounting to about two billion dollars while Germany only borrowed a mere 27 million). If Allies could not pay back all the loans made to them by the American bankers, the US's economy could collapse. France and England were financing their war with US loans. In addition, they were buying massive amounts of arms from the US on credit. The US wanted to make sure that it got paid back. Germany also purchased arms, but in a much more limited fashion. To make the world "safe for democracy" Over time a moral sense had developed that Britain and France were fighting the good fight for freedom against a genuine evil. If that sense had not existed I think the US would have let the Lusitania pass. As it was, it was nearly two years after she was sunk that we finally did declare war. "Peace had to be a peace of reconciliation, a peace without victory, for a victor's peace would leave a sting, a resentment, a bitter memory upon which terms of peace would rest, not permanently, but only as upon quicksand." President Wilson
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