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World War I

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keith chapin

on 4 October 2018

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Transcript of World War I

World War I
The War to end all wars
American International Role to 1916
expanding and projecting abroad
Panama Canal, Cuba, Philippines, Japan
Roosevelt Corollary
Speak softly and carry a big stick
Open Door policy
Dollar Diplomacy (Taft)
Wilson's moralism (liberty, justice, American values through international trade)
Deep skepticism and suspicion of all things European
"Beware of foreign entanglements"
Europe is uneasy
fragile and complex alliances (often in secret)
Triple Alliance (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy)
Triple Entente or Allies (Great Britain, France and Russia)
designed to keep conflicts contained
ethnic tension and imperial ambitions
Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife
German Action
rapid movement of German army... Schlieffen Plan of 1905... "Paris for lunch, St Petersburg for dinner"
6 weeks to conquer France and then address Russia, Britain would stay out if France was crushed
casualty numbers shocking (27,000 French in a day in 1914
Trench warfare begins in earnest
Germany comes to within 30 miles of Paris
Stalemate results with roughly equal forces and defensive strategies
New Warfare and scale
machine guns and high velocity rifles
aerial bombing
poison gas
land mines and flame throwers
destruction of civilian areas and national landmarks
racial annihilation (religion, patriotism, honor, duty)
Battle of Ypres 1914-17
750,000 Germs and 995,000French
850,000 casualties
350,000 British deaths
Battle of Somme 1916
1 million
horrific battle of attrition
Battle of Verdun 1916
"The string in France has reached breaking point. A mass break-through - which in any case is beyond our means - is unnecessary. Within our reach there are objectives for the retention of which the French General Staff would be compelled to throw in every man they have. If they do so the forces of France will bleed to death."
Falkenhayn to Kaiser William II

"Men were squashed. Cut in two or divided from top to bottom. Blown into showers; bellies turned inside out; skulls forced into the chest as if by a blow from a club."

"You eat beside the dead; you drink beside the dead, you relieve yourself beside the dead and you sleep beside the dead."
"People will read that the front line was Hell. How can people begin to know what that one word - Hell - means."

Strained Neutrality
no peril?
nation of immigrants (German and Irish) 8 million
Trade and loans
Government loans (2 billion to 27 million)
Freedom of the seas strained (North Sea and submarines)
war zone in British isles
The Lusitania!
German Pledges
Arabic and Sussex Pledges
strings attached
From Neutrality to Preparedness
call for preparedness with peace (Armed Neutrality)
paid for how? and other objections
revenue act of 1916
Germans get nervous and use subs (pull the string)
Zimmerman note
the fall of the Russian government
Wilson and American Mobilization
5 vessels sink on Northern Atlantic in March 1917
April 1917, Wilson addresses congress
"World must be safe for democracy"
"Civilization in the balance"
democratic nations must prevail
principled stand for neutral rights and freedom of the seas
trade with the allies in jeopardy... (who?)
threat of German dominated Europe
from isolationism to crusaders and international idealists
To engage in War of this kind...
unprecedented mobilization required
use of federal power VS states rights and laissez-faire
conscription (3 million drafted, 2 million went)
industries converted
rr takeover
mediate labor disputes
economic and social mobilization
Food Administration (Hoover)... Volunteerism
daylight savings created
War Industries Board (WIB)
set resource priorities for industries
set quotas
construct new plants
fix prices
Divided Public...why?
neutrality for trade
protect investments (3.5 billion)
92 million immigrants
domestic spending vs. war
Against war
For it!
mostly English immigrants
GB and French market is the greatest
ensure safe and neutral seas
African Americans
Ethnic minorities
recruiters go south (400,000 migrate)
women in traditional and new industrial roles (temporary), Union pressure
AFL is loyal and grows x2
real wages grow 20%
Controlling the message
mobilization of public opinion and George Creel
propaganda to sell the message (150,000)
Committee on Public information (sec. of state, war, navy)
journalists, photographers, artists, entertainers
film division "Beast of Berlin"
75,000 "4 minute men"
Civil Liberties and War
anti German sentiment fever pitched
Espionage Act of 1917... ($10,000 and 20 years) for aiding, refusing to serve, inciting insubordination, disloyalty, interference
Sedition Act 1918... obstructing the sale of war bonds, saying, writing or printing anything seen as disloyal or abusive about America
over 1,000 convictions
Socialists, Eugene Debs, Wilson never pardoned him
Schenck v. United States 1919... "free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic"... govt allowed to suppress speech when there is clear and present danger
troops play a limited role before 1918
Status of the effort by 1918
Bolshevik Revolution removes Russia from the conflict (6.6 million casualties)
All the effort concentrated in the West
Race for Paris
by May, 1 million untested and under trained Americans
doughboys and marines... significant impact on morale
Second Battle of Marne July is a turning point in France
Meuse Argonne offensive... 1.2 million Americans, 117,000 casualties
convoys (10% to 1%), supplies, food, 3 billion
American Role in the War
Challenge of Conclusion
war beyond armies
to the bitter end
plan started in 1917
Fourteen Points Jan 1918... a reflection of Wilson's moralism...
why so early?
open diplomacy, removal of trade barriers, arms reduction, self determination of borders
League of Nations...
Allies are skeptical (freedom of the seas and war damages)
Armistice signed in September of 1918
126,000 AEF die
2 million Germans
1.4 million French
703,000 British
1.7 Russian
Lost Generation
5,000 day
lung diseases
globalized diseases
PTSD, amputees and crippling
ensure the cause
offer an acceptable peace that might make a faster end to the war
Struggle for Peace
Wilson is the "prophet of peace?"
reception in Europe
6 month European tour
European powers represented
Clemenceau and others are deeply skeptical
desire for punishment, territory and reparations
stubborn adherence to the League of nations

Compromise at the Paris Peace Conference
Clemenceau, Davis Loyd George, Vittorio Orlando
League to be preserved
admission of "war guilt"
abandoned self determination... WHY?
Germans feel betrayed and embittered
forced to sign... "we demand revenge!"

Back in the U.S
returned home to a mixed bag
Henry Cabot Lodge... hater, reservationist
led the charge (immigrant groups, disappointment with compromise, isolationism, economic funk of demobilizing, league too obligating, Monroe Doctrine concerns, Wilson the president of the world!?)
Wilson's domestic tour for support... failed
refusal to compromise
no ratification... joint resolution 1921
Versailles is a failure
harsh and vindictive peace
Europe is destroyed and unstable
underlying resentment
an interlude
who is to blame?

Spanish Flu
50-100 million... 2x WW I
675,000 in US (10x)
faster end to the war
life insurance, hospitals, cemeteries
most deadly phenomenon for time

Economic and social transition
soldiers reintroduced
rising prices
3,600 strikes in 1919
Rising racial tension with movement and economic advancement
25 race riots and 80 lynchings in 1919
Red Scare... got to have something to hate and fear
mail bombings
arrests deportations of radicals... Russian immigrants
"100 percent Americanism"... restrictions on immigration

International landscape
old powers in ruin
Soviet communism becomes new power
US emerges as the most powerful country and unscathed
We would profit from the destruction
the "American Century" at hand

Funding the War
Treasury department parades
Liberty loan drives
21 billion is 2/3
initial cost 33 billion
total 121
Raising an Army worthy of the struggle
volunteerism not fast enough
Draft bill debated for 6 weeks
registration 18-45
no purchased exemptions
4 million in months
almost no training
segregated units and construction battalions
Food Administration
feed the Allies
meatless Tuesdys
victory gardens
self denial
beer, Germans and prohibition
production up 1/4
exports up x3
Death of Wilson's Moralism, Democratic party
tired of self denial and moral restraint
tired of do-goodism
"Return to Normalcy" with Harding of Ohio
Full transcript