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Everything you need to know about WW1
Transcript of Everything you need to know about WW1
World War 1 was the bloodiest war in history. What causes such a war like this to occur?
Imperialism. Austria-Hungary had powerful control over Serbia. As tensions grew, so did;
Nationalism, which is the pride in ones country.
These 2 things led pride ridden Serbian terrorists to assassinate archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austria-Hungary throne.
So how exactly did this lead to WW1?
Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia
Russia, Serbia's ally, declared war on Austria-Hungary
Germany, Austria-Hungary's ally, declared war on Russia and its ally France
Britain, France's ally declared war on Germany.
Quickly, dozens of nations took sides. So where did America stand?
America and Neutrality
America decided they would be neutral and make money off the war. They sold supplies to the countries at war. However Germany did not see this as being neutral because America was trading more with the Allies.
As the war rages on in Europe, Americans question whether or not to join the war. Wilson wanted to stay neutral, but Germany tested his limits. They started using what is called unrestricted submarine warfare, to try an break the British blockade which blocked off supplies to and from Germany.
Americas is pushed closer to war
On may 7th, 1915, German u-boats sunk the American-British ship the Lusitania, killing 1,198 people. 128 were American.
But still Wilson refused to go to war.
The Sussex Pledge
In 1916 Germany proposed the Sussex pledge which stated that German u-boats would not sink passenger ships, and that merchant ships would be warned before being sunk.
Germany breaks their promise
In January, 1917 Germany resumes unrestricted warfare. However this was still not a big enough cause for America to go to war. America was ready for war, but they needed a kick start. That kick start came in the form of a telegram.
The Zimmerman Note
In late January,1917, the British intercepted a telegram from Germany to Mexico. The telegram stated that if Mexico joined the central powers that Germany would help Mexico gainback land lost to America.
America Joins The War
After America got word of the Zimmerman note, it was all they needed to declare war on Germany. In April 1917, the United States joined the great war on the Allied side.
On the home front
Many people on the home front opposed the war. They protested and held peace parties. Government officials feared these groups would become a serious obstacle to a united war effort. Also women and African Americans took over the workforce to compensate for the absence of many American men
The governments use of propaganda
Americans cracks down on dissent.
In June, 1917 congress passed the espionage act. The espionage act made it a crime to interfere with the military draft, spying, or sabotaging the war effort. Many Americans were arrested.
The government used propaganda to "sell" the idea of war to the public. Posters also urged Americans to join the army.
WW1 cost the united states 35.1 billion dollars. The government raised this money by selling Liberty Bonds. Also by promoting Victory gardens to help supply food. Many americans took part in "Wheatless Wednesday" to conserve food. Day light savings time was created to conserve energy as well.
America cracks down on dissent
In May, 1918, the government passed the Sedition act making it a crime to say anything profane or disloyal about the government. Hundreds were arrested.
Schenck v. United States
1919 A case involving the sedition and espionage act made it to the supreme court. Schenck was distributing pamphlets urging recent draftees to resit the military draft. He was convicted of interfering with recruitment. His defense was the first amendment, freedom of speech. In unanimous opinion his free speech was denied because it created a clear and present danger during war time
The Fourteen Points was created by President Wilson and it was "the blueprint for peace". One main point was the League of Nations. The League of Nations would ensure world peace. Wilson traveled to Paris to attend a peace conference. Great Britain, France, Italy, and America were present, Germany was not
The War ends on November 11th, 1918.
The treaty of Versailles
The other leaders liked the idea of world peace, but they had other interests. Punishing Germany. France wanted to reduce the size of Germany's military to 100,000 men. Great Britain wanted Germany to take responsibility for starting the war. In addition, they wanted Germany to pay 33 billion dollars and give up much of their land. Wilson tried to restrain from punishing Germany, the other countries wanted reparations.
The treaty of Versailles
The Treaty was signed by the big four at the Paris Peace Conference. It was later rejected by the American Government. The United States never joined the League of Nations. Germany was angry with getting blamed for starting the war, and having all these reparations. So in turn, an angry distraught Germany started what would be known as World War 2. The idea of the treaty of Versailles and the 14 points was to ensure world peace, but it resulted in the opposite.
There are many lessons that can learned from WW1. The first lesson being during war time, the government needs to remember that Americans have rights that are ensured to them through the constitution. For example the Schenck v. The United States case. He was denied freedom of speech due to the government not wanting anyone against the war effort. This violated the first amendment in the constitution. During war the government needs to protect, and provide for the people. Not arrest them for expressing their opinion on a pressing matter.
Another lesson to be learned is to not forget what America is all about, equality. During the war many women and african americans took over the work place. They provided while American men were at war in Europe. However they were not treated with equality. They were not payed as much as men were, and most were fired when the war ended and the American men returned. What can be learned from this is that all americans are capable of great things and deserved to be treated with equality especially during war time when the country is fragile.
A very important lesson can be learned about liberty. During the Great War the Espionage act and Sediton act were passed. America was founded on the ideal of Liberty. Liberty is defined as the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behavior, or political views. The Sedition and Espionage acts enforced the opposite. They restricted the public expressing their opinions and views. Americans did not react well to this. Many were arrested, riots broke out and protests were held. So a good thing to take away from this is not to limit or take away the public's liberty. The results will not be good.
The final lesson that can be learned from world war one is to take opportunities. America had the opportunity to not join the war, to stay neutral. America could of had no involvement in the war but America started selling and trading goods with Allies. Of course Germany would find this as not being neutral. This sparked Americas involvement even more in the war. So in edition America missed the oppurtinty to stay out of the war and help themselves. This is very important to learn from.
Mr.President this is;