Objectives • What challenges did the United States face while trying to remain neutral? • What events led to the U.S. entry into World War 1? • How did the United States prepare its military for war?
First issue: Why did it take so long for America to get involved? • America was isolationist • “Why should I get involved in someone else’s problems”
PLUS……..PRIOR TO ENTERING THE WAR • The U.S. was neutral • There was benefit and economic gain in being neutral for the U.S. • A neutral country can trade with both sides • U.S. traded with the Allied and Central Powers • They traded far more with the Allied Powers than with the Central Powers • However, Britain and Germany set up blockades around the British and German coasts.
But things were about to change! German submarines, called U-boats, torpedoed enemy ships and neutral ships trading with the enemy.
LUSITANIA In 1915, a German submarine torpedoed the Lusitania, a British passenger ship, killing approximately 1,200 people, including 128 Americans.
Videos of the Sinking of the Lusitania • http://videos.howstuffworks.com/discovery/34619-sinking-of-the-lusitania-panic-on-deck-video.htm • http://videos.howstuffworks.com/discovery/34617-sinking-of-the-lusitania-a-torpedo-strikes-home-video.htm • http://videos.howstuffworks.com/discovery/34620-sinking-of-the-lusitania-the-world-reacts-video.htm • http://videos.howstuffworks.com/discovery/34618-sinking-of-the-lusitania-fateful-decisions-video.htm
The Germans just would not quit! • If the Germans had stopped their unrestricted submarine warfare, then their blockade would have been inefficient • March 1915: Sinking of a British liner • 1 American killed • May 1915: Sinking of the Lusitania • 128 Americans killed • August 1915: Sinking of the Arabic • 2 Americans killed • March 1916: French vessel, Sussex, is attacked • Several Americans are injured
But the story goes further • Sussex Pledge • Germany wouldn’t sink liners without warning • Some people thought that President Wilson “punked out” by not being harsher with the Germans • Teddy Roosevelt : “cowardice and weakness” • National Defense Act (1916) • Upping the strength of the military • Diplomatic relations with Germany broken • Germans continued to torpedo ships, including American ones
1917 German Ambassador in Mexico German Foreign Minister, Arthur Zimmerman Telegram asking for Mexico’s support in fighting America British Published in American newspapers
So which side to choose? ALLIES CENTRAL VS. ARGUMENTS FOR BOTH SIDES
U.S. declares war on the Central Powers in 1917 http://player.discoveryeducation.com/index.cfm?guidAssetId=C76F577A-CB1A-44A7-A000-582E87709D7E&blnFromSearch=1&productcode=US
Focus Question: So how do you shift from a peacetime to a wartime economy?
#2 : BUILD YOUR MILITARY POWER • MOBILIZING FOR WAR • Draft • Train • Equip • Deploy • Selective Service Act (1917) • Men 21 to 30 must register with local draft board • 2.8 million of 24 million American men were drafted to WWI
#3: Mobilization at Home • Restructuring American life • Economy • Workforce • Getting the support of citizens • Volunteering • Working in support of the war
Life at War • American soldiers sailed to France as part of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) • The AEF included • The regular army • The National Guard • New Draftees • Volunteers • Leader of the AEF: General John J. Pershing
Soldiers in France • U.S. soldiers wanted to help France because France had been an ally during the American Revolution • Soldiers initially did not fight, but constructed better systems of communication, medical buildings, and storage • When the U.S. soldiers did fight they faced dangerous hand to hand combat and deadly new weapons • American soldiers mobilized : About 4.8 million • American soldiers killed: About 117,000 • American soldiers wounded: About 200,000
American Women in the Service • Women worked as nurses in army hospitals • Also drove ambulances • Women volunteered for the • Red Cross • YMCA
Objectives • How did the U.S. government prepare the nation for war? • Why did African Americans move north? • How was the workforce changed during World War 1? • How did the government create support for and limit opposition to the war?
You need money to fight the war…… So how did America get money? Provided funds for supplies and equipment for troops
Liberty Bonds = over $21 billion • New tax programs for large businesses and the rich = $10 billion • Congress appropriating government funds for military spending= hundreds of millions of dollars
“Food will win the war” • Herbert Hoover over the FDA • Farmers: rewarded financially if they increased their production of goods • Could be taxed more by the government as well as having a greater profit • American people: Conservation/ “Victory Gardens” • Made more items available for soldiers overseas
Organizing the War Effort: Food Conservation • Americans learned to conserve food for the soldiers. • Examples: • “wheatless Monday’s” • “meatless Tuesday’s”
SUPPLEMENTING YOUR CONSERVATION AND HELPING OUT THE TROOPS……..VICTORY GARDENS!
WAR = JOBS • With millions of American men fighting the war, someone needed to take their place at work • Industries needed workers for the supplies that the soldiers needed • So who’s left in America to do it?????
Women at Home • Women took over traditionally male jobs • Bricklayers • Automobile mechanics • Truck Drivers • Women’s help to the war effort helped to bring about the passage of the 19th Amendment
Created new opportunities for African Americans • Great Migration • One of the largest migrations in U.S. history • Hundreds of thousands of Blacks migrated to northern cities in hopes of getting better jobs and escaping the racial prejudice of the South; having a better life • Sad reality, many still faced racial prejudice in the North • Blacks did earn higher wages and had better lifestyles in the North • Black newspapers encouraged the migration
Mexican Immigration • Mexican immigration also increased because of the desire for jobs • Some were also trying to escape the Mexican Revolution
A little more about African and Mexican Americans and other minorities during the war • Minority men enlisted in the army, but were still segregated into separate units and were mistreated by the armed services • Blacks often had kitchen duty in the navy • Foreign born recruits were given English and civics classes; taught how to be an American
HARLEM’S HELL FIGHTERS • An African American unit attached to the French Army that fought bravely in many battles. • Awarded medals from the French
Other Ways Americans Were Affected • Hated all things that were German • Sauerkraut : “Liberty Cabbage” • Hamburger: “Salisbury Steak” • Committee on Public Information (CPI) • Often went overboard in their attempts to present the Germans as “evil monsters” • Hollywood produced anti-German films • Many Americans became spies to catch German traitors • Life was very hard for German Americans • Racial prejudice against them
Snoopy vs. The Red Baron Snoopy looking for the “Red Baron” German: Manfred von Richthofen, the “Red Baron” Shot down 80 enemy aircraft
Most Americans were on board with supporting the war effort • Americans changed their lifestyles • Conservation/ Growing of “Victory Gardens” • Anti-sentiment towards Germans • Buying Liberty Bonds • Volunteerism • Patriotic views • Juliette Gordon Low • What did she do?
But in case you weren’t on board…….Espionage and Sedition Acts • Laws that made it a crime to speak out against the war • Silenced opponents of the war • Many thought it violated 1st Amendment rights • About 1,000 people were convicted of these crimes; some were imprisoned • People that were against the war • Religious groups • Quakers and Mennonites • Socialists • Some government officials