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Michael Liu

U.S. History 9 Honors


22.1 Introduction
Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his Wife Sophie made an official visit to Sarajevo
Sarajevo was the capital of Austria Hungarys province of Bosnia
Ferdinand was heir
Bosnians were angered at the taking over and wanted to have closer ties
to Serbia.
Ferdinand Assassination Attempts
Terrorists threw a bomb at the car but that exploded nearby.
Another terrorist, Gavrilo Princip was waiting down the route and shot the
royal couple.
Assassination set off a chain reaction and Austria hungary declared war
on Serbia.
After the assassination, countries took sides and fought against one another.
22.2 The United States Tries to Stay Neutral
Theodore Roosevelt observed that the United States was lucky to be almost alone
among the great civilized powers in the war.
Europe: A Powder Keg Waiting to Ignite
Central Powers
Included Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire.
Allied Powers
France, Britain and Russia.
Strong feeling of pride in and loyalty to a nation or ethnic group.
Led some European powers to put national interests first regardless of
the consequences of other countries.
A policy of glorifying military power and values.
Once one nation modernized its army, others followed.
Wilson Adopts a Policy of Neutrality
Wilson declared a policy of neutrality.
It would offer supplies to both sides.
Wilsons decision to stay out pleased many Americans
Not necessary to fight in the war.
32 million Americans were foreign born or the children of foreign born parents.
These Americans had strong emotional ties to homelands.
Both the Allied and Central powers struck blows against each other but neither
could get close to major locations and the war became a stalemate.
Neither side was willing to sue for peace.
22.3 Challenges to the U.S. Policy of Neutrality
British blockade of ships headed for Germany/
These ships stopped other vessels from giving supplies to the Central powers.
Even neutral powers.
Wilson complained to the British about the policy of stopping neutral ships
Hesitation to take action because of strong economic ties between U.K. and U.S.
Britain helped U.S. out of the economic slump.
Business people supported the Allies.
U-Boat Attacks Increase Tensions with Germany
Hoped to break the British blockade and stop vial supplies from reaching
the Allies.
Germans declared the waters around Britain a war zone.
U-Boats could sink enemy ships without warning..
Neutral ships were also at risk.
International Law and custom
Warships had the right to stop and search merchant ships that they
suspected of breaking a naval blockade.
Passengers removed before sinking
United States would hold Germany to strict accountability for any American
casualties in such attacks.
British Liner that was sunk and 128 americans died
Germanys argument is that the ship had ammunition
Yet Germany was still to blame.
William Jennings Bryan
Believed that the United States should accept the reality of
submarine warfare and warn its citizens that they traveled on
British ships at their own risk.
Robert Lansing
Americans had the right to travel on British ships and argued that
the U.S. should protect that right.
Wilson sided with Lansing and sent Germany a series of notes
demanding that it stop unrestricted submarine warfare.
Afraid that the notes violated that neutrality and bring the U.S. into
the war. Bryan resigned.
Lansing replace Bryan.
Germany sank more ships making more casualties.
Wilson threatened to break off diplomatic relations with Germany if it did
not stop surprise attacks.
Sussex pledge.
Germany promised to spare all lives in any future U-boat
attacks on merchant ships.
Condition, the United States must force Britain to
end its illegal blockade. Wilson accepted the pledge
but would not accept the condition.
Preparedness, Promises and Propaganda
Concern over President Wilsons handling of the war fueled a growing
preparedness movement/
Movement was led by former president Theodore Roosevelt who pointed
out that the United States was ill-prepared for war should it need to fight.
Wilson had not sided with either side.
Roosevelt was not impressed by Wilsons policy of neutrality.
He toured the country and promoted preparedness.
Many newspapers took up his cause.
Wilson resisted calls to strengthen military, but the submarine
menace persuaded him that he had to increase the nations
readiness for war.
Wilson launched nationwide tour talking about
preparedness and promising a navy second to none for his
Wilson allocated money to double the size of the army and
began the construction of the worlds largest navy.
Americans saw Wilsons efforts as preparedness
for peace, not war, to elect him to a second term
Wilson won by a thin majority on the slogan He
kept us out of war.
Propaganda campaigns
Were designed to whip up support for their side.
Propaganda is info or rumors spread by a group or government to
promote its own cause or ideas or to damage an opposing cause or idea.
Propaganda is not accurate.
Allies waged the most successful campaign.
Spread rumors about the monstrosity of the Germans.
These horrible stories gave way to anti german feelings.
22.4 The United States Declares a War to End All Wars
Wilsons peace efforts made Germany start an all out effort to win the war.
Keeping to his Sussex pledge, Wilson broke off diplomatic relations with
The Zimmermann Note Stirs Up Anti-german Feelings
Wilson had hoped the Germans would back down but his hopes were dashed.
Note was intercepted and written by the German foreign minister, Arthur
Zimmermann to the German minister in Mexico.
Suggested that if the United States entered the war, Mexico and
Germany should become allies.
Germany would help Mexico regain lost land in New
Mexico, Texas and Arizona.
Zimmermann note created a sensation and stirred anti-german
Russia removed another barrier to the United States joining the Allies/
1917- Czar Nicholas II was overthrown and replaced with a democratic
United States saw Russia as a fit partner in a war against German
United States Enters the War
On April 2, 1917, Wilson spoke to a special session of Congress.
Reminded lawmakers of the loss of life caused by German u-boats and
how these attacks hurt the nations ability to trade freely with other
When Wilson finished, lawmakers cheered.
Wilson recounted this event sadly.
Critics reacted strongly to Wilsons war message.
Senate voted 82 to 6 to declare war on Germany.
The House followed on April 6 by a vote of 373 to 50.