File - mrbsamericanhistory
File - mrbsamericanhistory
World War I
& The Road
World War I Aftermath: My Q’s
• How did WWI affect America’s economic and
• Why did the League of Nations fail to pass in
• What is isolationism?
• How did Americans promote isolationism and
peace after WWI?
Americans in World War I
• Following constant attacks of American ships by German Uboats in the Atlantic, President Woodrow Wilson successfully
asked Congress to declare war, even though the war in Europe
had been already going on for three years.
• By July 1918, the United States army and navy helped to turn
the tide in favor of the Allied troops.
• After four years of brutal, trench warfare, the Allies were now
pushing the Germans out of France and back into their
• However, the war took its toll on the Americans, leaving over
20, 000 dead from war. Worse, soldiers brought home a strain
of influenza that killed 550,000 Americans.
Prosperity & Power for
• Because WWI was predominantly fought on European soil,
many countries like France, Britain, Germany, and others had
to rebuild their infrastructure and their economies struggled
because of it.
• In comparison, because the war was not fought in the United
States, Americans enjoyed a brief period of economic
• Moreover, because of the important role they played in the
war, the United States was now respected at the global level
as a world power and peacemaker.
A Treaty at Versailles
• Woodrow Wilson, the American president during WWI, was
one of the head honchoes at the Versailles convention to
officially end the war.
• He wanted many of his plans to be adopted fully, but the
leaders of France and Great Britain only wanted a portion of
them, angering Wilson.
• When officially concluded, the Treaty of Versailles, gave
independence to Poland and other countries in northern
Harsh Treatment for Germany
• However, the treaty was extremely harsh on Germany.
• The Allies forced the country to admit responsibility for the
entire war, making them pay $56 billion in reparation
payments, and taking away all weapons and military forces.
• They also lost 1/8th of their territory and 1/10th of their
• Much of German-speaking Austria was also given to Italy.
• With the huge reparation payments, Germany for nearly two
decades slipped into a massive economic depression.
• Angry over the Treaty of Versailles and its harsh treatment on
their country, Germans began to build up a resentment that
would start another World War.
The Fight Over the League of
• Upset with treaty’s severe punishments of Germany, Wilson
wanted to make sure his idea for the League of Nations—a
peace-keeping council of prominent countries—would be fully
• Luckily for Wilson, it was passed by all European countries.
• Unluckily for Wilson, the League of Nations could not pass in
the Senate of his own country, the United States.
• Many congressmen and Americans fully believed that if they
became a member over the League of Nations that they
would become entangled in future European disputes and
• Therefore, the United States adopted a policy of isolationism,
a belief that a country should become involved in the affairs of
Searching for Peace
• In pursuit of lasting global peace, most Americans actively
sought ways to establish laws that would limit the likelihood of
• The U.S. and other countries around the world decided to
reduce their battleship tonnage and halt battleship
construction for ten years.
• Also, in 1928, the U.S. and sixty other countries decided to
sign the Kellogg-Brand Pact, which renounced violence and
called for the outlawing of war across the globe.
• However, the Kellogg-Brand Pact could not be enforced; there
was no international policing organization.