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Period 7 (1890-1945)
An increasingly pluralistic
United States faced profound
domestic and global challenges,
debated the proper degree of
government activism, and sought
to define its international role.
The Road to War
Causes of World War I
The Road to War
 Imperialism
– Search for new colonies in Africa, Asia, and the
– France & United Kingdom - prime colonies
– Japan - newcomer but colonized Korea, Taiwan, &
parts of China
– Italy – new but lacking in strength
– Germany, youngest country, trying to establish an
The Road to War
 Militarism
Belief that a countries problems can be solved
with military action
Buildup of military forces
Military has control over the gov’t and/or
Industrial revolution - as countries
industrialized they began to see themselves as
The Road to War
 Nationalism
 Defined
simply as pride in one’s country
 Patriotism to the ‘nth’ degree
 Countries acted solely in their own self-interest
 Pride in country centered around 1 ethnicity;
other groups were inferior
 Groups that want their own country’s (Kurds)
The Road to War
 Alliances
European powers that pledged mutual
Took what should have been an isolated
incident and expanded it into a global conflict
Countries thought they are invincible because
of their alliances
The Road to War
The Road to War
The spark that ignited the powder keg:
Bosnia was a province of the AustrianHungarian empire
Archduke Ferdinand visited Sarajevo, capital of
Bosnia on June 28, 1914
Assassinated by Gavrilo Princip
July 28, 1914 Austria-Hungary declared war on
The Road to War
Serbia’s ally, Russia, prepared for war against
Russia’s ally, France, followed suit
Austria-Hungary’s ally, Germany, joined them
Belgium remained neutral until invaded by
Belgium and its ally, U.K., joined with France
Serbian killed F.F.
A-H declared war on Serbia
Germany allied
w/ A-H
Russia allied
w/ Serbia
World War I
U.K. allied
w/ Belgium
France allied
w/ Russia
Germany invaded France
through Belgium
The Road to War
Central Powers - Germany, AustriaHungary, and later the Ottoman Empire,
and Bulgaria
Allied Powers - Serbia, Russia, France,
Belgium, U.K., and later Italy, Romania,
Japan and the USA
The Road to War
Queen Victoria’s
King George V of
Tsarina Alexandra of
Kaiser Wilhelm II of
Queens of Spain,
Romania, Norway and
The Great War begins
The Schlieffen Plan:
The Great War
Germany invaded
France via Belgium
Came within 30 miles
of Paris
Offensive by French
& British held them
back at the Marne
Trench warfare began
in September of 1914
The Great War
New weapons machine guns, poison
gas, airplanes, Big
Bertha and
submarines made
warfare deadlier
than ever
The Great War
Germans reached a stalemate in France
Russians invaded to their east - became a
two front war for the Germans
Germans used u-boats to try to cut-off
supplies and troop movements from the
British blockaded the North Sea and
created severe food shortages in
North Sea
The Great War
Verdun – German offensive
Feb. 24, 1916 – Dec. 18, 1916
Germans used poison gas on the French
No strategic gain for either side
Total casualties almost 1 million, with over ½
The Great War
Somme – offensive by French/British forces
July 1, 1916 to November 18,1916
Used tanks in battle (with little effect)
Offensive ended with Allied Forces gaining a
total of 18 kilometers
- 420,000
French - 200,000
Germans - 500,000
Total – over 1 million casualties
The Great War
America declared it neutrality and
continued to trade with both sides
 1/3 of the American population was made
up of 1st generation immigrants
 Irish immigrants initially side with the
Central Powers
 Many Americans oppose warfare and
militarism on principle and want to stay
out of the war
The Great War
Gradually public opinion shifted toward the
Allied Powers
Propaganda played a major role in this shift
Business leaders pressured Congress to prepare
for war to protect their trade and assets in the
U.K. and France
The United States Declares War
“Gentlemen’s War” ended when the
British began arming merchant ships
 Early in 1915 Germany advised
Americans not to travel on British liners
 Lusitania traveled from New York to the
U.K. in May, 1915 with over 1200
passengers and miscellaneous cargo
The United States Declares War
German U-boat
encountered the
Lusitania in the Irish
Fired a torpedo and the
Lusitania sank within a
few minutes
Over 1200 people,
including 128
Americans, died
German claimed the
Lusitania was
transporting weapons
The United States Declares War
Immediate demands were
made to declare war on
President Wilson urged
Germans pledged to stop
shooting unarmed vessels
War was averted in 1915
Wilson vowed in 1916 to
stay out of the war
The United States Declares War
American industries continued to do
business with the British
 U-boats were not very effective
 Cut off from Germany by British
 American banks lent France and Britain
millions of dollars during the war
The United States Declares War
The Russian Revolution began in
February, 1917.
 Overthrew the monarchy and soldiers
 Allied position weakened – fighting
shifted to the Western front
 USA had been reluctant to support Tsar
The United States Declares War
While General Pershing continued to
chase Pancho Villa around Mexico…..
The Zimmerman Note was
intercepted and made public
The United States Declares War
Note was intercepted by the British and
turned over to the Americans in March,
From German Foreign Minister to
German Ambassador to Mexico
Proposed an alliance between Mexico and
Zimmerman Note
Text of Decoded message:
"We intend to begin on the first of February unrestricted submarine
warfare. We shall endeavor in spite of this to keep the United States of
America neutral. In the event of this not succeeding, we make Mexico a
proposal or alliance on the following basis: make war together, make
peace together, generous financial support and an understanding on our
part that Mexico is to reconquer the lost territory in Texas, New Mexico,
and Arizona. The settlement in detail is left to you. You will inform the
President of the above most secretly as soon as the outbreak of war with
the United States of America is certain and add the suggestion that he
should, on his own initiative, invite Japan to immediate adherence and
at the same time mediate between Japan and ourselves. Please call the
President's attention to the fact that the ruthless employment of our
submarines now offers the prospect of compelling England in a few
months to make peace." Signed, ZIMMERMANN.
The United States Declares War
Early in 1917 Germans reneged on their
pledge and began sinking merchant
 Under pressure from the USA they made
the Sussex Pledge, promising not to shoot
on unarmed vessels without warning
 Within weeks they reneged on their
The United States Declares War
American bankers and
industrialists pressured
Wilson to declare war
Russian Revolution put
pressure on the Allies
Zimmerman note built
resentment toward
Reneging of the Sussex
Pledge signaled the end
of negotiations
On April 2, 1917
President Wilson
asked Congress for a
declaration of war
against Germany.
Congress quickly
American Joins the Great War
Every good war needs a good
“War to make the world safe for
“War to end all wars”
Propaganda encourages men
to enlist and Americans to
make sacrifices
Propaganda Helps the War Effort
Americans on the European Front
Americans on the European
America needs time to prepare for war
American troops help turn the tide in
Conditions in Europe are horrendous
Americans on the European
Selective Service Act - May 1917
– Males age 21-30 required to register
– By wars end, 2,800,000 were actually drafted
Thousands of women volunteered to serve as
nurses, drivers, and clerks
General Pershing is the commander of US
troops in Europe
Troops were strictly segregated - African
Americans and Latinos served in separate units
with ‘white’ officers
Americans on the European
 Millions of troops needed to be trained
and shipped to Europe
 Men were trained in the use of rifles,
bayonets, gas masks, and grenades
 Ships used the convoy system to reduce
 American Expeditionary Force - called
Americans on the European
 Trench warfare continued in France
 Germany signed a separate peace with
Russia in March, 1918
 Germany immediately began new
offensives along the western front
 The Allied Powers struggled to hold the
lines - Germans were within 50 miles of
Paris (again)
Americans on the European
 In
May of 1918 the Americans
entered the fighting in force
Americans on the European
 Throughout
France, fresh American
troops helped to turn back the
German offensive
 By September of 1918 the Germans
were in full retreat
Americans on the European
Aircraft were successfully utilized in World
War I by both sides
 Bi-planes engaged in dogfights,
reconnaissance missions, and bombing raids
 Both sides had heroes - aces that shot down
enemy planes
 Zeppelins and hot air balloons were also
Heroes in the Air
Manfred von Richthofen
Edward Rickenbacker
Americans on the European
African American units segregated
not allowed to serve in marines
kept out of combat in navy and army
369th infantry
 Harlem
Hell Fighters
 lent to the French
 distinguished in battle
 won the Croix de Guerre
Ending the War
Bulgaria and the
Ottoman Empire
made a separate
peace with the Allies
in the autumn of
Empires collapsed as
Poles, Czechs, and
Slovaks, declared
their independence
The Germans
ordered their fleet in
Kiel to leave and
confront the British
Instead, on October
29th they mutinied
Kaiser fled to
Holland on
November 10th
is signed on
Nov. 11, 1918
Influenza Outbreak
Influenza virus was introduced to Europe
by Americans in 1918
 Within months, it spread around the
 Viruses flourish in unsanitary conditions
and are easily spread by people in close
 Approximately 500,000 Americans and
30 million worldwide died from Influenza
Final Tallies
Americans lost 117,000 soldiers in a little over
a year of fighting (53,500KIA;63,000other)
Russia, Germany, France, and AustriaHungary each lost over 1,000,000
British lost 900,000
Total 16 Million (8,500,000 KIA + 7,500,000
Civilians died from disease and starvation
during and after the war
 Germany had the most casualties of the
Central Powers, with a total of 7,142,558
 Russia had the most casualties of the allies,
with a total of 9,150,000
 USA had 7.1% casualties, lowest of the major
 Austria-Hungary had 90% casualties, largest
of the major countries
Lasting Effects
Map of Europe was redrawn - entire countries
disappeared and new ones emerged
Genocide was committed by the Ottomans
toward the Armenians
Imperial Russia was lost and the Soviet Union
was born
Lost generation - so many young men died or
were maimed that their losses effected their
countries for many years
Americans on the Home Front
Americans on the Home Front
Mobilizing the nation
– finance
the war
– conserve scarce resources
– redirect industry
– increase wartime production
– organize a propaganda campaign
Americans on the Home Front
Financing the war:
Increased taxes
raised 15 billion dollars directly from people
Liberty Bonds
 Raised
more than 20 billion dollars
 Propaganda posters related buying bonds to
patriotism and/or saving our soldiers lives
Campaign for Liberty Bonds
Americans on the Home Front
“Hate the Hun”
Stopped teaching German in schools
Renamed hamburgers - Salisbury steaks
German Shepherds became police dogs
German born citizens were discriminated
against and even lynched
Americans on the Home Front
War Industries Board
 allocated
scarce resources
 established production priorities
 set prices
 asked business leaders to comply but threatened
them with Nationalizing their industry if they
 most complied and made huge profits off of the
wartime production.
Americans on the Home Front
Lever Food & Fuel Control Act - 1917
Food Administration
guaranteed high prices to
asked Americans to
voluntarily conserve meat
and wheat
Victory Gardens
rationed meat, sugar,
and other scarce
Fuel Administration
asked Americans to
conserve coal and oil
closed factories due to
coal shortages
Forbid coal miners
from going on strike
Food Administration
Americans on the Home Front
Enforcing Loyalty
Committee on Public Information
Focus was propaganda for the war effort
Movies and newspapers were censored
Americans on the Home Front
Espionage Act (1917) – became a crime to
utter, print, write, or publish....(anything
negative about) the government, the flag, the
military, the draft, war bonds, or the arms
Americans on the Home Front
•Sedition Act (1918) strengthened the
Espionage Act
•Schenck V. United States (1919) the
supreme court upheld these acts because
words could represent a clear and
present danger in times of war
Americans on the Home Front
Over 1000 dissenters were imprisoned,
including Eugene Debs and members of the
 Others were attacked by vigilantes and
beaten or lynched
 Personal freedoms and the Bill of Rights
were seen as secondary to the war effort
Americans on the Home Front
Social Mobility for Women
& Minorities
Great Migration 500,000 African
Americans migrated
north for factory jobs
After the war, most of
them remained in the
north but struggled to
keep their jobs
Americans on the Home Front
Social Mobility for Women & Minorities
Butler's Brewery
Over 400,000 women
took care of the farms,
ran small businesses,
and worked in
Global Peacemaker
Treaty Of Versailles
Armistice of November 11, 1918 simply
ended the war
 The Big Four - France, England, USA, and
Italy - met in Paris in January 1919 to
discuss the actual peace treaty
 President Wilson arrived with his 14 points
for peace
 The other 3 were more interested in spoils
Treaty Of Versailles
Treaty was finally signed at Versailles in
May of 1919
Germany admitted responsibility for the
War reparations due from Germany (32
of Nations was formed
Treaty Of Versailles
became a DMZ, up to 31 miles
past the Rhine
Saar Basin occupied by the Allies for 15
Alsace-Lorraine (a disputed territory
between France and Germany) was returned
to France
German port of Danzig would be open to
Map of German Cessions - 1919
Treaty Of Versailles
was created out of the
Sudetenland and part of AustriaHungary
Yugoslavia was created from Serbia,
Bosnia-Herzogenia, Croatia, Slovenia,
and Macedonia
Germany’s military was disarmed
Treaty Of Versailles
lost all of her colonies in
Africa to the League of Nations, to be
administered by the British and French
Germany lost all of her colonies in
Asia to the League of Nations, to be
administered by Australia, New
Zealand, and Japan
Treaty Of Versailles
new Republic would have
democratic elections
Re-establish independent states of
Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia
Treaty Of Versailles
Treaty Of Versailles
President Wilson agreed to the treaty, even
though he opposed many of the provisions
 Treaties in the USA have to be ratified by
the Senate
 The Senate refused to ratify the treaty
 They eventually wrote their own treaty
declaring the war over
Treaty Of Versailles
President Wilson toured the USA trying to
summon support for the League of Nations
 He had a stroke and was incapacitated in
September, 1919 until March, 1920
 Unbeknown to the American people, his
wife Edith ran the country for over six
The War Finally Ends
Americans were tired of European problems
and wanted to remain isolated from future
 In spite of American’s willingness to forget
it, the world changed forever due to this war
Transition from wartime to peace time
 unemployment rose; women and blacks
fired, anti-immigrant sentiment
 wages fell
 prices remain inflated due to the war
 people continue to buy, using credit
 recession
of 1920-21; prices and
production fell
 farm
crises caused by
overproduction, credit, lack of
 situation
in Russia worsened; fear of
communism griped the nation
Types of Economic Systems
Capitalism - Private ownership of property
- Profit motive
Socialism - Collective ownership of
- Peaceful means to achieve
- Motive is “to each as needed”
Communism- Collective ownership through
violence if necessary
- Motive is “to each as needed”
Russian Revolution
 Russia’s
revolution in March, 1917
began as an attempt to bring
democracy to Russia
 Czar Nicholas II was overthrow
 Instead, chaos erupted
 Alexander Kerensky led the country
until he was overthrown in
November, 1917
Russian Revolution
Civil War broke out
Lenin and his
communist followers led
the Red Army
The White Army battled
for 2 1/2 yrs but was
(1924) The Bolsheviks
“majority” took power
Communism Began Under Lenin
1. The government owned all land and
2. A single political party controlled the
3. The needs of the country always took
priority over the rights of individuals
Russian Revolution
Lenin changed the name of the country
from Russia to the Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics (USSR)
 The Soviet Union was the largest country
in the world in terms of land
 It was near the largest in terms of
 The USA refused to recognize the
Russian Revolution
Americans feared a communist takeover
 Feared immigrants could be communists
 Began a campaign to label and neutralize
all threats
The Palmer Raids
1919 – Bombs found in post office
addressed to prominent Americans,
including Oliver Wendal Holmes, John
D. Rockefeller.
 Bomb was detonated at A. Mitchell
Palmer’s house.
 Bombs blamed on anarchists and
The Palmer Raids
•Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer
• Nov, 1919 to May 1920
•Interrogated and arrested thousands of
poor people, mostly immigrants
•Deported over 500 without evidence.
•After months of raids, they netted 3 pistols
•By summer 1920 hysteria died down and most Americans
failed to support the witch-hunts.
Labor Strikes
Seattle General Strike (1919)
called by shipyard workers for increased salary and
shorter hours
joined by 110 local unions representing 60,000
industrialists use propaganda and scare tactics –
communist threat – to weaken support for the unions
strike ends after only 5 days with no gains by the
unions and anti-union sentiment high
Labor Strikes
The Boston Police Strike (1919)
 police commissioner fired 19 officers for
joining the union
 75% of the police force walked out in protest
 state militia was called in by Governor
Coolidge after 2 nights of violence
 police force was replaced by unemployed
Labor Strikes
The Steel Strike (1919)
 365,000 steel workers in western PA &
Midwest walked out
 lasted from Sept. 1919 to Jan. 1920
 owners hired private police – governor
supported owners
 18 strikers were killed, many beaten, jailed
 recruited African Americans & immigrants
for replacement workers (scabs)
 returned to work with no gains
Labor Strikes
The United Mine Workers Strike (1919)
 Wages set by government in 1917; could not
strike during war
 John L. Lewis is newly elected, called for
 President Wilson demanded they return to
work; Lewis officially ended the strike but
unofficially encouraged workers not to return
to work
 After about a month, Wilson compromised
and arbitrated a 14% increase in wages
The United Mine Workers Strike (1919)
Coal miners were evicted from company
housing during the strike
*After 1920 labor strikes sharply
* Unions did not have the support
of the public
*Higher wages after the recession
led to less desire for strikes
Urban Race Riots
Great Trek North brought thousands of
African Americans north for factory jobs
 Jobs disappeared when veterans returned
home and after strikes were settled
 Race riots broke out in many northern cities
St. Louis
The country slowly transitioned to the
‘Roaring 20’s’