WWI was the war to "end all wars." Clearly not! Identify at least 2 major issues in this war. Why did you choose them, and why are they important? Has anything changed today?

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WWI was the war to "end all wars." Clearly not! Identify at least 2 major issues in this war. Why did you choose them, and why are they important? Has anything changed today?

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Chapter 19: Safe for Democracy: The United States and World War I, 1916–1920 Lecture The Spanish-American War made the United States an international empire, but compared to Europe’s colonial empires, its overseas possessions were small. America’s empire was not territorial so much as it was economic and cultural. At the start of the twentieth century, the world’s economy was already highly globalized, and although Britain still dominated world finance and its currency dominated world trade, the United States was the leading industrial power. By 1914, the year World War I began, the United States made more than a third of the world’s manufactured goods, and its steel, oil, agricultural equipment and consumer goods inundated European markets. Along with American goods moving to Europe were Americans, especially those from national and ethnic groups interested in the lands of their origins, such as Irish-Americans supporting independence from England, American Jews opposed to religious persecution in Russia, and black Americans hoping to uplift Africa. America’s increasing economic and cultural connections with the world led to elevated American military and political involvement. Between 1900 and 1920, many of the principles that guided American foreign policy for the rest of the twentieth century were formed, such as the “open door” policy that American trade, investment, information, and culture should flow freely to other nations and markets. Americans discussed their foreign policy in terms of freedom. Rhetorically, this was expressed in a widespread belief that America spread its power and influence in the world not out of narrow economic or strategic interests, but to promote universal ideals of liberty and democracy. Woodrow Wilson and his policy of “liberal internationalism” best represented this tendency, as Wilson believed that political freedoms would follow wherever American trade and investment flowed. World War I became the test for Wilson’s ideas and the Progressives who supported him and sought to make the war an opportunity to reform America and the world. Progressive-Era presidents who expanded government power at home did so abroad as well. Initially, their interventions occurred in the Western Hemisphere, which the United States had made its sphere to oversee in the Monroe Doctrine of 1823. Between 1901 and 1920, U.S. Marines landed in Caribbean countries more than twenty times, usually to secure a better economic environment for American companies that wanted safe access to raw materials or bankers who wanted to ensure that loans were repaid. Roosevelt divided the world into “civilized” and “uncivilized” nations, and he believed the former were obliged to establish order in a chaotic world. Roosevelt was far more engaged in international diplomacy than his predecessors, and while he disclaimed any American interest in acquiring overseas territory, he ordered multiple interventions in Central America. His first major action was engineering the 1 separation of Panama from Colombia in order to build a canal linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In 1903, when Colombia refused to cede land for the canal, Roosevelt helped to launch an uprising in Panama, and he deployed American gunboats to prevent the Colombian army from suppressing it. Having secured Panamanian independence and a treaty giving the United States the right to construct and operate a canal and sovereignty over the Canal Zone, Roosevelt launched one of the greatest construction and engineering projects in history. “I took the Canal Zone,” he later exclaimed. The project, finished in 1914, facilitated American and world trade by drastically cutting shipping times. Roosevelt’s interventionist foreign policy came to be known as the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine. This policy expressed the right of the United States to exercise “an international police power” in the Western Hemisphere, allowing the it, not just to prevent European intervention in the Americas, as the Monroe Doctrine specified, but also forcibly to intervene whenever it deemed it necessary. Roosevelt feared that financial instability in the Americas simply invited European powers to intervene whenever they felt their investments were threatened. In 1904, Roosevelt invaded the Dominican Republic to ensure that its customs houses repaid debts to European and American investors. In 1906, he sent troops to Cuba to ensure stability after a disputed election; they stayed until 1909. President Taft sent Marines to Nicaragua to protect a government friendly to American economic interests, but he emphasized economic investment and loans from banks, rather than direct military intervention, as the best means to spread American influence. This policy, known as Dollar Diplomacy, took shape in Taft’s efforts to shape the economies of Honduras, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, and even Liberia. The highly moralistic Woodrow Wilson brought a missionary zeal and sense of his own and America’s righteousness to foreign policy. He made William Jennings Bryan, an anti-imperialist, his secretary of state, and he repudiated Dollar Diplomacy and promised to respect Latin American independence and free it from economic domination. Bu Wilson believed the United States had a duty to instruct other nations in democracy and that American exports and investments spread American political ideals. For Wilson, American economic influence served a purpose higher than profit, and his “moral imperialism” made for more military interventions than any president before or since. He sent Marines to Haiti in 1915 and the Dominican Republic in 1916 to protect American financial interests; they stayed in the latter country until 1924, and in the former, until 1934. Wilson was most involved in Mexico, where a 1911 revolution led by Francisco Madero overthrew Porfirio Diaz’s longstanding dictatorship. In 1913, without Wilson’s knowledge but with the support of the U.S. ambassador and America companies controlling Mexico’s oil and mines, military commander Victoriano Huerta assassinated Madero and seized power. Wilson was outraged, would not extend recognition, and vowed to “teach” Latin Americans “to elect good men.” 2 When civil war erupted and Wilson sent troops to Vera Cruz to prevent arms shipments, they were met as invaders and attacked by Mexican troops. In 1916, after Mexican troops led by Pancho Villa killed Americans in a New Mexico town close to the border, Wilson ordered 10,000 American troops to invade northern Mexico to apprehend Villa. In June 1914, the assassination in Bosnia of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, started a chain of events that engulfed Europe in the most devastating war the world had yet seen. European nations engaged in the scramble for colonies had entered into a series of alliances that sought military domination in Europe. Austria-Hungary soon declared war on Serbia. Because of the alliance system, Britain, France, Russia and Japan soon found themselves at war with the Central Powers—Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire, which included modern-day Turkey and much of the Middle East. After initial German victories, the war became mired in a long stalemate of bloody and indecisive battles. New technologies, such as submarines, airplanes, machine guns, tanks, and poison gas, produced unprecedented slaughter. In the five-month battle of Verdun in 1916, some 600,000 French and German soldiers died: 10 million soldiers and uncounted civilians, perished in the conflict, which was immediately followed by a global influenza epidemic that killed 21 million more. The Great War inflicted a blow on the optimism and self-confidence of western civilization, whose philosophers and statesmen had long celebrated reason and progress. The war also shocked the socialist and labor movements, which had valued international working-class solidarity over nationalism, only to see workers of different nations kill each other for their national governments. Americans were deeply divided over the war. Many Americans sided with Britain, associating it with liberty and democracy and Germany with repressive and aristocratic government. Others, particularly German and Irish-Americans, opposed supporting the British. Immigrants from Russia, especially Jews, also did not want America to support Russia and its czar, and the despotic Russia’s alliance with Britain and France made it hard to believe that the war was a conflict between democracy and autocracy. Many feminists, pacifists, and social reformers believed peace was necessary for reform at home, and they opposed American involvement. Wilson at first proclaimed U.S. neutrality, but naval warfare disrupted American commerce and threatened America’s neutral stance. In May 1914, German submarines sank the British liner Lusitania, killing nearly 1,200 passengers, including 124 Americans. Wilson protested strongly, and Americans were outraged, giving support to those who urged America to prepare for war. Advocates of preparedness including Theodore Roosevelt and businessmen with ties to Britain, America’s greatest trading partner and recipient of more than $2 billion in wartime loans from U.S. banks. Wilson was strongly pro-British and called Germany a natural enemy of liberty, and by the end of 1915 ordered preparedness to begin. 3 In May 1916, Wilson’s preparedness policy seemed to have worked, as Germany suspended submarine warfare against noncombatants, allowing Americans to trade and travel freely without requiring military action. “He kept us out of the war” became Wilson’s campaign slogan in the 1916 presidential election. The Republican Party was reunited, and its candidate, Charles Evan Hughes, lost to Wilson by only a narrow margin. Wilson acted quickly. On January 22, 1917, Wilson called for “peace without victory” in Europe, and expressed his vision of a world order including freedom of the seas, restrictions on armaments, and self-determination for all nations, large and small. Germany soon resumed its submarine warfare against ships sailing to or from Great Britain and sunk several American merchant ships, gambling that it could starve Britain into submission before America intervened militarily. In March 1917, British spies made public the Zimmermann Telegram, a message by German foreign secretary Arthur Zimmerman to Mexico asking it to declare war against the United States and regain its territory lost in the Mexican War. A revolution in Russia that deposed the czar and established a constitutional republic made it seem plausible to believe the United States would be fighting for democracy. On April 2, Wilson asked the Congress to declare war against Germany (which it did with a small minority of dissenters), in order to make the world “safe for democracy.” By the spring of 1918, when American troops arrived in Europe, the communist revolution led by Vladimir Lenin in Russia the previous November had led to the withdrawal of Russia from the war. Lenin also exposed secret treaties by which the Allies had agreed to divide conquered territory after the war, embarrassing Wilson. In January 1918, Wilson reassured the public that the war was a righteous cause by issuing the Fourteen Points, stating war aims and providing his vision of a new international order. This involved self-determination for all nations, freedom of the seas, free trade, open diplomacy, the adjustment of colonial claims with the colonized, and the establishment of a “general association of nations” to preserve peace. Wilson believed this organization, which became the League of Nations, would act like the kinds of commissions Progressives had established in America for ensuring social harmony and protecting the weak. By September, nearly 1 million Americans helped turn the tide of the war and pushed German forces in retreat. On November 9, the German kaiser abdicated the throne, and two days later, Germany sued for peace. Over 100,000 Americans died, only 1 percent of the 10 million killed in the war. Commenting on American intervention in the war, Randolph Bourne wrote that “War is the health of the state.” Bourne saw the expansion of government power in war as a threat, but most Progressives saw it as an opportunity for reforming America and spreading Progressive values across the world. Virtually all Progressives rallied behind Wilson and the war, including intellectuals like John Dewey, journalists Walter Lippman and Herbert Croly, and American Federation of 4 Labor (AFL) president Samuel Gompers, to name a few. Dewey told Progressives to recognize the “social possibilities of the war.” The war created a national government with unprecedented power and an increased presence in Americans’ lives. With the Selective Service Act of May 1918, 24 million men had to register for the draft, and the army grew from 120,000 to 5 million men. New federal agencies were created to regulate industry, transportation, labor relations, and agriculture. A War Industries Board oversaw all aspects of war production, from distributing raw materials to setting prices for manufactured goods, and it created standardized specifications for nearly everything. The Railroad Administration controlled the nation’s transportation, the Fuel Agency rationed coal and oil, and the Food Administration, directed by Herbert Hoover, helped farmers increase crop yields and promoted more efficient food preparation. These agencies generally saw themselves as much as friends to business as regulators, and they guaranteed government contractors a high rate of profit and encouraged cooperation among businesses by suspending antitrust laws. The War Labor Board, however, included representatives of government, industry, and the AFL, and instituted in some industries a minimum wage, an eight-hour workday, and protections for unions. Wages rose significantly in the war, working conditions improved in many places, and union membership doubled. Corporate and income taxes soared. With peace, this wartime state rapidly dissolved, but it momentarily gave Progressives hope that government could be rationalize the economy and society for the sake of justice and national purpose. Many American doubted whether America should intervene in a struggle between rival empires. Many outright opposed American entry into the war, as did groups such as the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and much of the Socialist Party. In April 1917, to counter-act anti-war sentiment, Wilson created the Committee on Public Information (CPI), directed by George Creel, to run a campaign to build support for the war. The CPI enlisted academics, journalists, artists, and advertisers to flood the nation with pro-war propaganda, from posters to movies. The agency trained and sent across the nation 75,000 “Four-Minute Men” to deliver brief and standardized talks, sometimes in immigrant languages, to audiences at schools and movie theaters. The federal government had never before had an agency dedicated to manipulating public opinion, and future administrations mounted similar campaigns during World War II and the Cold War. The administration and the CPI made its appeal in a Progressive language of social cooperation and expanded democracy. This meant a peace based on national selfdetermination abroad, and industrial democracy at home. The CPI tried to sell the war to workers as a fight for democracy by promising the eight-hour workday after the war. “Freedom” was also a key term in the mobilization, and the CPI argued the war was being fought for freedom. The Statue of Liberty was a common image in wartime propaganda, and was used especially to rally immigrants. The German 5 kaiser and the German nation and people were defined as the antithesis of freedom and depicted as barbaric and bloodthirsty Huns. Language of “democracy” and “freedom” inevitably sparked demands for their expansion at home. In 1916, Wilson seemed to endorse women’s suffrage. But the war threatened to splinter the movement, as many in it opposed American intervention. Even the first woman in Congress, Jeanette Rankin of Montana, voted against American entry into the war. But most suffrage movement leaders and most women supported and participated in war mobilization, selling bonds, organizing patriotic rallies, and working in war production. A new and more militant generation of women activists, organized in the National Women’s Party, pushed for suffrage with tactics that scandalized older women activists, such as civil disobedience and demonstrations in front of the White House. But these tactics pressured the White House to fully endorse women’s suffrage, and in 1920 the Nineteenth Amendment, barring any state from using sex as a qualification for suffrage, was ratified. The war also enhanced other women reformers’ campaigns, especially prohibition. Several factors helped finally secure the prohibition of the sale of liquor nationwide, including employers’ interest in a more disciplined labor force, urban reformers who wanted orderly cities and to dismantle political machines that used saloons, and women reformers who wanted to protect wives and children from domestic abuse and the squandering of men’s wages for alcohol. Many native-born Protestants sought prohibition as a means to “Americanize” immigrants. Prohibitionists first focused on state campaigns, which were successful in more than a dozen states, but the war made beer, often brewed by German-Americans, unpopular. In December 1917, Congress passed the Eighteenth Amendment, prohibiting the manufacture and sale of liquors, and it took effect in 1920. The war showed that during a conflict, civil liberties are often imperiled. Randolph Bourne in 1917 warned Progressives that they would not be able to manipulate the war for their own “liberal purposes,” and that instead, the war would empower “the least democratic forces in American life.” Despite the Wilson administration’s idealistic rhetoric, the war initiated the most extreme repression of civil liberties in American history. The federal government passed laws severely restricting freedom of speech. The Espionage Act of 1917 prohibited spying, interfering with the draft, and “false statements” that might impede military success. The postmaster general banned from the mails radical and socialist newspapers and other publications critical of the war and the draft. The Sedition Act, passed in 1918, made it a crime to make spoken or written statements intended to cast “contempt, scorn, or disrepute” on the “form of government” or advocate disruption of the war effort. The government charged more than 2,000 people with violating these laws, and over half were convicted, the most prominent being Socialist Party leader Eugene V. Debs, who, in 1918, was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison for delivering an anti-war speech. In 6 1920, Debs ran for president while still in prison and received 900,000 votes. He was released from prison by President Harding in 1921. More extreme repression was implemented by state government and private groups. Many states imprisoned those critical of the American flag, outlawed the possession of red and black flags (symbolizing communism and anarchism), and twenty-three states passed “criminal syndicalism” laws, making it illegal to advocate political change through unlawful acts or “a change in industrial ownership.” Patriotism came to be synonymous with support for the government, the war, and the American economic system, while anti-war sentiment, labor radicalism, and sympathy for the Russian Revolution became “un-American.” Local authorities investigated residents who did not buy Liberty Loans. Sc ...
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Topic: Major Issues in WW1
Thesis Statement: Evidently, World War 1 did not act as an end to all wars and instead, it
led to the division of the central powers from the allies, with a win from the latter. Further,
WW1 resulted from an array of several issues, but I have addressed only two of these
1. Major issues, reason and importance
a) Imperialism
b) Militarism
2. Modern Relevance

Running head: MAJOR ISSUES IN WW1


Major Issues in WW1


Major Issues in WW1

World War I (WW1), also referred to ad First World War or Great War, pertains to a
universal skirmish that ensnared most of the European states together with Russia, America,
the Middle East, and other areas, from 1914 to 1918 (John & Dennis, 2019). Fundamentally,
the feud estranged the central powers, mostly Turkey, Germ...

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