Most of us know that The sinking of the Lusitania was one of the factors to the United States entering the Great War, The sinking was due to the German U-boat campaign, where Germany declared that all Allied and neutral ship were to be sunk on sight. They wanted to cut off Britain supplies from America. By March 1917, Germany U-boat seven American vessels.Woodrow Wilson realized that staying neutral and out of the war could not be avoided, and Declared war on Germany. I honestly believe that staying out of the war so long is what helped the United stated win. They entered a war that opposing side and the allies were both decreasing in the number of soldier. The United states lost over 100,000 soldiers, which sad as it may be was only 1 % of the soldiers that were lost in this Great War!
In 1904 Morocco had been given to France by Britain, but the Moroccans wanted their independence. In 1905, Germany announced her support for Moroccan independence. War was narrowly avoided by a conference which allowed France to retain possession of Morocco. However, in 1911, the Germans were again protesting against French possession of Morocco. Britain supported France and Germany was persuaded to back down for part of French Congo.
In 1908, Austria-Hungary took over the former Turkish province of Bosnia. This angered Serbians who felt the province should be theirs. Serbia threatened Austria-Hungary with war, Russia, allied to Serbia, mobilised its forces. Germany, allied to Austria-Hungary mobilised its forces and prepared to threaten Russia. War was avoided when Russia backed down. There was, however, war in the Balkans between 1911 and 1912 when the Balkan states drove Turkey out of the area. The states then fought each other over which area should belong to which state. Austria-Hungary then intervened and forced Serbia to give up some of its acquisitions. Tension between Serbia and Austria-Hungary was high.
The effects of these crises had been a hardening of attitudes and an increase in distrust between the different European powers. It led to a strengthening of the different alliances: Britain and France during the Moroccan Crises and Austria and Germany during the Bosnian crisis.
During WW1, War bonds were sold, These bonds were called Liberty bonds. These bonds were to help finance the war.
The first issue of these bonds was not all sold, which did not make Treasury Department look very good. This eventually involved a launched of a massive campaigns using posters, and movie stars to make it popular . This was a major movement in American history during world war one, that helped make investment public. It was an important way to raise funding for the war.
This quote was from the speech he gave to congress to declare War against Germany and bring peace to the world in March, 1917. Woodrow Wilson was neutral at the time when the Great War broke out in 1914, he even won the election in 1912 by promising not to send American Soldiers to Europe according to Foner. But as the situation in Europe worsened, the straw that broke America’s stance against joining the war was the sinking of Lusitania by German Submarines where 1,198 people were killed including 124 Americans, eliciting public outrage in America. Woodrow Wilson’s decision to join the Great War was a landmark decision since America was a military superpower and had the power to quickly end the war, which was already going on for 3 years and had claimed the lives of millions. I think Foner was pretty clear and succinct in discussion of this issue where he noted America’s earlier stance of neutrality and then the later shift to joining the war.
Foner’s explanation of how prohibition came in to effect was informative. He gave reason’s for why the public supported the ban of alcoholic beverages such as the adverse changes to family life and the fact that many breweries were german-american run and by purchasing liquor during war time with Germany, it bring’s upon a sense of treason. The political cartoon accompanied support’s the prohibition of alcohol by reinforcing the explanations given by foner. Although Foner’s coverage on how prohibition came into effect, he could have went into detail about the ramifications that followed after alcohol became contraband such as the bootlegger’s who would secretly sell their home made liquor from speakeasies and the criminal gangs that deveoped as a result of this ban
According to Foner, the espionage Act of 1917 prohibited not only spying and interfering with the draft, but also “false statements” that might impede military success. It basically made it illegal to say anything against the government—anything which criticized the government, which brought the government into disrepute, as the law said. Foner also mentions the Sedition Act of 1918 that made it a crime to make spoken or printed statements that intended to cast “contempt, scorn, or disrepute” on the “form of government”, or that advocated interference with war effort. Many people were arrested under these acts. I did more research and found that citizens convicted of these crimes were subject to a fine of up to $10,000 or to imprisonment for not more than 20 years or both. I also found that other groups use these acts as the opportunity to fight old battles against old enemies (employers used these acts to get labor leaders and IWW radical laborites arrested not because of what they said about the war, but because they wanted them out of their factories).
In 1917, President Wilson’s administration came up with the CPI, or Committee on Public Information. What this committee did was it tried to manipulate the opinions of the public. They wanted to convince Americans to agree with America’s stance to go into World War 1. They did this by using “posters, newspaper advertisements, and motion pictures” to help spread the governments ideas. They also had Four-Minute Men who would go around trying to help sway the public’s opinions. These men targeted every audience, including most immigrant groups. In the end this committee proved very successful.
Foner covers this topic in less than a page, however he covers it very well. He tellsthe story like it is, and does not praise or admonish the CPI. He rather explains how this was the first time that America had dealt with this sort of mass advertising, and it influenced many people of the future, including advertisers of today. Although they did not know it at the time, this committee shifted the way America ran, and its impacts are still felt today.