America and the Great War
America and the Great War Following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on jejune 1914 there was a chain reaction that many contribute to the most immediate cause of World War l. However, prior to the start of the 20th century there were many changes going on in and around Europe that can also be considered as root causes to the rise of hostilities between the countries of Europe.
This essay will discuss the events that ultimately lead to the beginning of World War l, the events that drew the United States into the War, the events that led to the defeat of the Treaty of Versailles, and hat effect the war had on America’s role in the world during the sass and sass.
Firstly, the forces of nationalism, Imperialism and millstreams had a great many influence to the rise of hostilities that lead the beginning of World War l. Nationalism was a long-term cause of World War l, as well as many of the other causes, nationalism takes time to create.
People are not born with the love of their country; instead they must learn to love it and thus nationalism requires a longer period of time to complete (Brown, 2009). Until the rand to late 19th century many European nations”, that Is those peoples sharing a common language and similar culture, were not united in an all-encompassing state. However, following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand a rise of nationalism In the Pan-Slavish movement and also the German speaking states occurred.
Germany felt nearly unstoppable as a world power following the Franco-Prussian War and because of this national pride felt that they would have no problem expanding their territory using imperialism. Specifically, Germany was attempting to control lands In Africa, a place that Britain and France were already established (Brown, 2009). As a result, Britain and France became closer allies in the conflict against Germany. Britain and France quickly found that by keeping Germany out of Africa, the Germans would be unable to build themselves Into a threatening power.
Germany on the other hand, had a different idea and wished to build an empire. In order to better combat the French and prevent another Invasion, Germany began to build their military; this millstreams or the belief of a nation or its people to build and maintain a strong military, with the intention to use it whenever it Is felt necessary (Brown, 2009). France, understanding that Germany was building a large military, saw it as a necessity to in turn build a large military to protect themselves against the Germans.
The British were threatened by the Germans Increasing Navy also began to build up their forces In order to remain the world’s most elite Navy. With so many countries building up their military it’s not hard for these countries to find a reason in which they can use their militaries against one another Germany decided against renewing a treaty with Russia, effectively opting for the Austrian alliance; while Germany’s western and astern neighbors, France and Russia, signed an alliance In 1894 united by fear and resentment of Berlin (Sheffield, 2011).
Europe was divided into two armed camps: the Entente Powers and the Central Powers, and these countries populations began to see war not merely as Inevitable but even welcome (Sheffield, 2011). Germany’s 1 OFF violation to its pledge to suspend unrestricted submarine warfare in the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean, and its attempts to entice Mexico into an alliance against the United States were the main reasons that were presented before Congress as a declaration of war (US Department of State, 2013).
Following the sinking of an unarmed French boat, the Sussex, in the English Channel in March 1916, President Wilson had threatened to sever diplomatic relations with Germany, unless the German Government refrained from attacking all passenger ships, and allowed the crews of enemy merchant vessels to escape from their ships prior to any attack. On May 4, 1916, the German Government had accepted these terms and conditions in what came to be known as the “Sussex pledge” (US Department of State, 2013).
Ethnicity played a role in the US neutrality because so many immigrants had locked to the United States during the Industrial Revolution that many of these immigrants still felt strong ties to their homelands back in Europe. The United States was afraid that these ties would hinder soldiers on the battlefield or cause an uproar state side if the United States Joined the war. The United States wanted to keep trade open with both sides of the war and thus keep neutral. However, the allied forces want to stop goods from reaching Germany so they began to seize them.
German forces wanted to stop goods from reaching Allied forces and began to attack US ships with U-boats. The entrance of the resource-rich Americans dealt a powerful psychological and military blow to the Germans and greatly hastened their capitulation (Schultz, 2013). Contributions to the war effort were not confined to the battlefield. The entire American economy was embroiled to win the war; from planting extra vegetables to keeping the furnace turned off, American civilians provided extra food and fuel to the war effort (US History, 2013).
Had the United States not entered the war then many of people living in and around Europe would have been even more effect without these supplies. The United States government engaged in a massive propaganda campaign to raise troops and money (US History, 2013). Where dissent was apparent, it was stifled, prompting many to question whether American civil liberties were in Jeopardy. In the end, the war was won, but the peace was lost. The Treaty of Versailles as presented by President Wilson was rejected by the Senate.
In setting policy for ending the war, President Wilson, the idealist, sought a “peace without victory,” while Senator Henry Lodge, the realist, demented Germany’s unconditional surrender (US Senate, 2001). President Wilson offended the Senate by refusing to include senators among the negotiators accompanying him to the Paris Peace Conference and by making conference results public before discussing them with committee members (US Senate, 2001). “In November 1919, Senator Lodge sent to the Senate floor a treaty with 14 reservations, but no amendments.
In the face of President Willow’s continued unwillingness to negotiate, the Senate on November 19, 1919, for the first time in its history, rejected a peace treaty’ (US Senate, 2001). President Wilson believed that the international organization, the League of Nations, would mitigate the failures of the Versailles Treaty while ensuring free trade, reducing reparations against Germany, extending self-determination beyond Europe, and punishing aggressor nations (History Matter, 2013).
Following the failed Treaty of Versailles American foreign policy of the sass was created by isolationism in reaction to the idealistic foreign policy of President son. Tater the united U States and helped the Allies in World War l, the United S suffered great losses with no payments in return. Thus, America isolated itself from he rest of the world and promised that the United States would not get involved in any future European conflicts by signing treaties designed to keep them out of war.