01:512:104 Lecture Notes - Lecture 22: National Defence Act, Dollar Diplomacy, U-Boat

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Chapter 22 - World War I
Becoming a World Power
- Early 1900s - US had a more vigorous and agressive foreign policy
- “Progressive Diplomacy- led to the US becoming a large world power
Roosevelt: The Big Stick
- Roosevelt believed in superiority of Protestant Anglo-Americans
- Felt that US must be militarily strong
- “Speak softly and carry a big stick”
- “Planned” revolt against Columbia after turned down on Panama Canal
building
- US gets control of Canal Zone & gains immense strategic & commercial
advantage
- Sends in an “international police” force to keep Europeans out
- 1899 - John Hay gets open door trading in China
- Roosevelt gets Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating Russo-Japanese war in
1905
Taft: Dollar Diplomacy
- “Substitute dollars for bullets” - Taft wanted to limit the military’s involvement
- Ended up needing military support in Honduras & Nicaragua
- Taft gained more investment opportunities for the US in China
- Tried to “neutralize” Chinese industry, but this backfired = closed door in
China
Wilson: Moralism & Realism
- Wilson felt foreign investments & industrial exports = keys to national
prosperity
- Remove trade barriers
- Mexican Revolution (1911) brings fear to US investors of democratic leader
F. Madero
- Madero murdered & militarist govt. takes over
- US supports nationalists & invade
- Carranza (nationalist) takes over govt.
-“Pancho” Villa attempts to overthrow govt but fails; wants to get US into
Mexican war
- US attempts to capture him after raids into the US
- Attempts fail
The Great War
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- Both sides predicted a quick victory
- Americans entered the war reluctantly, and played a supportive role
The Guns of August
- Two teams:
- Triple Alliance (Germany, Austro-Hungary & Italy)
- Triple Entente (Britain, France & Russia)
- Archduke Ferdinand of Austria killed & war breaks out
- Germany invades Belgium & prepares to invade France
- 5,000,000 ppl + killed over 2 and a half years in N. France
American Neutrality
- Impossible to stay neutral, due to too many interest groups - immigrants, etc
- Began trade ‘solely’ with the allies
- British blockade Germany & US doesn’t complain
- US economic boom from all the trade with the Allies
Preparedness and Peace
- Feb 1915 - Germans begin sinking all boats around Britain with submarines
- May 1915 - German U-Boat sinks British Liner Lusitania & kills 128
Americans
- Germans temporarily cease their attacks after Wilson threatens to break off
relations
- US passes National Defence Act to increase army size
- Met with much opposition (Women’s World Peace Movt.)
- Wilson wins next election (1916) on Anti-War Premise
- Democrats win using the slogan “He kept us out of War”
Safe for Democracy
- More sinking of US ships by U-Boats leads to US entrance into war &
proposed
- US intercepts a German note suggesting an alliance with Mexico against the
US
- Leads to hugely increased war support
- Apr 2, 1917: Congress approves declaration of war
American Mobilization
- Although newspapers, religious leaders, and state legislatures were
enthusiastic, Wilson was still unsure how ordinary Americans would react
Selling the War
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- Committee of Public Information (CPI) formed to promote the war
- Employed more than 150,000 people
- Created more than 100 million pieces of Pro-war literature
- CPI recruited popular movie stars to make the war attractive
- CPI used three main themes in their pro-war pitches:
- America as a unified moral community
- War was an idealistic crusade for peace and freedom
- Displayed the image of a despicable enemy
- CPI urged ethnic Americans to lose their ties to the Old World - be
“unhyphenated”
Fading Opposition to the War
- The War effort gained support among progressives and reformers
- Saw the potential for positive social change
- Selective Service Act: the ‘draft’ is introduced without much resistance
- War was popular among most middle-class women - gave them a chance to
work
- Many hoped that through the war they would gain suffrage
“You’re in the Army Now”
- June 5, 1917 - almost 10 million men registered for the draft
- Age restrictions were loosened, and by the end of the war, 24 million had
signed up
- 2 million volunteers took part in various armed services
- Standardized tests were given to recruits
- Illiteracy was as high as 25%
Racism in the Military
- Segregated units for blacks (ie: 369th US Infantry in French Army)
- Thousands of black soldiers endured humiliating treatment from white
officers
- Barred from marines & coast guard
- August 1917 - Houston - black infantrymen kill 17 civilians due to racism
- Blacks were amazed to find that their treatment overseas was better than at
home
Americans in Battle
- American support began by escorting convoys to safety and attacking U-
Boats
- Gen. John Pershing appointed commander of the AEF (American
Expeditionary Force)
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