AMH Chapter 9 Section 1

Chapter 9
Section 1
• In the late 1800s,
Germany and France
were bitter enemies.
German Alliance
• Germany joined Italy
and Austria-Hungary in
the Triple Alliance.
• This alliance alarmed
Russian leaders because
they feared Germany
intended to expand
eastward into Russia.
French & British Alliance
• France, Russia, and
Great Britain formed
the Triple Entente.
• This system of alliances
militarism—the buildup
of armed force between
Great Britain and
Imperialism & Nationalism
• Nationalism is intense pride in
one’s homeland.
– The main idea behind selfdetermination is that people who
share a national identity should
have their own country.
• Imperialism led European powers
to form empires.
• In Southeastern Europe the
(Balkans) Ottoman Empire and
Austro-Hungarian Empire ruled
the Balkans; national groups
within these empires began to
push for independence.
– Example; Serbia granted
• Austria-Hungary took
control of the nation of
Bosnia to stop the Serbs
from uniting with it.
– The Serbs were angry.
• In June 1914, a Bosnian
member of a Serbian
nationalist group killed
the heir to the AustroHungarian throne.
Russian Support
• Russia support the Serbian nationalist group
that assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand
because the Russians belonged to a similar
ethnic group called the Slavs and supported
their independence from the AustriaHungarian Empire.
Start of WWI
• Several nations became involved.
• They formed alliances and
declared war.
• The first (initial) countries
involved in World War I were
Austria; Serbia; Russia; Germany;
• Soon Great Britain joined because
the German invasion route into
France involved invading Belgium
and the British guaranteed
Belgium’s neutrality.
– France France, Russia, Great
Britain, and Italy became the Allies.
Start of WWI
• Germany, AustriaHungary, the Ottoman
Empire, and Bulgaria
became the Central
• Eventually, both sides
became locked in a
stalemate in France.
• In Russia, the Germans
and Austrians swept
across hundreds of miles
of land and took
thousands of prisoners.
American Response
• As World War I began,
President Wilson
declared the United
States neutral.
Who did the American support?
• However, many Americans supported one side
or the other.
• Most Americans favored the Allies.
• However, many Irish Americans sympathize
with Germany and the Central Powers
because the Irish had ruled their homeland for
• Most of President Wilson’s cabinet supported
the Allies, too.
• The British and
Germans worked to win
U.S. support by using
propaganda or
information designed to
influence opinion.
Limiting our news
• Britain also cut the
transatlantic telegraph
cable from Europe to
the United States.
• This limited the news
about the war mainly to
British communications.
• Although many reports
were exaggerated,
many Americans
believed them.
Businesses Supporting the Allies
• Businesses also supported the Allies because they
had ties with businesses in the Allied countries.
• America's prosperity intertwined with the
military fortunes of Britain, France, and Russia
because American banks had heavily invested in
an Allied victory.
• If the Allies won, the money would be paid back.
• If they lost, the money would be, too.
• Although most Americans did not want to
enter the war, many events drew the United
States into it.
• The British navy had blockaded Germany.
• They stopped neutral ships to inspect them for
contraband, or prohibited materials, headed
for Germany or its allies.
• In response, Germany respond to Britain's
blockade by announcing that it would sink
without warning any ships in the waters
around Britain.
• Attacking civilian ships without warning was
against international law.
• In May, the British
passenger ship
Lusitania, entered the
war zone.
• A German U-boat—or
submarine—sank the
ship, killing nearly 1,200
people. About 128 were
Sussex Pledge
• President Wilson still tried to stay out of the war.
• However, he did send notes to Germany telling it to
stop endangering the lives of civilians in war zones.
• After a U-boat shot at the French passenger ship
Sussex, Wilson warned Germany to stop its submarine
warfare or risk war with the United States.
• Germany did not want the United States to join the
Allies and to keep the United States from breaking off
diplomatic relations, they signed the Sussex pledge.
– In the Sussex Pledge, Germany promised not to sink any
merchant ships without warning.
Zimmerman Note
• In January 1917, a German
official named Arthur
Zimmermann told the
German ambassador to
Mexico to ask Mexico to ally
itself with Germany in case
of war between Germany
and the United States.
• Germany promise to Mexico
in return for their support in
the war, Mexico would get
back the territory it once
held in Texas, New Mexico,
and Arizona.
Zimmerman Telegram
• The British intercepted
the Zimmermann
• It was leaked to
American newspapers.
• Many Americans now
believed that war with
Germany was
Last Straw…
• When Germany again began unrestricted
submarine warfare, it was the event that
finally drew the United States into the war
• February 1917, Germany sank six American
merchant ships, Wilson asked Congress to
declare war on Germany.
– It did so on April 6, 1917.

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