WORLD WAR I NEWS UPDATE

This Just In...

New Technology is Being Used!

World War I is one of the most dangerous battles yet! More sophisticated technology is being used such as:

  • Machine Guns- Quicker shooting and faster kills!
  • Airships & Airplanes- Safer, easier, and speedier way to deliver goods to our troops!
  • Poison Gas- This weapon shows no mercy, so make sure you go buy a mask today!

Leaders Leading

Woodrow Wilson

Wilson spent 1914 through to the beginning of 1917 trying to keep America out of the war in Europe. He offered the Allies and Central Powers to be a middleman, but neither side took his request seriously.

On December 18, 1916, Wilson unsuccessfully offered to mediate peace. As a precursor he asked both sides to state their minimum requirements necessary for future security. The Central Powers responded that victory was certain, and the Allies wanted to disassemble their enemies' empires. No desire for peace or common ground existed, and the offer was denied.

Renominated in 1916, Wilson used as a major campaign slogan "He kept us out of war", referring to his administration's avoiding open conflict with Germany or Mexico while maintaining a solid national policy. Wilson only just barely won the election.

The U.S. had made a declaration of neutrality in 1914. Wilson warned citizens not to take sides in the war for fear of jeopardizing U.S. policy.

The U.S. maintained neutrality despite increasing pressure placed on Wilson after the sinking of the British passenger liner RMS Lusitania with arms and American citizens on board. Wilson found it increasingly difficult to maintain U.S. neutrality after Germany launched a battle of unrestricted submarine warfare early in 1917 that threatened U.S. shipping. The U.S. did not sign a formal alliance with the United Kingdom or France but operated as an "associated" power.

Wilson had decided by then that the war had become a real threat to humanity. Unless the U.S. threw its weight into the war, western civilization itself could be destroyed. His statement announcing a "war to end war" meant that he wanted to build a basis for peace that would prevent future catastrophic wars and needless death and destruction. This provided the basis of Wilson's Fourteen Points, which were intended to resolve territorial disputes, ensure free trade and commerce, and establish a peacemaking organization. Included in these fourteen points was the proposal for the League of Nations.

Wilson attempted to make the Fourteen Points the basis for the treaty that would mark the end of the war.

Kaiser Wilhelm II

Wilhelm was a friend of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and he was deeply shocked by his assassination in June 1914. Wilhelm offered to support Austria-Hungary.


When it became clear that Germany would experience a war on two fronts and that the United Kingdom would enter the war if Germany attacked France through neutral Belgium, Wilhelm attempted to redirect the main attack against Russia. In the original Schlieffen plan, Germany would attack the weaker enemy first, meaning France. The plan claimed that it would take a long time before Russia was ready for war. At the 1914 border between France and Germany, an attack on the more southern part of France could be stopped by the French fortress along the border.


Wilhelm's role in the war was of ever-dwindling power. The high command continued with its strategy even when it was clear that the Schlieffen plan had failed. Being cut off from reality and the political decision-making process, Wilhelm wavered between accepting defeat and dreams of victory. The Kaiser's support collapsed completely in October–November 1918 in the army, in the civilian government, and in German public opinion, as President Woodrow Wilson made clear that Kaiser could no longer be a part of peace negotiations.


Primary Source Documents

Headliners

Britain and France at War With Germany!
What Has the War Done to the World?
PEACE! The World War Ends: Armistice Signed