WORLD WAR I

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Leaders

Woodrow Wilson- USA

Though he pledged to keep America out of World War I, Wilson was obliged to declare war on Germany after the resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare in early 1917. He was relatively uninterested in military affairs, but was able to organize the American economy to provide the food and munitions the army needed to fight in France. At the end of the war, Wilson became the first American president to leave the country during his administration when he sailed for Paris to negotiate the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. Most of Wilson's Fourteen Points advocating for human and democratic rights were not adopted in the treaty, due to France and Britain seeking punishment for Germany. However, the most important of the Fourteen Points—the creation of the League of Nations—was adopted. Wilson proved unable to get the Treaty of Versailles ratified by the U.S. Senate, and ironically, America never joined the League of Nations.

Kaiser Wilhelm II- Germany

Wilhelm II ascended to the German throne as Kaiser. The policies and style of government he instigated over the next 26 years played a major role in the outbreak of war in 1914. In a marked change from the conservative Bismarckian politics of the 1870s and 1880s, Wilhelm II embarked upon a militaristic and expansionist political path in an attempt to ‘defend Germany’s so-called “place in the sun”’. While some historians have downplayed the role of the Kaiser and of Germany in the outbreak of war, an analysis of the events of July 1914 and the role Germany played appears to prove otherwise. Moreover, by realising that military and foreign affairs were solely the prerogative of the Kaiser, it becomes clear that there was a strong link between the Wilhelmine system, the Kaiser himself, and the outbreak of war in 1914.

Newspaper Headlines

Britian and France at war with Germany, We Need Soldiers, Dont Let your Country Down!