At first most public opinion was in favour of the war, but as it went on and more soldiers died, people became war-weary. Some men were conscientious objectors — they refused to fight in the war because of their beliefs — and some were punished for it. Because so many men left to fight there was a shortage of workers, and so women stepped in to take jobs — though this was considered temporary. People commemorated the war by building memorials in towns throughout the country, and Anzac Day 25 April became a day of remembrance for those who had died.
Story: First World War. Map of Gallipoli. Origins The First World War was caused by the destabilisation of the balance of power in Europe due to the rise of Germany. Gallipoli Turkey had entered the war on the side of the Central Powers. The home front At first most public opinion was in favour of the war, but as it went on and more soldiers died, people became war-weary. Print the full story Print the full story. If a German counterstrike soon recovered much of the lost ground, the Imperial Army's last offensive shows that it had absorbed Brusilov's methods and could defeat Germans as well as Austrians.
By this date Russia had mobilized industrially with the economy expanding, not collapsing, under wartime pressures. Compared to , by rifle production was up by 1, percent and shells by 2, percent, and in October the Bolsheviks inherited shell reserves of 18 million. Similar increases occurred in most other areas, while the numbers of men called up in fell and, by December 31, had numbered only 3,, for a total of 14,, since August Yet their quality had declined, war weariness and unrest were rising, and, in late June , the mobilization for rear work of some , earlier exempted Muslim tribesmen in Turkestan provoked a major rebellion.
By a harsh winter, military demands, and rapid wartime industrial expansion had combined to overload the transport system, which exacerbated the tensions brought by inflation, urban overcrowding, and food, fuel, and other shortages. Despite recent military and industrial successes, Russia's nonofficial public was surprisingly pessimistic. If war-weariness was natural, this mood also reflected the political opposition's propaganda.
Determined to gain control of the ministry, the liberals rejected all of Nicholas II's efforts at accommodation. As rumors of treason and a separate peace proliferated, the opposition dubbed each new minister a candidate of the dark forces and creature of the hated Empress and Rasputin , whose own claims gave credence to the rumors. This "assault on the autocracy," as George Katkov describes it, gathered momentum when the Duma reopened on November Liberal leader Paul Milyukov's rhetorical charges of stupidity or treason were seconded by two right-wing nationalists and longtime government supporters.
The authorities banned these seditious speeches' publication, but the opposition illegally spread them throughout the army, and some even tried to suborn the high command. The clamor continued until the Duma adjourned for Christmas on December 30, when a group of monarchists murdered Rasputin to save the regime. Yet the liberal public remained unmoved and its press warned that "the dark forces remain as they were.
Russia therefore entered as a house divided, the dangers of which became evident as a new round of winter shortages, sporadic urban strikes and food riots, and military mutinies set the stage for trouble. On February 27 the Duma reconvened with renewed calls for the removal of "incompetent" ministers, and 80, Petrograd workers went on strike. But the tsar, having hosted an Inter-Allied.
WORLD WAR I
Events now moved rapidly. On March 8, police clashed with demonstrators protesting food shortages on International Women's Day. Over the next two days protests spread, antiwar slogans appeared, strikes shut down the city, the Cossacks refused to fire upon protestors, and the strikers set up the Petrograd Soviet Council. When Nicholas II ordered the garrison to restore order, its aged reservists at first obeyed. But on March 12 they mutinied and joined the rebels.
The tsar's ministers were helpless before two new emergent authorities: a Provisional Committee of the State Duma the prorogued Duma meeting unofficially and the Petrograd Soviet. This list now included soldier deputies, and on March 14 the Petrograd Soviet issued its famous Order No. This extended its power through the soldiers' committees elected in every unit in the garrison, and in time in the whole army. When Nicholas tried to return to personally restore order, his train was diverted to the Northwest Front's headquarters in Pskov.
There he accepted his generals' advice and on March 15 abdicated for himself and his son. His brother, Grand Duke Mikhail, followed suit, the Romanov dynasty ended, and the Imperial Army became that of a de facto Russian republic. At first both the new government and soviets supported the war effort, and the army's command structure remained intact.
Plans for the spring offensive continued, although the changing political situation forced its delay. By April antiwar agitation was rising, discipline weakening, and Stavka was demanding an immediate offensive to restore the army's fighting spirit. Hopes for success rose when Brusilov was named commander-in-chief, and a charismatic radical lawyer, Alexander Kerensky, War and Naval Minister. Finally, on July 1, the Southwest Front's four armies, using Brusilov's tactics, opened Russia's last offensive.
Initially successful, it collapsed after only three days, and the Russians again retreated. In two weeks they lost most of Galicia and more than 58, officers and men, while a pro-Bolshevik uprising in the capital the July Days threatened the government. Kerensky survived the crisis to become premier, while Lavr Kornilov, who advocated harsh measures to restore order, replaced Brusilov. The Bolshevik leaders were now imprisoned, underground, or in exile in Finland , but their antiwar message won further soldier-converts on all fronts. The Germans tested their own Brusilov-like tactics by capturing Riga during September 1 — 6, but otherwise remained passive as the revolutionary virus did its work.
Riga's fall revealed Russia's inability to fight even defensively and helped provoke the much-debated Kornilov Affair.
When Stavka ordered units to disperse the Petrograd Soviet, Kerensky whatever his initial intentions branded Kornilov a traitor and used the left to foil this Bonapartist adventure. Bolshevik influence now made the officers' position impossible. Desertion was massive, and units on all fronts dissolved. After Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky took power on November 7, the army became so disorganized that a party of Baltic sailors easily seized Stavka and murdered General Nikolai Dukhonin, the last real commander-in-chief. The army no longer existed as an effective fighting force and, with peace talks underway at Brest-Litovsk, the so-called demobilization congress of December sanctioned the harsh reality.
In February the army's remnants mounted only token resistance when the Austro-Germans attacked and, despite desperate attempts to create a Workers' and Peasants' Red Army, forced the Soviet government to accept the diktat dictated or imposed peace of Brest-Litovsk on March 3. Western accounts of Russia's war are dominated by the Tannenberg defeat of , the Great Retreat of , and the debacle of Yet the Imperial Army's record compares favorably with those of its allies and its German opponent, and surpassed those of Italy, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey.
Despite many real problems, the same is true of efforts to organize the war economy. But the regime's failures were exaggerated, and its successes often obscured, by a domestic political struggle that undercut the war effort and helped bring the final collapse. See also: brest-litovsk peace; july days of ; kerensky, alexander fyodorovich, kornilov affair; nicholas ii; stavka; tannenberg, battle of; yudenich, nikolai nikolayevich. Allen, W. Brusilov, Aleksei A. A Soldier's Note-Book, — London: Macmillan.
Florinsky, Michael T. The End of the Russian Empire. Gatrell, Peter. The Tsarist Economy, — London: Batsford. Golder, Frank A. Documents of Russian History, — Golovin, Nicholas N. The Russian Army in the World War. Heenan, Louise Erwin. New York. Jones, David R. Millet and W. London: Allen and Unwin. Hagan and R. New York : Palgrave. Katkov, George. Russia The February Revolution. London: Longmans. Kerensky, Alexander F. Russia and History's Turning Point. New York: Duell, Sloane and Pearce. Knox, Alfred W. With the Russian Army, — , 2 vols.
London: Hutchinson. Lincoln, Bruce W. New York: Simon and Schuster. Siegelbaum, Lewis H. Stone, Norman. The Eastern Front, — New York: Scribner's Sons. Wildman, Allan K. The End of the Russian Imperial Army, 2 vols. World War I, which spanned a four-year period between and , erupted as a result of the complicated European alliance system. The assassination of Austrian Archduke Ferdinand, and his wife, Sophie, by Serbian nationalists sparked pan-European conflict when Russia , backed by France , declared their intent to defend Serbia , should Austria declare war.
The Austrian government, with its ally Germany , declared war on Serbia three days later. British forces joined the French and Russians, but the United States , home to large immigrant populations of all of the fighting nations, resolved to remain out of the conflict. The United States declared its neutrality, but the nation harbored Allied sympathies. United States manufacture and trafficking of munitions and supplies to aid British and French forces angered Germany and Austria.
The German Navy attacked American ships, potentially loaded with contraband, in the Atlantic, and sent intelligence agents to conduct sabotage operations within the United States. In , German hostility prompted the United States to enter the conflict in Europe.
The war ended in , followed by the formal surrender of German and Austrian forces with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. However, World War I forever changed modern warfare, introducing the concepts of total warfare and weapons of mass destruction. National intelligence communities. At the outbreak of the war, many nations had weak or fledgling national intelligence communities. The French government and military both maintained trained intelligence forces, but no central agency processed intelligence information, or facilitated the distribution of critical intelligence information.
Russia had special agents of the Czar, and secret police forces, but its foreign intelligence infrastructure was almost non-existent. The United States developed stronger domestic intelligence and investigative services in the decade before World War I. However, the country's lingering isolationism and neutral posture in the war hampered the development of a foreign intelligence corps until the United States entered the war in Britain had a well-developed military intelligence system, coordinated through the Office of Military Intelligence.
British intelligence forces engaged in a range of specialized intelligence activities, from wiretapping to human espionage. The vast expanse of British colonial holdings across the globe provided numerous outposts for intelligence operations, and facilitated espionage. British forces were among the first to employ a unit of agents devoted to the practice of industrial espionage, conducting wartime surveillance of German weapons manufacturing.
Of all the warring nations in , Germany possessed the most developed, sophisticated, and extensive intelligence community. The civilian German intelligence service, the Abwehr , employed a comprehensive network of spies and informants across Europe, North Africa, the Middle East , and in the United States. German intelligence successfully employed wire taps, infiltrating many foreign government offices before the outbreak of the war. World War I forced most national intelligence services to rapidly modernize, revising espionage and intelligence tradecraft to fit changing battlefield tactics and technological advances.
The experience of the war formed the first modern intelligence services, serving as forbearers of the intelligence communities in France, Britain, Germany, and the Untied States today. German intelligence trained special agents, most of whom used professional or diplomatic covers in the United States, to conduct acts of sabotage against United States industries that aided the British, French, and Russian allied forces in the war. International rules of engagement limited the ways in which Germany and Austria-Hungary could provoke or attack the declaredly neutral United States.
German high command desired to cripple United States aid capabilities, but not provoke the nation to enter the conflict. German undercover agents attacked railroads, warehouses, shipyards, and military instillations in and Agents attempted to make these attacks appear as accidents, but United States authorities caught several potential saboteurs before they destroyed property, unmasking the German plot. Anti-spy hysteria fueled public fear and anger regarding the acts of German saboteurs. German and Austrian agents carried out more than 50 acts of sabotage against United States targets on American soil during the course of the war.
The most famous and devastating attack, the sabotage of Black Tom Pier, shook buildings and broke windows across New York City and suburban New Jersey. The July 29, , explosion destroyed several ships and waterfront ammunition storage facilities. German sabotage attacks in the United States, while successful, only managed to strike at a handful of military and shipping targets.
The United States government continued to aid British and French forces in Europe, but the attacks inflamed pro-war sentiment. Communications and cryptology. Advancements in communications and transportation necessitated the development of new means of protecting messages from falling into enemy hands. Though an ancient art, cryptology evolved to fit modern communication needs during World War I.
The telegraph aided long-distance communication between command and the battlefront, but lines were vulnerable to enemy tapping. All parties in the conflict relied heavily on codes to protect sensitive information. Cryptology, the science of codes, advanced considerably during the first year of the war. Complex mathematical codes took the place of any older, simple replacement and substitution codes. Breaking the new codes required the employment of cryptology experts trained in mathematics, logic, or modern languages. As the operation of codes became more involved, the necessity for centralized cryptanalysis bureaus became evident.
These bureaus employed code breakers, translators, counterintelligence personnel, and agents of espionage. The most common codes used during the war continued to be substitution codes. However, most important messages were encrypted. Encryption further disguised messages by applying a second, mathematical code to the encoded message.
Encryption and coding both required the use of codebooks to send and receive messages. These books proved to be a security liability for the military.
During the course of the war, four separate German diplomatic and military corps code books fell into the hands of British intelligence, compromising the security of German communications for the rest of the war. The German Abwehr broke several British diplomatic and Naval codes, permitting German U-boats to track and sink ships containing munitions. British cryptanalysis forces at Room 40, the military intelligence code-breaking bureau, successfully deciphered numerous German codes, thanks in large part to the capture of German codebooks.
In , British intelligence intercepted a diplomatic message between Berlin and Mexico City , relayed through Washington. The message, known as the Zimmerman Telegram, noted German plans to conduct unrestricted warfare against American ships in the Atlantic, and offered to return parts of Texas and California to Mexico in exchange for their assistance. Cryptology, once the exclusive tool of diplomats and military leaders, became the responsibility of the modern intelligence community. After World War I, many nations dissolved their wartime intelligence services, but kept their cryptanalysis bureaus, a nod to the growing importance of communications intelligence and espionage.
Trench warfare and the evolution of strategic espionage tradecraft. The advent of trench warfare necessitated the development of new surveillance and espionage techniques to locate enemy positions and gauge troop strength. Crossing "no man's land," the area between trench fronts, was dangerous, and using human scouts proved costly to both sides in the early months of the war.
Military intelligence officers instead relied on networks of local citizens for information on enemy advances and supply lines. Finding sympathetic locals was possible for both sides in the trenches of Northern France, as the battlefront crossed the linguistically and culturally diverse German-French region of Alsace-Lorraine. The airplane was a new invention when war broke out in Europe. Though the device was unproven in war, German commanders recognized that air combat and aerial bombardment were the most significant war tactics of the future. Britain developed fighter squadrons of its own to combat the German air menace.
Despite the fame of the German Red Baron and World War I aerial dogfights, airpower was a very small part of the war effort on both sides. However, low-flying airplanes proved invaluable surveillance and intelligence tools, permitting military command to obtain accurate and up-to-date information on enemy trench locations and fortifications. British forces experimented with aerial surveillance photography, trying several cameras, but the medium had little success during the course of World War I. German and Austrian forces introduced the use of balloons to monitor weather patterns and deliver explosive charges.
Sometimes, dummy balloons were sent across enemy lines so that scouts could monitor where individual balloons were shot down, thus mapping probable enemy strongholds. British and French forces soon reciprocated by using balloons of their own, but by the time they introduced the devices, balloons signaled the impending use of a far more sinister weapon, poison gas.
Chemical weapons. Although military strategists during the nineteenth century noted the potential use of poison gas on the battlefield, the development of the first, World War I — era chemical weapon happened by accident. Seeking to conserve TNT, British and German forces substituted two different agents, Lyddite and Dianisdine salts respectively, into their explosive charges. The chemicals produced a tearing agent and mild respiratory irritant, sending victims into violent fits of sneezing.
The French first developed strong tear gas agents for battlefield use in June French forces first employed the gas in the form of tear-gas grenades, in August German scientists created a similar agent, and were the first to research various types of poison gas for extensive battle use. In October , the Germans fired the first gasfilled shells. A few months later, experiments with filled shells were unsuccessful.
Gasses failed to properly vaporize on the Eastern Front during the freezing winter. Variable winds on the Western Front made dispersal of gasses difficult. By , the German, French, and British armies all sought to develop chemical agents that would help end the relentless stalemate of trench warfare.
Outdated battlefield tactics ordered soldiers to charge fortified trenches, across open fields strewn with barbed wire. Military commanders hoped poison gas would help soften or destroy manned defenses, permitting successful seizure of enemy positions. The first major use of strong poison gas was an asphyxiant and respiratory irritant, chlorine, at the Second Battle of Ypres.
In the evening, the firing grew more intense, and Algerian troops noticed a peculiar yellow cloud drifting toward the Salient.
The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection
French military commanders believed the yellow smoke hid an oncoming German advance, so soldiers were ordered to stand their ground and man machine gun defenses. As a result, many men died and the Salient was broken, forcing the Allies to retreat. Germany drew immediate criticism for its inhumane use of gas on the battlefield. German diplomats assured rival powers that poison gas would be used regularly against their forces, provoking further condemnation. Both sides of the conflict employed agents of espionage to spy on the production of new weapons.
Informants told Allied authorities about the possible German use of chlorine gas at Ypres. After Ypres, intelligence personnel changed its tactics to obtain specific information on the gasses each side was producing, and how they intended to weaponize the chemicals. The British government commissioned Special Gas Companies to create poisons for wartime uses. On September 24, , Allied forces retaliated the initial German gas attacks. Setting some chlorine gas canisters along the German lines at Loos, British forces began the gas attack at dawn. A few minutes after sunrise, the prevailing winds suddenly shifted, driving the cloud of gas back over British lines.
The operation was disastrous, Britain suffered more causalities on the day than did Germany. After the incident at Loos and several similar gas reversals, both British and German forces experimented with different means of delivering poison gasses to minimize friendly-fire exposure to the chemicals. The creation of stronger, more deadly agents, such as Phosgene an asphyxiant and later Mustard Gas a blister agent that burned exposed skin and eyes , necessitated a remote delivery system. Gas canisters were dropped from balloons and airplanes, but the system was not always reliable and targeting specific locations was difficult.
Advancement in ammunition design, and the chemical agents themselves, finally permitted chemical agents to be placed in the payload of long-range artillery shells. Despite more efficient delivery mechanisms, chemical warfare eventually became less effective on the battle-field. All armies in the conflict quickly devised protective gear to shield soldiers from exposure to chemical agents. Cotton wraps dipped in baking soda and gas masks greatly reduced the number of casualties from most gasses, though they offered no protection from the increasingly used Mustard Gas.
Battlefield toxins became more deadly, especially with the limited use of cyanide derivatives and prussic acid, a crippling nerve gas. However, protective clothing and gas masks limited mortality from rare gasses. Better intelligence also helped combat casualties incurred from gas attacks. Intelligence aided troops in the trenches to reposition to avoid an impending attack.
Identification of the type of gasses possessed by the immediate enemy corps further detracted from the element of surprise, upon which gas attacks heavily relied. Despite its diminished success, gas continued to be regularly deployed. The legacy of World War I. By the end of World War I, over , people were killed, and one million injured, by poison gas attacks. Those injured often suffered debilitating injuries, creating further public ire for chemical weapons. Civilians were inadvertently injured by contaminated areas, especially by the long-lingering mustard gas.
After the war, the newly established League of Nations moved to amend the international rules of engagement to disallow the use of poison gas. Though the motion gained public and diplomatic support, military leaders were hesitant to agree to a total ban on chemical warfare. In , the Geneva Protocol outlawed the use of chemical and biological weapons in war against human targets. However, the treaty did not prevent their further use, and chemical and biological weapons attacks by rogue nations or terrorist organizations have now reemerged as a global threat. The German government collapsed under the weight of reparation payments and hyperinflation, only to emerge from economic troubles under the reign of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party.
In the East, small ethnic nations were combined into larger states, embittering nationalists that hoped the war would bring freedom from Austrian, Russian, or German domination. Russia began a tumultuous revolution in , withdrawing from the war to concentrate on domestic affairs. Many nations participating in the conflict realized the necessity for some sort of permanent intelligence services, whether cryptology and surveillance units, or large government intelligence agencies.
The nature of war, and the business of intelligence in wartime and peacetime were altered by the events of World War I. Gilbert, Martin. New York: Henry Holt , After an intense period of military buildup and imperial competition, war broke out in Europe between Germany and Austria-Hungary the Central Powers and Britain, France, and Russia the Allies.
Turkey quickly joined the Central Powers and Italy joined the Allies in Immediately, President Woodrow Wilson issued a declaration of neutrality. He was committed to maintaining open use of the Atlantic for trade with all the European belligerents. However, British naval supremacy almost eliminated American trade with Germany while shipments to the Allies soared. To counter this trend, German U-boats submarines torpedoed U.
Strong protest from Wilson subdued the submarine campaign, but it would emerge again as the war ground on and became more desperate. In late January , Germany announced it would destroy all ships heading to Britain. Although Wilson broke off diplomatic ties with Germany, he still hoped to avert war by arming merchant vessels as a deterrent. Nevertheless, Germany began sinking American ships immediately. In February , British intelligence gave the United States government a decoded telegram from Germany's foreign minister, Arthur Zimmerman, that had been intercepted en route to his ambassador to Mexico.
World War I in Georgia | New Georgia Encyclopedia
Zimmerman Telegram authorized the ambassador to offer Mexico the portions of the Southwest it had lost to the United States in the s if it joined the Central Powers. But because Wilson had run for reelection in on a very popular promise to keep the United States out of the European war, he had to handle the telegram very carefully. Wilson did not publicize it at first, only releasing the message to the press in March after weeks of German attacks on American ships had turned public sentiment toward joining the Allies. On 2 April , Wilson asked Congress for a declaration of war and four days later all but six senators and fifty representatives voted for a war resolution.
The Selective Service Act that was passed the following month, along with an extraordinary number of volunteers, built up the army from less than , to four million over the course of the conflict. Initially, the nation was woefully unprepared to fight so large a war so far from American soil. The task of reorganizing government and industry to coordinate a war and then of recruiting, training, equipping, and shipping out massive numbers of soldiers was daunting and would proceed slowly. The first serious U. It would take a gargantuan national effort, one that would forever change the government and its relationship to the citizenry, to get those troops into combat.
Although there is strong evidence that the war was broadly supported—and certainly Americans volunteered and bought Liberty Bonds in droves—the epic scale of the undertaking and the pressure of time led the government, in an unprecedented campaign, to sell the war effort through a massive propaganda blitz. This organization was charged with providing the press with carefully selected information on the progress of the war.
It also worked with the advertising industry to produce eyecatching and emotional propaganda for various agencies involved in the war effort in order to win maximum cooperative enthusiasm form the public. Its largest enterprise was the Four Minute Men program, which sent more than 75, speakers to over , public events to rouse the patriotism of as many as million spectators over the course of the war. The CPI recruited mainly prominent white businessmen and community leaders; however, it did set up a Women's Division and also courted locally prominent African Americans to speak at black gatherings.
The government needed patriotic cooperation, for it was completely unequipped to enforce many of the new regulations it adopted. It also had to maximize the productive resources of the nation to launch the U. The War Industries Board was charged with gearing up the economy to war production, but it lacked coercive authority. Even the Overman Act of May , which gave the president broad powers to commandeer industries if necessary, failed to convince capitalists to retool completely toward the war effort.
The government only took control of one industry, the railroads, in December , and made it quite clear that the measure was only a temporary necessity. In all other industries, it was federal investment—not control—that achieved results. Overall, the effort to raise production was too little and too late for maximizing the nation's military clout. American production was just hitting stride as the war ended, but the threat that it represented did help convince an exhausted Germany to surrender.
Many workers connected Wilson's war goals—democracy and self-determination for nations—to struggles for a voice in their workplaces through union representation. However, the number of striking workers was lower in and than in The government had considerable success in resolving disputes and convincing employers to at least temporarily give some ground to the unions. When this novel arbitration framework disappeared along with government contracts in , workers participated in the largest strike wave in the nation's history—over four million participated in walkouts during that year.
For women workers the war also raised hopes, but as with labor as a whole, they were dashed after the conflict. The number of women working as domestic servants and in. The very limited place of women in the economy had opened up and government propaganda begged women to take jobs. However, few of these new opportunities, and even then only the least attractive of them, went to nonwhite women. Mainly confined to low-skilled work, many women were let go when the postwar economy dipped or were replaced by returning soldiers. Although women did gain, and hold on to, a more prominent place in the AFL, they were still only 10 percent of the membership in The government made some attempts through the NWLB to protect the rights of working women, although it backed off after the war.
But women fought on their own behalf on the suffrage front and finally achieved the right to vote in African Americans also made some gains but suffered a terrible backlash for them. There were ninety-six lynchings of blacks during and and seventy in alone. Blacks were moving out of the South in massive numbers during the war years, confronting many white communities in the North with a substantial nonwhite presence for the first time.
Northward migration by blacks averaged only 67, per decade from through and then exploded to , during the s. This Great Migration gave blacks access to wartime factory jobs that paid far better than agricultural work in the South , but like white women, they primarily did lowskilled work and were generally rejected by the union movement. The hatred that many of these migrants faced in the North forced them into appalling ghettos and sometimes led to bloodshed. In July , a race riot in East St. Louis, Illinois, left thirty-nine African Americans dead.
A wiki for the First World War? International Encyclopedia of the Great War to launch online
The recently formed NAACP championed justice and democratic rights for African Americans at a time when black soldiers were helping to guarantee them for the peoples of Europe. Although job opportunities would recede after the war, the new racial diversity outside the South would not—and neither would the fight for equal rights. The fragility of a war effort that relied on a workforce of unprecedented diversity and on cooperation from emboldened unions led the federal government to develop for the first time a substantial intelligence-gathering capability for the purpose of suppressing elements it thought might destabilize the system.
The primary targets were anti-capitalist radicals and enemy aliens German and Austro-Hungarian immigrants. The former group was targeted through the Espionage Act of June , which was amended by the Sedition Act in May after the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia convinced the government to seek even wider powers to control public speech. The Department of Justice, through its U. Many government agencies developed at least some intelligence capacity and the private, but government sanctioned, American Protective League recruited perhaps , citizen-spies to keep tabs on their fellow Americans.
In this climate of suspicion, German-speaking aliens had the most cause to be afraid. War propaganda dehumanized Germans and blasted their culture and language. Well over a half-million enemy aliens were screened by the Department of Justice and were restricted in their mobility and access to military and war production sites. Several thousand enemy aliens deemed disloyal were interned until the conflict was over. The end of the war was nowhere in sight when U. Now under foreign command, American troops helped stop the renewed German offensive in May and June. The First U.
Army was given its own mission in August: to push the Germans back to the southeast and northwest of Verdun and then seize the important railroad facilities at Sedan. The campaign got under way in September and American troops succeeded in removing the Germans from the southeast of Verdun, although the latter were already evacuating that area. The Meuse-Argonne offensive to the northwest of Verdun was launched in late September and proved to be much more bloody. Although the German position was heavily fortified, well over a million American soldiers simply overwhelmed all resistance.
This massive and relentless operation convinced the German command that its opportunity to defeat the Allies before American troops and industry were fully ready to enter the fray had been lost. In the end, two million American troops went to France and three-quarters of them saw combat. Some 60, died in battle and over , were wounded. An additional 60, died of disease, many from the influenza pandemic that killed over twenty million across the globe in and Many surviving combatants suffered psychological damage, known as shell shock, from the horrors of trench warfare.
The casualties would have been far greater had America entered the war earlier or been prepared to deploy a large army more quickly. Wilson hoped that after the war the United States would become part of the League of Nations that was forming in Europe to ensure that collective responsibility replaced competitive alliances. But America was retreating inward, away from the postwar ruin and revolutionary chaos of Europe. The government was suppressing radicals at home with unprecedented furor in and in what is known as the Red Scare.
Progressive wartime initiatives that further involved the government in the lives of its citizens withered against this reactionary onslaught. But the notion of government coordination of a national effort to overcome crisis had been born, and the Great Depression and World War II would see this new commitment reemerge, strengthened. Wilson demanded that German submarines not sink ships until they had been boarded and searched an unreasonable request since submarines could easily be sunk and were too small to carry civilian passengers and he campaigned for reelection with the slogan "He Kept Us Out of War.
The British leaked the Zimmerman telegram a dramatic German scheme to get Mexico to invade Texas and New Mexico to the American press to pressure America to enter the war.
- Search the Encyclopedia?
- Ghosts of California: The Haunted Locations of Fallbrook, Lake Elsinore, Murrieta, Perris and Temecula.
- The chick friends rules! Senior year.
- True Loves Miracle.
- Gandhi on Non-Violence: Selected Texts from Gandhis Non-violence in Peace and War (New Directions Paperbook).
- Special Education Classroom Management for Urban Teachers?
On April 2, , Wilson asked Congress to declare war, arguing "the world must be made safe for democracy. Franklin D. Roosevelt , as assistant secretary of the navy, became very involved in ship production and the drafting of sailors. By June, Pershing joined with British and French troops and helped coordinate an attack along a mile front. Germany asked Wilson to negotiate a truce October 16, and the armistice was signed November 11, Fighting stopped at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month and is remembered every year on November 11, now called Veteran's Day.
World War I stunned America.