external image World_War_One.jpgWorld War I in Europeexternal image world_war_1_recruiting_poster.jpg[Pre-US Involvement]


On June 28, 1914, a Slav nationalist assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife. Austria-Hungary blamed Serbia for the assassination and because of the numerous alliances, a full-scale war broke out. The major alliances were: Central Powers - Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Italy; Triple Entente/Allied Powers - Britain, France, and Russia.

In August of the same year, Britain declared war on Germany after Germany invaded the neutral Belgium. The ongoing massive war soon turned into a "world war". The Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers and Japan soon joined the Triple Entente. Because of the large war, unfathomable amounts of soldiers were being recruited, so, the European workforce began hiring more women than ever before. Because the conflict was not forseen, the warring countries were not prepared for war and, eventually, a stalemate insued. During the stalemate, the countries began creating new weaponry and poisons.

The British excelled at naval war fare and began to create newer machinery during the war. While the British advanced quite rapidly, the Germans created U-Boats which began to ruin all of the British's work. The U-Boats were able to sink ships very quickly and succeeded in ruining certain plots. The war continued to rage on land and sea.

The United States of America's President, Woodrow Wilson, vowed to keep America out of the Great World
Wilson created the Neutrality Act to keep the US out of war.
Wilson created the Neutrality Act to keep the US out of war.
War, and by following Wilson's reforms, they succeeded for a while longer. The American system of neutrality
still continued until an incredible turning point during the war which ultimately brought upon the downfall of the Central Powers.

Main Entry: neu·tral·i·ty
Pronunciation: \nü-ˈtra-lə-tē, nyü-\Function: noun Date: 15th century
: the quality or state of being
neutral
; especially : refusal to take part in a war between other powers ; especially : refusal to take part in a war between other powers

On May 7, 1915, the Germans sank the Lisutania, a passenger ship that had travelled from the US. 1,200 people perished and over 100 of them were Americans. The Americans were furious. The Germans, apparently, sunk the passenger liner because there were rumors that they were shipping the British supplies (which turned out to be true).

In 1917, the US decoded a message sent from Germany to Mexico titled 'The Zimmerman Telegram'. The Zimmerman Telegram tried to bargain with the Mexicans by trying to convince them to wage war with the US so as to keep the US out of the World War. In return, Mexico would gain back all territory lost during the Mexican-American Wars. After retrieveing this information, America's system of neutrality ended then and there.


Sources:
  1. A Survey of American History by Alan Brinkley
  2. AMSCO United States History: Preparing for the AP Exam
  3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwone/summary_01.shtml
  4. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/648646/World-War-I
  5. http://www.uboat.net