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      American Wars Series
      World War I
 

               Description: World War I 2
Sampler

World War I
:       sampler  3’-33”    (76’ lecture)

What are the features of the series of European alliances that are the most responsible for leading to World War I?
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1

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Modern imperialism.  Modern imperialism from 1850s: industrial needs for markets and materials.  Germany on a collision course with industrial leader, England.
 

2

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The alliances.  Why England, France & Russia ally against the German, Austrian, and Italian alliance.  The extreme arms race before outbreak of war.
 

3

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The trigger.  Crisis in 1914 when a Serbian terrorist assassinates the Archduke of Austria-Hungary in Sarajevo drawing the alliances into conflict.
 

4

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The explosion.  How the 2 alliances interact to this crisis to become embroiled in World War.
 

5

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The welcoming.  Each country involved eagerly welcomes this war.
 

6

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Trench warfare.  Germany is not able to win victory quickly.  Trench warfare begins.
 

7

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Role of class.  War of attrition, the horror of the slaughter.  On both sides, upper class officers view soldiers whose lower class role is to die in battle for the country.
 

8

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End to old world.  After 4 years of battlefield carnage, the world is never the same.
 

9

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American neutrality.  The sinking of the Lusitania and President Wilson’s  arrogant actions.
 

10

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Why U.S. goes to war.  Causes underlying America’s entry into the war.  Myth of “freedom of the seas.”  Role of economics and President Wilson’s personality.
 

11
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If America stayed out, world history would have significantly changed, including the belief that the Nazis would most certainly not have come to power.
 

12
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Harsh home front.  The war’s effect at home: extreme curtailment of individual rights, extreme hostility against German-Americans and all things German.
 

13

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Wilson’s dashed hopes.  1918 armistice.  Versailles Treaty rejects most of Wilson’s grandiose 14 Points for international peace and harmony except the League of Nations.  England & France seek revenge against Germany. 
 

14

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Wilson’s nature.  Wilson’s role in why U.S. Senate does not ratify the Versailles Treaty and the U.S. does not join the League of Nations.
 

15

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American dominance.  How 4 positions in the debate over League of Nations for promoting America’s dominance around the world color American foreign policy from then on.
 

16

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The Germany paradox.  The paradox of the failure of the Versailles Treaty.