Imperalism/World War I

U.S. Imperialism

1890- 1913

After the Civil War, America began to industrialize which turned the country into an imperial world power. Countries in Europe however already started to take over weaker countries in order to receive raw materials, to expand land, etc. European countries followed the foreign policy of imperialism which is when powerful countries seek to control weaker ones. While Europe was taking over other countries, the U.S. began to change their foreign policy from isolationism to imperialism. Under President Theodore Roosevelt, the U.S. began to take over more land in order to gain more raw materials, and land. As a result, the U.S. became the "police force" around the world which would cause conflicts with other territories later in U.S. History.

Roosevelt's "big stick" policy in Latin America

Important People

William McKinley- President of the U.S. during the Spanish-American War, and got us into the war.

Theodore Roosevelt- Famous for his policy of "speak softly, but carry a big stick, fought in the Spanish-American War, took over as president after McKinley was killed, famous for the square deal.

Commodore Matthew Perry- opened Japan's "doors"


. New Technology- When new technological developments came out, countries needed colonies in order to produce raw materials. Also, countries wanted to take over other land in order to gain new technological developments.

. Raw Materials and New Markets- As raw materials were found in certain territories, the U.S. decided to take raw materials for their own personal use. America also needed more markets in order to manufacture raw materials.

. Desire to increase the military- The U.S. wanted to annex certain territories in order to build military bases which would increase America's military. For example, the U.S. military base on Pearl Harbor had several of America's military technology.

. Manifest Destiny- As the U.S. achieved it's Manifest Destiny, the country started to expand and take over other portions of land in the Caribbean, and Latin America.

. Social Darwinism- People in the U.S. believed that the superior countries would benefit from the weaker countries. People also believed that the weaker countries should produce goods for the stronger countries as well ("survival of the fittest").

Japan ÔÇťOpens its Doors"

In 1853, the U.S. started to follow the "Open Door Policy". This policy was when other countries (like China) "opened their doors" in order to trade with America. Before this policy, China was isolated from the rest of the world. This meant that the Chinese didn't get involved in trading with any other country. As a result, the United States sent Commodore Matthew Perry to demand China to "open it's doors" in order to trade with other countries. As a result, China "opened its doors" in order to begin trading goods with America. Japan also agreed to trade with the U.S as well.

The "Open Door" Policy

The U.S. Acquires Land

Soon after China began trading with the U.S., Secretary of State William Seward bought the Alaskan terrority from Russia in 1867. Alaska is often times referred to as "Seward's Folly", because several people thought that Alaska was a barren icebox. In the twentieth century, Alaska and Hawaii would become the last two states that were admitted to the United States of America. After Alaska became a U.S. territory, Hawaii was the next piece of land that the U.S. acquired. Then, in 1898, America annexed(took over) Hawaii. Before the U.S. acquired Hawaii, Hawaiian Queen Liliuokalani was overthrown by American revolutionaries in 1893. Then, the Hawaiian people asked President Grover Cleveland to annex the territory, but he thought that the Hawaiian people wanted to be independent. Soon after President William McKinley won the election, he made Hawaii a U.S. territory. Puerto Rico and the Philippines would also became a U.S. territory after the Spanish-America War in 1900. These two countries would remain a U.S. territory from 1900 to the present day. However, after World War II the Philippines became its own independent nation.

The Spanish-America War

Before the war, Cuba struggled to gain independence from the Spanish. As a result, the Cubans led a revolution in 1895 for independence. Americans thought they should help Cuba in gaining their independence from Spain because the U.S. had $50 million in sugar in Cuba. Then in 1896, President William McKinley (Republican) was elected president, and served until his assassination in 1901. In January 1898, fighting worsened in Cuba which resulted in the president withdrawing U.S. soldiers from Cuba. In that same year, the president sent an American battle ship known as the USS Maine to Havana harbor in order to intimidate the Spanish. Then in mid February, the USS Maine suddenly exploded killing 260 innocent Americans. Journalists all across America wrote about the USS Maine innocent and sensationalized(and exaggerated) the story. This became known as yellow journalism. Several journalists coined the phrase "Remember the Maine" to sensationalize the sinking (Later in the 1900's, the U.S. learned that there was a malfunction in the ship which caused it to blow up). However, America didn't go to war yet. In April 1898, Congress issued the Teller Amendment which stated: if America got involved in the Cuban fight for independence, then the U.S. would fight with Cuba. The United States blamed Spain for the sinking of the USS Maine, and America declares war by the end of the month. During the Spanish-American War, future president Theodore Roosevelt (TR) led his band of Rough Riders and fought in the famous Battle of San Juan Hill. Then, in July of 1898, the Treaty of Paris was signed and ended the Spanish-American War. As a result, the U.S. acquired Guam, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Wake Island, Hawaii, and Samoa. The United States of America stepped up on the stage as a world power. However, fighting broke out again. The U.S. fought with the Filipinos for three years because the Filipinos wanted their independence. As a result, the U.S. won the war. Prior to this insurrection, America took over Cuba and occupied it. The U.S. built several things in order to prepare Cuba for their independence. However, in 1902 America passed the Teller Amendment. The Teller Amendment stated the U.S. must agree to any treaties Cuba made with foreign powers, America could intervene in Cuba whenever it wanted to, and the U.S. installed a military base on Cuba.

Roosevelt and Latin America

In 1900, President William McKinley was reelected president and elected TR to be his Vic President. However, in 1901 McKinley was assassinated by Leon Czolgosz, and his successor Teddy Roosevelt became the youngest president to assume the presidency via assassination. Roosevelt believed in the Big Stick Policy("speak softly and carry a big stick") which meant that the U.S. should create an army in order to accomplish certain goals. Roosevelt also wrote up the Roosevelt Corollary which was an addition to the Monroe Doctrine, and declared that the America should be involved in foreign affairs as well as being the "police man" around the world. Then, in 1902, Roosevelt purchased the canal zone from France in order to build the Panama Canal (the canal provided a easier and faster route to ship goods, and connected the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean), but the zone was in Colombian territory. When the treaty to start building the canal was proposed, Colombia was not happy with the plan. As a result, the treaty was rejected by the Colombians. Then, President Roosevelt took the controversial action of getting involved in helping Panama achieve their independence from Colombia. Then, in 1903, TR struck a deal with the new government to build the Panama Canal. The Panama Canal opened years after TR's administration on August 15, 1914.

Political cartoon of the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine

World War I


The Great War or "the war to end all wars"(people thought that the war was going to be the last world war which is why its nicknamed "the war to end all wars") started in 1914, and ended with several people dead in 1918. The U.S. at first proclaimed neutrality, but entered the war in 1917 after the Lusitania was sunk by the Germans. During World War I, several deadly technological advances were used to kill thousands of people. Propaganda was used to convince people to join the war effort as well. The war was fought between the Allied Powers which were made up of Great Britain, France, U.S.A., and Imperial Russia against the Central Powers which were made up of Germany, Austria-Hungary (modern day Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Yugoslavia), and the Ottoman Empire (modern day Turkey). At the end of the war, Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire would all be split up, and new countries would form. Also, several of World War I's results were also some of the causes of World War II.

Propaganda that was used during WWI

Important People

Woodrow Wilson- President of U.S.A, signed the Fourteen Point Plan, and the Treaty of Versailles. Declared war on the Central Powers, and declared the U.S. neutral at first.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand- ruler of Austria-Hungary, got assassinated by Gavrillo Princip.

Gavrillo Princip- Serbian who was a member of the terrorist group known as the Blank Hand. He assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand which was the "spark that ignited" the war.

Czar Nicholas II- Czar (ruler) of Imperial Russia

David Lloyd George- Ruler of Great Britain during the second half of WWI.

Kaiser Willem II- Ruler of Germany.

George Clemenceau- Ruler of France.

Who vs. Who?

Allied Powers or the Triple Entente

. U.S.A.

. Imperial Russia (until 1917)

. England

. France

The Central Powers or the Triple Alliance

. Austria- Hungary

. Germany

. Ottoman Empire

Causes of World War I

. Militarism is the buildup of a strong navy or military. Militarism was a cause of WWI, because Germany built its military up so it would be stronger then Britain's military. Britain also did the same thing to try to be stronger then Germany was. Countries contently kept building up their military's in order to try to have the strongest military.

. Alliances is when countries side with other countries, and agree to protect each other. Alliances lead to WWI, because Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire formed the Central Powers, and France, England, Imperial Russia, and the U.S.A formed the Allied Powers. The alliance systems lead to both sides fighting each other. Also, if one country went to war, then the country's alliance would also go to war.

. Imperialism is when powerful countries look to control weaker ones. Imperialism lead to WWI, because European countries carved up Africa, so each country would get more land. European countries were trying to get more land than other countries.

. Nationalism is when someone has pride in one's country or nation. Nationalism lead to WWI, because countries had pride to go to war.

Newspaper announcing the death of the Archduke

The Spark that Ignited the War

The Balkans was often referred to as the "Powder Keg" of Europe, because there was a "potential for an explosion". In 1914, a Serbian nationalist (and a member of the terrorist group the Black Hand) named Gavrillo Princip planned to assassinate the Austria-Hungarian ruler Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Little did Princip know, but his decision would eventually lead to a deadly war. Then, on June 28, 1914 Princip assassinated the Archduke and his wife Sophia in Sarajevo, Austria-Hungary. The assassination was the "spark that ignited the explosion", which then led to countries declaring war on each other.

Who Declared War?

After the Archduke was assassinated, countries started to declared war on each other. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, Imperial Russia declared war on Austria-Hungary, Germany declared war on Imperial Russia, France declared war on Germany, Germany declared war on France, Great Britain declared war on Germany, and finally the Ottoman Empire declared war on Imperial Russia.

Trench Warfare

During the Great War, the Allied (France, Britain, and Imperial Russia) and Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire) used a tactic called Trench Warfare. Trench Warfare involved soldiers on both the East and Western Fronts fighting from the unsanitary trenches. Life in the trenches was unsanitary, horrible, and difficult. The trenches were dirty with rodents, rodent waste, soldier's waste, and diseases. Several soldiers died in the trenches do to the spread of diseases that was caused by rodents. However, no solider would enter the area called "No Man's Land". Soldiers from both the Allied and Central Powers wouldn't try to shoot each other from "No Man's Land", because you'd get shot right away.

Trench Warfare

The United States enters the Great War

America was neutral for a few years, but finally entered the war in 1917 due to a chain of events. The Germans started a policy called unrestricted submarine warfare which was when they sunk any enemy ship that entered Germany's Empire. This eventually led to trouble, because on May 5, 1915, a German U-boat (another name for submarine) shot a missile, which caused the Lusitania (a British passenger ship) to sink with several Americans on board. After this, on January 11, 1917, Germany sent the Zimmerman Telegram to Mexico which was another cause of America getting involved into the war. The Zimmerman Telegram was a note that tried to convince Mexico to attack the U.S., and join the Central Powers. As a result, America was not at all happy with this, and Mexico decided to side with the Allied forces. After the Zimmerman Telegram innocent, President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war on the Central Powers which resulted in America going to war on the Allied Powers side.

The Lusitania Sinking

The Russian Revolution

In 1917, the Russian Revolution was in full swing which meant Russia had to withdrawal from World War I. The revolution was between the Red and White Shirts to gain control of the government. Vladimir Lenin overthrew the government with violence, and became the first communist leader of the newly named country the Soviet Union. Lenin ruled over the Soviet Union with violence and terror in order to get the citizens to obey him. The Soviet Union would be communist until 1990.

Technology during the war

During World War I, there were many new weapons that were used. Weapons like bi-planes, tanks, machine guns, the Zeppelin, submarines, and poisonous gas was used to kill several people. Bi-planes were used to deliver bombs. A Zeppelin was an airship that was used for bombing raids by the Germans. The tanks were used for killing people in high or low places. Poisonous gas was also used to gas people to death.

Espionage and Sedition Acts and Schenck v. United States

After the U.S. entered the war, Congress passed the Espionage and Sedition Acts which made it illegal to criticize the government during the war. After this, Charles T. Schenck opposed the Selective Service Act which declared that all young men had to be drafted into the military. Schenck also told people to not fight in the war, and to resist the draft. As a result, he was arrested for violating the Espionage Act and the case went to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. government has the right to limit freedom of speech that presents as "clear and present danger" during wartime. However, this case violated the First Amendment.

The Great Migration

During World War I, African Americans were still facing racism and discrimination from the 1800's. However, jobs in northern cities opened up, and several African Americans migrated (move from one place to another to find work) from the south to the north to get a one. They did this because the south refused to give black people jobs.

The Fourteen Point Plan

On January 8, 1918, President Wilson wrote and delivered a speech to Congress about his dream of peace. He made a plan called Fourteen Point Plan. The Fourteen Point Plan was what Wilson wanted to happen after the war was over. The plan included the the creation of the League of Nations which was an international organization that tried to keep peace between nations. However, the United States never joined.

The Ending of the War

Before long, on November 11, 1918 the Central Powers surrendered to the Allies which ended World War I. Then, in December of 1918 the Paris Peace Conference was held at the Palace of Versailles in France. The leaders of Italy, France, England, and the U.S.A. all met to discuss the consequences that Germany would face once the war was over. Members included Woodrow Wilson from the U.S., David Lloyd George from England, George Clemenceau from France, and Vittorio Orlando from Italy (also known as the Big Four). The Allied countries met to sign the Treaty of Versailles which would replay the Fourteen Point Plan. This treaty punished the Central Powers harshly, but Germany was punished harder. The Treaty of Versailles punished Germany by breaking up its empire, having the Germans pay reparations, and Germany had to accept blame for the war. The treaty then broke up the Austria-Hungarian Empire, and new countries formed which resulted in a loss of territory. The treaty also punished the Ottoman Empire by breaking up it's empire, and colonies. The Ottoman Empire also got renamed Turkey by the Ottoman Turks. The Treaty of Versailles was also a cause for World War II, and the rise of the bloody dictators in Europe.

The Big Four (from left to right) Prime Minister Lloyd George from England,Orlando from Italy, Clemenceau from France, and Wilson from the U.S.

Europe after World War I

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