Origins of World War I

Origins of World War I

Origins of World War I 150 150 Peter

Origins of World War I

Required Resources
Read/review the following resources for this activity:

Textbook: Chapter 18, 21, 23
Lesson
Minimum of 3 scholarly sources (in addition to the textbook). The sources associated with each topic selection below can be used as part of the 3 scholarly sources.

Introduction
The purposes of each case study assignment include the following:

To hone your abilities to research using scholarly sources
To advance critical thinking and writing skills
To compile a response to the prompts provided
To explore a historical topic and make connections to change over time

Instructions
Pick one (1) of the following topics. Then, address the corresponding questions/prompts for your selected topic. Use at least one (1) documented example of the corresponding primary source in your writing.

Option 1: Big Business (Monopolies) and Exploitation of Workers
View the following resource:

Link (video): The Progressive Era (Links to an external site.) (27:30)
Browse and read one (1) of the following:

Link (article): Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire (Links to an external site.)
Link (library article): The Pullman Strike (Links to an external site.)
Then, address the following:

Explain if big business leaders were ‘captains of industry,’ ‘shrewd businessmen,’ or ‘robber barons.’
Based on one of the resources noted for this option, assess American working conditions and exploitation of workers in the Age of Industry.
Analyze the role that government played in reforming American working conditions.
Explain the benefits of the Federal Government regulations of monopolies.
Analyze which progressive presidents attained economic justice and reform for workers.
Option 2: Who is A Progressive?
Review the following site:

Link (website): Presidential Election of 1912: A Resource Guide (Links to an external site.)
Then, address the following:

According to Roosevelt, what are the characteristics of a progressive?
Explain and give examples of the characteristics of ‘anti-progressives.’
Trace what types of activities ‘anti-progressives’ engaged in?
Analyze the goals of progressivism.
Explain what areas of society progressives addressed?
Analyze the progressive achievements Roosevelt highlights in his speech?
Option 3: World War I
Review the following resources:

Link (video): A War to End All Wars: Part 2 (Links to an external site.) (6:56)
Link (library article): The Treaty of Versailles and the Rise of Nazism (Links to an external site.)
Then, address the following:

Trace the origins of World War I, and assess if the world war was inevitable in 1914?
Explain if it was possible for the United States to maintain neutrality in World War I. If yes, explain how. If no, explain why not.
Analyze if the United States should have entered World War I to make the world safe for democracy.
Analyze if the Treaty of Versailles was a fair and effective settlement for lasting world peace.
Explain if the United States Senate should have approved of the Treaty of Versailles.
Writing Requirements (APA format)

Sample Paper

Trace the origins of World War I, and assess if the world war was inevitable in 1914?

A number of long-drawn factors contributed to the onset of World War I, including the Bosnian and Moroccan calamity, the weapons race, and the alliance arrangements that divided Europe into two competing camps. As a result of this confluence of events, the danger of war grew. Even though this meant war was imminent in 1914, it didn’t mean there couldn’t have been a variety of diplomatic measures between the two camps that could have worked to reduce tensions. In the immediate aftermath of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, war could not be avoided. By using the killing as an excuse to wage war on Serbia and retake the Balkans, Austria-Hungary had a reason for declaring war on Serbia. Involvement of other countries in what had previously been a Balkan-only battle was facilitated by Russia’s strong backing for Serbia, Germany’s unwavering shore up, and the Schlieffen plan, which proposed an attack of France via Russia and Belgium. (Sondhaus, 2020)

Explain if it was possible for the United States to maintain neutrality in World War I. If yes, explain how. If no, explain why not.

As a result of its large immigrant populations from various countries, the United States was capable of maintaining an unbiased stance in the course of World War I. The United States may have helped both sides by supplying raw materials, food, and weapons and lending money. But the sinking of the Lusitania, which claimed the lives of 128 American citizens, changed everything. Submarine warfare was decided upon on January 31 to ensure victory before America joined the Allies. If German submarine warfare persisted, the United States was forced to take action in 1917 since they could no longer be neutral if they were no longer trading with the Allies if they terminated diplomatic ties with Germany. The Zimmerman telegram of February 1917, which suggested an association between Germany and Mexico if the United States joined the Allies, was crucial in the United States’ entry into the war. Events in Germany, particularly in early 1917, rendered it untenable for the United States to remain unbiased during World War I. (Bates, 2019)

Analyze if the United States should have entered World War I to make the world safe for democracy. (I found this question a little unclear!)

It is debatable whether the United States battled in World War I to “protect democracy around the world.” In the early years of 1917, Russia was ruled by an autocratic monarchy.  A Provisional Government would soon take its place, and then the Bolsheviks.  It was a mistake to support an absolutist monarchy if America’s primary goal in the war was to foster democracy.  US neutrality and isolationism were stated goals at the outset of this conflict.  When the Germans went to war with France, it was not because they were under a complete monarchy.  The United States should have joined the fight to end Germany’s and its allies’ threat to Europe and the United States of America’s security.  War seems justified based on a lofty philosophical goal: ensuring the survival of democracy throughout the world.

Analyze if the Treaty of Versailles was a fair and effective settlement for lasting world peace.

They were not fair and effective modes of settlement since the Treaty of Versailles did not deliver long-term peace to the world. Germany’s rise to power and the outbreak of World War One were facilitated by the harsh sanctions imposed on the country. It was difficult for the German people to accept the title “aggressors” since they felt responsible for the war and did not consider themselves to be the aggressors. Restrictions on Germany’s territory harmed the economy by denying it access to critical industrial and economic areas like the Saarland. A devastated German economy due to reparations (such as the high inflation crisis of 1923) bred hatred toward both the countries that enforced the treaty’s conditions and Germany’s government for its inability to respond effectively, resulting in widespread suffering and joblessness. The fact that newly elected German democratic politicians were obliged to sign the pact aroused hostility toward democracy and its leaders. Far-right politicians like Adolf Hitler benefited from the hate generated by the Treaty of Versailles, which swore to reverse the agreement and restore Germany to its former glory.

Explain if the United States Senate should have approved of the Treaty of Versailles.

The U.S. Senate’s unwillingness to ratify the Versailles Treaty severely weakened the might of the League of Nations, which its president had established… Only the trade between League of Nations members was hurt since the world’s most outstanding economy did not take part and could carry on with trading with authorized countries. Neither the L of N nor the Soviet Union had the military might to interfere; only the United States could do so. Lack of American participation in League of Nations crises (such as those in the Sudan and Manchuria) set the stage for World War II by showing that nations might attain their objectives by military force without the League of Nations being able to respond effectively. The U.S. Senate should have agreed to the Treaty of Versailles to avoid war.

Although Chamberlain’s appeasement policy may have been more effective if the U.S. Senate had passed the Treaty, it might not have been as effective if the U.S. House of Representatives had ratified it. In hindsight, however, these explanations are all based on rationalizations. In 1919, the U.S. Senate refused to recognize the Treaty of Versailles because of the war’s cost and impact. The Senate should not have ratified the Treaty of Versailles because it did not mirror the United States and its inclination for tolerance toward Germany. According to Woodrow Wilson’s 14 Points, the Senate should have endorsed the Treaty of Versailles, signed in 1919. (Yonkman, 2021)

 

References

Bates, E. (2019). At the time of the exhibition, Germany had been paying vast sums of money        and was in massive amounts of debt due to the Treaty of Versailles. With the public suffering, the Nazi.

https://www.dickinson.edu/download/downloads/id/11149/evan_bates_winning_essay_class_of_2023.pdf

Sondhaus, L. (2020). World War One. Cambridge University Press.

https://books.google.co.ke/books?hl=en&lr=&id=9inDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR14&dq=ondhaus,+L.+(2020).+World+War+One.+Cambridge+University+Press.&ots=XrN9ozRems&sig=wb8s1z8RiY4mDNnVawNvlPs44uY&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Sondhaus%2C%20L.%20(2020).%20World%20War%20One.%20Cambridge%20University%20Press.&f=false

Yonkman, M. (2021). The Treaty of Versailles and the Rise of Nazism in Germany, 1918

1933. https://digitalcommons.wou.edu/honors_theses/255/