History 416

US and World War I

September 26, 2005



I. Decision to Enter the War


            1. Wilson and the Third World (Caribbean Basin, Central America, East Asia)


2. Latin America and the Contradictions of Wilsonianism (strategic realities of the Caribbean Basin; race and democracy)


3. 1916 and World Affairs (events abroad; differences between 1916 and 1912)


II. Aftermath of 1916


1. The Issues (the preparedness debate: Plattsburgers, progressivism, and military efficiency, peace progressives and traditional anti-militarism, Wilson and bureaucratic pressure, domestic pressure groups—AUAM, WILPF; war aims: concept of league of nations, LEP vs. progressive internationalists, US as revolutionary power, significance of Wilson—Peace without Victory, transnational coalition)


            2. Decision for War (changing context of European events: difficulties among France and Italy, February Revolution in Russia; German government and decision for unrestricted submarine warfare; strains of victory—Zimmerman Telegram, armed ship bill, war atmosphere and collapse of progressivism; war vote)


III. War and the Contradictions of Wilsonianism


            1. The War at Home (decision for war—did alternatives exist?; nature of US involvement; the military and US society; key decisions—draft, war finance, civil liberties, economic policy; Wilson and his cabinet—Burleson, Gregory; the La Follette case; Wilson, a divided progressive movement, and the Sedition/Espionage Acts)


            2. Course of War (Russian revolution and its effects; collapse of provisional government and emergence of Lenin; French and Italian difficulties; Trotsky and Russian international affairs; Brest-Litovsk; new German offensive)


            3. US and World War I (difficulties of mobilization; Wilson and war aims—the Fourteen Points address; mobilization of AEF; tipping the military scales; Wilson and the Western Allies; collapse of Austria-Hungary and Ottoman Empire; uncertainty of victory)