The Decade Of 1910 Essay Research Paper

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The Decade Of 1910 Essay, Research Paper The decade of 1910 was a decade of important presidential decisions as well as a decade of establishing the United States as a world power. The outbreak of World War I in Europe in August 1914 created many challenges to Wilson s skill and leadership in foreign affairs. (Ferrell, 110) In spite of the appeals of propagandists for the rival Allies and Central Powers, most of the U.S. was neutral on the subject and felt involvement was unnecessary unless Americans rights and interests were being violated. Wilson also agreed with the public, and in August he issued an official Proclamation of Neutrality and two weeks later appealed to Americans to be impartial in thought as well as in action. (Bailey, 178) On January 22, 1917, the German

government began unrestricted submarine warfare once again. Once five U.S. submarine s had been sunk by April, Wilson asked congress for a declaration of war. Immediately, the government began to gather its military resources. By October 1918, on the eve of allied victory, a U.S. army of over 1,750,000 soldiers had been deployed in France. President Wilson played a large part in creating an early end to the war by defining the war aims of the Allies, and by insisting that the struggle was being waged not against the German people but against their absolute government. His famous Fourteen Points, given to the Senate in January 1918 to be used as the basis for peace, asked for a guaranteed freedom of the seas as well as freedom of trade. It also called for a overall nicer world in

general asking for Open negotiations, and the creation of the League of Nations so that foreign problems could be settled without war. (Ferrell, 125) Other points were in the interest of smaller countries attempting to make them equal and trying to guarantee that the earth would stay democratic. The Fourteenth Point constituted a major part of Wilson s Arch of Peace , the formation of an association of nations created mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike. (Bailey, 245) The U.S. Navy was key in helping the British break the submarine blockade, and in the summer of 1918, a group of American troops, under the command of General John J. Pershing, Played a necessary role on land. In November, American forces took part in

the Meuse-Argonne offensive, which broke Germany s Hindenburg Line. By the summer of 1918, when Germany s armies were being beaten back, the German government appealed to Wilson to negotiate on the basis of the Fourteen Points. The president then spoke with the Allies, who agreed to the German proposal. An armistice between them was signed on November 11. The transition from war to peace was, for many, turbulent. A massive influenza epidemic, which had spread rapidly throughout Europe in 1917, broke out in the United States in the spring of 1918. Before it vanished a year later, as mysteriously as it had begun, it claimed the lives of more than half-a-million Americans. The immediate economic boom right after the war led to high expectations that were quickly sunk once the

postwar economy returned to normal. In turn, labor became dissatisfied with the rising costs of living, long hours and unsympathetic management. In 1919 alone, over four million workers went on strike. During that summer, race riots broke out in both the North and South. Yet the event that triggered the greatest national concern had occurred two years earlier outside the United States: the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 in Russia. With morale low, Americans became fearful that, just as a small group had seized power in Russia, so could a similar group take over the United States. This fear came apparent when, in April 1919, the postal service intercepted nearly 40 bombs addressed to prominent citizens. Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer set up a new office of general intelligence