This chapter begins with the activist foreign policy of progressive presidents Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson. America became more interventionist in the Western Hemisphere, but when war broke out in Europe in 1914, most Americans did not see any national interest at stake. However, eventually the United States joined the Allies when Germany broke its pledges to restrict the use of the submarine. Americans mobilized rapidly, accepting unprecedented governmental control. A drive to mobilize Americans’ minds led to domestic hostility toward ethnic groups and “reds,” and serious violations of civil rights that went largely unpunished. The war also affected women and African Americans. Wilson took his “Fourteen Points” to the Peace Conference in Paris with the goal of establishing a new international order, but opponents in Europe and at home, along with Wilson’s own uncompromising attitude ultimately defeated him. U.S. victory in World War I did not prevent the country from becoming a reluctant, even “isolationist” world power. In the 1920 election, Americans overwhelmingly chose Republican Warren Harding’s “normalcy” and sought to put the turbulence of the progressive and war years behind them.
After reading this chapter you should be able to:
Explain how vigilante justice in Bisbee, Arizona exemplified the issues and conflicts of American communities during the war.
Summarize the ideals and actions of the “progressive diplomacy” of presidents Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Woodrow Wilson.
Outline the chain of events through which America entered World War I and the imprint it would leave on American economy and politics.
Discuss the efforts of the American government to mobilize the minds of Americans at home and American soldiers overseas.
Show how the war effort was the ultimate progressive crusade and list the organization trends that would result.
Explain how participation in World War I increased many existing social tensions in America and what implications this had for the future.
Describe the struggles of Woodrow Wilson in trying to promote his Progressive ideas among Americans and onto the world stage.
Explain the connection between America’s earlier pursuit of empire, the progressive movement, and the U.S. experience in World War I. (Review Chapter 20.)