** World War I -- World War I turn-of-the century Europe Germany

Turn-of-the-Century Countries: The United States

Figure 1.-- Germany was the most industrialized country in Europe, but the Aerican industral base was nuch larger and the now included an automible industry. Here we see Los Angeles in 1910. Note the cars and 1910 was when Ford was just getting started. Click the image to comapre with German streets.

The United States as part of Manifest Destiny had reavched the Pacific Ocean and become a continental power (1850s). It managed to avoid a potentiually devestating war with Britain which had claims on the Oregon Territory. America became the only important country outside of Europe. And a potentially powerful power because it had become the greated industrial power in the world (1890s). This was era became called the Guilded Age (the 1870s, the 1880s, and 1890s) because of the oppulence and wealth. Great attention is given to the wealthy, like the Hall family. Less attention is given to the fact that Americans workers were better paid than workers in competing European countries. And America did not build a large overseas empire. The difference in large part was America's embrace of market capitalim--something now never mentioned in American history textbooks. And European immigration was part of that industrial rise. And unlike modern China, America's rise was not built on cheap labor. Or the exploitation of colonies as in Europe. America was already the world's leading industrial power at the turn-of-the 20th century. Henry Ford and the Model-T turned America into an industrial power an order of magnituude beyond the European powers. Unlike the European powers, however, America did not turn its industrial might into military power. It built a navy of some consequence, but not an army. This was something that German officials watched. Their assessment was that a country without an army could not possibly affect a war in Europe. And the German admirals guaanteed the Kaiswe that the U-boats could prevent thr transport of any army America fielded to France. This would powerfully affect German dealoingds with the United States. The British in sharp contrast recognized the imprtance of Amrerica to any European war, both before after the United States declared war on Germany. American banks financed the Allied war effort and was a major sources of suppolies and raw material. Churchill had studied the American Civil War and knew what America was capable of. The Germans did not take the Civil War seriuously nor America's potential. President Wilson after winning reelection (1916) attempted to end World War I. The British and French had to listen because they needed American financing. The Germans ignored American iniatives and decided in a military sollution , incliding unrestructed submarine warfare. The result was the American declration of war (1917). And within the space of a year, the United States would create an army virtually from scarch that helped blast the German Western Front wide open. And even before the American Expoditionsary Force was creared, the American Navy helped the Royal Navy escort the all important Atlantic convoys. Tragically, two decades later another Germn leader would follow the same path.



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Created: 12:45 AM 4/7/2021
Last updated: 12:45 AM 4/7/2021