World War I Timeline: American's Shift from Neutrality to War

By Epiicer
  • Archduke Franz Ferdinand is assassinated

    Archduke Franz Ferdinand is assassinated
    Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie were killed by Gavrilo Princip while on a formal visit to Sarajevo. Princip was part of the terrorist group called the Black Hand, which wanted increased Serbian independence. This event is considered the spark that ignited the flame of WWI.
  • Germany declares war on France

    Germany declares war on France
    Two days after declaring war on Russia, germany declares war on France in order to create a two war front between Russia and France. Hours later, France declared war on Germany, and readied their troops to move to the provincces of Alsace and Lorraine, which had been forfeited to Germany after the Franco-Prussian War.
  • British blockade of Germany

    British blockade of Germany
    The British government moved to strangle raw materials and food being delivered to Germany and it's allies. They started this after August 914, when Germany declared war, in hopes of weakening Germany and its allies. The "hunger blcokade" lasted until June, 1919, when Germany signed the Treaty of Versailles.
  • Lusitania is sunk

    Lusitania is sunk
    The Lusitania was attacked by a German U-boat, sinking it within 18 minutes and killed about 1,198 civilians. This event enraged Americans, and motivated them towards the idea of joining the war. However, they did not join the war until 1917.
  • President Wilson wins reelection

    President Wilson wins reelection
    Wilson won for reelection under the slogan of "he kept us out of war". Under this motto, he narrowly won re-election. However, he did not keep America out of war. On April 2, 1917 he asked Congress to declare war on Germany.
  • Germany announces unrestricted submarine warfare

    Germany announces unrestricted submarine warfare
    The use of unrestricted sybmarine warfare was the result of desperation and the belief that the tatic would keep American out of the war if the results were spectacular and shocking enough. However, the opposite happened, as this was one of the reasons why American joined WWI.
  • U.S. banks had loaned $2.3 billion to the Allies

    U.S. banks had loaned $2.3 billion to the Allies
    In October 1914, President Woodrow Wilson loaned $500 million to the Triple Entente. Eventually, the U.S. loaned $2,3 billion to the Triple Entente, and $27 million to the Triple Alliance. However, the U.S. was a neutral nation at this time.
  • Bolshevik Revolution begins in Russia

    Bolshevik Revolution begins in Russia
    The beginning of the Russian Revolution. This was a series of economic and social upheavals involving the overthrowing of the tsarist autocracy, and then the overthrowing of the liberal and moderate-socialist Provisional Government. This resulted in the establishment of Soviet power under the Bolshevik party. This lead to the formation fo the Soviet union in 1922.
  • Zimmermann Note

    Zimmermann Note
    A message from the Germany foreign secretary, Authur Zimmermann, sent to Mexico proposing a Mexican-German alliance in case of war between Germnay and the United States. On this day, it was published in American newspapers. President Woodrow Wilson, after receving news of the letter, proposed that the U.S. start arming its ships against possible German attacks. Four days later, the United States formally entered WWI.
  • U.S. Congress ratified War resolution

    U.S. Congress ratified War resolution
    This was a speech given by President Woodrow Wilson, stating that in order to keep world peace, the United States would have to enter World War I. Once Congress ratified the descision to enter the war, U,S, triips joined the Allies til the end of the war.
  • Selective Service Act is ratified by Congress

    Selective Service Act is ratified by Congress
    This act, passed by President Woodrow Wilson, required all men between the ages of 21 and 30 to register for military service. In other words, this act gave the U.S. president the power to draft soldiers. By the end of WWI, 24 million men had registered for military service under the Selective Service Act.