On April 6th 1917 the United States entered WWI in response to the sinking of the Lusitania and the Zimmerman Telegram. Without enough volunteers for the war Congress passes the Selective Service Act. However, on January 7th 1918 the Supreme Court strikes down the law as unconstitutional, because conscription is a form of involuntary servitude.
After January 7th a large number of draftees decide to go home, and on February 2nd the United States begins a full withdrawal. On March 3rd it negotiates a peace treaty with the Central Powers that simply ends the state of war and returns to the antebellum status. There were some calls for a draft amendment to legalize the draft, but as the United States leaves the war support for this dies down.
In July the Battle of the Marne is won by Germany and Germany takes Flanders. In November France and Britain sue for peace. The Treaty of Brussels was signed.
Treaty of Brussels
1. The borders in Africa were redrawn. The territory of France was completely distributed amongst the victorious powers. Not wanting to press their luck with England whose navy had been defeated but whose territory had never been occupied during the war the Triple Alliance left them with some territory. The Ottoman Empire received Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria. Germany gained control of French Equatorial Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Madagascar, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Portuguese Guinea, Angola, Nigeria, British Cameroon, British Somaliland, French Somaliland, Cape Colony, Lesotho, Swaziland, Portuguese West Africa, Portuguese East Africa, Rhodesia, Bechuanaland, Nyasaland, the Cape Verde Islands, Zanzibar, the Comoros, Sao Tome e Principe, Dahomey, Ghana, the Ivory Coast, and Guinea. Austria-Hungary got the rest of French West Africa, Gambia, Italian Eritrea, and Italian Somaliland. Morocco became independent from France. Transvaal, the Orange Free State, Sudan, and Natalia gained independence from Britain.
2. In Europe Germany gained some territory from France, and a small portion of land from Belgium, as well as some of the land ceded to it by Russia in Brest-Litovsk. Austria-Hungary got Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Romania, and some territory from Italy including Venice. Bulgaria gained Greece’s Macedonia region. The Ottoman Empire annexed Cyprus, Crete, and several other Greek islands. Great Britain was forced to recognize Ireland as an independent country. The Brest-Litovsk territory whose status was to be determined later was resolved. Estonia was to be under direct German rule. The United Baltic Duchy, Belarus, Lithuania, Finland, Poland, and the Ukraine became independent. Although these countries political systems were generally designed to favor Germany. An example is Finland where the Kaiser's brother-in-law took the throne.
3. In the Middle East the Ottoman Empire took control of all British possessions on the Arabian peninsula, and also took control of most of the Caucusian territory that had been taken in the Russo-Turkish War. Russia (Now the Soviet Union) and Britain were forced to abandon their spheres of influence in Persia. Georgia became independent.
4. In Asia Britain was forced to recognize India as independent. Germany gained control of Formosa, the territory of Papua, all French and British territory in the Pacific except for Australia and New Zealand, French Indochina. All allied territory in the East Indies went to Germany, except for northeastern Borneo which went to Austria-Hungary. Austria-Hungary annexed Thailand. Russia, Britain, France, and Japan lost their spheres of influence in China to Germany and Austria-Hungary. Several Japanese islands went to Germany although Japan kept some of them.
5. British Guiana went to Austria-Hungary and French Guiana went to Germany. French colonial possessions in the Caribbean went to Germany. British possessions went to Austria-Hungary, except for the Virgin Islands and Montserrat which were left with Britain.
6. Britain had to pay 4 billion dollars to the Central Powers, while Italy had to pay 15 billion and France 20 billion. Japan had to pay 2 billion. Several other countries also had to pay reparations.
One positive outcome for the United States was that as a result of Wilson's lobbying Congress on January 9th presenting women's suffrage as a war measure the 19th amendment was passed granting women the right to vote. While it failed in Congress that year it encouraged activists to convince the public to vote against any politician opposing suffrage, and as a result the amendment passed the following year.
Fascism in France And Italy
In France nationalist sentiment grows. Marcel Déat becomes the president of France in 1932, and president for life in 1933 with his Action Francaise Party holding power. It is a far right party the espouses French nationalism, and antisemitism. It blames the Jews for causing France to lose in WWI. Italy, under Mussolini enters into the Axis Alliance with France and Japan. France and Italy would be instrumental in bringing the fascists to power in Spain's civil war. France signs a secret pact with Russia to divide Germany. Italy enters this pact as well, agreeing to divide Austria-Hungary.
Annexation of Independent Countries By Germany
The United Baltic Duchy (1920), Poland (1920), and Lithuania (1922) were annexed into Germany.
Reform In Austria-Hungary
After WWI nationalism was still a problem in Austria-Hungary. First was dividing the land between Transleithania and Cisleithania. This was solved at first by simply adding the new territories to the Condominium. Unrest among Panslavic elements lead to in 1923 a compromise. Bosnia, Serbia, and Montenegro became the new Yugoslav government with its own Parliament in Belgrade under the same emperor just as Hungary had in 1867. The provinces of Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Dalmati, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Carniola, Küstenland, and Croatia-Slavonia were placed under it. In exchange for Croatia-Slavonia Romania was transfered to Hungary. The empire was renamed the Balkan Empire. Unrest continued. In 1925 a new Zapadoslav Parliament was set up and given Bohemia, Moravia, Galicia, and Bukovina. Venetia, the new province formed from the Italian annexation was given autonomy with their own Parliaments as well as Albania, Bukovina, and Romania. In 1926 a new constitution was signed that established that the ministerial council would consist only of the elected Prime Ministers of the Parliaments. The king would only have the power to decide ties and to veto. The full transition to a constitutional monarchy had taken place.
Constitutional reform is also a demand in Germany. In 1924 a new Constitution is promulgated and Germany's Kaiser's powers are greatly reduced. There are some obstacles to reform, particularly Adolf Hitler a leader of conservatives opposed to decreasing the Kaiser's powers. Hitler was actually an Austrian immigrant who had came to admire Germany in the war. Hitler preached against Jews and preached that Austria should be united with Germany. However, as his views became more radical, particularly with the writing of Mein Kampf he lost respect among moderate conservatives though was popular among right-wing radicals. His National Socialist German Worker's Party took votes away from the Christian Democrat Party and allowed the Socialist Party to dominate Parliament in Germany.
After the war the Ottoman Empire was assisted by Germany and Austria-Hungary in suppressing the Arab revolt as well as new revolts in the territory ceded to it after the war. The Ottoman Empire in 1922 annexed the Najd expanding the empire even more. A new constitution was set up in 1926 protecting the rights of minorities and granting even greater autonomy to the ethnic millets. The Sultan's powers were curbed. The Ottoman Empire became a democracy.
In 1938 France invades of Belgium based on the presence of the French ethnicity in Belgium. England, Germany, and Austria-Hungary hold a conference and decide to ignore it but warn France against invading the Neatherlands or Luxembourg. France does in 1940, and Britain, Germany, and Austria-Hungary declare war. In the United States Roosevelt realizes they could close to war. Without the draft as an option he pushes through Congress a bill that exempts military men from paying taxes on their salary and enlistment bonuses and greatly increases the financial incentives for joining the military.
Japan had been building up its military for well over a decade, had control over Korea, Manchukyo, and many Pacific Islands. Japan invaded China.
Attack On Pearl Harbor
In 1941, Japan attacks Pearl Harbor. In response, the United States declares war. France and Italy also declare war on the United States. FDR convinces Congress to pass a bill quadrupling the pay of soldiers especially those in combat, as well as doubling pensions, and causing any money earned by investing money made in the military tax exempt. He also greatly raises taxes, including 95% on the highest income bracket and 35% on the lowest still taxed. This puts a strong econmic pressure on people to join the military.
War In The Pacific
Realizing they couldn't use the draft while the enemy could, the United States poured most of its military resources into the Pacific, because Japan had been the nation that had actually happened them and was more of a threat to invade.
War In Europe
While the United States did send troops to Europe it was careful about this, not wanting to take too many away from the Pacific theatre.