Did the US consider allying with the Central Powers in WWI?

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,759
Dispargum
Dear moderator-member Chlodio, UK was working to arrange a peace conference after the Note of July 23 was sent by Austria-Hungary to Serbia. It is interesting that point #4 references an opinion in place of fact.
How does the UK working to arrange a peace conference alter America's perception that Germany and Austria-Hungary had started the war? If anything, Germany's and A-H's refusal of a peace conference would strengthen the perception that they had started the war.

Or are you simply observing that perception always trumps reality?
 

Kotromanic

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
5,037
Iowa USA
How does the UK working to arrange a peace conference alter America's perception that Germany and Austria-Hungary had started the war? If anything, Germany's and A-H's refusal of a peace conference would strengthen the perception that they had started the war.

Or are you simply observing that perception always trumps reality?
My remark was that.... point #4 in your post mentions a belief that A-H started the war. It is a fact, rather than an opinion, that A-H began the war by artillery fire on Serbia prior to a declaration of war. AFTER Serbia replied to Austrian ultimatum in good faith.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,759
Dispargum
My remark was that.... point #4 in your post mentions a belief that A-H started the war. It is a fact, rather than an opinion, that A-H began the war by artillery fire on Serbia prior to a declaration of war. AFTER Serbia replied to Austrian ultimatum in good faith.
Anyone who has arbitrated a fight between children knows it is usually impossible to determine who started it. Did the war start when A-H attacked Serbia, or did the war start when Serbia assassinated Franz Ferdinand? Regardless of the rights and wrongs of that question (and I know I'm simplifying a far more complex issue), American public opinion could have gone either way. American public opinion chose to blame A-H and Germany.

Yes, rational decision making should be based on facts, but public opinion is rarely rational. In this case, they did get it right.
 

Kotromanic

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
5,037
Iowa USA
Anyone who has arbitrated a fight between children knows it is usually impossible to determine who started it. Did the war start when A-H attacked Serbia, or did the war start when Serbia assassinated Franz Ferdinand? Regardless of the rights and wrongs of that question (and I know I'm simplifying a far more complex issue), American public opinion could have gone either way. American public opinion chose to blame A-H and Germany.

Yes, rational decision making should be based on facts, but public opinion is rarely rational. In this case, they did get it right.
Were any of the assassins Serbian citizens, though?

Please try to be precise, thank you.

EDIT: yes, I now see the distinction between writing about public opinion and a judgement of the "legal" responsibility for starting bloodshed. Thanks.

(Roots of the conflict go back at least to the Austrian annexation of Bosnia/Herzegovina, so the entire build up is complicated with awful mistakes made by Austria, Russia and Serbia. Ironically, the Germans are held culpable for some brief communication in early July to Austria but the Germans were surely less involved int the build up than were the French or Russians.)
 
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Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,171
US
The U.S. really was in an isolationist mood at the start of WW1, or at most focused only on their own backyard. There was little interest in the affairs of Europe and less to intervene. Wilson was especially of this mindset.
 

Kotromanic

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
5,037
Iowa USA
The U.S. really was in an isolationist mood at the start of WW1, or at most focused only on their own backyard. There was little interest in the affairs of Europe and less to intervene. Wilson was especially of this mindset.
If the GOP hadn't split in 1912, a second-term William Taft as President would have been the test of the isolationists versus pro-UK, pro-French Eastern establishment. Agree that Wilson's election was fortunate for the sake of Americans missing the ill-fated Entente push of the summer of '16.
 
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Scaeva

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
5,630
People of German ancestry in the US were second only to Anglo-Irish. After the AWOI there was serious consideration of making German the official language. .
Slightly off-topic but that is a bit of a popular myth. It is true that here was a significant German minority in some of the colonies at the time of the Revolution, but there was never any consideration given to making German *the* official language....



"The late German academic Willi Paul Adams published a study in 1990 that included an explanation of why so many people believed Muhlenberg acted to block a congressional resolution that would have made German the national language.

“Fascinating for Germans, this imagined decision has been popularized by German authors of travel literature since the 1840s and propagated by some American teachers of German and German teachers of English who are not entirely secure in their American history,” Adams wrote.

“In reality, this presumed proposition was never brought to the congressional floor and a vote was never taken,” he added.

Dennis Baron, professor of English and linguistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, also tells a similar tale in an article he penned for PBS’s website, after the Muhlenberg legend popped up in an Ann Landers column.

“On January 13, 1795, Congress considered a proposal, not to give German any official status, but merely to print the federal laws in German as well as English. During the debate, a motion to adjourn failed by one vote. The final vote rejecting the translation of federal laws, which took place one month later, is not recorded,” Baron said, who cites two contemporary sources for the account.

Baron traces the legend to an 1847 book by Franz Löher called History and Achievements of the Germans in America, which Baron says “presents a garbled though frequently cited account of what is supposed to have happened.”

Adams also pointed out that just 9 percent of the early United States was German-speaking, and that the vast English-speaking majority would have had a few problems with the concept of an official language.

“Colonial speakers of English fought only for their political independence. They had no stomach for an anti-English language and cultural revolution,” Adams said.


Did German almost become America’s official language in 1795? - National Constitution Center
 

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,171
US
Slightly off-topic but that is a bit of a popular myth. It is true that here was a significant German minority in some of the colonies at the time of the Revolution, but there was never any consideration given to making German *the* official language....



"The late German academic Willi Paul Adams published a study in 1990 that included an explanation of why so many people believed Muhlenberg acted to block a congressional resolution that would have made German the national language.

“Fascinating for Germans, this imagined decision has been popularized by German authors of travel literature since the 1840s and propagated by some American teachers of German and German teachers of English who are not entirely secure in their American history,” Adams wrote.

“In reality, this presumed proposition was never brought to the congressional floor and a vote was never taken,” he added.

Dennis Baron, professor of English and linguistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, also tells a similar tale in an article he penned for PBS’s website, after the Muhlenberg legend popped up in an Ann Landers column.

“On January 13, 1795, Congress considered a proposal, not to give German any official status, but merely to print the federal laws in German as well as English. During the debate, a motion to adjourn failed by one vote. The final vote rejecting the translation of federal laws, which took place one month later, is not recorded,” Baron said, who cites two contemporary sources for the account.

Baron traces the legend to an 1847 book by Franz Löher called History and Achievements of the Germans in America, which Baron says “presents a garbled though frequently cited account of what is supposed to have happened.”

Adams also pointed out that just 9 percent of the early United States was German-speaking, and that the vast English-speaking majority would have had a few problems with the concept of an official language.

“Colonial speakers of English fought only for their political independence. They had no stomach for an anti-English language and cultural revolution,” Adams said.


Did German almost become America’s official language in 1795? - National Constitution Center
Yeah. German Americans integrated quickly into American society with the exception of the religious sects like the Amish. But they weren't pro war of pro Germany for that matter.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,750
SoCal
Dear moderator-member Chlodio, UK was working to arrange a peace conference after the Note of July 23 was sent by Austria-Hungary to Serbia. It is interesting that point #4 references an opinion in place of fact.
I didn't realize that Chlodio was a mod here.