World War 1 According History Information

Gift Shop



How the British Blockade Works

Chivalrous England

War Cyclopedia - U

U-Boats. The common abbreviation of Unteseebooten, or "under-sea boats." On September 22, 1914, a German submarine torpedoed In quick succession three British armored cruisers, Aboukir, Cressy, and Hogue; thus revealing the effectiveness of the new tool in naval warfare. But since then relatively few war vessels have been sunk by submarines.. The significance of submarines had been debated on theoretical grounds by naval experts for some years. In 913 the following strength In such craft was reported: England 72, France 68, Germany 22, Russia, 36, Austria 10, Japan 15. See Submarine; Submarine Warfare.

"U-53." German submarine which arrived at Newport, H. I., on October 8, 1916, with letters for the German ambassador, and soon put to sea to begin ravages on British shipping off the Nantucket coast. Among the five or six vessels sunk was the steamer Stephano, which carried American passengers. The passengers and crews of all the vessels were picked up by United States destroyers, and no lives were lost. The episode, which was an eight-day wonder, and resulted in a temporary tie-up of shipping in eastern ports, started . numerous rumors and several legal questions, none of which, however, turned out finally to have been of material importance, as U-~53 vanished as suddenly as it came, and Its visit was not succeeded by any of like craft. It is not improbable that the purpose of the German Government in sending U-53 to our shores was to convey a hint of what we might expect if we should become involved with Germany.

Ukraine. A term, meaning "border," applied to the district in southwest Russia inhabited by the Little Russians, or, as they call themselves, Ukrainers. These people form a separate branch of the Slav race, speaking their own language and possessing a tradition distinct from that of Moscow. They were not incorporated in the Russian Empire till the seventeenth century, and preserved their autonomy for more than a hundred years. Of recent years they'had been quite restless against 'the Russifying policy of the old regime. Several million Ukrainers, belonging to the Uniate branch of the Roman Church and living in Galicia, passed to Austria in 1772 In consequence of the partition of Poland. After the first Russian revolution (1905) Germany and Austria-Hungary began intriguing in the Ukraine, in the hope of detaching it from Russia, while the Czar's agents were busy in Galicia fomenting disloyalty to the Hapsburgs~ The result has been to rouse the Ukraine spirit and create a demand for national unity. Soon after the revolution of March, 1917, a demand was put forward for autonomy, which Prince Lvov refused, but which was conceded by M. Kerensky, and in September the word "Independence" was freely used. The question will not be readily solved and may assume an international aspect. See Autonomy; Russian Revolution; Slav.

Ultimate Destination. See Continuous Transport; Continuous Voyage; Contraband.

United States. The United States contained a continental population in 1916 of 102,017,312, the total population at that time being 112,444,620. The United States proclaimed its neutrality at the outbreak of the war. On February 3, 1917, diplomatic relations with Germany were broken off. On April 2, -, President Wilson asked Congress to declare that a state of war existed with Germany, which was declared by Congress April 6, 1917. See Aim of The United States.

United States, Breach with Germany. On February 3, 1917 the President went before Congress to Inform it that he had broken off diplomatic relations with the German Imperial Government. He said: "In view of this , declaration [of the renewal of ruthless submarine warfare], which, suddenly and without prior intimation of any kind, deliberately withdraws the solemn assurance given in the Imperial Government's note of the 4th of May, 1916, this Government has no alternative consistent with the dignity and honor of the United States but to take the course which, in its note of the 18th of April, 1916, It announced it would take in the event that the German Government did not declare and effect an abandonment of the methods of submarine warfare which it was then em- ploying and to which it now purposes' again to resort. I have, therefore, directed the Secretary of State to announce to his excellency the German ambassador that all diplomatic relations between the United States and the German Empire are severed, and that the American ambassador at Berlin will immediately be withdrawn; and, in accordance with this decision, to hand his excellency his 'passports." 'See Submarine Warfare, Stages of; War, Declaration against Germany.

United States, Caribbean interests. The growth of American Influence in the Caribbean has been a most natural development.-' long before the Spanish-American War our trade with the countries Immediately to the south of us had been rapidly increasing. To us has been coming the bulk of their exports, while they have been almost wholly dependent upon us for their imports. By our adherence to the principles of the Monroe doctrine we' have defended them against European interference and have- -become in some degree responsible for the maintenance of order on this side of the Atlantic. The close of the Spanish-American War found us in possession of Porto Rico and bound to protect and maintain '~order in Cuba. A. further extension of American foreign policy became necessary when we began the construction of the Panama Canal. Intervention for the repression of lawlessness and the establishment of bases from which to utilize our forces are parts of a program to make the Caribbean safe not only for ourselves but for whatever foreign interests may enter there. See Cuba, "Plait - Amendment"; Panama Canal; Sphere of Influence; Virgin Isles.

United States, Champion of Free Government. "We have made ourselves the champion of free government . . . In both continents of this hemisphere . . . the strong brother of all.. . . In this hemisphere . . . who maintain the same principle." (President Wilson, to Railway' Business Association, New York City, June 27, 1916.)

United States, Interference in European Affairs. In conformity with the advice of Washington against "entangling alliances," the United States has generally abstained from any interference in the affairs of Europe. Nevertheless the Republic of Liberia was founded under American auspices, the welfare of American missionaries in Turkey has always been a constant concern, and we were represented at two international conferences- Madrid in 1880, Algeciras in 1906-dealing with the affairs of Morocco, as well as at the Conference of Berlin in 1884, dealing with African affairs. Then, in the Far East we have come into close contact with European powers, and have often associated ourselves with them in the pursuit of a common policy, as for instance, at the time of the "Boxer" revolt in China, in 1900. But what is more significant still, our responsible statesmen have never hesitated to give expression to our sympathy with liberal movements in Europe. In this connection, see War Information Series, No. 8, distributed by the Committee on Public Information.

United States, Isolation of (1). In the years when this RJ public was still struggling for existence, in the face of threatened~ encroachments by hostile monarchies over the sea, in' order to make the New World safe for democracy our forefathers established here the policy that soon came to be known as the Monroe doctrine. Warning the Old World not to interfere in the political life of the new, our Government pledged itself in return to abstain from interference in the political conflicts of Europe, and history has vindicated the wisdom of this course. We -were then too weak to Influence the destinies of Europe, and it was vital to mankind that this great experiment in government of and by the' people should not be disturbed by foreign attack. Reinforced by the experience of our expanding national life, this doctrine has been ever since the dominating element in the growth of our foreign policy. Whether or not we could have maintained it in case of concerted attack from abroad, it has seemed of such Importance to us that we were at all times ready to go to war in Its defense. And though since it was first enunciated our strength has grown enormously, although in that time the vast increase of our foreign trade and of travel abroad, modern transport, modern mails, the cables, and the wireless, have brought us close to Europe and have made our isolation more and more Imaginary, there has been, until the outbreak of the present conflict small desire on our part 'to abrogate or even amend that familiar tradition which has for so long given us peace. In both -conferences at The Hague, in 1890 and 19(17, we reaffirmed this policy. As our delegates signed the first convention in regard to arbitration, they read Into the minutes this statement: "Nothing contained in this convention shall be so construed as to require the United States of America to depart from its traditional policy of not Intruding upon, interfering with, or entangling itself in the political questions or policy or internal administration of any foreign State; nor shall anything contained in the said convention be construed to imply a relinquishment by the United States of America of its traditional attitude toward purely American questions." If, therefore, the present war has forced us to abandon, for the time being, our traditional attitude, and to come to the defense of international order and justice, at least(_ the fault has not been ours. As Webster phrased it a' -hundred years ago, in language strikingly like that of President Wilson To-day: "We are one of the nations of the earth---.clear an interest in international law as individuals in the laws of society." After submitting to unparalleled provocations we have joined in fighting not only for our own rights but for international law itself, without which no nation can be safe, least of all those democratic governments which are organized primarily for peace, not war. See Democracy -'World Safe for; "Entangling Alliances "; International Law, Why are We at War? United States, Isolation of (2). "America up to the present time baa been, as if by deliberate choice, confined and provincial, and it will be impossible for her to remain confined and provincial henceforth she belongs to the world and must-act as part of the world." (President Wilson, Oct. 5, 1916.) "~he United States will never-be what it has been. The United States was once In enjoyment of what we used to call splendid isolation (Shadow Lawn, Nov. 4, 1916.) "And now, by circumstances which she did not choose, over which she had not control, she [America] has been thrust out into the great game of mankind, on the stage of the world itself, and here she must know what she is about, and no nation In the world must doubt that all her forces are gathered and organized In the interest of just, righteous, and humane government." (Shadow Lawn, Oct. 16, 1916.)

United States, Neutrality, 1914-1917. At the beginning of the great conflict the United States proclaimed its neutrality. for the war was incomprehensible, and it was not seen that our interests or our honor would be jeopardized. But the sea, hitherto our sure bulwark against aggression, 'became~ the source of danger, for both 'sides transgressed what we considered' our rights on what is the highway of all nations-the Miles by Interference with our commerce, the Central Powers by the illegal sinking of American ships and the taking of American lives. The State Department protested against all violations, 'but it soon became clear that the controversies were fundamentally different. With the Allies we disagreed as to the interpretation of the law of the sea, and owing to our treaties with them the dispute could always be referred to arbitration. But in the case of Germany the law was clear. Our contentions were admitted In large measure by the Berlin Foreign Office, and we were given pledges that our rights would be respected; only, as time went on, these pledges were found to be mere "scraps of paper." -Moreover, whereas we might collect damages from the Allies for their Injuries to our commerce, no compensations could retrieve the loss of American lives. Thus, by the force of circumstances, while the appearance of impartiality was maintained, our Government was driven to adopt the strongest possible tone toward Germany, while disputes with the Miles assumed less and less importance. Meanwhile popular opinion evolved as systematically as the attitude of the Government. The American conscience, fully informed by press and propaganda, passed judgment on the authors of the ~var. It was revolted by the invasion of Belgium and the atrocities there committed; it resented the reflections cast by German propagandists upon the American intelligence; above all, it was profoundly disturbed by the constant revelations of German intrigue against the internal peace and the foreign security of the United States. In short, people' and President moved at the same pace, and by the end of 1916 the patience of both was well-nigh exhausted, for by that time there was no doubt that the German military autocracy, ever dominated by the lust of power and relying solely on the power of the sword, had become a menace to us as well as to Europe. The announcement from Berlin, therefore, of unrestricted submarine warfare, on February 1, 1917, found the country ready - to accept the challenge, and to the President's acts in severing diplomatic relations with Germany and in recommending a declaration of war it gave an Immediate and whole-hearted approval. See Why are We at War?

United States, Neutral Services to Belligerents. At the outbreak of the war the United States was invited and agreed to take over the interests of Great Britain, Germany, and Austria-Hungary in the enemy country, and up to the severance of diplomatic relations with Germany, on February 3, 1917, discharged the task with great energy and efficiency. The most important task was the inspection of prison camps, to which Mr. Gerard in Berlin, and Mr. Page in London,. gave much time. American . officials, diplomatic and otherwise, took charge of relief work In Belgium. northern France, Poland, Serbia, and Turkey; they assisted enemy aliens who were not Interned In returning 'home or made possible the exchange of disabled prisoners. In general, our Government acted as a medium of communication between the two groups of powers; and it was primarily to us that the German peace note of December 12, 1916, was addressed, with the hope that we might use our good offices to secure a favorable response from the Allies. See Prisoners of War; Belgium, Commission. for Relief of; Roumania, German Treachery in.

United States, a World Power. "We are participants, whether we would or not, In the life of the world. The Interests of all nations are our own also . . . what affects mankind is inevitably our affair as well as the affairs of the nations of Europe and of Asia." (President Wilson, League to Enforce Peace, Washington, May 27, 1916.) "Our relationships with the rest of the world are going to be incomparably more Intimate In the years to come than they ever have been in years gone by." (Shadow Lawn, Oct. 16, 1916.) Universal Military Service. The system of compulsory service, under which it is incumbent upon each young man capable of bearing' arms to drill and familiarize himself with soldierly duties for a period of time, one, two or three years, that he may be In the highest degree useful to his country at the outbreak of war. The system has long been in general use in continental European countries. See Conscription; Draft; Selective Service;.

Unneutral Service. This is service performed by a neutral or a neutral Ship at the behest of one of the belligerents. Ordinarily, it consists In transporting military persons or intelligence. Such a vessel Is liable to capture on the high seas by the enemy, and to subsequent confiscation. See Cronholmn; "Spurlos Versenkt."

"Uti possidetis." "As you possess." By a peace made on this. basis each side retains what it possesses at the close of war. Such a peace would leave the German Emperor master of northern France, Belgium, parts of Russia, Poland, Ron-mania, Italy, etc., while Great Britain would retain the German colonies in Africa.