This is a copy of the actual outline I passed out to my classmates during my presentation. It summarizes the background and simulation of actual event pages.
Thesis: The sinking of the Lusitania was one of the greatest tragedies that occurred during WWI; due to the unrestricted U-boat warfare by the Germans, many lives were lost, and it indirectly caused the US to join the war.
WWI: The Sinking of the Lusitania - Outline
||I. Situation of war resulting in sinking: land
stalemate turned to war at sea
A. British Royal Navy exercised superiority by
B. U-boat warfare (Germans) - most reliable of all
1. Declared warning but no liner sunken yet
2. U-20 controlled by Walther Schweiger
"It would have been impossible for me… to fire a second torpedo into this crowd of people struggling to save their lives." -- quote from Schweiger's log. He denies shooting a second torpedo into the Lusitania.
|III. Results on WWI
A. Germans: refused to apologize, purchased postcards
1. Finally issued statement expressing regret
2. Lost propaganda war (blamed + forced to pay
damages @ end of WWI)
B. British: immediate + violent reaction
1. Denied suspicions that Lusitania carried
2. May 12: govt released report on German
atrocities in Belgium (exaggerated) -->
destroyed Germany's image
C. US failed to respond (not ready for war but
indifferent --> side with allies)
D. August 19, 1915: another British liner, Arabic,
torpedoed --> two Americans died -->
Germans regretted, apologized, promised no more
torpedoing w/o warning -->
American threats receded
E. January 3, 1917: Berlin announced submarines
would sink on sight --> US joined war
Conclusion: As a result, not only did this tragedy trigger American involvement in WWI, but it resulted in great political repercussions and insured that Germany had lost US support.
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