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END OF THE GREAT WAR
Beyond these hills on the west is the great Forest of Argonne. There are many small farmhouses and villages scattered throughout the country, but there are few good roads. The Germans in and about the Forest had long made themselves very much at home in their well-built, comfortable quarters. They were on their guard against intruders and defied the Yankees to get through their
From a photograph, U. S. official
OUR ARTILLERY CLEANING OUT THE ARGONNE
barbed-wire entanglements, to get past their machine guns, or to get over their fortified lines of defense. in all the Kaiser must have had at least half a million troops waiting to greet us with heavy artillery, with machine guns, and with unlimited showers of gas shells.
While we made our attack from the southeast side of the Argonne, a strong French army attacked from the west side. Our forces began the fighting and kept it up, day after day, for over a month.
LEADING FACTS OF AMERICAN HISTORY
It was "our greatest battle," and men coming from every state in the Union took part in it -- what is more, they won it. When that day came they reported that the last German had been squeezed out" of the Argonne country.
While this contest was going on, the British, French, and Americans in the western part of France had not been idle. The most remarkable thing that they did was to storm the famous Hindenburg Line near its center.1 They not only broke through but they went some distance beyond. It was what boxers call a "knock-out blow." The Germans saw that it would be impossible for them to make any long-continued resistance. They had to choose between quickening their pace homeward or surrendering where they stood.
On the east Pershing's "all-American army" was advancing northward on both sides of the Meuse, intent on striking a similar blow in that direction. The Germans held a railway line which was crowded day and night with freight cars bringing provisions and war material from Metz, Germany, to their armies in northwestern France.2 On November 6 we reached that line and took possession of it in the vicinity of Sedan.3 (See Map, p. 419.) By seizing this very important railway we cut off the enemy's supplies from that quarter. The Germans realized that they could fight no longer. They saw that the forces contending for justice and for liberty had won. The Kaiser realized it too. He resigned his crown, abandoned his palace in Berlin, and fled to Holland. Three days later,4 on "Victory Day," November 11, 1918, the Germans laid down their arms and the Great War was over.
When Germany ceased fighting she agreed to withdraw her armies without delay and to give up all hold on Belgium and France. Furthermore, she opened the way for the armies of the Allies to advance and occupy certain parts of her dominions.
1 Between Cambrai (cam-bray') and St. Quentin (san kan-tan'). (See Maps, pp. 419, 428.)
2 The railway between Metz, Germany, and Lille (leel), France.
3 Sedan (see-dan').
4 When the Germans found that they could fight no longer they besought the Allies to grant them an armistice (arm'ist-iss), or brief suspension of hostilities. Marshal Foch refused their request unless they would agree to terms which, in everything but name, amounted to surrender. He gave them three days in which to reply. On the last day, November 11, they submitted to the terms offered them.
END OF THE GREAT WAR
Under this arrangement a French force entered Metz and quietly took permanent possession of the city. They at once hoisted the French flag over it and over the twenty-eight massive forts that encircled it. In like manner they took permanent possession of the territory1 round about, to a considerable extent, all of which had once belonged to France, but had been seized by Germany in a war waged as far back as 1870. Next, the Allied armies crossed the German boundary line farther north and entered the Rhine Valley. There they took control of the famous river which flows through the fairest section of what had been the Kaiser's Empire. The British occupied one important city on its banks, the Americans another, and the French a third.2
Soon afterward a very important Conference3 met in Paris, at which the Allies were to decide the conditions on which peace should be made with Germany, which had now ceased to be a monarchical government and called itself a Republic.
Since then we have given many rousing welcomes to our returning soldiers, of whom some seventy thousand never can come back alive.4 They had made their record in the battles they had fought and the final victory which they had helped to win. We
1 This territory was comprised in the provinces of Lorraine and Alsace (al-sas') (see Map, p. 419), which the Germans had taken from France in the war of 1870.
2 The three cities on the banks of the Rhine were Cologne, Coblenz (ko'blents), and Mayence (ma-yons'). The Allies were to hold them until a full and final peace should be made with Germany.
3 The Great Peace Conference. In January, 1919, President Wilson, and other noted men, representing the United States, England, France, Italy, and Japan, which had together fought against the Kaiser, met in Paris. There they framed and adopted the Covenant of the League of Nations, which pledged them to maintain all honorable methods of peace and to earnestly endeavor to make war less frequent on the earth.
The League of Nations formed section 1 of the treaty of peace which Germany was required to sign. Among many other things, the treaty demanded (1) that Germany should give up part of her territory; (2) that she should pay an immense sum of money for the willful destruction and misery caused by her armies in France and Belgium; (3) that she should give up the Kaiser to be tried by a court of justice; (4) that she should speedily reduce the strength of her army and navy so that they would no longer be dangerous to the peace and prosperity of Europe or of the world. After many protests the delegates sent by the German Republic signed the treaty at Versailles, France, on June 28, 1919.
4 A large number of our countrymen who fought under Pershing were of German birth or of German descent, but the record they made and the lists of killed and wounded show that they proved themselves Americans to the core. So, too, we sent "over there" more than seven thousand Indians from the West and not less than two hundred thousand negro troops. No troops saw harder fighting or did better work. General Crowder and others
LEADING FACTS OF AMERICAN HISTORY
felt as we cheered them in our streets that no braver or better men had come out of the great conflict which had convulsed the world.1
449. The Presidential Election; the Census of 1920. The two millions and more of men of the American Expeditionary Force that came back from the battlefields of Europe were now to take part in a different contest. The people of our country who had practically agreed how to carry on the war were divided in regard to how we should make a final peace. The two leading political parties were pledged to the adoption of very different methods, though both declared themselves strongly in favor of some association for securing harmony and coöperation among the nations of the world. The Democrats, who had nominated Governor James M. Cox of Ohio for the Presidency, demanded that the League of Nations2 which President Wilson had signed and which formed part of the treaty of peace with Germany, should be accepted without change. The Republicans, who had nominated Senator Warren G. Harding of Ohio for the Presidency, refused to accept the League of Nations as it stood. The election resulted in the choice, by an immense majority, of Senator Harding, with Governor Calvin Coolidge of Massachusetts as Vice President.3 This election was the first in our history in which women voted throughout 4 the United States on the same terms as men (§ 395).5 Since then the Census Bureau in Washington has given an estimate of our population. This estimate, which does not include Alaska adding Alaska and our island possessions we get a total of nearly
have testified to the soldierly qualities of these black men. The valor of one regiment won for it the much-coveted War Cross, awarded to it by the French government. Though they were descendants of slaves, they stood ready to give their lives on the battlefield to keep America free.
1 Our casualties: dead, 67,813; wounded, 192,483; prisoners or missing, 14,346. Total, 274,659.
2 See page 431, note I
3 Other parties in the election were the Farmer-Labor, Socialist-Labor, Prohibition, Single-Tax, and Socialist.
4 The total vote cast by all parties has been estimated at nearly 28,000,000, of which about 10,000,000 were believed to have been cast by women.
5 The Census Bureau gives as its estimate 105,708,771 (more than half living in cities of over 2500 population), or a total of 117,857,509. We should note that during the Great War very few immigrants arrived here.
PERSHING'S VICTORIOUS ARMY IN WASHINGTON