The United States officially enters World War I Two days after the U.S. Senate voted 82 to 6 to declare war against Germany, the U.S. House of Representatives endorses the declaration by a vote of 373 to 50, and America formally enters World War I. When World War I erupted in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson pledged neutrality for the United States, a position that the vast majority of Americans favored. Britain, however, was one of America’s closest trading partners, and tension soon arose between the United States and Germany over the latter’s attempted quarantine of the British Isles. Several U.S. ships traveling to Britain were damaged or sunk by German mines, and in February 1915 Germany announced unrestricted warfare against all ships, neutral or otherwise, that entered the war zone around Britain. One month later, Germany announced that a German cruiser had sunk the William P. Frye, a private American vessel. President Wilson was outraged, but the German government apologized and called the attack an unfortunate mistake. On May 7, the British-owned Lusitania ocean liner was torpedoed without warning just off the coast of Ireland. Of the 1,959 passengers, 1,198 were killed, including 128 Americans. The German government maintained that the Lusitania was carrying munitions, but the U.S. demanded reparations and an end to German attacks on unarmed passenger and merchant ships. In August, Germany pledged to see to the safety of passengers before sinking unarmed vessels, but in November sunk an Italian liner without warning, killing 272 people, including 27 Americans. With these attacks, public opinion in the United States began to turn irrevocably against Germany. In 1917, Germany, determined to win its war of attrition against the Allies, announced the resumption of unrestricted warfare in war-zone waters. Three days later, the United States broke diplomatic relations with Germany, and just hours after that the American liner Housatonic was sunk by a German U-boat. On February 22, Congress passed a $250 million arms appropriations bill intended to make the United States ready for war. In late March, Germany sunk four more U.S. merchant ships, and on April 2 President Wilson appeared before Congress and called for a declaration of war against Germany. Four days later, his request was granted. On June 26, the first 14,000 U.S. infantry troops landed in France to begin training for combat. After four years of bloody stalemate along the western front, the entrance of America’s well-supplied forces into the conflict marked a major turning point in the war and helped the Allies to victory. When the war finally ended, on November 11, 1918, more than two million American soldiers had served on the battlefields of Western Europe, and some 50,000 of them had lost their lives. 1832 Black Hawk War begins Determined to resist the growing presence of Anglo settlers on traditional tribal lands, the Sauk warrior Black Hawk is drawn into war with the United States. Called Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak by his people, Black Hawk was born in 1767 in the village of Saukenuk in the present-day state of Illinois. He quickly earned a reputation as a fierce and courageous fighter in the frequent skirmishes between the Sauk and their principle enemy, the Osage. By the early 1800s, however, Black Hawk began to realize that the real threat to his people was the rapidly growing numbers of white people streaming into the region. In 1804, representatives of the Sauk and Fox (Mesquakie) Indians signed a treaty that ceded all of their territory east of the Mississippi River to the United States. Black Hawk, however, maintained the treaty was invalid and had been signed by drunken Indian representatives. In 1816, he reluctantly confirmed the treaty with his own signature, but he later said he did not understand that this meant he would someday have to cede his home village of Saukenuk on the Rock River. As the U.S. Army built more forts and droves of settlers moved into the territory during the next 15 years, Black Hawk grew increasingly angry. Finally, in 1831, settlers began to occupy the village of Saukenuk, an area that would later become Rock Island, Illinois. Regardless of the provisions of the 1804 treaty, Black Hawk refused to leave his own home. He began to prepare for war. Early in 1832, General Edmund P. Gaines arrived in the area with a sizeable force of U.S. soldiers and Illinois militiamen. Initially, Black Hawk withdrew his large band of warriors, women, and children to the west side of the Mississippi. On April 5, however, he led them back into the disputed territory, believing that other Indian forces and the British to the north would support him in a confrontation. The following day, a large army of soldiers caught up to Black Hawk and his followers near the Rock River of northern Illinois. When neither the British nor his Indian allies came to his support, Black Hawk attempted to surrender. Unfortunately, one of his truce bearers was killed in the confusion, and the Black Hawk War began. In May, Black Hawk’s warriors won a significant victory that left the Americans badly demoralized. As subsequent generations of Indian fighters would learn, however, the mighty force of the U.S. government was relentless. On August 2, U.S. soldiers nearly annihilated Black Hawk’s band as it attempted to escape west across the Mississippi, and Black Hawk finally surrendered. Casualties in the 15-week war were grossly one-sided. An estimated 70 settlers or soldiers lost their lives; estimates for the number of Indians killed are between 442 and 592. Black Hawk was captured and incarcerated for a time in Fortress Monroe, Virginia. In order to demonstrate the futility of further resistance to the powerful Americans, Black Hawk was taken on a tour of the major eastern cities before being relocated to an Iowa Indian agency. He lived the remaining six years of his life under the supervision of a Sauk chief who had once been his enemy. Unlike Black Hawk, the Sauk chief had cooperated with the United States government.