The United States and World War I
The United States of America entered World War One on April 6Th, 1917. When war was officially declared in 1914, Woodrow Wilson insisted that the U.S. adopt a neutral stance along with popular opinion. It would be the United States involvement in the war that would eventually become the decisive factor in the allied victory.
America choose neutrality because it was widely accepted that we had no business being involved in European power struggles. The Monroe Doctrine, introduced in 1823, was a policy that stated America would not meddle or intervene with European concerns. Trench Warfare was seen by Americans as being horrific and futile. Wilson officially announced that America would be neutral on August 4th, 1914. He declared that trade with both sides during the war would be permitted and that ...view middle of the document...
Wilson warned Germany that it would become accountable for any loss of life. When a German U-boat sank the Lusitania without warning, killing 128 Americans, it upset America and Wilson. German Foreign Secretary, Arthur Zimmerman, dispatched a telegram to Mexico asking them to declare war on the United States if the United States entered the war. Germany proposed that if they did this, when the war was over that Mexico would be given back land that it had lost in the Mexican-American war. It also stated that Germany would resume Unrestricted Submarine Warfare in February of 1917. This telegram was intercepted and decoded by the British, causing public outrage. These events eventually lead to the declaration of war by the United States against Germany and it’s allies. The actions taken by the Germans were acts of desperation in an attempt to end the war before the US could get involved enough to be a determining factor in the war. Economics played a part in the declaration of war as well considering the large investments with the British and French. If they were to end up losing the war, they would not be able to pay this debt back resulting in a possible collapse of our own economy.
US Soldiers received great welcome in the European countries upon arrival although they seen very little action on the battlefield. It wasn’t until late into 1918 that any US soldier seen any significant action. The large amount of supplies and monetary aid at this critical time tilted the balance of the war into allied favor. The US arrival was a huge moral boon to the allied troops and demoralizing for the Germans considering their desperation tactics had failed. Without the United States entering the war the stalemate could have persisted for any length of time. Wilson touted the war as a “fight for democracy” to the American people. His progressive stance brought him to design and propose the League of Nations. The war became a stage for the United States to show it’s emergence as a world power.