U.S Entry into World War 1

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U.SEntry into World War 1

TheWorld War 1 started in 1912, and it started with the assassination ofArchduke Ferdinand and his wife. This event was just the trigger thatthe declarations of the war. The real causes of the war are complex.An alliance is an arrangement made between countries to help eachother assists when required. Some unions were signed betweencountries and were crucial because they meant that some countries hadno alternative but to make a declaration of war. Imperialism waswhere a nation could take over new countries and turn them to betheir subjects. By 1900, the British Empire had control of fivecontinents while France controlled large territories of Africa. Sinceindustrialism was rising in many countries, there was a need for newmarkets (Kennedy, 2009). The number of lands owned by France andBritish escalated the competition with Germany who entered the war toget colonies, with a few regions in Africa. U.S entered World War 1because of threats on its citizens and borders.

Militarismmeant that the military forces and the army were given a high profileby the government. The rising European divide led to an arms racebetween the major countries, and the armies of Germany and Francedoubled between 1870 and 1914, and competition increased between thetwo countries. The British introduced an effective battleship in1906, and the German followed suit and started their battleship. VonSchiliefen of Germany drew action plans involving attacks on Francethrough Belgium if other nations attacked Germany.

Nationalismmeant being a strong supporter of the interest and rights ofsomeone’s nation. The Vienna Congress was held after the exile ofNapoleon and wanted to solve problems in Europe (Martin, 2012).Austria, Britain, and Russian delegates decided on a new Europe thatleft Italy and Europe divided nations. Strong nationalist featuresresulted in the reunification of Germany, and Italy in 1871 and thesettlement by the end of Franco-Prussian war that left Francefrustrated because of losing Alsace-Lorraine to Germany and theywanted to get the territory. World War 1 brought changes in warfarefrom nontechnical style wars to include weapons used technology andremoved the person from near combats. The war led to high casualtieswith over 16 million people dead and 19 million injured. The war ledto significant changes in the nations. The Great War did not need totake place, but the Europeans were caught up in the war, and in themajor towns, large crowds came out to cheer the soldiers when theywent to war.

PresidentWilson is considered as one of America’s great President because ofthe changes he brought to the nation. He introduced reforms afterwinning the White House in 1912. He tried to keep America neutralduring World War 1 but he finally called for war in 1917. Soon afterthe war he assisted in negotiating a peace treaty that incorporated aplan for the League of Nations. Although the senate did not supportthe American membership in the League of Nations, Woodrow got theNobel Peace Prize for his efforts in fostering peace.

TheTreaty of Versailles was created for ending World War 1 and it wasformulated in Paris Conference in 1919. It shaped the super powersand it was signed by the world leaders including Wilson Woodrow. TheTreaty was however said to be a failure and since Congress did notwant to give up their power, they declined to ratify it. Woodrow wasthe main proponent of the League of Nations, together with otherleaders, but Americans separated themselves form it. The treaty wassuccessful because it kept Germany in check after their loss in WorldWar 1. Germany was forced to surrender its arms, and embrace peace.The Treaty saw America increase its powers as a super power becauseof Germany was in check. The Treaty was however restrictive in natureand received criticism. It forbade Germany from having air force,restricted the Navy to vessels, and Germany was in no position ofregaining economic superiority. These demands made the Treaty a peacedictator and it restricted other nations.

In1904, Germany gave Morocco to France although the Moroccans wereinterested in their independence. In 1905, Morocco got the support ofGermany to be independent and war was avoided narrowly through aconference that enabled France to be in possession of Morocco. In1911, however, the Germans were against French possession of Morocco.France got the support of Britain, and Germany backed down. In 1908,Austria-Hungary gained control of Turkish province, and this did notsit down well with Serbians who felt that their province should notbe under outsiders. Serbia threatened Austria-Hungary with war andGermany also mobilized its forces and threatened Russia (John, 2012).War was averted when Russia withdrew, but the war in the Balkansdrove Turkey out of the region. When the world entered the 20thcentury, arms race started and by 1914, Germany’s military numberincreased. Germany and the Great Britain greatly increased theirnavies, and the military establishment started to get greatinfluence. The increase in militarism helped push the nations thatwere involved in the war.

Duringthe 1914 summer, the tensions in Europe that were rising for manyyears ensued in the elimination of Archduke Ferdinand by the Serbianterrorist firm. After the assassination, Austria-Hungary governmentand Serbia had entered into political confrontations and in less thana month, two coalitions were established- the central powers thatcomposed of Austria-Hungary and Germany, and the Allied powers thathad Russia, Great Britain, and France. As the war escalated inEurope, President Wilson Woodrow said that the U.S must remainneutral in the conflict. He urged Americans to be neutral in theiractions and thoughts. With the distance between Europe and America,Americans accepted Wilson’s neutrality suggestion. Although closeto one-third of American citizens were born in Europe, most of themwere glad to stay out of the war. While America remained neutral inthe Allied Powers and the Central Powers used rumors to influence thepublic opinion. German propaganda dwelt on Russian autocracy whichappealed to Irish Americans and German. Britain enjoyed someprivileges in its aim to appeal to Americas, like the common languageand culture. Despite efforts by the powers to persuade U.S. opinion,President Woodrow, and the Americans stayed neutral (Lance, 2009).However, America’s neutrality was put to the test when both allieswanted to gain an advantage over the rest. Britain who had controlover the span of the North Atlantic Ocean refused to let Americanproducts be transported to Germany and said all the cargo in neutralwaters are fake. Britain then started taking U.S goods.

AlthoughWoodrow protested against Britain seizing their goods, he did not actagainst Great Britain. Instead, Wilson tried maintaining a neutralground because Britain tried to dismantle American trade withGermany. The American ships traveled to the North Sea, and this wasthe way to reach German ports. They found themselves being searchedat times for many months. Germany did not want to give up control ofthe North Atlantic ship routes and to respond to Britain’sattempts, Germany instituted a submarine war zone in the BritishIsles and said that they would drown all the enemy merchants in thearea. Woodrow responded by stating that Germany would be accountableif any American citizen were injured. To fight the British Navy,Germany started producing new weapons of war and it started attackingAmerican and British vessels in the waters of the North Atlantic. Theaggression of Germany escalated in 1915 and Americans reacted inastonishment when a German boat struck the Lusitania that wastraveling from Liverpool and close to 1200 people were killed.Germany tried to explain the sinking by saying that the ship wastransporting ammunitions. This did not convince Americans thatGermany had every reason to drown the ship. Many people called forwar, but President Wilson remained careful against actions that wouldlead America into war.

PresidentWilson started making diplomatic moves to persuade Germany to changeits tactics, and he issued a note calling for Germans to abandon thesubmarine war. Germany explained that their military situation butdid not give an apology for the warfare. About a month later, Woodrowwrote another note and Bryan signed it. Germany ordered its militarynot to sink defenseless passenger ships but in August, it sunk anArabic liner, which killed Americans. The military tactics ofGermany brought Americans into war, and it only came after twomonths. During the same time, newspapers published papers thatproposed a German-Mexican alliance. In 1917, Woodrow wanted adeclaration of war from the Congress, and he was given. Congressagreed with six senators and only 50 representatives voted againstthe war. Americans entered the war in 1917, and the country was splitover the possibilities of sending Americans to fight nations withinthe Central Powers. A committee was instituted to communicate thegoals of the Allied powers, and it wanted to demoralize the CentralPowers before Americans. The food supply sector ensured there wasenough food supply, and it increased over the years. Americansstruggled with conservation the government had challenges providingthe necessary arms and food to the military personnel. American had asignificant role in the war because of the ammunitions it broughtinto the war. They defended other countries from Britain.

TheAmerican military power helped in brings the war to an end. Thestrength and speed of American war effort were not a surprise and wasa good strategy for defeating the enemy. The U.S army was welltrained although little number compared to Germany. The U.S had asignificant role in World War 1 and also played a crucial role inending it. They timing was right and helped vulnerable countriesfight off Germany.


HornMartin (2012). A private bank at war, Business History Review

KendrickJohn (2009). Productivity Trends in America. New York, NationalBureau of Economic Research.

MetzLance (2009). The rise and fall of an industrial giant. Pennsylvania,Pennsylvania Legacies.

RossKennedy (2009) Woodrow Wilson, World War 1. Kent, Kent StateUniversity Press.

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