America's Desire To Enter Into World War I

2891 words - 12 pages

World War I, known as the Great War prior to World War II, was a global war which began in Europe on July 1914 and ended on November 11, 1918. The Central Power, Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy, were at war with the Allies, Great Britain, France, and Russia. These alliances posed a threat when Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was assassinated by a Serbian nationalist; at this time, Germany urged the Austro-Hungarian Empire to reciprocate and Serbia turned to Russia for help. A chain reaction began and soon Europe was entangled in a world-wide war. In 1917, the United States entered the war, joining the Allies due to issues with Germany, despite supposed reluctance. Woodrow Wilson, the President of the United States throughout the duration of World War I, proved through foreign policy from 1914-1917, the United States’ citizens’ and governments’ evident desire for war from April 1917 to November 1918, and the United States’ domestic effects from the war from April 1917 to 1919 that the United States was eager to enter World War I. President Wilson asserted in 1917, “I think that you will agree with me that, in view of this [submarine] declaration…this Government has no alternative, consistent with the dignity and honor of the United States, but to take the course which…it announced that it would take…”. Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany, and so it happened.

President Wilson’s alleged ‘neutrality’, the Preparedness Act and war declaration were foreign policies executed in the United States from 1914-1917 that validate the fact that the government, as well as American citizens, was eager to enter World War I. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson declared neutrality in the United States to avoid entering the war. Wilson proclaimed in his Neutrality Proclamation, “…I do further declare…that the statutes and the treaties of the United States…require that no person…shall take part, directly or indirectly, in the said wars, but shall remain at peace with all of the said belligerents, and shall maintain a strict and impartial neutrality”. Woodrow Wilson surely did not understand the concept of neutrality because he favored Great Britain over Germany, upsetting the Germans. Foreign Secretary, Edward Grey, explained, “British action provoked American argument; that was met by British counter-argument. Britain action preceded British argument; the risk was that action might follow American argument”. Great Britain imposed a blockade on all sea imports going from the United States to Germany; Wilson, fearing that he would upset the British if he opposed the blockade, accepted it and continued to trade with the Allies. Faragher, Buhle, Czitrom, and Armitage wrote in the Out of Many Textbook, “Trade with Germany all but ended while trade with the Allies increased dramatically…the value of American trade with the Allies shot up from $824 million in 1914 to $3.2 billion in 1916. By 1917, loans to the Allies...

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