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America's Involvement In World War I

1198 words - 5 pages

World War I was a great loss both physically and emotionally. It was a conflict between the Allies and the Central Powers from 1914 to 1918. More than 15 million people were killed in battled, making it one of the most deadly conflicts in history. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria- Hungary was seen as the trigger of the war. The war was described as a world war, a total war, and a modern war. A world war because it involved the whole world. A total war because people used maximum resources for the purpose of the war. A modern war because the people used technological and industrial mobilization.

America enters the war for many reasons but the four causes were the sinking of the Lusitania, the economics, politics, and ideology. Lusitania was the main cause that turned Americans and the world for that matter against Germany. The economics, politics, and ideology have little to do with America entering the war but they are still causes.

The Lusitania was sunk on May 1, 1915 on its way from Liver Pool to New York. It was hit by a German torpedo and was sunk within 18 minutes. The ship was British, but on board were Americans. One thousand and nineteen of the original 1,924 died, 114 being American men. The sinking aggravated Americans and President Wilson to protest against Germany. Germany proclaimed, in September, that ships will be sunk only with foregoing warning and the convenient safeguard for passengers. Nonetheless, America’s resentment towards Germany was set in stone. Two year later America declared war.

The economics played a role in America entering the war because the United States had enormous economic investments with the British and the French. If the Allies lost, they then would not be able to pay the United States back for the debt that they were in. If the Allies could not pay all the loans the American bankers made to them, the United States economy could collapse. The loans are what were financing the war for Britain and France. Furthermore, the British and the French were also purchasing arms on United States credit. The Americans wanted to make sure they got paid back so they entered war to ensure that they go their money repaid to them.

Politics executed a part in America entering the war also. Propaganda from both sides determined America’s decision. President Wilson did not want to go to war, but when Teddy Roosevelt wanted to run for anther term, Wilson felt intimidated and declared that there would be a preparation program and a chance that America would go to war. By taking part in the war, America was validating itself as a world power.

Ideology was another piece that fit into the now solved puzzle of why America entered the war. Wilson wanted to make the world safe for democracy. Ideology was seen partly for idealistic justification. The inhabitation of Belgium and the sinking of the Lusitania changed many people’s minds in the United Stated of Germany.


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