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World War I: United States Involvement

1676 words - 7 pages

"He Kept us Out of War" (World War I Quotes). This quote was a democratic slogan stated during the election of 1916 on behalf of President Woodrow Wilson. This slogan makes an attempt to refer to the good leadership qualities and decisions that President Wilson made to keep the United States of America out of the war and that is why he should be elected again to serve as President. Though this made a valid argument to show that Wilson was smart to keep us out of war, many events took place that continued to anger the U.S. which eventually made them declare war on Germany on April 6th, 1917 (World War I). In doing this, they broke their policy of non intervention. The United States held out of the Great War for so long because of economic reasons, their policy of neutrality, and to avoid the morbid trench warfare (America). However, the United Stated eventually entered the war because of Germany sinking several U.S. passenger ships, and the publication of the Zimmerman telegram (World War I).
To begin, America decided to hold out of the Great War for so long because of economic reasons. At this time, America was still growing as a country and expanding its culture in order to become a world power. Also, they were trading with many countries and this was a major part of the economy. If they decided to go to war with a country, it was certain that they were going to lose all connections and trade possibilities with the countries that they were fighting against. During this era, America was more interested in making money than fighting for a cause that they did not have much involvement in. Specifically, The United States chose both sides and decided to sell ammunition and other supplies to all countries involved in the war instead of pick one side and support them alone (Economics). By doing this, the United States was capitalizing on the opportunity to make money off of this horrible war. Also, if the United States was to enter the war, national production would switch from civilian products to war materials (Economic). In the years leading up to the war, America was already in a state of recession and they did not want to spend millions of dollars on this conflict. The following quote states how much the war affected the economy of the United States. "The total cost of World War I to the United States (was) approximately $32 billion, or 52 percent of gross national product at the time" (Economic). If you were the president of the United States, would you want to put out $32 billion dollars when your country is in recession as it is? Second, another reason the United States stayed out of the war for so long was because of their policy of neutrality. On August 19, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson addressed the congress and informed them of the U.S. policy of neutrality (First). In doing this, President Wilson was saying that the United States would stay neutral during the war and not intervene. During the president’s address...

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