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Americas Involvement In Ww1 Essay

Summary: The sinking of the Lusitania, Germany disobeying the Sussex Pledge, the Zimmermann Telegram, and patriotism to "fight the war to end all wars," the United States left behind its neutrality and join the Allies in World War I against Germany and the Central Powers.


At the beginning of World War I, the U.S. government protested the actions of both Allied and Central powers. Looking to become a peacemaker, the U.S. claimed neutrality. But the U.S. did eventually join the war due to several events.

On May 7, 1915, a German U-boat sank the British Lusitania, killing 1200, including 128 Americans. America became angry, calling Germany's act "barbarism." U-boats continued attacking Allied merchant ships, so the U.S. helped pass the Sussex Pledge, stating that German U-boats would have to warn before attacking. Germany soon broke the pledge and the U.S. became even angrier because it cut off their trade with Western Europe, for fear that the German U-boats would sink American merchant ships as well.

Another reason why the U.S. entered the war was because of an intercepted German telegram, made by Arthur Zimmermann that was on its way to Mexico. The British intercepted his telegram. When translated, this telegram told Mexico to declare war on the U.S., and if so, Germany would reward Mexico with American land. Although this was not much of a concern for neither Mexico nor the U.S., it still made Americans even more aggravated.

A final reason why the U.S. entered World War I was because supposedly, it was "the war to end all wars." This encouraged Americans to join the army, and it also increased American patriotism towards the war. Looking at the war as being the last one ever also supported the idea of world peace.

In conclusion, because of the sinking of the Lusitania, Germany disobeying the Sussex Pledge, as well as the Zimmermann Telegram and patriotism, the U.S. was forced to leave neutrality and join the Allies in World War I against Germany and the Central Powers.

"Why the U.s. Entered Ww1 ." BookRags Essay Workshop. Retrieved 28 June 2005, from the World Wide Web. http://www.bookrags.com/essays/story/preview

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Essay on World War I: United States Involvement

1233 Words5 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…show more content…

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 to congress, he states, “Every man who really loves America will act and speak in the true spirit of neutrality” (First). By saying this, the president is saying that the policy of neutrality is the absolute best choice for the United States in this situation, and any citizens that did not believe in this did not truly care for the country or its people.

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