American Pre-Military Involvement in World War One|
Plan Of Investigation
This investigation assesses American involvement in World War I before military intervention, and how this led to military intervention. In order to assess these causes, one must examine America’s involvement in the war before combat, the events that launched America’s military intervention in the war, American sentiments about the war before military intervention, and Woodrow Wilson’s actions before the war. Two sources used in the essay, America’s Great War: World War One and the American Experience by Robert H. Ziegler and Woodrow Wilson’s speech to congress on April 2nd, 1917 are evaluated for their origins, values, purposes and limitations.
The investigation does not asses the pre-war situations of any countries but the United States, and does not asses American military involvement during the First World War Summary Of Evidence
Prior to 1917, America was already deeply involved in the First World War, though they did not have troops fighting in the trenches overseas. First, American involvement in the war was purely as a producer and creditor to the Allied Powers. The war, while catastrophic for the countries involved in its atrophied trench battles, provided America with an astronomical boost to its economy, from 2 billion dollars in exported materials in 1913 to nearly 6 billion dollars in exports in 1916. This economic boom was mainly brought on by Britain’s dependency on American foodstuffs and manufactured goods.. The economic ties between America and Britain tightened with public subscription loans. By 1917, Britain had borrowed 2.7 billion dollars from American creditors. Historian Paul Koistinen wrote “Without American supplies, Britain could not continue the war; without American financing of almost 10$ million a day … Britain would exhaust its reserves of gold and securities by March 1917. Its dependence was total. Cutting back procurement . . . would produce disaster in England” Originally, America did nothing but reap the reward of “neutrality”. When Americas turned their eyes to the stage of war in Europe, they were truly terrified. One Chicago newspaper joked “A hearty vote of thanks to Columbus for having discovered America”. This sentiment was echoed by many American citizens, who showed pride in President Woodrow Wilson’s decision to declare America a neutral state in the war. Americans thoughts on the war lied in their bloodlines, as a majority of Americans were descendants from either Allied or Central Powers nations. Most Americans, early in the war at least, didn’t understand the war or why it was being fought, and were glad that America wasn’t involved. However, these robust Anti-Involvement sentiments began to fade after May 7 1915, the day of the Lusitania crisis. German U-Boats torpedoed and sunk a passenger liner in British waters, killing nearly 1,200 civilians, including 128 American citizens. The murder of these innocents set off the first widespread pro war feelings in Americans. This outrage was justified, but was also heightened by yellow journalism that demonized Germans as barbarians and deranged killers. President Woodrow Wilson, taking note of this event and the outrage it caused, warned the Germans that any further violation of American rights would result in “Strict Accountability” for these actions. This, as well as the bloody war dragging on in Europe, brought up the question of military preparedness in the United States. By 1916, pro-preparedness sentiment was widespread, as 135,000 supporters of expanding the military marched on New York City’s 5th Avenue, for 12 hours. In Chicago, 130,000 telephone operators moved in the shape of an American flag, goose-stepping down State Street. In the election of 1916, Woodrow Wilson ran against Charles E. Hughes, who was backed by Theodore Roosevelt, former...