Justification of World War I

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Kelsye Owen
Tues. Thurs.
8:50-10:10

Justification of World War I

World War I could have been prevented in many ways, but at the same time it was also an effective war for the United States. When war erupted in 1914, the United States, a proponent for the rights of neutral states, attempted to remain neutral. However America felt like their freedom was being threatened. This along with several other factors made neutrality difficult to maintain. In the attempt by both the allies and the central powers to involve America, the United States was heavily saturated with propaganda. Much of the material had a Pro-British biased, which was also helped by the connection to Britain as a “cultural brother” and the United States’ concern with affairs in Europe. The propaganda for Germany did not stimulate the Americans as much as European propaganda. Many events and rumors led to the distrust of the Germans including the allegations of: industrial sabotage, poisoning water supplies, kidnapping individuals and engaging in American labor unions. The perceived achievement of all these events by Germany, kept the United States busy on the home front. The Germans did not allow the United States to take supplies to Europe in ships across the Atlantic Ocean. The general feeling in the United States, at the time, was to stay out of the war because it was Europe’s war. However, once the German’s sunk the Lusitania, killing one hundred and twenty American citizens, the popular opinion changed and Americans wanted to go to war to avenge their deaths. The sinking of the Lusitania was ample justification for war on Germany. One year later, the Sussex was sunk by German U-boats and American citizens were again outraged by the direct violation of their natural rights at sea. In an attempt to eliminate the threat of American involvement in Europe, German Foreign Minister Alfred Zimmerman attempted to provoke Mexico and Japan into attacking the United States with promised...
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