When World War I Broke Out, the United States Declared Its Policy of Neutrality. Was the United States Ever Neutral in the Conflict, and If so...

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trePrior to World Was I, the United States was concerned with reform at home, and expanding beyond its borders. Domestic policy during this time called for fair treatment for labor and public. Yet at the dawn of World War I, this changed in order to accomodate foreign markets at war. The United States tried to stay out of war. However, doing so did not make them neutral. United States policy regarding the sinking of vessels, the protection of American travelers, trading and lending, and personal feelings show that the Unites States' "true spirit of neutrality" (Doc. A) was not very true after all.

The first sign showing America was not neutral is Wilson's reaction to the sinking of the Lusitania. Prior to the sinking, the Germans were already dealing with the British Blockade. Thus, enforcing unrestricted submarine warfare. After the sinking, President Wilson demanded reparations. Therefore, he dug the nation into further conflict, and was clearly gearing America towards war. So clear was his war encouraging reaction, that anti-war secratary of state Byran resigned.

Another sinking that eventually led to war was that of the Sussex. Upon this event, Wilson demanded ultimatum. Interestingly enough, Germany had warned travelers in the war zone to sail "at their own risk" (Doc. E). The United States had a fair warning. Therefore, they basically put themselves in danger because they wanted to.

Unrestricted submarine warface needed to be dealt with one way or another. The first option involved staying off foreign vessels, the second one called for United States entering World War I. Clearly, the United States wanted to be part of the war when the Grove-Melmore Resolution was not passed. This resolution would most likely have significally minimized the deaths of Americans because it would have penalized those who traveled on foreign vessels.

Aside from submarine warfare, the United States was involved in the war prior to officially entering it due to its...
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