The American Expeditionary Forces and World War I
The United States’ decision to enter into the World War was a difficult one for President Woodrow Wilson since he tried so hard to stay neutral and wanted to keep the peace. The following should explain why the President made the decision to enter into the war, what military role the United States played, and what the final outcome was. President Wilson did not want to enter into the war and tried desperately to be neutral, although the United States did send supplies to the Allies. President Wilson wanted peace and called for a “peace without victory”, where there would be no victor, no vanquished, no embittering division of the spoils of war, only “peace among equals.” (Experience History: Interpreting America’s Past vol. 2, page 637). This plan of peace collapsed when the German ambassador announced that unrestricted submarine warfare would resume. This decision by Germany, coupled with the sinking of the Lusitania, their sinking of four additional U.S merchant ships and the interception of the Zimmerman Telegraph that stated that if the United States joined in the war, Mexico would receive guns, money, and territory if Mexico attacked the United States. This was the last straw for President Wilson and he addressed Congress that war was imminent. On April 6, 1917 Congress voted to enter into the war.
The United States initiated the Selective Service Act on May 18, 1917 because the United States did not have enough of a substantial army to assist the Allies. The Army was only able to muster about 100,000 men. The Selective Service Act drafted men from ages 21-31 and according to The History Channel’s website, “by the time the war ended over 2 million American soldiers had served in the United States Armed Forces”, which were also know as the American Expeditionary Forces, or the AEF. The AEF arrived in Europe in June but did not partake in combat until being adequately trained. They did not...
Cited: Davidson, James West. "Chapter 23." Experience History: Interpreting America 's past. Vol. 2. New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2011. 637. Print.
Murray, Ray. "The Stars and Stripes, 1918-1919: The American Expeditionary Forces." The Stars and Stripes, 1918-1919: The American Expeditionary Forces. N.p., 3 July 2003. Web. 29 Sept. 2013.
“U.S. enters World War I.” 2013. The History Channel website. Sep 29 2013, 5:29 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/us-enters-world-war-i.
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