American Involvement In World War I

2135 words - 9 pages

American involvement in World War I was not primarily the result of American bankers protecting their wartime loans and profits, but rather the need to safeguard democracy after the major events in Europe, the United States' failure to remain a neutral country and the conflicting problems between the United States and numerous European countries leading up to the war.There were many causes of World War I. The first cause was the Alliance System. Europe was divided into two armed camps. In 1870, France went to war with the Prussians (Germans), but Napoleon II lost. As part of their treaty the Germans would receive Alsace and Lorraine. The French, upset about the loss of the war, w ...view middle of the document...

An event in Sarajevo also led to World War I and to America's future involvement in the war. Sarajevo was the capitol of Bosnia, which was a part of Austria. On June 10924, the heir to the Austrian throne, Archduke Ferdinand was visiting Bosnia, along with his wife. During this visit, a young man kills Ferdinand and his wife on the street and was arrested. Questioning of this man reveled that it was Serbia's plan to kill Ferdinand, with the hope that Bosnia, a Slavic state within Austria would split and join Serbia. Austrians held the Serbians were responsible, therefore issued an ultimatum, with the demands that Austrian officials were to be sent to Serbia to lead an investigation of those responsible for the Archduke's murder. Serbia agrees. However, in July 28, 1914, Austria declares war on Serbia, because they were looking for an excuse to destroy Pan-Slavism and move into the Balkans. When Austria declares war, Russia mobilizes, which causes Germany to mobilize, which causes England and France to mobilize. Italy remained neutral for a short period until the next year where it joined France, England and Russia. The Ottomans later joined the Central Powers.The United States' first response was relief, since Europe was still far away. Wilson urged Americans to be neutral, in both thought and action. About 12 million Americans were of German and/or Austrian decent; therefore they felt sympathetic with the Central Powers. However, most Americans were anti-German. There were many reasons for this anti-German feeling. The first reason was that Germany conjured up images of militarism, as a nationalistic militaristic people. Second, Kaiser Wilhelm II was an arrogant leader of Germany. Third, Germany was blamed for her atrocities in Belgium. Belgium was neutral, but Germans went through Belgium to get to France faster, therefore the U.S. was shocked by this violation of neutrality. Fourth, the U.S. had strong cultural and economic ties with England and France. Lastly, British propaganda cut the German able across the Atlantic, so most of the news that reached the U.S. favored England, which was against Germany. As a result, Americans harbored negative views toward Germany.The War of the Blockade further pushed forth war. The biggest problem of the Germans was they were facing a two-front war. In 1908, Schiffer plans used by Germans were to wipe out France while Russia was slowly mobilizing. The problem with that was France's defense; therefore, Germany would go through Belgium to sweep around French defenses. The plan was to catch France off-guard and gain a victory over the French in 6 weeks. The German drive was slower than expected because troops sent to the Russian front. The German attack seems to be successful. In its last movements, French troops rush back to Paris, where the Battle of the Marne is held. In the end, the German thrust is finally stopped. To break the deadlock on the ground, both sides began to turn to the sea. Americans cl...


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