World War One was a conflict between the Allies and the Central Powers. The allies consisted of Serbia, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Belgium and eventually, The United States. The Central Powers included: Austria-Hungary, Germany, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire. Before the United States joined the Allied Powers, there was a lot of reluctance among the American people about joining the war. America was and is still considered a giant ‘melting pot’ of cultures. There were German Americans, Irish Americans, and Scandinavian immigrants. There were multiple ties to the countries in the war, and Americans didn’t want to interfere with these ties. Besides the ties that some American’s held with the other countries, there were many cultural ties held between the English language, “School books stressed the English origins of American institutions. The English language itself…deepened the bond” (Page 627).
There were multiple things that led to the U.S. entering the war. While the United States were still actively trading and kept their economic policies going. “Britain…declared the North Sea a war zone,” they planted mines to explode in the sea and didn’t allow anything to Germany’s ports. Berlin warned the countries not to allow ships into the ocean and declared it a war zone. The British ship called Lusitania was sank by a German U-boat. The sinking of this British vessel killed over 1,000 people, including over 100 American people. After the death of this many American’s, many of the American people were divided over the issue of whether to enter the war or not. Wilson eventually called to start getting the military ready. After the sinking of the Lusitania, and efforts from American people to stop the war, congressmen passed a bill to reduce the possibility of another tragedy like the Lusitania. Another event that had a great effect on America entering the war was the ‘Zimmerman Telegram’ as it is referred to. The Zimmerman Telegram was intercepted by British intelligence in 1917. The Telegram proposed a German-Mexican alliance if the United States were to enter to war. Very shortly after the news of the Zimmerman telegram went public to the American people, the United States entered the war.
I think that there were many elements that led to the U.S. entering World War One. Although the Zimmerman Telegram and sinking the Lusitania played major roles, those were both caused by Germany, not directly by U.S. actions. One of the major U.S. actions that, I think, caused them to enter the war was the continuous economic interests with countries that were involved in the war. There were American businessmen that became involved in funding British war efforts with loans. Because of this, these businessmen wanted the Allies to win so that they would be able to pay them back promptly. Before entering the war, the Unites States also kept trading with Britain. This trading, I believe, also led to the U.S. declaring their entra...