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United States And The Great War

1439 words - 6 pages

There are several reasons for the United States entering The Great War. However, most Americans preferred to stay out of the conflict. President Wilson publicly and formally stated that the United States would adhere to a policy of neutrality., However, in three short years, the United States would find itself involved in the conflict which would later became known as the first World War.As war raged in Europe, America sympathies undoubtedly sided with the Allies. American propaganda encouraged citizens to buy war bonds and support the Allies. The Kaiser and Germans were portrayed as the aggressors in the war. Americans began to see Germany as brutal and murderous. When the war started, ...view middle of the document...

If the Allies were to lose the war, our trade would be threatened. American increasingly saw Germany as the enemy. Germany was a dictatorship fighting against the great democracies of the world and America as a democratic nation felt an obligation to support them.As America became increasingly less neutral, the British government intercepted a message from the German ambassador Zimmerman to the Mexican government. This message, termed the "Zimmerman Note," asked Mexico to attack the United States if war broke out between the U.S. and Germany. (See attached copy of this note.) The note was turned over to American government a short time later and eventually published in the newspapers. Americans were outraged.Germany then announced it was going to recommence unrestricted submarine warfare, violating the Sussex Pledge. Wilson had campaigned for office promising to protect freedom of the seas and now it seemed he had little choice. He had to ask Congress to declare war. Many There was a great deal debate in Congress, but on April 6, 1917, the United States of America declared war on Germany.While the US was at war, many citizens opposed the war. The government felt that opposition to government policies in time of war threatened our national security. Restrictive laws such as the Espionage and Sedition Acts were passed in order to silence opposition. Many outspoken people were jailed. It was a time of great national crisis and the Constitution was thoroughly tested.World War I may not have made the world safe for democracy, but it did help to lay the groundwork for a decade of American economic expansion. The 1920s saw the growth of the culture of consumerism--many Americans began to work fewer hours, earn higher salaries, invest in the stock market, and buy everything from washing machines to Model T Fords. The culture of consumerism of the 1920s changed the politics of American society and set the tone for American attitudes about money in coming decades.There were other dramatic changes were transforming American society and culture. As the United States worked to export its political ideals of freedom and democracy to the rest of the world, many people discussed increasingly the equality of the sexes and the role of women at home. This debate is an extraordinarily important. In 1919, the Senate passed the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. At the dawn of the twentieth century, women activists and their male allies were preaching a new day for women.Immigrant women and poor American-born women had no choice but to work as laundresses, servants, and factory help. Proponents of True Womanhood, however, often demonized women forced to work outside the home. They argued that the working world was the first step on a downward spiral that would lead women, eventually, to prostitution. At the very least, they held, working outside the home would give women financial independence from their fathers and husbands and, in turn, undermine the...

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