World War I is the “Great War”, the war to end all wars. The United States wanted the world to know, we were NEUTRAL, but were we really?
Politically, economically and psychologically, we were not isolated by any means. The U.S. did not want to commit to a war, continents away. Let those in war’s path do the dirty work, we would make money off of their involvment. It was enevitable and we were doing our part in other ways.
We sold our allies war supplies, remember the Lusitania and so many ships traveling cross-Atlantic?
We made gained ecomonic profits, we did see our young men rally, volunteer and die with our allies, and yes we provided strategic support in many realms.
Did we have a choice? Neutrality in its pure form was not an option. The Industrial Revolution bound the world together. We could not publically commit in 1914, but in 1917 we had little choice due to the losses of our allies.
The United States people saw itself as the “savior” of the righteous, but our politicians had already set us up by involving the U.S. behind closed doors.
This was a war that resulted from Industrialization, Nationalism and Imperialism. The world was changed forever. Larger countries felt a moral duty to defend and profit.
Consider this, the world was in a great depression and the world was left in a greater depression following WWI.
One thing we would never stand for was the “Zimmerman” telegraph event. The Monroe Doctorine would be defended, no matter what the cost.
The United States, led by President Woodrow Wilson, did not want to be involved in World War I. When Wilson ran for re-election in 1916, his campaign slogan was “He kept us out of the war” referring to the European conflict that was then referred to as the “Great War.” However, by 1917, sentiment was changing with regard to the war.
Although the U.S. had yet to become officially involved in the war, most Americans supported the Allies and saw the Germans as aggressors. Americans felt a connection to Great Britain, in particular, because of cultural similarities. Germany angered Americans with their U-boats sinking American ships suspected of aiding the Allies. With the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915, a British cruise ship, 128 Americans were among those who lost their lives. The Germans temporarily halted such actions but in 1917 resumed unrestricted Naval warfare. At the same time, the British intercepted a message, called the Zimmerman Note, asking the government of Mexico to declare war on the U.S., if war broke out between the U. S. and Germany. The note also promised to help Mexico regain the territory of Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico if Mexico declared war on the United States. This note was the final push that Wilson needed to turn public sentiment towards war. The U.S. Congress declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917.