Should the United States have entered World War I

6 June 2017

The Central Powers consisted of Germany, Austria- Hungary, Ottoman Empire (Turkey), and Bulgaria, against the Allies comprised of Britain, France, Italy, Russia, and later on the United States. The United States exchanged its neutrality for war in 1917 by declaring war on Germany. The war ended in 1918, as Germany and Austria- Hungary were reeling into collapse, standing no chance against the incoming fresh American troops. Governments collapsed, homes, farms, factories, roads, and churches were reduced to rubble, human and material costs were staggering, and all the countries, especially the defeated Central

Powers, faced large financial tolls. The United States faced a death toll of almost 120, 000 soldiers and another 200,000 were wounded (http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/ along with $35 billion in financial costs (Prentice Hall: World History 2011). During the war, there was a production boom which called for technology advances and employment available for women and African- Americans to replace the men out in action.

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But once the men returned from overseas many women stopped working, swelling unemployment and planting the seeds for the Great Depression.

World War I was one of the greatest wars in history with a death oll of an estimated 65,000, 000 soldiers and civilians (http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/ List_of_wars_and_anthropogenic_disasters_by_death_toll) in comparison to the Napoleonic Wars from 1804- 1815 killing 7,000,000. Germany was left in a total of 4. 2 effects. htm) of debt for reparations, which took nearly a century to pay off. Germany Germany, the newest of the great European powers, was growing into an economic and military powerhouse. With strong nationalism for their military power and industrial leadership, Germany set competition with Russia in modernization, with

France over territory in Africa, and naval rivalry with Britain. Because Germany was in alliance with Austria, when Austria- Hungary declared war on Serbia over the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, Germany gave the promise of unconditional support, beginning their entrance into World War I Joining Italy to become the Central Powers. Another secret alliance was also formed after pressure from German Advisors with the Ottoman Empire to provide Germany with easy access to African colonies and trade markets in India by encouraging Romania and

Bulgaria to Join the Central Powers. Kaiser Wilhelm II, German emperor, decided against renewing the Peace Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Russia, effectively opting for the Austrian alliance (http://www. bbc. co. uk/history/worldwars/wwone/ origins _01 . shtml). Despite the risk of going to war with Russia, Germany saw this as an opportunity to break up the entente, because France and Britain might refuse to support Russia and strike against them before it had finished rebuilding its military strength after its defeat by Japan in 1905.

Much to Germanys surprise, when Austria eclared war on Serbia after the Archduke’s assassination, Russia Joined Serbia in the war and Germany declared war on Russia. In return, Russia appealed to France for support, causing Germany to also declare war on France. Germanys Schlieffen Plan was designed for success in their two- front war, reasoning for Germany to defeat France first and quickly by encircling and crushing France’s army, then turn around and fight Russia.

To reach south behind French lines, as according to the Schlieffen Plan, they had to invade neutral Belgium, causing Britain to enrage and eclare war on Germany. As the war began, the Belgians resisted more than Germany had anticipated and, even though they prevailed, their plan for a quick victory over France failed as Russia mobilized more quickly than expected and as German troops were weakening, British and French troops ended Germanys drive in the first battle of the Marne.

Germany caused the most damage to the Allied side by sinking merchant ships carrying vital supplies to Britain using submarines. Tension between Germany and United States As the war began, President Woodrow Wilson of the United States declared eutrality because he would not enter the war without a good reason, and involvement in the conflict would disrupt Progressive reforms (http:// www. digitalhistory. uh. edu/database/article_display. cfm? HHlD=529).

However, as the war began to erupt in Europe, the United States quickly began to lean toward Britain and France. Money was loaned and weaponry was supplied to aid Britain with ships. One of these ships being the Lusitania. On February 4th, 1915 Admiral Hugo von Pohl, commander of the German High Seas Fleet, published a warning in the Deutscher Reichsanzeiger (Imperial German Gazette) stating: (1) “The waters around Great Britain and Ireland, including the whole of the English Channel, are hereby declared to be a War Zone.

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