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Causes of U.S. Entry into World War I. US History: Spiconardi. From the Mouth of President Woodrow Wilson. Quotes:. Question:. “…impartial in thought as well as action.” ~Woodrow Wilson, 1914 “He kept us out of war.” ~Wilson re-election campaign slogan, 1916

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from the mouth of president woodrow wilson
From the Mouth of President Woodrow Wilson

Quotes:

Question:

“…impartial in thought as well as action.” ~Woodrow Wilson, 1914

“He kept us out of war.” ~Wilson re-election campaign slogan, 1916

“The world must be made safe for democracy.” ~Wilson’s request for a declaration of war, April 2, 1917

  • By the end of the period, you will be able to express your opinion:
    • Did the U.S. policy contradict Wilson’s earlier statements and therefore involve the U.S. in the war, OR
    • Did circumstances beyond the United States’ control lead the nation to break its policy of neutrality?
neutrality
Neutrality
  • At the start of the war, the official U.S. policy was neutrality
    • Neutrality  not favoring one side over the other in a dispute.
  • However neutrality isn’t quite so easy when the opposing sides are England and Germany
neutrality1
Neutrality

Of which ethnicity can most Americans claim decent?

What language do we speak? Who founded this country? Who was are biggest trade partner?

the road to u s involvement
The Road to U.S. Involvement
  • Exports
    • The British blockaded the North Sea to prevent Germany from receiving goods
      • U.S. exports to Germany dropped from $345 million at the start of the war to $29 million by 1916.
      • On the flipside, exports to nations of the Allies increased fourfold
  • Loans
    • The U.S. government loaned more than $2 billion to the Allies by 1917
  • Is this neutrality?
    • Most Americans didn’t think so.
the road to u s involvement1
The Road to U.S. Involvement
  • Propaganda
    • Propaganda  the spreading of ideas or beliefs to help a particular cause and/or hurt an opposing cause
    • The Allies controlled the transatlantic cable, so they controlled the information leaving Europe and entering America
  • Let’s look at some examples
the road to u s involvement2
The Road to U.S. Involvement
  • German Submarine Warfare (U-boats)
    • Germans violated international law and sank all ships in the warzone.
      • This is known as UNRESTRICTED submarine warfare
      • Germans believed this was the only way they could end the British Blockade
      • Wilson knew this would impede munitions shipments to England
the road to u s involvement3
The Road to U.S. Involvement
  • Sinking of the Lusitania
    • In 1915, a passenger liner left New York City carrying 1200 passengers, food and 4.2 million rounds of ammunition for Remington rifles.
      • Who do you think the ammunition was for?
    • Germany announced that any Allied ships in the warzone would be sunk
    • A German submarine sinks the Lusitania, on which 128 Americans died
the road to u s involvement4
The Road to U.S. Involvement
  • Many Americans call for the ban of Americans sailing on Allied ships
  • Wilson rejects this call
    • He believed Americans had the freedom to sail on whatever vessels they wanted and demanded Germans stop unrestricted submarine warfare
  • Germany did not want to go to war with the U.S. and promised not to sink any more ships without warning, but…
the road to u s involvement5
The Road to U.S. Involvement
  • Two other ships carrying Americans were sunk
the road to u s involvement6
The Road to U.S. Involvement
  • The Zimmerman Telegram
    • British intelligence intercepted and decoded a message sent from Germany to their ambassador in Mexico
    • The telegram stated
      • If the Mexican government joined a military alliance against the U.S., the Germany would help Mexico recover the territories it lost in the Mexican-American War of 1848
    • Wilson asks Congress to arm merchant ships to protect American lives and commerce.
the road to u s involvement7
The Road to U.S. Involvement

In 1917, Germany sank 4 additional U.S. merchant ships, but that wasn’t the biggest surprise of 1917…

the road to u s involvement8
The Road to U.S. Involvement
  • The Russian Revolution
    • In March of 1917, the Czar of Russia was overthrown and a new “democratic government”
      • More Americans could support entering a war on the side of a country that no longer had a tyrant as it’s leader
      • One year later, under communist leadership, Russia would surrender to Germany and drop out of the war
declaration of war
Declaration of War
  • On April 2, 1917, President Wilson asks Congress for a declaration of War
    • “The world must be made safe for democracy.”

Do you think this is the real reason Wilson wanted American to enter the war?

from the mouth of president woodrow wilson1
From the Mouth of President Woodrow Wilson

Quotes:

Question:

“…impartial in thought as well as action.” ~Woodrow Wilson, 1914

“He kept us out of war.” ~Wilson re-election campaign slogan, 1916

“The world must be made safe for democracy.” ~Wilson’s request for a declaration of war, April 2, 1917

  • By the end of the period, you will be able to express your opinion:
    • Did the U.S. policy contradict Wilson’s earlier statements and therefore involve the U.S. in the war, OR
    • Did circumstances beyond the United States’ control lead the nation to break its policy of neutrality?