The US President Woodrow Wilson declared the policy of absolute neutrality to the events of the World War I on 19 August, 1914. “The United States must be neutral in fact, as well as in name, during these days that are to try men’s souls” (FirstWorldWar). Yet, the United States entered the war on 6 April, 1917 after issuing a formal declaration of war with Germany. Four days earlier, on 2 April, 1917, Woodrow Wilson held a speech in front of the Congress. In this speech he outlined the reason why the United States join the war. One of the reasons, which influence this decision, was a sinking of Lusitania in 1915. It was a British ship but there were 128 Americans on board who were killed. That time the US President accepted the German change of policy. However on 9 January, 1917, the Imperial German Government’s “new policy has swept every restriction aside” (Wilson, Transcript of Joint Address to Congress, 1917). This meant that all the ships including hospitals were in danger of being sunk. Second reason, mentioned by Woodrow Wilson in his speech was threat to democracy and peace to the whole world. According the President, “a world must be safe for democracy” (Wilson, Transcript of Joint Address to Congress, 1917). Thirdly, the Zimmermann Telegram also played an important role in the US decision to join the World War I. This message sent by German Foreign Secretary Arthur Zimmermann to the Mexican government contained the proposal to make an Alliance against the USA. In case the war is won by this Alliance Mexico would receive back states of Texas and California. This telegram was deciphered by British specialists and its content changed public opinion in the United States regarding Germany and its policy (Zimmermann Telegram). Finally, one of the important reasons for the US to entry the war the economical or financial factors. Great Britain and France performed their military actions supported by the donations from the United States. In case the Allies would lose the war the US would never have received their money back. The international economic position of the United States was changed by the war. The country turned out from being debtors to creditors. The States did huge investment into the foreign country in order to support the troops with ammunition. Despite the human and economic costs for the World War I for the United States were significant, the investments the country had made had beneficial long-term economical consequences (Rockoff).
The entry of the American troops is considered to be an important issue in the course of the war. Actually, the United States are blamed for failure of the possible peaceful regulation of the conflict in the spring 1917. In 1936, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Winston Churchill said that “America should have minded her own business and stayed out of the World War I. If you hadn’t entered the war, the Allies would have made peace with Germany in the spring of 1917” (Holliston 39).
The American entry to the World War I was reasonable and was perceived the nation. Yet, historians doubt whether the entry was the best solution for the world history because the consequences of the war results were rather negative from the perspective of the future events.
Holliston, Perni. A Heritage of Hypocrisy. Union Dale: Pleasant Mount Press Inc, 2005. Print.
Rockoff, H. “U.S. Economy in World War I.” Economic History Association 05 Feb 2010. EH.net. Web. 13 Dec. 2011
“Teaching with Documents: The Zimmerman Telegram.” National Archives. n. p., n. d. Web. 13 Dec. 2011
Wilson, W. Transcript of Joint Address to Congress Leading to a Declaration of War Against Germany. Web. 13 Dec. 2011
“Formal U.S. Declaration of War with Germany, 6 April 1917”. FirstWorldWar.com. Web. 13 Dec. 2011