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Why was the United States unable to remain neutral during World War I?

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ygraciane | Student, College Freshman | eNoter

Posted May 3, 2012 at 9:33 PM via web

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Why was the United States unable to remain neutral during World War I?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 3, 2012 at 9:42 PM (Answer #1)

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The major reason for this was the fact that the United States wanted to be able to continue trading with the countries of Europe.  This was an important thing for the US economy since losing European trade would have meant the loss of a great deal of money.

But Germany and England did not want the US to trade with their enemies.  The British blockaded Germany using surface ships.  The Germans blockaded England using submarines.  The German blockade led to the sinking of various ships carrying American citizens.  As this grew more common, the US became more and more inclined to join the war on the side of the Allies.

If the US had not felt the need to trade with Europe, it would probably have been able to remain neutral.  However, since it wanted to keep trading, it inevitably got pulled into the war because of the fact that the Germans needed to prevent England from getting supplies by sea. 

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