Compare and contrast American involvement in World War I and World War II according to 4 of the following criteria: Entering the War, Civil Liberties, Financing for the war, Mobilizing for the war, Propaganda and the war, American role in the war

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The United States entered WWI due to continued German submarine attacks on its transportation and passenger ships. Simultaneously, Germany was using diplomatic efforts to convince Mexico to attack the United States. Though American lives were lost before the war, there was no one dramatic event that sparked US involvement. Rather,...

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The United States entered WWI due to continued German submarine attacks on its transportation and passenger ships. Simultaneously, Germany was using diplomatic efforts to convince Mexico to attack the United States. Though American lives were lost before the war, there was no one dramatic event that sparked US involvement. Rather, it was an accumulation of attacks. The United States declared war on Germany first in 1917. Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in December 1941, thus leading to its entry into WWII. Even though there were German attacks on American ships, these were not serious enough to lead directly to a war. After Pearl Harbor, the US declared war on Japan. Germany later declared war on the United States.

Civil liberties were curtailed in both wars, though they were more strongly suppressed in WWI. Though the censorship was due mainly to local and state governments, members of the public made efforts to stamp out German culture from the United States during WWI. The federal government reinstituted the Sedition Act and jailed people for speaking out against the war and the draft. Most notably, presidential hopeful Eugene Debs was jailed under this act. In WWII there was strong anti-Axis sentiment after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The government censored mail, especially from soldiers who may have given away vital information. Both wars experienced rationing, though in WWII the ration efforts were more organized and less voluntary than in WWI.

Both wars were financed through raising war bonds. It became a sign of patriotism to buy war bonds; if a citizen did not do it, they were shamed by their peers. Famous celebrities sold war bonds—the WWII bond drives received a boost from actors, such as Clark Gable, who fought overseas. Both the Entente and the Allies benefited from American money and munitions well before American troops entered the war.

The US had a draft before it officially entered WWII. This made it possible to ship troops into battle within months of officially joining the war. There was no draft before April 1917, and it took several months for US soldiers to enter the conflict. When these soldiers finally arrived, they often had to use British and French weapons. Most of the American troops in WWII used American-made weapons.

In both wars, Americans demonized their opponents. In WWI, the Germans were depicted as the Huns; German abuses were reported by France and Britain since they controlled the news that came from the Western front. In WWII there was a racial element to the propaganda, especially when it came to anti-Japanese material. WWII also used cartoons featuring Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny in promoting the war effort. WWI propaganda used patriotic speakers in various towns to give pro-war speeches. The media promoting the war effort in WWII was more driven by motion pictures and radio.

America never really became an ally in WWI—Wilson insisted that it remain an associated power uninterested in adding new territory. The American Expeditionary Force made significant gains in the Allied offensives of summer and fall 1918. The United States took more of a leadership role in WWII, spearheading efforts in Africa, Asia, and Europe. American goods kept Britain, China, and the Soviet Union in the war. The United States also took a larger effort in the peace effort after WWII, heading up the effort to create the United Nations. Wilson had similar goals for America's role after WWI, but he was thwarted by an antagonistic Congress and a war-weary people.

Both wars were similar, but the US took a larger role in WWII than in WWI. The nation was more prepared entering the war, and it also took on a greater leadership role after the war.

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