Describe the outbreak of the Great War and the distinctive nature of the fighting on the Western Front, and explain why the United States entered the conflict. Describe the major events of the war after US entry, and explain the US contribution to the defeat of the Central Powers. Evaluate Woodrow Wilson’s efforts to promote his plans for a peaceful world order as outlined in his Fourteen Points.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

After the German army's initial attempt to capture Paris was thwarted by French and British forces, the war on the Western Front became a bloody stalemate characterized by trench warfare. Despite massive, bloody offensives, neither side was able to move the front more than a few miles. The casualties were...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

After the German army's initial attempt to capture Paris was thwarted by French and British forces, the war on the Western Front became a bloody stalemate characterized by trench warfare. Despite massive, bloody offensives, neither side was able to move the front more than a few miles. The casualties were shocking, and by the time the United States entered the war in 1917, both sides were exhausted. The United States entered the war, it was argued, to protect its right to trade on the open seas, which was threatened by German submarines that attacked and sank American merchant ships; it also entered the war because Germany had made overtures toward Mexico to conclude a military alliance. The entry of the United States into the war tipped the balance in favor of the Allies. After stopping a German offensive in the spring and summer of 1918, American troops helped drive German forces out of France, and the German army was demoralized and a spent force by the time of the cease-fire and armistice in November of 1918. Woodrow Wilson sought to use the outcome of the war to establish a plan for lasting peace based on the Fourteen Points, a series of principles that emphasized territorial integrity of nations, self-determination for ethnic groups in Europe, and (above all) the League of Nations, an international organization that would promote cooperation and peaceful conflict resolution. Ultimately, only some of Wilson's principles were included in the Treaty of Versailles, which formally ended the war, and isolationists in the US Senate kept the nation out of the League of Nations, a development that severely limited the League's ability to perform its mandate.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team