How did the participation of the United States affect the course and outcome of World War I? Explain the importance of Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Of course, we can never know for certain how World War I would have turned out if the United States had not become involved.  We cannot go back and do the war over to see what would have happened.  However, we can speculate about how the US affected the war.  The most common speculation on the part of historians is that the entry of the US into the war tipped the war in the Allied Powers’ favor and made the war end sooner than it might otherwise have ended.

This does not mean that the Americans were necessarily better soldiers than those who had already been fighting in the war.  What it does mean is that the two sides were very evenly matched before the US entered the war.  They had been deadlocked in a massive stalemate on the Western Front.  The Germans were wearing down, but they still definitely had a chance to win the war.  Then the US entered and the German army soon lost the war.  If the Germans were having a hard time defeating the French and the British, there was no way they could beat the French, the British, and a huge new army of Americans with lots of equipment.

WWI was largely a stalemate until the US entered the war.  Its large population and many resources tipped the balance and allowed the Allied Powers to win the war soon after the US entered.

mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The participation of the United States in World War I was a very important event. World War I had been going on for over two years when the United States entered the war. When the United States entered the war on the side of the Allies, it was a decisive factor. The American troops were fresh because we didn’t join the war until April 1917. Our rested troops were a big asset for the Allies. We also brought needed supplies to the Allies. While we don’t know what would have happened if we didn’t enter the war, we do know the Americans provided a big boost for the Allies.

President Wilson’s Fourteen Points reflected what we wanted to see in the peace treaty ending the war. President Wilson wanted to create an organization that would hopefully prevent future wars. The League of Nations was created as a result of this treaty. President Wilson also wanted to see people being ruled by their own ethnic group. Many countries were created based on this concept of self-determination. The Fourteen Points were important because it served as a discussion point for some of the terms of the Versailles Treaty.

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