To what extent did the U.S. follow a policy of neutrality during WWI (1914-1917)?I know that at the beginning of the war the U.S. (president Wilson to be exact) was firm on its neutral stance, but...

To what extent did the U.S. follow a policy of neutrality during WWI (1914-1917)?

I know that at the beginning of the war the U.S. (president Wilson to be exact) was firm on its neutral stance, but that they also ended up joining the war (therefore breaking the neutrality policy) but I don't know of any specifics events that were examples of the U.S.'s neutrality or dis-neutrality, so that is mainly what I am looking for. :)

1 Answer | Add Yours

Top Answer

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I would argue that the United States was never truly neutral in the war.  This is due in part to the fact that the US had much closer economic ties to England than it did to Germany.  Therefore, the US was much more involved with the Allies.

The lack of neutrality showed up most clearly in attitudes towards blockades.  Both England and Germany blockaded one another.  England blockaded with surface ships, Germany with submarines.  The US protested much more strongly (and went to war in part because of) against the German blockade even though the English blockade was "illegal" as well.

Of course, this was partly because the German blockade killed people while the English did not.  However, the US clearly was more tolerant of British illegality.

We’ve answered 318,960 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question