Nobody expected World War I (1914–1918) to last as long as it did. When it began, the United States's goal was to stay out of it. This was in keeping with the traditional American foreign policy of not participating in European wars. Also, there were millions of Americans with direct ties to nations on both sides of the conflict. However, as the war dragged on, neutrality became harder for Washington to maintain. The US finally entered the war in 1917. What were its goals?
First, we do not know what public opinion was at the time. There were no public opinion polls. At the time of America's invasion of Iraq in 2003, seventy percent of the American public supported the war and the goals of the US government.
According to historian Howard Zinn, there was considerable public opposition to WWI and "over 330,000 men were classified as draft evaders." Zinn believed the real goal of the US in the war was to further its economic interests.
Indeed, the U.S. got into WWI largely because it sought...
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