What role did location play in the United States' decision to join combat in Europe?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Location played a role in the decision of the United States to join the combat in World War I. We were trading with Great Britain, France, and Germany once the war began. Germany believed we were providing more help to Great Britain and France than we were to Germany. Germany wanted to weaken their enemies so they went after our trade with Great Britain and France.

Due to our location, we had to travel across the Atlantic Ocean to trade with Great Britain and France; Germany decided to try to stop our trade with Great Britain and France. Germany began using submarines to sink our ships without warning. This was against the rules of war for neutral nations. After we protested, Germany agreed to stop doing this. However, in 1917, Germany believed that they were very close to victory and would win the war before we could become a factor. Thus, Germany resumed the sinking of our ships, and this brought us into the war. Germany miscalculated how close they were to winning the war, and our entrance into the war on the side of the Allies was the deciding factor in World War I.

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