Who Opposed US Involvement In World War 1 And Why

Why were many in the U.S. opposed to entering WWI?

Asked on by sierragoal

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Many people in the United States were very opposed to the idea of getting involved in World War I.  They did not think the war had anything to do with the United States.  They believed that the war was really something that only involved the Europeans -- it wasn't about any big issue that Americans should care about.

Other Americans opposed the war because they did not want the US to take the side of the British.  This was especially true of German immigrants (who liked Germany, of course) and of Irish immigrants (who hated Britain for colonizing their homeland).

Finally, socialists opposed the war because they thought it was just a thing that the rich were doing to get richer.  They didn't want the poor to die for the sake of rich men's profits.

mkoren's profile pic

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

Posted on

There were people in the United States who were opposed to us joining World War I. Many Americans couldn’t believe the Europeans would be foolish enough to go to war. They didn’t want us to make the same mistake. World War I had the potential to be a very long and a very costly war. Some Americans didn’t want us to be a part of that.

Other people didn’t want to go to war with Germany. This was a sentiment held by many German-Americans. They knew if we went to war against Germany, life for them would become more difficult. They expected there would be discrimination against Germans as well as possible acts of hostility against Germans.

Some people were furious with the British when the war began. Great Britain was interfering with our trade also. Since both sides were interfering with our trade, it was hard to justify choosing one side over the other.

Finally, some of our goals in World War I were very idealistic. Joining this war to make it the last war ever or to make the world safer for democratic governments were goals that would be hard to achieve.

People had valid reasons for us to stay out of World War I.

thetall's profile pic

thetall | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

Many Americans were opposed to the war and wanted to remain neutral. Initially these sentiments were supported by President Woodrow Wilson in his message to the 63rd Congress. The president anticipated negative consequences of the war for the US if they decided to intervene and urged the American people to remain neutral to the war. The need to remain neutral was critical because the American population included citizens of countries engaged in the war. The German-Americans would want success for Germany while French-Americans and British-Americans would wish the same for their countries. The other section of the population opposed the war because it would increase tensions throughout American society, leading to an outbreak of violence on American soil by the American people themselves.

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