World War I had been fought for three years before the United States entered the conflict. Answer the following questions about the United States and WWI.
Why didn’t the United States enter the war earlier?
What events pushed the United States to enter the war?
Why did the United States enter on the side of the Allies?
Begin by listing a few key ideas. Then add several sentences to describe each one.
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1. The US believed it to be a mainly European war, Woodrow Wilson pursued his peace policy, and public opinion was against the war.
2. Axis powers were gaining the upper hand, Germany began indirect attacks on the US, and Germany made an offer to Mexico.
3. They had already provided loans and help to the Allied powers, and Germany was hostile to the US.
The US maintained an isolationist stance for most of WWI. It was considered a European war, fought between European countries over European issues and the American public did not want to go to war for another country's cause. President Woodrow Wilson also wanted to maintain peace for as long as possible.
However, the Axis powers led by Germany were gaining an upper hand in the war and despite reminders were indirectly and directly attacking the US. These attacks included a U-boat's sinking of the Lusitania, a British boat carrying 128 Americans, and the sinking of 7 merchant ships. Apparently, Germany believed the US to be too weak to do anything about it. The final nail in the coffin was the German Foreign Minister's telegram inviting Mexico to join the war as an ally and promising help in regaining former Mexican territory (Texas, Arizona and New Mexico).
Germany's hostile attitude towards the US, given the submarine attacks on US vessels and the overtures to Mexico, coupled with the fact that the US was overtly and covertly supporting the Allies with weapons, loans and supplies, mandated US entry on behalf of the Allied powers. Also, American commercial interests would have suffered greatly if the Allied powers had won without its help, while a German victory would have destabilized the peace in the Americas and brought war to US borders (with help from Mexico). All these factors forced the US into World War I.
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