Explain Why the USA Entered the First World War in 1917? (12 marks)

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  • Explain Why the USA Entered the First World War in 1917? (12 marks)
    • The influence of Woodrow Wilson and his moral stance against Germany (He changed his mind from original avoidance of war).
      • E.g. German invasion into Belgium in 1914 led to reports of the atrocities being faced there which increased anti-German feeling amongst American people.
        • USA more effected and on side with Britiain and allies propaganda.
        • Increasing German threat. Found by the Zimmerman telegraph of unrestricted submarine warfare and a Mexico-Germany alliance
        • Similarities and cultural comradery may have influenced Wilson more to help fight with Britain
        • British propaganda and sharing of Zimmerman encouraged American intervention.
      • Wilson did follow an interventionist policy in the Mexican Revolution of 1910-11 whch might have made him more open towards other interventionist policies.
    • Friendship with Great Britain  over a long period of time.
      • America had cultural similarities with Great Britain and shared a language.
        • Similarities and cultural comradery may have influenced Wilson more to help fight with Britain
        • British propaganda and sharing of Zimmerman encouraged American intervention.
      • British propaganda to show German atrocities was more successful than German efforts in gaining American support.
        • USA more effected and on side with Britiain and allies propaganda.
      • America fighting for democracy against communism spreading by helping Britain.
      • America may have been grateful for Britain information, so helped fight with Britain.
    • The geographical threat from Mexico/Zimmerman telegram.
      • Britain intercepted the Zimmerman telegraph where Germany offered to support Mexico in regaining the states of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.
        • These affected America as it involved the lives and safety of American citizens. It wasn't just a foreign war anymore
      • This threatened America close to home.
      • Increasing German threat. Found by the Zimmerman telegraph of unrestricted submarine warfare and a Mexico-Germany alliance
      • Wilson did follow an interventionist policy in the Mexican Revolution of 1910-11 whch might have made him more open towards other interventionist policies.
      • Telegram posed a threat to trade and security
      • America may have been grateful for Britain information, so helped fight with Britain.
    • Sinking of the Lusitania.
      • People started to worry about the defence of American citizens after the sinking of ships such as the Lusitania in Feb 1915. .
        • These affected America as it involved the lives and safety of American citizens. It wasn't just a foreign war anymore
        • Telegram posed a threat to trade and security
      • Over 1100 passengers and crew were killed (128 American citizens) Germany insisted it was a valid war target as it was carrying munitions, an allegation denied by Britain
      • Trade with European nations.
        • USA traded more with the allies than the Central Powers.
          • Businessmen and bankers such as J. Pierpont Morgan profited hugely from war trade with the allies.
        • 1914 USA exported $40 million in munitions to Britain and by 1916 this was $1290 million.

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