Reasons why America didn't join WW1 till 1917

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  • Created by: aggy98
  • Created on: 24-10-14 22:37
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  • Reasons why America didn't join WW1 till 1917
    • Because they didn't have a standing army
      • The country had a tradition of having no standing army and only having one made up of volunteers when necessary.
      • The democratic government supported this, as they were pacifisists and thus weren't willing to change the country's tradition and force people to join the army.
      • Many believed it was im-moral to have a standing army ,as it indicated that you were always preparing for fighting- for war.
        • At the constitutional convention where the american constitution was founded, the many delegates from different states disagreed massively. they eventually came to a compromise where the federal government had a standing army but one under civilian control.
          • Having a standing army would have been very expensive,as they would have had to pay them to be in the army, pay for training, facilities and equipment.
        • At the constitution convention, martin Luther of maryland said this: ""When a government wishes to deprive its citizens of freedom, and reduce them to slavery, it generally makes use of a standing army."
      • Having a standing army would have been very expensive,as they would have had to pay them to be in the army, pay for training, facilities and equipment.
    • Traditional arguments made by George Washington
      • That America should stay out of all foreign entanglements except trade.
        • Washington said in his farewell address to the people in 1796 that america's "detached and distant situation enables us to have our neutrality respected."
        • Washington perhaps did not consider that to be involved in world commerce would require them to be part of world affairs. When the war came along, trade with the other countries became a big part of the american economy and many believed that if they got involved they would no longer receive the economical benefits due to the extra cost.
    • Anti-colonial ideas reflecting the origins of the US in a revolution against British colonial rule
      • The americians had gained independence in 1776 from british rule, and felt due to this that they shouldn't try and enforce their own rule on other countries- they felt that getting involved in the war would be trying to impose their views and lifestyle onto others, just as Britain had once done to them.
      • The americians did not want to join in  a war on the side of Britain- they felt that Britain was trying to gain more land for it's empire and gain control and as they had once been under British rule, they did not want any other country to have to be part of their empire.
    • Anti-imperialist ideas advocated by people like William Jennings Bryan
      • Like many democrats, Jennings Bryan was a pacifist and believed that no country should ever fight anpther as it led to many difficulties, economic and social.
        • This linked to the idea of having no standing army- many people wanted America to be a peacemaker, representing the higher moral; values of society.
      • Jennings Bryan was the secretary of state and therefore his opinion significantly influenced the government. When he stood down, the views of people like Henry Cabot Lodge and
    • Resentment of the british naval blockade
      • The British had placed a naval blockade in the atlantic to block US supplies reaching germany.
        • This caused americans to resent britain due to the economic difficulties that it caused them.
          • This meant that people, including the republican opposition, did not want to go to war with a country that was causing them many difficulties.
            • Resentment of the british naval blockade
              • The British had placed a naval blockade in the atlantic to block US supplies reaching germany.
                • This caused americans to resent britain due to the economic difficulties that it caused them.
                  • This meant that people, including the republican opposition, did not want to go to war with a country that was causing them many difficulties.
      • Dislike of the european powers among immigrant communities e.g. Jews hated the russians and Irish hated Britain.
        • Immigrants like the Irish had suffered because the British had not helped them during the potato famine and the Jews had only just escaped from persecution in Russia.
        • Many immigrants did not want their new country to fight to help countries that treated them so badly- the Irish in particular hated the British and did not want to fight with them.
        • The government wouldn't have wanted to lose the immigrant vote.

    Comments

    Pete Langley - Get Revising founder

    A bit hard to read but well worth making the effort

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