World War 1 made different empires fall, created new nations, and led to tensions that exploded across several years into the future. Modern weapons were used in the war, and they led to the wrecking of a large generation of young men. The United States participated in the war from the year 1917 from pressures to show the world that it was a superpower with global power in its military. Propaganda and patriotism played a significant role in the precipitation of the participation of the United States in the world war, and it affected the status of the country before, during, and after the war.
Before the War
Before the war, the federal government of the United States had limited diplomatic tools; hence it was not capable of engaging in struggles for the world power as was experienced internationally. America had a small military force that led to forceful coercion, which made its diplomats push for economic coercion and appeal for justice. Congress, therefore, authorized for a modern navy to be constructed. Still, even after its creation, it remained relatively small compared to other armies that existed in many advanced countries. A conflict between Mexico and the United States emerged, and it threatened the business interests of America in Mexico and the beginning of the test for the modern capabilities of the American military.
By the year 1914, the conflict was on the verge of escalating into a full war, but Europe's international crisis caught the attention of the general public. When the war began in Europe in the year 1914, the then president of America, Woodrow Wilson, stated that his country was neutral. Strong ties existed between the French and the British, allowing them to get more loans than the Germans did. In October the same year, President Wilson allowed the combatants to be given credit loans, and this marked the beginning of the difficulties for the United States not to get involved as the war spread throughout Europe.
The fact that the United States had financial relations with the nations in the war and traded with them drew it more into the war. The United States witnessed an increase in business, but the British naval often seized the American ships, which caused a lot of losses for the country, yet it did not join the war. The German submarines attacked the United States several times, and in 1915, they sank an American ship where more than 100 Americans lost their lives. The frequent attacks caused public outcry with a desire to retaliate, and America was now at risk of joining the war.
The United States produced more than a third of the manufactured products of the world, making it a superpower over Britain, Germany, and France combined. The way that the countries were taking sides and making several neutral countries such as Belgium to join them was evidence that Germany was running the show. Germany attacked America's allies and deprived them of the supplies they acquired from the United States. They used submarines in the war, and this made President Wilson believe that Germany was going to have the victory, and this would harm the European balance of power. The Zimmerman Telegram and Submarine warfare made the public express its opinions with Congress declaring war on Germany in 1917.
During the War
The declaration by Congress saw America enter the war with a military that was not prepared and was thousands of miles away from the battle site. A lot of time passed before the United States could assemble and deploy a sufficient army to Europe. Previous conflicts saw to it that the United States had no tradition of ensuring that they had a large armed force. Unlike the superpowers of Europe that had trained and equipped armies, the United States relied on volunteers to join the armed forces and go to war. Many patriotic young men volunteered to offer war services and even paid for their training.
America preferred volunteers to compulsion where they would have forced the young people to join them in war, and this helped it mobilize its resources, unique strength, and efficiency that made it more powerful than other individual countries. Congress created and approved the Selective Service Act on May 18, 1917, and it focused more on eradicating the system of substitutes and bonuses that were widely in use during the war. Racial attitudes prevailed in the United States assignment of black and white soldiers into separate units.
Despite the discrimination of races, the leaders of the black Americans supported the war and even sought for chances at the front in the battlefields. They utilized that chance to prove that they were also Americans, and they required to have an opportunity to demonstrate their patriotism to their country and their president. Women also participated in the war as medical practitioners, clerical workers, and telephone operators. In the war, the United States lost more than 1000 men to diseases and the war, which was a smaller number compared to more France and Germany, who lost more than 1.5 million military men.
In 1918, the influenza virus hit many camps of the soldiers of all countries, with both Europe and America celebrating at how it ended most of its enemies. On December 4, 1918, President Wilson traveled overseas to advocate for peace. The war had a significant impact on Germany, Russia, Hungary, and the Ottoman Empires, which were the four major European superpowers. The map of Europe had to be redrawn to accommodate new nations that retreated from Germany and settled in other territories in Rhineland to stop Germany from starting another war.
President Wilson and other leaders from various countries across the world met in France for the peace conference where they created the terms of settlement that would finally end the war. After months of deliberating on the Fourteen Points created by President Wilson, where an attack on one country on one country would mean an attack on all countries, the war finally came to an end through the Treaty of Versailles.
After the War
The war led to a massive transformation to the world. The United States became the superpower country in the world as it was not affected a lot by the war, unlike other countries in Europe. The Middle East's Ottoman Empire was divided into specific mandates using the Treaty of Sevres in 1920, and it became several nations that had little regard for ethnicity. In the United States, the black Americans fought racism hard as they felt that they could not travel for thousands of miles to come and help fight in the war and later be discriminated in their own country. They settled in the North and the Mid-West refusing to return to the South, which was poverty-stricken. This migration was known as the Great Migration, and it led to racial conflicts with the whites fighting to reclaim their lands and jobs from the black migrants. Riots arose, and many people died, but this session altered America and marked the beginning of the fight against racism.
Propaganda and patriotism led to the participation of the United States in the world war, and it affected the status of the country as an economic superpower before, during, and after the war. World War 1 led to the death of millions of people from various countries and changed the history of the world. The involvement of both the blacks and the whites in the war for America led to a revolution against racism, and it also changed the history of the United States. Around the world, postwar instabilities continued as more countries struggled to be realized as more powerful than the United States, and it eventually led to World War II.
Locke, Joseph L., and Ben Wright, eds. The American Yawp: A Massively Collaborative Open US History Textbook, Vol. 2: Since 1877. Stanford University Press, 2019. http://www.americanyawp.com/text/wp-content/uploads/Locke_American-Yawp_V2.pdf
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