World War 1, also known as the great war began in 1914 and ended in 1918 by the Armistice Treaty. The war itself was brought on by three main cause Imperialism, Militarism and assassination of Franz Ferdinand. Many countries lost territory that they once held therefore resulted in loss of resources and restricted trading.Inevitably European countries looked for places to extend economic growth which led to global competition for land especially in Africa. During times of peace Countries like Russia, France and Germany competed in building large armies and naval forces. Finally the Killing if Franz Ferdinad by the serbians set of and chain reaction.Naturally Austria-Hungary wanted war on the Serbian and waited on the knowledge that they would be backed by the Germany and Russia supported Serbia.Within a week of the assassination, Russia, Belgium, France, Great Britain and Serbia had lined up against Austria-Hungary and Germany forming the Allies and Central Powers and World War I had begun. The United States first declared neutrality in the war mostly President Wilson but eventually joined forces with the Allies because wealthy Americans wanted war to happen, it was economically beneficial to America, and also the Zimmerman Note and Submarine warfare.
During the time of Neutrality Germany sent a secret diplomatic message to the Mexican government making a “proposal of alliance between Mexico and Germany and as a result would gain back lost territory in Texas, New mexico, and Arizona”(Doc 4).The telegram was intercepted by Britain Intelligence and was made public.This and the threat of “German submarine warfare” made a Chauvinist go into a frenzy which generate support for the United States to make a declaration of war on Germany. (Doc 5). President Wilson saw the rise of Chauvinism in the american people and comprehended that “acquiescence and armed neutrality were impossible..war was the only course”(Doc 7).
Upon entering the war the United States joined forces with the Allies which at the time included Russia, England and France. But an unexpected revolution broke out in Russia being led by Leader Lenin and communist supports.Lenin and his forces gained control of the country and ultimately dropped out of the war. When Russia enter the war they were ill equipped and never had they resources therefore they suffered alot, which created resentment towards “American multi millionaires…who profited more than all the rest”(Doc 3). Lenin’s outlook was that the rich were getting wealthier and the poor were carelessly being thrown into war in which they would receive no benefits. President Wilson himself even made a similar statement when voting against going to war. He knew death of human lives would be substantial and that Wall-Street wouldn’t have any objection due property that they would achieve. “We are going into war upon the command of gold”(Doc 6).
Another major reason for the U.S abandoning neutrality was how beneficial war would be to the economy as a whole. War is very costly and without having money to pay for materials countries had to look for loans.Secretary Bryan wanted to prevent any loans being made because this would affect America’s neutrality stance because once a loan was made it would be seen as picking sides. Since”money is the worst of all contraband because it commands everything else”(Doc1). U.S exports were already being affected with Britain and France’s increasing and Germany decreasing which would have an effect on the war and weather our country would gain back money loaned(Doc2).