US Entry Into World War
The main event that was acknowledged to have sparked the outbreak of WW1 occurred
on June 28, 1914, when a Bosnian Serb named Gavrilo Princip assassinated the heir to the
Austro- Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, in Sarajevo, the capital of
Bosnia. Princip belonged to a Slavic nationalists group called the Black Hand. The black hand
gang wanted to kill Archduke Franz Ferdinand because Serbia, wanted a unification of the Slavic
people under Serbian rule. The Black Hand Group felt his assassination would promote an
uprising against Austrian control of the southern Slavic homelands.
The 1914 world war was probably one of the most deadliest wars the world had seen.
One one side there were the Germans, Austro- Hungarians, and the Ottoman Turks United as the
Central Powers while Great Britain, France, and Russia fought together on the other side, also
the allies to the United States. In 1914 Wilson called up on the U.S nation to be neutral. For two
years the president has avoided war. Even when the British Liner Lusitania was sunk by the
Germans Submarines. Killing nearly 1,200 lives including 124 Americans. Most Americans have
sided with England and the Entente Allies, very few wanted the United States to enter the Great
War, but at this point America was neutral about the war. At this time Wilson defended the rights
of neutrals and continued to trade goods, such as clothing, medicine, food, equipment, and
firearms to both sides in the war because the U.S was neutral. American ports were left open for
all, with one condition and that was as long as their goods were used for non-military purposes.
At first, the two powers agreed not to interfere with neutral shipping lines. Soon this became a
problem. The Germans did something during the early course of the war that caused many
americans to favor the entente powers. The Germans accused the U.S of trading more with
England and France than with Germany. Germany was already having a hard time receiving any
goods from the U.S and other nations because the British Navy placed a blockade around the
European Continent. This is why ? ?Franklin D. Roosevelt passed the ?Neutrality Acts ?in ? 1935.
This imposed embargoes on trading in arms and war materials to any countries at war, in
response to the growing turmoil in Europe and Asia.
Germany then decides to begin “A Great Submarine Campaign” in February of 1915, Germany
had produced a large fleet of new vessels. Submarine technology was so new that regular Naval
ships had no method of defense.
In 1916 Woodrow Wilson was re-elected as president with his slogan being ” He kept us
out of war” which ended up winning him the more popular vote. Wilson tried using active
mediation to end the war but the Germans continued to use their unrestricted submarine warfare.
Germany then went on and announced they will be attacking every ship in the water around
europe. The U.S was even more outraged when American Intelligence Services intercepted a
secret communication from German Foreign Secretary Arthur Zimmerman to Mexico requesting
that Mexico declare war on the U.S if the United States declared war on Germany. This secrete
communication is known as the Zimmerman Telegram.
On March 18, 1917, German U-boats sank three American Merchant Ships without any
warning. The very next day Wilson decided that was the turning point and decided he wanted to
enter the war alongside the allied forces. On April 2, 1917, Wilson asked the Congress for a
declaration of war because Germany refuses to negotiate. Wilson stating to congress that ” The
world must be made safe for democracy.” Congress declared war April 6th, and Wilson signed
the war declaration on April 7th; stating that the U.S is entering the war only for moral reasons,
mainly to protect the democracy and to promote peace throughout the world.