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Should America Join the War?

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by

Emily Steigerwald

on 10 December 2014

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Transcript of Should America Join the War?

Should America Join the War?
Reasons to/not to fight
Reasons NOT to fight
2. Many businessmen who manufactured machine guns and other weapons were against the US joining the war because they were selling weapons to both sides at the beginning of the war. If the US was no longer neutral, they would lose a lot of this business. Socialists are people who believe that industries should be publicly owned, and they opposed the war because they worried that it would only help rich business owners and hurt working people.
Reasons NOT to fight
1. There was a large concern about sending young men into war. Obviously mothers were totally against their sons being drafted or registering for the war.
US Neutrality
Although the US was "neutral," they were still trading with Germany and were sending supplies to the Allied forces. Britain eventually had the US stop trading with Germany. Great Britain also borrowed a substantial amount of money from American banks to support their war efforts. How did this affect America?
Reasons to fight!
1. In effort to stop American support of British troops, Germany made an announcement that they would use U-Boats to sink any American ships that were used as aid for Britain. President Wilson warned Germany that they would be held accountable for any American lives lost in a submarine attack.
Reasons to fight!
3. Shortly after Germany announced that they were breaking the Sussex Pledge, America broke off all diplomatic ties with Germany. This angered Germany and they sent a telegram, called the Zimmerman Telegram, to Mexico. It stated:
"We shall make war together and together make peace.... And it is understood that Mexico is to reconquer the lost territory in New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona."
This was intercepted by the British government. Newspapers published the Zimmerman Telegram on March 1, and of course Americans were not too thrilled about this act by the Germans.
2. On May 7, 1915 a German U-boat torpedoed the British passenger ship
Lusitania
off the coast of Ireland. It sank in about 15 minutes killing more than 1,000 people... 128 of those being American.
A few months after the Lusitania was sunk by Germany, they also used a U-boat to torpedo a French passenger ship; the Sussex. This injured several Americans. Out of fear that America might enter the war, Germany made the Sussex Pledge that stated that they would warn neutral ships and passenger vessels before attacking. A couple of years later, though, Germany went back on this pledge and said they would sink on sight all merchant vessels, armed or unarmed, that were headed to Allied ports.
4. At the beginning of the war, America was neutral, but of course Americans were still choosing sides. About 1/3 of Americans at this time were immigrants and many of those were German, Austrian, and Irish and most of them tended to side with the Allies. The Irish hated Great Britain because they ruled Ireland.
However, the majority of Americans, including President Wilson, sided with the Allies. Ties of customs, language, and traditions linked the US to Great Britain and many Americans were of British decent.
3. Pacifists are people that believe in no violence... I think it's obvious why they opposed the war. ;)
Reasons NOT to fight
4. Isolationists are people that believe in..................... you guessed it! Isolationism! They opposed the war because they felt the US should not get involved in other countries' affairs. They thought it was senseless for the US to risk our soldiers' lives for another country's problems.
What do you think? Should America have joined the war or not?
Full transcript