The involvement of the United States in the World War I is the beginning of a new era in the United States political history, which provide her the opportunity to become an important global power of the new world order of the post war world. The is paper will discuss some important questions raised regarding the involvement of the United States in the World War I.
The reasons given in the documents regarding declaring war against Germany in the WWI are quite similar to the reasons given in other situations. In the last century the United States has fought many wars other than the World War I and the reasons, which motivated the United States to join the war were as similar as mentioned here. During the World War II the United States remained neutral until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The United States in spite of her neutrality before the attack was quite explicit in her sympathies towards the Allies.
This initially alienated and finally unleashed hostilities between the two countries which led to the the Pearl Harbor and consequently to the United States entry in the WWII.Similarly during the first Gulf War the Bush Senior administrations launch the allied campaign against Iraq under the same moral slogans and similar economic and political reasons. During the WWI the Wilson administration does not wanted a German hegemony in Europe because its chief ally and trading partner was the Great Britain at that time. Similarly during the Gulf Crisis the Bush administration badly wanted to make check Saddam Hussein because he became a threat to its chief allies and oil supplies in the region the Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
The reasons which motivated the United States to engage with Spain in the 19th century were also more or less similar. The United States did not want any Spanish political or military influence in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans deemed the Spanish influenced as a potential threat to the United States interest.The argument that, “The United States entered a the WWI on self-interest, and the Wilson Administration realized that the U.S. geopolitical interests were not best served by German hegemony in Europe” is far more convincing than the moral based view of Wilson’s actions.
It is mainly because the despite moral grounds, it was a more pragmatic approach for the United States. To save her chief allies and largest trading partners, rather than leaving them on the mercy of ruthless and already hostile Germany was a preferable option. Moreover the United States did not wanted to miss the chance to increase her political and economical influence in the Europe and shape the post war geopolitical scenario on her conditions and according to her interests.
The United States though perceived the Allied countries as friendly nations, but it was not possible that these powers will easily give up the United States the position, which they had enjoyed in the past. In 1917 the Allied countries had already been considering how to respond the growing American political influence in the post war scenario. So president Wilson’s approach to take a step forward and not to wait quietly until the end of the war was really a pragmatic approach. If Wilson has failed to make an initiative against the Germany, it would have proved to be worse for the long term interests of the country. The United States would have lost the first major opportunity to play a part in the global stage and prove herself as an influential global power. Thus the point of view that the United States entered the WWI in order to protect her geopolitical interests in Europe and further strengthen her political influential and achieve long-term economical and political gains is a more convincing view regarding the United States’ involvement in the WWI.Works Cited”U.S.
Entry into World War I.” History in Dispute, Vol. 9: World War I: Second Series.Dennis Showalter, ed.
St. James Press, 2002. Reproduced in HistoryResource Center. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale.