Science And Evolution Essay

1098 words - 5 pages

World War I took place between 1914 and 1918. Although the conflict began in Europe, it ultimately involved countries as far away as the United States and Japan. At the time, the English-speaking world knew it as the “Great War”—the term “World War I” was applied decades later. Historians still actively disagree over the fundamental causes of the war. The period leading up to the war was a complex tangle of diplomacy and political maneuvering—many countries debated over strategies and alliances until nearly the last minute—and the first few weeks of the conflict were similarly chaotic and confusing. We will be taking a look at the U.S.A. and how they were involved with, effected and helped ...view middle of the document...

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Although Wilson tried hard to keep the United States neutral, by the spring of 1917, the situation had changed significantly, and neutrality no longer seemed feasible. Germany’s unrestricted submarine warfare was taking its toll, as American ships, both cargo and passenger, were sunk one after another. The exposure of the Zimmermann telegram and other German subterfuge further convinced the American public that the war was threatening American interests. Finally, on April 2, Wilson appeared before Congress and requested a declaration of war. Congress responded within days, officially declaring war on Germany on April 6, 1917.
Wilson suggested a way of settling the war that might have done just that, his “Fourteen Points,” Wilson’s plan for resolving European (and world-wide) problems after the fighting was done. Now these ideas reflect a pretty solid understanding of the causes of WWI and a pretty sound recipe for an amicable peace. American entry into the war *did* turn the tables in Europe leading to the defeat of Germany, and our contributions *should* have meant that we would have an important voice in how the war was actually settled, *especially* since the Germans surrendered under the belief they would be treated in accord with the generous terms promised by Wilson. But what actually happened is that, after the war was over, the British, and even more the French, insisted on much harsher terms for Germany—and Wilson gave in. Why? He sacrificed most of his goals to achieve the one goal he thought most important, the creation of the League of Nations. The Versailles Treaty that actually ended the war (June 28, 1919) stripped Germany of the Saar Basin and the Danzig region, reduced the German army to 100,000 men, forbid German fortifications on their border with France—and imposed on German an indemnity of more than $30 billion to pay for the war. But Wilson had got his League of Nations—sort of. And World War I was a victory overall for the good guys—sort of.
Unfortunately, American involvement in WWI had some worrisome indirect effects on the country. Wilson had warned that if Americans went to war they would “forget the very meaning of the word tolerance,” and intolerance did increase as a result of our involvement...

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