Citation: C N Trueman "America and World War One"
historylearningsite.co.uk. The History Learning Site, 6 Mar 2015. 19 Feb 2016.
America entered World War One on April 6th, 1917. Up to that date, America had tried to keep out of World War One – though she had traded with nations involved in the war – but unrestricted submarine warfare, introduced by the Germans on January 9th, 1917, was the primary issue that caused Woodrow Wilson to ask Congress to declare war on Germany on April 2nd. Four days later, America joined World War One on the side of the Allies.
In 1914, when war was declared in Europe, America adopted a policy of neutrality and isolation. When news of trench warfare and the horrors associated with it reached the shores of America, it confirmed to the government that they had adopted the right approach. Their approach had the full support of the majority of Americans – many of whom could not believe that a civilised entity called Europe could descend into such depths as were depicted by trench warfare and the futility associated with such a strategy.
“The horror of it all kept me awake for weeks, nor has the awfulness of it all deserted me, but at first it seemed a horrid dream.”Anon
Though small groups within America – American-Germans, American-French etc – were all for some form of involvement for their own ‘side’, the bulk of Americans supported Wilson’s approach and as a president seeking re-election in 1916, he had to listen to what the public said.