Why did the United States enter the war? Case 1 Case 2 Resources Conclusion
The United States entered World War I due to the attack on its neutrality which was very well respected
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U-boats attacks on unarmed ships
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Because of anti-German sentiment influenced by historic ties to England, German policies, and American and British propaganda, the United States entered the war!
Mary J. Blake
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Angry Zimmermann Letter
Berlin, January 8, 1917
Copy One of Telegram
During the beginning of February we, the Germans, are hoping to start submarine warfare showing no mercy until this war is over with. We want nothing more than those snobby Americans to stay out of the war! We hope to keep them neutral so we do not have to face yet another world power to end this war. No matter what, we will take out and sink every single ship that passes by, Americans on it or not, the people will die, and so will the United States civilization!
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After our attack on ships, if the involvement of the United States does happen, we hope Mexico, our lovely companions, will join an alliance with us. Peace will be made in the world, except for the obnoxious Americans in which we will make them feel like nothing. We will give all the money we retrieve from the United States and aid Mexico’s economy and debts present at the time. We will allow Mexico to take back their wonderful states from the rotten Americans, who took them without negotiations or any fairness. These states include New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona. The United States has rotten people, and we hope Mexico is able to see this, so they too can be against them.
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End of Zimmermann Letter
Please, Heinrich von Eckardt, tell the President of Mexico that we plan to do this very soon. We try to prevent war with the U.S. but if nothing can be done, it will do. We are going to start the destruction of ships in the ocean very soon. With our submarine torpedoes, it will force England to give up and want peace with us. This will be way too easy, especially with our new U-boats. These puny English people can’t do anything to stop this. Warning now, there will be many killings, and only of the people that want to face us in this war. United States will not enter this war! They have no chance and have the strength of a baby compared to how powerful we are!
Primary Zimmermann Telegram Document
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Sinking of the Lusitania
We had heard about other U-boat attacks, but after the warning the government gave I was sure Lady Lusitania would not be harmed. She was luxurious and elegant, simply stunning. Unarmed and safe. Nobody would attack her. I was wrong. The afternoon of May 7th, while sipping my tea, I heard a tremendous explosion. Chaos broke loose on the ship and everyone started to run franticly. The halls were quickly filling with water and I quickly search for a way to get on deck. I tried to stay calm while maneuvering by way to safety. Heading toward the stairs a men started yelling at me to turn around the water was rushing in. Starting to panic I rushed toward the other flight of steps. I passed the nursery to see six young babies.
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The other man and I quickly tied life jackets hoping to save their young lives. We tied lifejackets to the babies and carried them to the deck. At this point the ship was almost submerged. It was only ten minutes ago. I quickly put the babies on a lifeboat and looked to help other women when a second explosion happed. It was obvious that the ship was sinking even quicker now.
I put on my life jacket and prepared to jump into the great sea. “I can’t swim and I have no life jacket!” a beautiful young women was yelling. Removing my jacket I gave it to her. Entering the cold ocean, I battled the rough current. Hours passed and I accepted the fact that my live was over, but those lasts moments of my life I saved many lives.
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“ My fellow citizens and people, I call you all here today because I have a very important announcement that will effect the entire United States of America. After taking much attack on our neutrality in the Great War, Congress and I have decided that it is time. The sinking of the Lusitania was such a tragic event after the death of 159 Americans. Since we were neutral, this was one strike against the Germans. Now after seeing the Zimmermann Telegram, it has put sparks to an already started fire. This telegram proved that the Germans were going to betray our promise of the Sussex-pledge. This has made the United States angry at the Central Powers. This is why, we intend to declare war on Germany. We will be fighting on the side of France, Russia, and the British Empire. There will be a draft to bring in young men for the war. We, as a whole, hope that all goes well for our enter into this Great War, which will become a world war. It is inevitable to not go into war, so we must. I hope we all can unite into one to be able to put peace into the world.”
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Mary J. Blake Diary
Dear American public,
My name is Mary J. Blake. I am a mother, teacher, and suffragist. I am disturbed by a forgotten flame that will eventually lead to combustion. Propaganda and its influence on our students and children is becoming a big concern. Posters, journalism, radio broadcasts, and several other forms are pushing our students towards militarism instead of proper education and peace. The various forms of propaganda are organized for war, and many of our young students are easy influenced and leaning their future goals in life towards war. Such propaganda are influencing the public physical educational system, the physical the physical education system staff are predominantly males and support war reformers. Now physical education is becoming segregated by sex. Male classes incorporate military training, and believe that feminization of classrooms made boys weaker; meanwhile, females consist of a simple physical curriculum. Soon the fight for the children of America will become the battle of the sexes. Minds of young children are becoming influenced into thinking that you are less of a man if you do not serve for your country.
Mary J. Blake
A poster I saw that really stuck me was about a small child asking her father years after this current war, “Daddy what did you do in the Great War?” This child was been so brain washed into thinking that because he is a man it is his job to participate in the war. Why not have a poster stating “Mommy what did you do in the Great War?”
This because, the United States military uses gender as a weapon in propaganda. A breakdown of certain propaganda illustrates how gender is used as a weapon in the recruitment of soldiers. A well-known propaganda pieces that encouraged this fact were “Gee, I wish I were a man, I’d join the Navy.” And on the lower section of the of the poster it stated “Be a man and do it.” This piece states that if you are a man and not in the navy than you are not a real man. What kind of influence is this showing to our students and children.
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Finished Blake Letter
War propaganda are forcing our young men into thinking that they must be in agreement of war, and men that were opposed feel obligated to do something that is at least contributing to the war. CPS camps were recently made for men that objected to fighting, to make and ship military clothes with women. This meaning, that they are less of a man for not wanting to fight. Where do you think men are getting such an unjust message from? Militarism Propaganda. I say as a mother and a teacher that we need to take a stand on propaganda and turn it away from militarism to peace like statements.
Mary J. Blake
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Journal Entry of James Ryan (1940)
I am James Ryan and I am a World War 1 survivor. When the draft took place I did not mind going to the war because it seemed like the American thing to do. Seeing all those Uncle Sam posters saying that he wants me to join the army created so much national pride in me that I felt I needed to go. The propaganda that was going on which showed the evil in the Germans was very powerful at the time. Seeing all those posters where the German Kaiser was hurting women and being a brute just stirred up an anger in and others we joined the war to end it. During the war, I saw many of my friends die in battle. My friends were all killed by new weapon technology such as airplanes, tanks, chemical warfare, grenades, and the monstrous machine gun. I went into the war thinking that it was going to do the country some good. I guess now that I look at it, I'm glad that I went to war because we took care of those German brutes once and for all.
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George Creel Interview
Interview with George Creel (November 18th, 1918)
SS: Mr.Creel, what would you like to say to the people who feel that your propaganda is directed specifically towards the Germans?
Mr.Creel: I think I owe an apology to American soldiers and citizens. It is easy to see that the art that I made has affected you all. We have gone to war highly because of the anti-German propaganda that I have been publishing. Now, I apologize for causing so much hate towards the Germans. It was not my original motive to create such an anger and to make the Germans seem so evil. My intent was for American soldiers and citizens to have a pro-war attitude about The War to End All Wars.
SS: But would you say that you influenced the decisions to enter the war?
Mr. Creel: Yes, I believe that I played a significant role in the decisions we made to enter the war.
SS: Would you say you are satisfied with the actions we took as Americans?
Mr. Creel: I certainly am, I believe that we made the best of the situation.
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Interview with George Creel (November 18th, 1918) CONTINUED
SS: Would you say some of the posters portrayed were a bit extreme?
Mr. Creel: A large amount of the posters of the Germans were a little extreme. I think some extreme images such as brutes and women-hating animals were extreme but the fact is that we did go to the war and we did do our best in that war, which has caused our victory.
SS: I think you have very good explanations for your actions, I think that is all we have for today. Are their any last words you would like to say to the Americans before this interview ends?
Mr. Creel:Once, again, I would like to apologize to America for all of the hate that I may have caused but I am still proud to say that I am an American because even in the midst of all these muddled ideas, we overcame the obstacles.
SS: Thank you for your time Mr. Creel, I think America would like your hear your perspective on this topic that have been preoccupied throughout many minds in America.
Mr. Creel: You are very welcome.
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So why did the United States enter World War I?
Decide which case you believe had a larger impact on the entrance of the United States in the war.