Later that same day, 6 April 1917, the President signed his official declaration.
We have many subscription options to fit your needs. On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress for a declaration of war against Germany, explaining that that nation's unrestricted submarine warfare constituted " a warfare against mankind " and that the US policy of "armed neutrality" in the conflict that had been sweeping across Europe was no longer working. How did American get embroiled in this titanic struggle and what did it mean for the next 100 years? Parker said, along with most US citizens, Congress did not like the idea of a foreign organization having authority to mobilize USA troops. Wilson feared American involvement in Europe's war would upset the fragile equilibrium America had managed to maintain since the end of the Civil War.
We had joined The First World War. The American effort was substantial: According to historians Joel Vilensky and Pandy Sinish, "Eventually, more than 10 percent of all the chemists in the United States became directly involved with chemical warfare research during World War I". "The Great War" is timed to mark the 100th anniversary of America entering World War I, on April 6, 1917.
Here are seven of them - not even counting the simple fact that the USA entry on the Allied side saved a mutinous French army and blunted Germany's last-ditch offensive in 1918. And thirdly, America was still a young and militarily unprepared nation, not sure of its relationship with the Old World.
Among those giving voice to the witnesses of war are Campbell Scott as celebrity war correspondent Richard Harding Davis, Christopher Gorman as American flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker, and Blythe Danner as writer Edith Wharton.
This led to the May 7, 1915, sinking of the Lusitania, a British ocean liner, which killing 1,193 people, 128 of which were Americans.
The telegram was intercepted and decoded by British intelligence.
By early 1917, changes on the world stage no longer allowed the United States to remain neutral. Germany was, by that time, exhausted through fighting war on both the Eastern and Western fronts. The British naval blockade of European ports was starving Germany into submission. Instead of pursuing "a peace without victory", the triumphant allied nations punished the Axis powers and set the stage for another awful war.
People like Roosevelt anxious that an Allied defeat would result in Germany's occupation of parts of Canada, as well as British and French Caribbean possessions. In this scenario, German strategy was to make sure that the USA stayed outside the war, but German methodology proved a colossal miscalculation that produced exactly the opposite outcome. In return Germany sought Mexican support in the war.
August 21, 1921: USA representatives sign a separate peace treaty with Germany.
While unrestricted submarine warfare is, of course, the textbook answer as to why the USA entered the war there's also the infamous Zimmerman telegram.
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This massive backfire of German strategy was enough to force Wilson's hand. A year later, President Wilson declared it Armistice Day, a time to honor those who took part in the war.
The entrance of the United States finally made the Great War a global war.
On this centennial of America's entry, debate still rages over the causes and results of World War I in a way not true of the far more lethal World War II - an estimated 60 million dead - two decades later.
Gen. John Pershing "was essentially tasked with the full responsibility for mobilizing, recruiting, training, deploying and commanding the American forces", said Bart Hacker, who's curating an exhibit on Pershing at the Smithsonian's Museum of American History.
An armistice was signed on November 11, 1918, now celebrated in America as Veterans' Day. "But the feeling was that German provocation left the United States with no alternative", says Prof Afflerbach.
The first problem with such a scenario is that Hitler's rise to power owed much to a prior war: World War I, which was supposed to end war. "It is the key to understanding everything in the 20th century".
Enter the United States to tip the balance.
It is frightening to think, but the best hope for peace now lies with President Donald J. Trump. Only now has American returned to a more non-interventionist strategy.
It would be months before the reality of war came home. While we often talk about the Greatest Generation of World War II, we seldom give thought to the Forgotten Generation of World War I. That is odd, given that they are the same family caught up in similar struggles for freedom over oppression, across the generations.
World War I snuck up on Europe.