The Importance Of The United States Interventionist Policy

Submitted By hardika13
Words: 883
Pages: 4

In the early 20th century as war broke out between the nations of Europe, the United States maintained its policy of neutrality. Remaining true to the traditions imposed by his predecessors, Washington and Jefferson, Wilson issued a declaration of US neutrality and called upon the American people to support his policy by not taking sides. However, as the interests of the United States started to become intertwined in the politics of the European nations and the theater started to expand to areas of American involvement, US intervention became inevitable. Initiated by financial gains, America’s economic policy towards the Allied powers and Germany’s retaliation of submarine warfare played the most critical role in the United States’ interventionist policy. This resumption of an aggressive German military strategy in an attempt to cut off Allies supplies combined with British induced propaganda fostered an aggressive public opinion to result in Wilson’s request for a declaration of war.

Even though the United States was officially a neutral nation, its close economic ties to Great Britain and France played an essential role in its future involvement. Before 1914, the United States had been in a business recession. However, after the outbreak of the war, the US economy rebounded as a result of increasing shipment, to the British and French, of war supplies. In addition to guns and ammunition, when unable to finance their massive consumption, the United States also provided the allies support through the form of loans from banks such as J.P. Morgan. This furthered US prosperity while simultaneously removing American from the zone of neutrality. The United States’ increased involvement in the affairs of the British opened a route of war entrance similar to the alliance system. America’s economic policies could have remained neutral by aiding both the allied and central powers, but the British blockade effectively restricted any trade with Germany and as a result initiated tension between the two nations that would eventually result in hostility and force the United States to wage a war against the aggressive policies of the respective nation.

Initially, attempting to only challenge the British naval power, Germany employed the submarine to create a counter blockade to British hostility. However as the United States entered the “war zone” US neutrality was challenged by the sinking of the Lusitania. Killing a substantial amount of Americans on the British passenger liner, this event created a great uproar within the American population and through the British induced propaganda aroused great rivalry against the Germans. While the aggressive Germany military strategy was weakening US German relations as portrayed in Wilson’s warning to cut off US diplomatic relations after the attack on the Sussex, American hostility towards the Germans was truly aroused only after the exaggerated propaganda of the British. Many citizens obtained a negative view of Germany after it’s sinking of the Lusitania and America’s unintentionally favored British policies; however public opinion still remained relatively under control. However, when British commanded war news started supplying stories of the atrocities committed by German soldiers, the ruthlessness of the Germans was exaggerated in the eyes of the people and began to view the war as a fight of righteousness. After the British portrayal of the Lusitania crisis, a few small, but vocal minorities such as the influential Republicans of the East rose up went as far to argue for US entry into war against Germany.

Also influencing public opinion, Wilson’s moral policy provided the nation with a united cause to wage war. Setting aside the politics of pro-war republicans and anti-war