American Neutrality in World War I

American Neutrality in World War I
American Neutrality in World War I
American Neutrality in World War I
American Neutrality in World War I
American Neutrality in World War I
American Neutrality in World War I
American Neutrality in World War I
American Neutrality in World War I
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This short essay has a question sheet attached at the end and the following is the essay's introduction:

Separated from Europe by the Atlantic Ocean and dedicated to the principles of diplomacy dictated by the Monroe Doctrine, throughout the first fourteen years of the twentieth-century, American society had become enmeshed in Progressive reform and Pacific Empire. Upon the outbreak of the Great War, Americans were shocked by what had transpired to start the conflict and horrified by the consequences of modern warfare. This initial surprise, however, did not prevent American industry from quickly realizing the profits that could be made from supplying the belligerent nations with munitions and supplies. This economic boom created a number of industrial and agricultural jobs for a majority of first generation immigrants who were hesitant to enter the war, not only because of the economic gain to be had by remaining neutral, but because they did not want to potentially have the United States declare war on their old homeland. The impact of economic and immigrant attitudes toward the Great War, when combined with the political atmosphere, encouraged neutrality as a means of promoting the nation’s political and moral virtue[1]. This was perpetuated by President Wilson and thus promoted an American society who was fairly united in maintaining a neutral stance. However, as the Great War intensified and the fate of the Allies became intertwined with the interests of the United States, the very issues which had mitigated a neutral America would reverse the course of the national opinion and push the country towards belligerency.


[1] Robert H. Zeiger, America’s Great War: World War I and the American Experience (New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc., 2000), 17.

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11 pages
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