DBQ Should the United States Enter World War I?
World War I: Should the United States Enter World War I
Americans For and Against the War DBQ
Both before and after the US entry into world war I. Americans differed in their opinions about the war. While most Americans demonstrated their patriotism with enthusiasm by buying war bonds, conserving food, and enlisting in the army, others, including Quakers and pacifists, continued to oppose the war.
Use your knowledge of America’s opinions on World War I and the following documents to answer the questions and decide whether or not the United States should enter World War I.
“I find myself a soldier among millions of others in the great Allied Armies, fighting for all I believe to be right and civilized and humane against a power which is evil and which threatens the existence of all the rights we prize and the freedom we enjoy, although some of you in California as yet fail to realize it. It may seem to you that for me this is all quite uncalled for, that it can only mean the supreme sacrifice for nothing or some of the best years of my life wasted, but I tell you that not only am I willing to give my life to this enterprise… but that I firmly believe if I live through it to spend a useful lifetime with you, that never will I have an opportunity to gain so much honorable advancement for my own soul, or to do so much for the cause of the world’s profess…”
- Harry Butters, An American Volunteering with the Allies, 1915
“I could not look at those long lines of find looking men, marching so gaily along. And with so little realization of what it all means, without a fresh outburst of tears. How little they realized that they were endorsing a system which means that great armies of splendid manhood shall go forth and slay other armies. And why? Because stupid diplomats were too avaricious (greedy), too selfish, too ambitious to sanely handle the affairs entrusted to their care… And yet we, blind and stupid as we are, are rushing into the same horrible cataclysm (disaster).”
- Lella Secor
“It was quite black out there in the Atlantic and in the blackness the (Lusitania’s) life-boats alternately rose on the crests of the waves and sank into the black valley between. The boats carried women and children whose hair hung in icicles over their shoulders… Now and then a half-dead passenger utters a shriek of pain or of anguish as she realized that a friend or relative had died in her arms… Meanwhile, in the dark hull of the German submarine, the captain watching through the periscope finally turned his head away. Even this man, agent of Prussian cruelty, had witnessed a scene upon which he did not care to gaze.”
- Wesley Frost, giving a speech sponsored by the Committee on Public Information
1. Which do the documents above reflects the views of a pacifists opposed to war?
2. The speech in Document C is designed to promote what? Explain
3. What point of view does Document D express?
4. Writing Task: Why did some American Support the war effort while others opposed it? Use your knowledge of World War I and specific evidence from the documents to support your answer.
5. In your opinion, should the US have entered World War I? Explain fully