sexy asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

What were reasons for America to stay neutral during World War I?

Pretend it's 1916 and Europe just went to war with each other. President Wilson is still deciding what to do. What are reasons to stay neutral? Please list your source. Thanks.

4 Answers

  • Sam N
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    World War I began in 1914, and America didn't enter the war until 1917.

    As for why America didn't enter the war when the war began, American politics in regard to foreign policy was isolationist in nature. Americans felt the vastness of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans protected them from the conflicts of Europe and Asia. When Germany began clamoring for their own global empire, Americans felt that they weren't threatened because the Germans couldn't cross the atlantic. When Wilhelm II upset Europe's balance of power by beginning the arms race that sat in the background to the start of World War I, Americans didn't think it was their responsibility to get involved in European affairs, because Germany couldn't cross the atlantic. When the war began, neither Germany or Austria declared war on the USA, and Americans remained neutral because the war was in Europe and Germany couldn't cross the atlantic.

    This does not man that Americans approved of Germany's actions. Good research will show that many were horrified by Germany's invasion of Belgium and the U-boat campaign.

    When it came for America's entry into the war in 1917, it was only after the interception of the Zimmerman Telegram, in which Germany promised Mexico: Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and possibly southern California if they attacked the US and keeping America out of the European war which was going badly for Germany. With Germany willing to violate America's borders, Wilson could no longer keep America neutra and asked for a declaration of war against Germany.

    After WWI, America returned to Isolationism and would remain there until 1945 with the end of WWII.

  • When the war started in 1914, America did not feel the need for entering and decided to stay in the period of isolationism until 1917, after putting up with Germany s Unrestricted Submarine Warfare. Then the thing that set them off were the fact that Germany sent Mexico a telegram encouraging them to go to war with America to "reconquer the lost territory in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona." This is when the U.S agreed to the enter the war on the allies behalf.

  • 1 decade ago

    Wilson wanted to pursue a policy of isolationism - basically why bother get involved? they would gain no land or power from the war, only lose soldiers. i don't think there's any specific reason or event why he wouldn't want to go to war besides the fact that it was a pointless war and unless the U.S. was threatened it wasn't worth fighting.

    Source(s): AP European History textbook
  • 1 decade ago

    the war started in 1914. we had no stake in it, for one (neither did anyone else, though) and staying out was a very good decision, as our economy greatly expanded because we were able to sell stuff to europe at a high price, since resources were strained there.

    Source(s): if u needa put sumpin, im sure this is on wikipedia
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