America and War

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America has always had a variety of reasons to choose from in explaining their decisions to go to war. The three wars that Americans fought between the end of the 19th century and the mid point of the 20th century involved reasoning as varied as economic benefits or international tranquility. When the United States finally declared war against Spain on 25 April 1898, those in charge of making such decisions had an event with which to convince those who were unsure that war was necessary. The explosion of the USS Maine, an American battleship, on 15 February 1898 provided the impetus for declaring war ostensibly under the feeling of national security. In trying to persuade Congress that declaring war was absolutely necessary beyond all…show more content…
Many in the United States viewed World War I as an ideological struggle between Democracy and Autocracy and that it was the duty of America to intervene on the side of those fighting for Democracy. This reasoning was supported by the success of the Russian Revolution in deposing the autocratic government of the Tsars. This was one of the points in Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points. Of the various reasons that Americans held as acceptable reasons to go to war with Europe, only one truly was a matter of national security. The submarine attacks on merchant vessels, though despicable, were not about attacking American soil. The Zimmerman Telegram on the other hand was a clear indication that if Germany could win on the battlefields of Europe, America could well be next. The reasons that were put forward, prior to Pearl Harbor, for entering World War II were surprisingly similar to some of the reasons put forward for entering World War I. President Roosevelt in particular was intent on entering in combat because he viewed the alliance of Germany, Italy and Japan as aiming for world domination. Roosevelt felt that if they were to successfully conquer Western Europe and Asia that American security would be in grave danger. In addition to the theoretical ideological dangers that the fascist control posed to world freedom, there were several actions by those nations, Germany and Japan in particular that displayed their immense danger to world peace. Germany

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