America's Great War: Review Essay

1803 Words Jun 4th, 2005 8 Pages
In the book, America's Great War: World War I and the American Experience, Robert H. Zieger discusses the events between 1914 through 1920 forever defined the United States in the Twentieth Century. When conflict broke out in Europe in 1914, the President, Woodrow Wilson, along with the American people wished to remain neutral. In the beginning of the Twentieth Century United States politics was still based on the "isolationism" ideals of the previous century. The United States did not wish to be involved in European politics or world matters. The U.S. goal was to expand trade and commerce throughout the world and protect the borders of North America.
The American belief at the beginning of the war was that it would be short conflict
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At the same time they attempted to sway Mexico into a alliance with them in case the United States declared war on Germany. The "Zimmerman Telegram" was intercepted by Allied forces and given to President Wilson. Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany on April 2, 1917. While Germany had done nothing to threaten our U.S. security, Wilson said in his speech that we would enter the war "to make the world safe for democracy". (Zieger, 53) A point that later spurn the effectiveness of Wilson's influence over peace was that America entered the war as an "associated power" rather than a true Ally.
Zieger points out a great question concerning this vague reason for going to war: If the pathological character of the German state was truly the reason for American entry, why did Wilson take so long to recognize its irredeemable evil? (Zieger, 54) Other would question Wilson's motives and influences for going to war or not going to war earlier for decades to come. Wilson's vision of neutrality and facilitating as peace maker for the warring nations as Roosevelt did in 1906 (Davidson, 647) came to questionable end. Wilson's next vision would be to facilitate peace as a member of the Allies and secure the world from another such war.
From the beginning of the war women were more active in government social affairs. As they protested for both peace and preparedness their