The road to World War II Essay

This essay has a total of 781 words and 4 pages.

The road to World War II



In the early days of the First World War, the United States was desperate to stay out of
the European war and institute a neutrality policy. However, the two sides fought for
U.S. support, often even at a danger to the U.S. The passive stand that America took in
involvement in World War I only prolonged the inevitable and came at a price to the U.S.

The American public didn’t want to be involved in World War I, and Wilson and the
democrats knew it, although neutrality was a difficult stand to take. The British, who
wanted the Americans to back their side in the war, refused to back U.S. peace drives.
The Germans, who wanted the U.S. on their side, against Britain, violated pledges for the
waters when it began U-boat attacks. This campaign was extended over many years. The two
countries of Germany and England were desperate for the western giant’s support that would
threaten American neutrality. The American people, however, would rather stay of war, and
lose their right to the seas.

Both sides became increasingly angry with the American position of neutrality. England
publicly declared, “Anyone who talked of peace was a friend of Germany.” This created
only hostility towards the British, but continued diplomacy with Germany. The underlying
cause of this friendly nature was not to remain neutral. Wilson thought that if the
Americans weren’t going to stand up for their rights to the seas, that this would be the
way to reduce the submarine warfare.

Wilson promoted peace at every turn, but both sides disliked the idea, in fact the
Chancellor of Germany predicted that peace talks would be unsuccessful. Wilson wanted to
demand an end to the war, but at this point in the war, it would have ruined the Allies.
If that were to ensue, the U.S. would risk war with France or England.

Then there was a breaking point. The German government deported 300,000 Belgians, which
fired up anger in the Americans. Wilson was growing frustrated with the position of
neutrality, but also realized what war did to people. So, he began to draw up new plans
for American foreign policy. This plan called for an end to the financing of the Allied
war effort by American banks, but the British were dependent on the American back up.
There was a great fear that the American economy would become too involved and dependent
on war trade. Because of the British need for American support and the American lack of
such, the Germans found the time to ask for peace. This would begin a peace campaign that
was backed by unrestricted submarine warfare. Wilson advocated the peace effort. The
Allies became angry with Wilson for “playing Germany’s game” and the Germans were angry
because they suspected that the U.S. was pro-British. The Allies later rejected the plan
for peace. The Allies made it clear that Germany would pay for the war.

The Germans returned the favor. They warned of unrestricted submarine warfare and the
possibility of war with America. Germans promised destruction of all American ships in
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