STUDY GUIDE: 3
HIS 315L, Spring 2010, Seaholm
Friday, April 16, 2010
* Bring a new bluebook to class on exam day.
* Attend next Monday or Tuesday afternoon Supplemental Instruction seminars if you can.
* Talk to your Teaching Assistant during office hours.
* Stay healthy.
Part 1: Essay Question, 70 points. One of the following questions will be on the exam.
When war broke out in Europe in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson called on Americans to be “neutral in
fact as well as in name.” On April 6, 1917, the U.S. declared war on Germany. In 1939, just days after
German troops attacked Poland and Britain and France responded by declaring war on Germany,
President Franklin Roosevelt declared that “[The U.S.] will remain a neutral nation…” On December 8,
1941, the U.S. Congress declared war against Japan.
essay that explains the events and the concerns that led the U.S. to abandon its position of
neutrality and become participants in both World War I and World War II.
The US Enters WW1
When war erupted in 1914, the United States attempted to remain neutral and was a proponent for the rights of neutral
states. Isolationist foreign policy was encouraged by Congress's apprehensions about giving other countries a political
door into US policies and the cultural melting pot of the United States' population. In spite of these factors, the United
States did enter World War I, as a result of several events.
In an attempt by both the allied and the central powers to involve the Americans, the US was heavily saturated with
propaganda. Much of the material had a Pro-British slant which was aided by the connection to Britain as a "cultural
brother" and the United States' concern with affairs in Western Europe. While propaganda sympathetic to Germany
did also exist, it did not carry much weight with the American public. Germany was seen by most Americans as a
dangerous monarchy with autocratic militarist thinking, including a hidden agenda to undermine democracy and US
power. There were allegations of industrial sabotage, poisoning water supplies, kidnapping individuals, and engaging
in espionage within American labor unions by Germans to keep the United States busy on the home front. These
rumors, along with extensive submarine warfare, added to the distrust of the Germans.
Prior to 1915, German subs had a policy of warning and allowing time to evacuate ships carrying passengers before
they sank them. However, in 1915 the
was sunk without a warning, killing over 120 Americans. One year
was sunk by German U-boats and American citizens were outraged at these direct violations of their
neutral rights at sea. At this point, a small percentage of Americans, including presidential hopeful Teddy Roosevelt,