The Great Departure

The Great Departure - 1117 Daniel Smiths, The Great...

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1117 Daniel Smith’s, The Great Departure illustrates very well the United State’s evolution from a traditionally isolationist nation to an interventionist nation. WWI literally dragged the U.S. out of its isolationist shell and placed the U.S. at the forefront of international politics. The pressure to join WWI was resisted greatly by the Wilson administration and the country as a whole. Smith does an excellent job at presenting the factors that influenced the U.S. to enter the war and at conveying the mind set of American leaders during this time and the issues they faced pertaining to the war. The author illustrates the factors of interest or the eventual causes involvement in WWI in chapters II, III, IV. He offers good points to the issues and now I would like to discuss some of the issues he has mentioned. Propaganda was a tool used by Germany and the allies to influence the U.S., whether that propaganda was used to keep the U.S. out of the war or to try and draw the U.S. into the war makes no real difference. The extent of propaganda in the U.S. is shown by the Dr. Albert’s briefcase affair and the German execution of Nurse Edith Cavell and other atrocities of war carried out by either side. The author, while recognizing the importance of these propaganda stories and the heterogeneous culture of the U.S., underestimates the actual impact on public sentiment it actually had I feel. The U.S., "the great melting pot" had an enormous immigrant population, to underestimate the effect of propaganda on a population that had close personal ties to their homeland, and their ability to influence the actions of government in a democratic republic is a mistake. President Wilson was operating under this assumption that the people would influence
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The Great Departure - 1117 Daniel Smiths, The Great...

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