AD 1917- American enters World War I

world war 1 photo
Photo by Moyan_Brenn

From 1914 until 1918, the world was engaged in the second largest conflict in history—World War I. While primarily a European conflict, battles were also fought in Africa and Asia. Although the conflict centered on the French and British fighting against Germany in the heartland of France, most of the nations in Europe were dragged into the war due to an unwieldy alliance system. The United States, owing to its distance from the conflict, was able to remain neutral for much of the war. However, after the sinking of several ships with American citizens on board, the American attitude began to slowly swing in favor of war. After the United States became aware of a German-sponsored potential invasion of Texas by Mexico, the United States entered the war in 1917. Although American soldiers lacked the experience of their European counterparts, their energy and enthusiasm brought a boost to their allies. But more importantly, the United States brought its formidable manufacturing capability to bear, and the supply of material and arms to its soldiers allowed the American military to make a far greater impact than their small numbers suggested. Following the armistice at 11:11 AM on November 11, 1918, America and its allies met to determine the fate of Germany. America advocated a strategy of rebuilding Germany as an ally to remove the possibility of future conflict. However, the French called strongly for the punishment of Germany for its role in the war. Internal politics prevented America from voicing a stronger opinion, and the treatment of Germany was much what France had demanded—a move that ultimately resulted in World War II.