American History: World War I Essay

American History: World War I Essay

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Shell Shock: 1914-1919
1914-1919 were the years of World War I. At first, the United States tried to stay neutral- traded with both sides- but stayin neutral proved impossible. World War I was fought mainly in Europe and the Middle East. The Allies (principally France, Russia, Britain, Italy after 1915, and the US after 1917) faced, and defeated, the Central Powers (principally Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey). The whole thing started with the murder of Austria’s crown prince, and then quickly developed. It began on July 28, 1914 and ended on November 11, 1918, with the collapse of the Central Powers. Americans had never seen a war as great as this and it was quite a shock.
The pace in America was quickening. More and more people had money, and they were willing to spend it. And what better to spend their money on than the new affordable and extremely useful automobile? Henry Ford was able to lower the cost of his automobile to $295; this cheaper price enabled more people to buy cars, and more and more Americas began to drive cars rather than carriages. The age of the horse and buggy was over; the age of the automobile was in full force. From 1914-1917 Europe was at war, and America was benefitting from this. They were flourishing economically. It can be best described as an economic boom. The United States was lending money to European countries. These countries then used that money to buy weapons and supplies for war from America. The United States was effectively providing the weaponry for the war to both sides in Europe. The war also cut off European immigrants. This was positive and negative because although it cut off the American work force, it forced factories to look to the South for workers. There were many unemp...


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...from Paris. Germany had given everything to this war and once the seemly endless American soldiers joined the fight, they soon surrendered. The Peace Conference in Versailles included the leaders of Italy, Britain, France, and the United States. It was less about peace and more about punishing Germany. Wilson attempted to create the League of Nations and have a somewhat peaceful resolution to the war, but Britain and France were set on punishing Germany. The United States never did sign the treaty. This punishment of Germany rather than peace was a huge factor in why World War II happened, only thirty years after this “peace” treaty.
World War I dominated the years of 1914-1919. The world was inching for a war, and a war was what they got. World War I was on a scale that people had never seen before, and it would not be the last time they saw such destruction.




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