Most of us know that The sinking of the Lusitania was one of the factors to the United States entering the Great War, The sinking was due to the German U-boat campaign, where Germany declared that all Allied and neutral ship were to be sunk on sight. They wanted to cut off Britain supplies from America. By March 1917, Germany U-boat seven American vessels.Woodrow Wilson realized that staying neutral and out of the war could not be avoided, and Declared war on Germany. I honestly believe that staying out of the war so long is what helped the United stated win. They entered a war that opposing side and the allies were both decreasing in the number of soldier. The United states lost over 100,000 soldiers, which sad as it may be was only 1 % of the soldiers that were lost in this Great War!
During the early stage of world war I, America was in a tight tension with Germany because of the Zimmerman Telegram that Germany sent to Mexico which got intercepted by US and decoded. The telegram asked Mexico to be allies with Germany so that when they win the war, Germany promise to give back the land that US took from Mexico such as Texas and arizona, back to Mexico. US were already in favor of the Great British and France so Germany had reason to go against USA. The sinking of the Lusitania was the on of the major sparks that gave American the reason to declare war on Germany because the ship was meant to carry passengers from New York to Britain, but Germany’s U boat nevertheless decided to sunk the ship down that gave the US determination to get involved in this overseas war.
This quote was from the speech he gave to congress to declare War against Germany and bring peace to the world in March, 1917. Woodrow Wilson was neutral at the time when the Great War broke out in 1914, he even won the election in 1912 by promising not to send American Soldiers to Europe according to Foner. But as the situation in Europe worsened, the straw that broke America’s stance against joining the war was the sinking of Lusitania by German Submarines where 1,198 people were killed including 124 Americans, eliciting public outrage in America. Woodrow Wilson’s decision to join the Great War was a landmark decision since America was a military superpower and had the power to quickly end the war, which was already going on for 3 years and had claimed the lives of millions. I think Foner was pretty clear and succinct in discussion of this issue where he noted America’s earlier stance of neutrality and then the later shift to joining the war.
Foner’s coverage for the sinking of the Lusitania is a bit broad, he should go more in depth about how Americans reacted to the death of several Americans on the ship and how this incident changed Americans perspective and got them involved in World War I. However Foner gave a good general overview of the background of what began before and after the sinking of the Lusitania. Adding onto Foner’s coverage, on May 7, 1915 the Lusitania was carrying about 1,900 passengers across the Atlantic Ocean. Soon being spotted by the Germans, their U-boat launched a torpedo into the Lusitania; it took 18 minutes for the ship to sink. Among the passengers that were killed were 124 Americans. The sinking of the ship and the deaths of several Americans had an intense impact on the United States.