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Cause and effect: America's entry into World War I.

Name: --


Read the short essay that lists some of the events that led the U.S. to enter World War I. Write your answers on a separate sheet of paper.

When World War I broke out in Europe in August 1914, President Woodrow Wilson, most members of' Congress, and a great majority of Americans resolved to stay out of the conflict. The support for that decision was tested on May 7, 1915, when a German submarine sank the British ocean liner Lusitania, killing 1,198 civilians, including 128 Americans. Most Americans were outraged, and some called for war against Germany. Germany suspended its unrestricted submarine warfare, but resumed attacking enemy ships near the end of 1916.

In February 19171 angered by the resumption of German submarine attacks, the U.S. ended diplomatic relations with Germany. A month later, published reports revealed a German plot to persuade Mexico to go to war against the U.S. Germany had offered to help Mexico regain possession of Texas, Arizona, and New * Mexico if the U.S. were defeated. Americans were further outraged by renewed German attacks against U.S. cargo ships.

On April 2, 1917, President Wilson appeared before Congress and called for war. He urged American involvement in the fighting with his famous statement: "The world must be made safe for democracy." Congress declared war on Germany on April 6.


1. What was the initial reaction of the U.S. government and the American public when war broke out in August 1914?

2. Did the sinking of the Lusitania weaken or strengthen American public support of U.S. noninvolvement in the war?

3. When did Germany resume its submarine warfare against enemy ships following the Lusitania sinking?

4. Which two events in early 1917 prompted the U.S. to declare war against Germany?

5. What was President Wilson's stated reason for the U.S. entering World War I?

6. How did Germany try to persuade Mexico to enter the war in 1917?

7. Why do you think most Americans supported the U.S. decision in 1914 to not enter World War I? Explain your answer.

8. Imagine that you lived in the U.S. on April 1, 1917. Write a persuasive letter to President Wilson explaining your opinion on whether the U.S. should or should not enter the war.
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Title Annotation:Skills Master I
Publication:Junior Scholastic
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 23, 2004
Previous Article:Quick quiz.
Next Article:Foreign-born population and labor.

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