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Why the USA declared war on Germany in 1917

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1. There were many reasons the United States of America decided to declare war upon Germany in 1917. Firstly, although America formally joined the allies at that time, they were involved on a financial level in terms of loaning money. In addition to this, Germany was sinking America's boats in the Atlantic Ocean, of which the most famous case was the torpedoed Lusitania. This spread anti-German feeling across America. Although they cut back for a year, the Germans began to get desperate for quick victory. They began unrestricted submarine warfare which entailed that they sink any ship of any nationality sailing on British waters. During this process they sunk 8 American ships. These were the long term causes. ...read more.


General Ludendorff underestimated the power of the combined forces of the British, French and Americans. As he launched his offensive, it initially looked like Germany would be victorious and Paris would fall, in fact Germany had advanced 65 Kilometres. However, Germany had already expended most of their power, this is the reason that they were totally driven back once the allied had united under Ferdinand Foch. Thousands were dying of starvation in the German ranks and talk of revolution was being spread in Germany. It was clear that Germany would have to surrender, which I believe was due to their gambles at the Ludendorff offensive. This would mean that Germany essentially lost the war although the allies did contribute to winning the war by defeating the Turks and Italians. ...read more.


4. Many prominent people and politicians of Germany believed the following to be unreasonable with regards to the Treaty of Versailles: a) That Germany and its allies accept responsibility for causing the war. b) Under the terms of articles 231-248, to disarm, make substantial territorial concessions and pay reparations to certain countries that had formed the Entente powers. They also objected to the fact that Germany was not allowed to take part in the negotiations. Furthermore, the first democratically elected Chancellor, Philipp Scheidemann refused to sign the treaty and resigned. Later, a coalition government was set up under Gustav Bauer. The national assembly voted in favour of signing the treaty with a vote of 237 to 138. Despite this, certain ex-military leaders and nationalists began spreading their bad feelings towards the treaty with the public. This may have triggered the Nazi movement. ...read more.

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