Skip to comments.What got the USA into WW1? ZOT needed.
Posted on 04/23/2011 8:53:56 PM PDT by freepguy
I'm trying to get the facts that show why the USA got into WW1. As I can tell, Wilson was president. The US was neutral...did not want to get involved. Britian and the Allied Powers were losing the war against the Central Powers. The Balfour Declaration promised a Jewish state in Palestine. The Lusitana was armed and ordered to attack German U-boats. Propaganda was created to convince American populace that Germany needed to be conqered.
Can anyone help me get more info on the subject?
You raise some interesting points but nothing you say dissuades me from the idea that German defeat and the Versailles Treaty fertilized the ground for Hitler.
Hitler wasn’t just another run-of-the mill German militarist conspiring with the Soviets to build blitzkrieg techniques. He was a unique and terrible manifestation of pure evil that I don’t see happening had Germany won WWI or had there been an exhausting stalemate with no clear winner.
I just don’t see how Hitler comes to power in a victorious (or non-defeated) Germany.
I just don’t see it.
And though it’s obviously true that no one in 1917 could have predicted the rise of Hitler, it is absolutely true that people throughout the ages have warned of “unintended consequences” of going to war... and Wilson didn’t listen... and Hitler was one of those consequences, however unintended.
“Too lazy to formulate a decent reply, so you resort to ad hominum.”
Too lazy to do your own research, Bub?
You like this word ‘lazy’ don’t you.
Your posts confound me. You offer no input at all to my question about the US getting into WW1 and then you attack me saying that I’m lazy. I don’t get it....
Do you have any opinion on the matter at all? Are you just being a....Well, you know.
Germany gained everything it wanted when it attacked after the October Revolution. To get the White Army into alliance they would have to cede the gains of the Brest-Litovsk Treaty back to the New Imperial Russia (because it was the heart of White territory). Which would leave them exactly where they were in 1914. The Treaty crippled Russia, With it in place it didn't matter who ruled - Romanov, Kerensky, or Lenin - Lesser Russia would be no strategic threat to Germany.
The British and French armies were shattered, however, and simply didn't have the will or the manpower to invade. The German Army, instead, simply got on trains and went home. Hence the 'Stab in the Back' meme that Hitler used within two years in Munich.
Well, the Versailles Treaty certainly did fertilize the ground for Hitler’s rise. It also fertilized the ground for the Communists’ rise, along with a number of now-forgotten parties that were absorbed by the KPD or NSDAP, and fatally undermined the legitimacy of the German Republic ruled by the Social Democrats. But the Treaty was also very loosely enforced by the West, and it was undermined by American provision of credit to Germany during this period. The only really notable initiative to enforce Germany’s payments was France’s occuption of the Ruhr in 1923 - but that also aroused even more hostility toward the French, who conducted themselves very aggressively, and also legitimized the Freikorps and Communists, who were seen as valiantly resisting French tyranny.
The end of the Russian, German, and Austrian Empires and the sudden existence of many new states was never going to be an easy thing to manage, no matter the circumstances.
I’m just trying to point out that the rise of the Wehrmacht and Germany’s war-making potential was not so much the consequence of the Versailles Treaty - although it certainly played its part - as the cynical collaboration of Soviet Russian, which collaboration was based on mutual exclusion from the victorious administration of post-war Europe. Germany was kept down, Russia was kept out. So they joined forces.
But how would the Kaiser’s Germany have acted if they’d won? Impossible to know, but the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, gives some clues: millions of souls and hectares, and much of Russian industry passed into Germany’s hands. Germany harvested it. In the post-war period, there were still German occupation powers in Ukraine, Poland, and other smaller states in what eventually became the Soviet Bloc. Remember also that Germany was a “collectivist” tyranny ruled by a military autocracy that allowed elections only as a means of controlling the political parties, particularly the Socialists. Germany’s overtures of peace to the West throughout the war demanded similarly huge concessions from France and Britain.
Also remember that Hitler’s party only really gained its majority in 1933 because Stalin ordered the Communists not to side with the Social Democrats. What if, as another favor in order (from the Kremlin’s perspective) to raise Hitler and threaten the Western powers, the Reichstag Fire was a Communist-Nazi collaboration? Did Stalin really have to fear Hitler during this period, when Stalin was busy subduing and militarizing a nation many, many times the size and power of Germany?
I don’t disagree that the Versailles Treaty provided a great greivance for Hitler’s rhetoric - but so did anti-Communism, anti-Semitism, anti-capitalism, and anti-democracy. And of course so did the Great Depression after 1929, just as the German depression of 1922-4 did for Hitler’s initial rise (and the rise of the Communists). I’m just trying to suggest to you that in light of these and other facts perhaps the Versailles=Hitler thesis is not, after all, a very useful way of understanding the period. Perhaps it conceals more than it explains.
That’s an interesting point.
I think we should have done just that back in the Mexican War.
The Mexicans would have been better off and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec is a lot more easily patrolled and defended than the Rio Grande.
That is what started the fight but, even after the Poles had retreated from Belorus/Ukraine, the Soviets tried for Warsaw. And got beat bad enough to seak terms...
All the seads for Hitler were there by 1917.
Even if Germany had won, the Spanish Flu, economic colapse, and revolutions would have still happened.
Germany probably would not have had the resources to hold all of what it took...
The difference would have been overseas based on what the French would turned over to the Germans after losing. How many French colonys would have been German?
Also the Ottoman Empire probably would not have been taken appart as much as it was without France supporting the UK - Might have kept the Kurdish regions, Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan...
Instead of the Jews stabing Germany in the back during the war - it would have been the Jews swindled Germany out of its gains after the war.
Germany was near economic colapse and revolution in 1918. It is a big question whether Germany could have held onto its gains even if France had fallen...
“There was a war in 1920 between the Poles and Soviets and it reached the gates of Warsaw. It was quite real.”
No doubt there was; I thought the earlier part of the same post made clear why “defense” was in quotes.
Fair enough! In re-reading, I can certainly see what you meant.
Germany knew the French would do anything to avenge their defeat in 1871 (and they were right); both they & the French knew France couldn’t do it alone, and France drew England into an alliance that also served England’s end of pressuring Germany’s colonial gains (and the navy it was building to protect it). Germany had the least cause to fight in, and the most to lose from, fighting in WWI - both England & France had larger empires than them, and Britain had a navy that dominated the world. The German High Command was simply reacting to the reality of that.
Holland was neutral (and not invaded), and I’d never heard of anything “brutal” in the occupation of Belgium. Poland didn’t exist at the start of the war; it’s territory was divided between Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia. This part sounds like the second war.
The Central Powers were foiled only be the American entry into the war; Russia had surrendered, and France & Italy were on the brink. The U-boat campaign was effective enough to win, and Wilson knew it.
You’re welcome; as you can see, you can get many different interpretations/understandings of what happended.
The guns, however, were never mounted, and well before 1915 the Lusitania was taken off the Auxiliary Cruiser list, mainly due to her high rate of fuel consumption.
“That is what started the fight but, even after the Poles had retreated from Belorus/Ukraine, the Soviets tried for Warsaw.”
Warsaw was part of Russia at the start of WWI; I guess they wanted it back after losing it for 2 years (the same way Poland initially wanted land they viewed as theirs).
I have no horse in this race; I am not Eastern European, and if anything have more affinity for Poles than Russians.
No problem; I’m neither Polish or Russian, but find history fascinating. That part of the world in particular has a rich history; centuries before much of the area had been part of Lithuania!
It sure isn't. And the city has been quietly trying to sell it for years, but nobody is crazy enough to buy it.
You do make good points, I have to admit. Your points undermine assumptions I’ve held for many years, but if those assumptions are wrong, I do want to know it. Thanks for your posts. I’m definitely going to read more on these subjects.
I mean the works of military historian Barbara Tuchman on the WWI era are the best starting resource. Her's is the most comprehensive coverage, although I will give the final summary in the last paragraph here.
Barbara Tuchman's books on this issue, in the order I suggest they be read:
Now to the summary: The USA could not have avoided getting involved in WWI! That's as hard a fact as that of water being wet.
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