Why did the United States enter World War I after more than a century of not being involved? Was it the big business of free trade, sinking of the Lusitania or the Zimmerman Note? Did Wall Street, American oil industry, and or the armament producers unnecessarily exaggerate the threat to American interests by saturating the airways with pro-British propaganda to force American entry into the war and give their businesses an enormous boost? Could it have been military and political factors that may have been the key to American involvement? Likely the only thing that can be claimed is that American entry into the First World War was a result of a complex number of factors, none of which gives the full picture.
In November 1916, President Wilson was re-elected to a second term under the slogan "He kept us out of war", However, during the campaign, Wilson, a Democrat and admitted novice with military affairs, stood firm against Berlin, by demanding that unrestricted submarine warfare end, or the US would terminate all diplomatic relations with the German Empire.
President Wilson was focusing on the maintenance and the rights of neutral countries on the high seas. Sea rights were crucial to the United States because this allowed American businessmen to trade with needy Allies. By 1916, US trade with the Allies had jumped from $825 million just two years before to $3.2 billion. If the American merchant marine was in jeopardy, American business could make no profit.
In the late 1890s Germany relied on there large Army for there defense. However, in 1897, with a new head of the Imperial German Navy, Tirpitz advised the Kaiser that the country needed a large modern navy. Tirpitz argued that this would help protect Germany's growing overseas empire and its northern...