Unrestricted Submarine Warfare

460 Words2 Pages
The United States had a variety of reasons for entering World War I, as stated by argument nine. However, two reasons are the most prominent. For the first, the United States felt as though it was under attack by Germany, despite previously declared neutrality. For the second, the United States was more deeply related to the Allies economically than the Central Powers. However, the two connect through the use of German unrestricted submarine warfare, since it posed a threat to US merchant ships while it was still a neutral party.
The 1916 Sussex Pledge, between the United States and Germany, stated that with the use of submarine warfare, passenger ships were not to be targeted and that merchant ships were not to be sunk unless weapons were on board. Even so, the Sussex Pledge agreed that these ships were not to be sunk without the provision of passengers and crew. The sinking of the British RMS Lusitania, a passenger ship carrying passengers of various nationalities, directly violated this pledge and led to the Germans resuming unrestricted submarine warfare. Wilson stated in a speech in April of 1917 that he believed that the resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare was a direct attack “against all mankind.” Historian Carl N. Degler believed that a significant portion of Wilson’s reasoning for entering the war can be tied back to
…show more content…
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the United States’ economy had entered an economic boom when the war began, bringing it out of a recession and decreasing the national unemployment rate to a mere 1.4%. U.S. exports to Europe rose from $1.479 billion dollars in 1913 to $4.062 billion in 1917, with $2.25 billion in loans to the Allies as well. Were the Allies to lose the war, the United States had the possibility of falling back into a recession, since the vast majority of their trade was with
Open Document