quinta-feira, abril 06, 2017

Os Estados Unidos da América entraram há um século na I Grande Guerra

(imagem daqui)

The American entry into World War I came in April 1917, after two and a half years of efforts by President Woodrow Wilson to keep the United States neutral. Apart from an Anglophile element supporting the British, American public opinion went along with neutrality at first. The sentiment for neutrality was strong among Irish Americans, German Americans and Swedish Americans, as well as among church leaders and women. On the other hand, even before World War I broke out, American opinion toward Germany was already more negative than it was toward any other country in Europe. The citizenry increasingly came to see the German Empire as the villain after news of atrocities in Belgium in 1914, and the sinking of the passenger liner RMS Lusitania in May 1915. Wilson made all the key decisions and kept the economy on a peacetime basis, while allowing banks to make large-scale loans to Britain and France. To preclude making any military threat, President Wilson made only minimal preparations for war and kept the United States Army on its small peacetime basis, despite increasing demands for preparedness. However, he did enlarge the United States Navy.
In early 1917, Germany decided to resume all-out submarine warfare on every commercial ship headed toward Britain, realizing that this decision would almost certainly mean war with the U.S. Germany also offered to help Mexico regain territories lost in the Mexican–American War in the Zimmermann Telegram. Publication of that offer outraged Americans just as German U-boats (submarines) started sinking American ships in the North Atlantic. Wilson asked Congress for "a war to end all wars" that would "make the world safe for democracy", and Congress voted to declare war on Germany on April 6, 1917.


On April 2, 1917, Wilson asked a special joint session of Congress to declare war on the German Empire, stating, "We have no selfish ends to serve". To make the conflict seem like a better idea, he painted the conflict idealistically, stating that the war would "make the world safe for democracy" and later that it would be a "war to end war". The United States had a moral responsibility to enter the war, Wilson proclaimed. The future of the world was being determined on the battlefield, and American national interest demanded a voice. Wilson's definition of the situation won wide acclaim, and, indeed, has shaped America's role in world and military affairs ever since. Wilson believed that if the Central Powers won, the consequences would be bad for the United States. Germany would have dominated the continent and perhaps would gain control of the seas as well. Latin America could well have fallen under Berlin's control. The dream of spreading democracy, liberalism, and independence would have been shattered. On the other hand, if the Allies had won without help, there was a danger they would carve up the world without regard to American commercial interests. They were already planning to use government subsidies, tariff walls, and controlled markets to counter the competition posed by American businessmen. The solution was a third route, a "peace without victory", according to Wilson.

On April 6, 1917, Congress declared war. In the Senate, the resolution passed 82 to 6, with Senators Harry Lane, William J. Stone, James Vardaman, Asle Gronna, Robert M. La Follette, Sr., and George W. Norris voting against it. In the House, the declaration passed 373 to 50, with Claude Kitchin, a senior Democrat, notably opposing it. Another opponent was Jeannette Rankin, who alone voted against entry into both World War I and World War II. Nearly all of the opposition came from the West and the Midwest.

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