Events in Europe and on the Atlantic led many in the United States to demand a stronger army and navy. Elihu Root, Robert Lansing, Theodore Roosevelt, and Henry Cabot Lodge stood in the forefront of this movement,
National Security League
as early as 1914, advocates of preparedness formed this group to press their agenda. By 1915, Wilson had bowed to the necessity of increased American military power and notified Congress of his intention to request increased military expenditures.
League to Limit Armament and Women's Peace Party
The campaign for preparedness, however, did not receive unanimous support. Progressives, pacifists, and a broadly based anti-war sentiment in the rural South and West, re-awakened the traditional American suspicion of military establishments. These two groups were opposed
Opponents of preparedness
Included Lucy Paul and Jane Addams. William Jennings Bryan and Robert La Follette endorsed and supported these groups.
National Defense Act of 1916
this act expanded the regular army from 90,000 to 175,000 and permitted its gradual enlargement to 223,000. The act also authorized a National Guard of 440,000 and made provision for their training.
Army Appropriate Act of 1916
This act provided for a "Council of National Defense" to consist of six cabinet members. It also provided for a civilian "National Defense Advisory Commission".
Two Naval Construction Acts in 1916
These acts provided for a significant increase in expenditures for the construction of warships and merchant vessels. There was also a provision establishing a "United States Shipping Board."
Revenue Act of 1916
This act enacted a relatively stiff tax on wealth by means of a "graduated income tax". The new taxes on wealth amounted to the most clear-cut victory of radical progressives in the entire Wilson period - a victory further consolidated and advanced after the war came.
Supreme Court Justice Charles Evan Hughs
Republican party presidential candidate in 1916l Theodore Roosevelt hoped to return to the leadership of the Republican Party and to the White House in 1916, but his actions of 1912 and his open advocacy of United States involvement in the European war disqualified him. The Democrats renominated Wilson and endorsed a program of "social legislation, neutrality, and reasonable preparedness."
League of Nations
the Democrats pledged their support for this postwar group to enforce peace with collective security measures against aggressors.
He kept us out of the war
The Democrats' most successful rallying cry, however, involved Wilson's success in maintaining peace thus far. The Democrats welded the twin themes of peace and progressivism into a narrow victory over the reunited Republican Party in 1916.
Peace without victory and peace among equals
Britain's reluctance to accept Wilson's offer to mediate the European conflict and its rejection of these calls by Wilson.
famous telegram published in the American press that greatly exacerbated German-American relations. This telegram contained an offer from "German Foreign Secretary Alfred Zimmerman to Mexico" for an alliance and financial aid in the event of war between Germany and the United States.
The entire movement toward war received an additional boost by events in Russia where the fall of the Czar and the overthrow of the Russian Republic by this group effectively took Russia out of the war. This development freed huge numbers of German forces for use against the British and French. If America meant to intervene effectively, it must do so soon.
The World Must be Safe for Democracy
The Germans renewed unrestricted submarine warfare on January 31, 1917, and, in March, sank five American merchant vessels. Wilson had no alternative except to request a declaration of war. He did so on April 2, 1917.
Jeannette Rankin of Montana
- the first woman elected to Congress - stood among this group of dissenters. "I want to stand by my country," she explained, "but I cannot vote for war." The voters of her state did not share her sentiments. They denied Rankin a Senate seat at the next election. She did not manage to get re-elected to Congress until 1940. During this term, despite the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, she remained true to her pacifism. She became the only member of Congress to vote against American entry into World War II.
Rear Admiral William S. Sims of the United States Navy
he convinced the Allies to adopt the convoy system of escorting merchant ships in groups with a guard of destroyers This system led to a sharp reduction in the loss of merchant vessels. Later, the American navy laid a gigantic minefield across the North Sea which significantly restricted U-Boat access to the North Atlantic.
Liberty Loan Act of 1917
American financial contributions also proved of critical significance. The Allies desperately needed American money to pay for their war effort. Funding for these loans was raised through the sale of Liberty Bonds.
General John J. Pershing
Although the United States Army remained small, American troops - 14,500 of them - led by this guy arrived in France in June, 1917. Pershing concluded that the Allies had been too exhausted by long years of war to launch a decisive offensive. He called for deployment of 1 million American troops in Europe by the following spring. Incredibly, this was done.
Selective Service Act of 1917
The success of this undertaking resulted from the adoption of conscription as provided by this law. Unlike the resistance to conscription in the Civil War, no major draft riots marred its implementation.
Doughboys of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF)
these American soldiers saw action at Chateau- Thiery and Belleau Wood in May and June of 1918, where they helped turn back the last major German offensive of the war. In September, 1918, the AEF made its primary contribution to the fighting when Pershing led 500,000 American troops in the last major assault of the war at Saint-Mihiel.