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How Important Was the Entry of the U.S. in 1917 into the First World War?

Autor:   •  November 7, 2018  •  1,450 Words (6 Pages)  •  34 Views

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the Triple Entente were losing their power in terms of troops in the war. The US troops filled in for that gap in troops. The fresh spring of larger numbers of troops, resources and a country with a strong economy backing them up made the troops of the Triple Entente have great morale, as they now strongly believed that they could win the war. Furthermore, this boost in morale lead to a demoralization in the German troops as they had to face hundreds of thousands of healthy American troops, whereas they had been on the battlefield, with very little to digest.

However, it can be argued that the US entry into the war was not the most important factor. Focusing on the militaristic aspects first, the American troops were quite inexperienced in dealing with wars at the scale at which WWI took place. They had no significant impact over the battle fronts that were situated at different parts of Europe. Alongside the troops, American generals also did not have on-ground experience, and although they created plans in relation to German offensives, they had to rely more on the experience of generals from France and Britain. Their isolationist policy lead to a small starting army and disagreeable behaviour when American generals had to adhere to European generals’ plans.

Other factors in the period of war could be argued as to having higher value of importance than the US entry into the war. The Russian withdrawal from the war had major consequences on the Entente’s war effort. Russia left the war in the first place due to a multitude of reasons, ranging from militaristic, economical and political reasons. Militaristically, they lost a majority of battles to Germany and won few against Austria, concluding very little effort on the fronts. Economically, money invested in the war did not allow for proper food flow through the country with shortages of food hitting the country harshly. Prices in Moscow more than doubled during the first year of the war, making it problematic for middle class people to purchase goods. Politically, removal of people in charge, and people loyal to the Tsar (but inexperienced in that role in the government) being placed lead to the collapse of the Russian government’s stability. This made Russia extremely fragile as a nation, and a war would do no good to the country. In fear of its collapse, Russia exited the war, but not without providing Germany with many advantages. They lost 290,000 square miles of land, a quarter of their population, 90% of their coal mines and a quarter of its industry. This empowered Germany, due to heightened sources of money entering the country. The Russian abandonment then weakened the Entente due to a sudden depreciation in troops, as although the Russians did not win many battles, their troops were still quite high in numbers, and their generals had lots of experience on the battlefield.

Lastly, Germany’s own internal conditions could be argued to be the most important factor within the output of the First World War. Britain’s blockade of Germany’s trading ports did not allow for food to flow through the country, and rationing had to be devised within various parts of the country. The revolution that then broke out due to war weariness in the public straggled at the country’s already devastated government and dwindling resources, and after the mutiny of sailors at the main naval bases of Kiel and Wilhelmshaven, it signed the hunger and anger that the people possessed. The riots that broke out further wrecked havoc through the country. Some historians argue that this was the main reason for the WWI’s outcome.

In conclusion, the US did have quite a significant impact upon the course of the First World War, through the troops supplied through the war, the psychological boosts it gave the morale of the generals, troops, and leaders of Britain and France, and the demoralization it provided Germany. However, the fragility of Russia which lead to its departure from the Triple Entente war effort, alongside the German breakdown of internal conditions, and lastly the US’ inexperience with commandeering battles on a large front that WWI imposed were other major factors that may be argued towards preceding the US entry into the war as a major deciding factor for the war’s outcome.


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