World War 1 DBQ Essay
Essay on the Great War (DBQ)
During World War I, there was a tension between Woodrow Wilson’s political rhetoric and the economic need that he was facing at the time. Despite Woodrow Wilson’s declaration in his address to the Congress on April 2, 1917, that “the world must be made safe for democracy” and his explanation as to why the German government and its actions are a threat to humanity and democracy, there was also a pragmatic reason for him to lead the United States into this war, and that was the economic aspect. However, despite the fact that the United States did not technically take part in the war until 1917, the United States had been actively dealing with and providing money to the Allied Powers of France, Great Britain, and Russia from the very start of the conflict.
Within those four years of war, it is believed that the United States supplied approximately 3 billion dollars worth of war needs such as ammunition to various European powers, with the proceeds of these sales assisting the United States in its economic development and prosperity. At the same time, European countries were suffering economically as a result of their participation in the war effort. Essentially, according to Zimmerman, the United States entered the war because the Germans were constantly sinking American non-armed ships, as well as the idea of ‘protecting democracy’ around the world. However, the fact that the United States had loaned the Allies huge sums of money also played a role in the decision to enter the war because if the Allies lost the war, they would not be able to pay back their loans, which would result in a potential financial crisis.
Capitalism was confronted with the Progressive movement and the rise of socialism at the time of the founding of the United Nations. The dissatisfaction of many individuals with the way capitalism favored certain people over others, as well as with the working environment in which regular, working-class Americans found themselves, fueled the emergence of the Progressive movement. People who identified with Robin Hood’s Merry Men and battled for the rights of the ordinary people in their battle against ‘evil’ capitalists were referred to as Progressives by some. This dissatisfaction frequently results in worker strikes and riots, such as the one that occurred in Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1912. Furthermore, socialism was spreading throughout the world, particularly in the countries that would become part of the Soviet Union and, to a lesser extent, in sections of Western Europe. Because socialism was (and continues to be) regarded as capitalism’s arch-enemy, the rise of the socialist movement was unquestionably a severe threat to capitalism’s survival.
When World War I broke out, it had a significant impact on the infamous American Dream, the concept of an immigrant gaining his or her riches in America. It was present prior to the conflict, but it wasn’t as noticeable as it is now. A large number of people, particularly Europeans, were aware that America was the “land of opportunity,” as it were, but the country was still not perceived as a powerful one, and so the American Dream was not viewed in the same light as it is today. Nevertheless, once World War II ended, the United States rose to the status of a truly global actor in the international sphere. In contrast to Europe, which was in disarray as a result of the war’s catastrophic consequences, the United States was doing well, which resulted in a massive influx of Old World immigrants into the United States.
Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, which were the first places and things that new arrivals would view when they arrived in the United States, respectively, became icons of the American Dream. Since becoming a global player, the United States has elevated the American Dream to its current degree of widespread acceptance. The American Dream taught the immigrants who came that it didn’t matter who they were or what brought them to this country because, with hard work and perseverance, everyone can find a place under the sun in our country, no matter where they came from. The only thing that really mattered was what you were prepared to sacrifice in order to make your American Dream a reality, regardless of your religion, family background, or origins, among other things.