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How did the United States Move from Isolationism to Involvement after World War I
World War I
Movement from Isolationism to Involvement
Even before the First World War, isolation was part of the tradition for the United States.
The country was guarded by its massive oceans along its borders. When conflicts arose in
Europe, and they did occur numerous times, several people in the United States claimed
exceptionalism. The United States was different and did not feel obligated to associate
themselves with the self-destruction of Europe.
One the First World War began, the first reaction of the United States was to take a
neutral stand. Since it is basically a country of immigrants, America would face a big hurdle
selecting a side. Citizens with British roots were inclined to side with Britain while those with
German heritage tended to side with Germany. Supporting either the Allies or Central Powers
could have disastrous effects.
Since the United States was neutral, it continued trade with both sides of the war.
Unfortunately, Great Britain which possessed an incredibly strong navy was not completely in
agreement with this. The British set up a blockade on Germany preventing naval trade between
America and Germany from occurring. The outcome of the trade was quite surprising. The
United States more than tripled trade with the Allies from 1914 to 1916 whereas trade with
Germany was severely reduced to less than ten percent. This outcome pushed the Germans to
carry out submarine warfare with the United States at sea. The latter was forced to enter the First
World War after maintaining isolationism for two and a half ye...
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