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Old October 26th, 2014, 12:37 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by American Cynical Optimist View Post
Hmm, I suppose that some of my language may read as a diatribe, it was not my intention.
Perhaps to someone who views Wilson in a positive light, it reads as a diatribe. Others would consider your post not strongly worded enough, if like me they have a distinctly negative view of the man. So you must be doing it right.
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Old March 6th, 2015, 03:04 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by SirOrmondeWinter View Post
Hell yeah, it was absurd that the US didn't join sooner
Why?

If the US had joined earlier, the AEF would have reached Europe while the trench warfare stalemate was still in place, so US casualties would have been massively increased. Also, if this led to Germany being defeated sooner, Russia remains in the war, so that peace is essentially dictated by the French and Russians, with the US (and Britain) essentially looking on from the sidelines. So effectively, America's casualties have been doubled and her influence halved. Why should any American favour that?
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Old March 6th, 2015, 03:15 AM   #83
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Indeed. By 1917 Britain had run up an enormous tab, and if stalemated or defeated there'd be no way for powerful creditors to recover those loans. This consideration isn't as dramatic as the Luisitania sinking, or even the Zimmermann telegram, but there's no reason to doubt America's 1% then had just as much pull in Washington as it does now, and was just as willing to use any means - including war - to recover loans, and/or make a tidy profit.
No. As of April 1917 all American loans to the Entente were secured on investments in North America which would have been beyond the reach of even a victorious Germany. American lenders were in no danger of losing their money.

Such a danger would have indeed arisen had loans been granted without security. But while Britain (running out of collateral by 1917) tried too arrange such loans, the Wilson administration firmly opposed them as long as America remained neutral.
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Old March 6th, 2015, 03:38 AM   #84

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Originally Posted by pugsville View Post
They undertook unrestricted submarine warfare because they were losing. There economy was suffering and they needed a way to win, they felt they would not win the land war in France and so decided to try to use submarine warfare to break the deadlock. They knew it could well bring the USA into the war, but believed it would take over a year for the USA to bring any effective force to France (which was more in less right) they just failed to bring Britain to its knees within their expected time frame.
That's how I always understood it. Staking everything on one last desperate throw of the dice hardly ever works. They just got a lot more guys killed or maimed for nothing.
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Old March 6th, 2015, 04:29 AM   #85
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That's how I always understood it. Staking everything on one last desperate throw of the dice hardly ever works. They just got a lot more guys killed or maimed for nothing.
And the joke is - they never needed to do it.

Had Germany but known it, when USW was declared, Russia was on the brink of Revolution, the French army on the brink of mutiny, and their British paymaster fast running out of security for its US loans, without which it would be unable to subsidise them, and would have seen its own imports reduced more drastically by lack of funds than even the most effective submarine campaign could have done.

By adopting USW, the Germans quite literally snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. .

Last edited by Mikestone8; March 6th, 2015 at 04:32 AM.
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Old March 6th, 2015, 04:52 AM   #86

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No, absolutely not. There were millions of people here who believed the same thing during that war.
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Old March 6th, 2015, 06:17 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by Mikestone8 View Post
Why?

If the US had joined earlier, the AEF would have reached Europe while the trench warfare stalemate was still in place, so US casualties would have been massively increased. Also, if this led to Germany being defeated sooner, Russia remains in the war, so that peace is essentially dictated by the French and Russians, with the US (and Britain) essentially looking on from the sidelines. So effectively, America's casualties have been doubled and her influence halved. Why should any American favour that?
Because we should have seen the dangers of socialist revolutions throughout Europe. We actually got lucky in that just Russia fell to the communists, had things gone slightly differently the situation could have been much, much worse. Had Germany's defeat been more thorough, had they been defeated before the Bolshevik uprising in Russia the Great War might have been 'The War to End all Wars'...at least for another century or two.

Instead we got 'influence' at Versailles and what did we use that influence for? We squandered it 'to make the world safe for democracy.' What we did in practice was to make the world safe for Communism and Fascism in what had to be one of the most idealistic, naive, and hair-brained schemes in all of history: Wilson's 14 points. The capstone achievement, the League of Nations, was so far fetched Wilson couldn't even get it approved by the US Senate. Furthermore, with the removal of the Kaiser it created a power vacuum that would directly lead to WWII. We learned our lesson, come the next war; but the world had to endure another World War on account of our mistakes in Versailles.

The war's cost and duration also started to put cracks in the fabric of European empire, the cause of much of the instability in the world today. We should have been targeting mercantilism, like the Imperial Preference System in the British Empire, not the Empires themselves. We could have arisen to a dominate global position in the world simply by breaking down trade barriers, there was no reason to undermine the foundations of Empire and create the mess that is the modern world.

If we really wanted to advance our interests in the war we should have, in late 1914 or early 1915, offered Britain, France, and Russia full US support in the war in exchange for 99 year guarantees of free trade agreements and insisted on imposing similar terms on the central powers at the end of the war. At some point in the war, possibly even in the early days, they would have become desperate enough to agree to those terms.
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Old March 6th, 2015, 12:33 PM   #88
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If you want to know whether America should have joined the war or not, you have to go back a little further to it's involvement in Asia and Latin America.

Hay's "Open Door" note illuminated how commercial considerations influenced American foreign policy. It reflected a quest for what has been called "informal empire," in contrast to the formal acquisition of overseas territories.

Think of what American businessmen did in a weak China before the war. Think Panama Canal when Roosevelt called the Colombians "greedy little anthropoids"

The US was already well under way to strengthening its world role (protect US interests) between 1901 and 1909 in Latin America and Asia.

It's entry into WWI was just an extension of what it felt was in its best interest.

Also Wilson's vision of an enlightened world order has to be taken into consideration.
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Old March 6th, 2015, 12:57 PM   #89
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WW1 Inter Allied Debts. If the US had been more far sighted and realistic about the Debts then perhaps ww2 could have been avoided,

The US Insisted on full repayment, and then raised US tariffs making it very hard for other nations to earn US Dollars to repay it. The Long term balence of trade eventually lead to the over heating on the US economy, the Great Depression, Fascism and WW2,

For all the focus on Versailles Treaty, the economics are pretty important.
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Old March 6th, 2015, 01:09 PM   #90

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The US was also paying Germany so she could pay the enormous debts owed to the other victors.

The US capitalists should have stayed out of that war period. Let the empires beat each other up, and see what is left over. Some companies did very well moving into the war-ravaged economies in Europe with their products. Of course they didn't care about the lives of the poor and working class young men that would die and be mangled for their profits, but they could have spared countless lives of their fellow countrymen before soaking up all those post-war profits.
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