Did the US consider allying with the Central Powers in WWI?

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,510
It doesn't seem like the US had much interest in the Entente cause. However, it could have attacked British and French new world possessions. Was this considered. Were there cultural and economic ties and similar political systems with Britain and France?
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,750
SoCal
I've heard someone else mention on this forum a couple of days ago that the German invasion of Belgium in 1914 and the resulting atrocities that Germany committed in Belgium destroyed a lot of the pro-German sympathies in the US during this time.
 
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Mar 2019
106
Victoria, Australia
I think it would have been more likely for the USA to just remain entirely out of the war as a neutral party as originally intended then for them to join the central powers. For started the USA's army at the onset of WWI was a complete joke to most other major powers (and that is true, the USA did not have a significant army at that time). So really, I don't see it happening. They mostly join the entente powers due to a general shift in opinion towards being anti-german especially after belgium and unrestricted submarine warfare.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,628
Las Vegas, NV USA
People of German ancestry in the US were second only to Anglo-Irish. After the AWOI there was serious consideration of making German the official language. Anti-British feeling was often high with peaks during the War of 1812 and ACW. The settlement of British responsibility for losses to Confederate raiders during the ACW occurred in 1870. The buildup of US naval power challenged both British and German fleets by 1900. The US had no official alliances in 1914 but public opinion swung sharply against Germany with the invasion of Belgium. British propaganda made sure the US remained anti-German if not pro Entente. The 1915 sinking of the Lusitania off the Irish coast sealed US public opinion against Germany. Germany agreed to end the zone of unrestricted submarine warfare but renewed it in 1917. This and the Zimmerman Telegram (promising Mexico the return of lands taken by the US) led the US to declare war on Germany and Austria Hungary . Except possibly for the Irish Catholic population in large cities, there was little pro-German sentiment in the US and that was mostly gone by 1915.
 
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martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,813
Spain
In 1914.. USA was neutral and it would have been out of war.. but in 1914, USA sympathies for Central Empires... most of USA Population came from German Reich and K und K Monarchie. USA had been trouble with UK through 19th Century.. USA didn´t like the British and French Colonialism.

I think USA was terribly isolationist. In fact, the German submarine War was thought as early stage as a defensive method against the brutal and inhuman British blockade. American Irish population was anti-British and the French- Canadians lived in Vermont or in Maine.. were catholic.. and they didn´t like the secular Rrepublic (almost anti-Christian) of France. South I am sure would have been Pro-British.. but Secession war only just finished 49 years .
Yes, USA Populatio didn´t like invasion through Belgium... but the country was Pacifist and no way.. they would go to a war against Central Empire because "little Belgium"...

If finally USA are going to be in War in April 1917 is because... and i would say only because the disastrous German decisions made between 1914 and 1917 ... every time they made a decision .. the Germans made a lamentable mistake that only led to the entry into the US war.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,746
Dispargum
The biggest factors inclining the US into alliance with Britain and France were:
1. shared democratic values (the US did not enter the war until after the Czar fell)
2. unrestricted submarine warfare waged by Germany
3. the US had sold arms to both Britain and France on credit. The only way the US could recover those loans was if the Entente won the war. The US would have sold arms to Germany but for the British blockade
4. a belief that Germany and Austria-Hungary had started the war by attacking Serbia exacerbated by the fact that most of the fighting was in Entente countries fueling the perception that the Central Powers were aggressive invaders
 

Kotromanic

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
5,037
Iowa USA
4. a belief that Germany and Austria-Hungary had started the war by attacking Serbia exacerbated by the fact that most of the fighting was in Entente countries fueling the perception that the Central Powers were aggressive invaders
Dear moderator-member Chlodio, UK was working to arrange a peace conference after the Note of July 23 was sent by Austria-Hungary to Serbia. It is interesting that point #4 references an opinion in place of fact.
 
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