World war one and USA

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,970
So to dig deeper into your question; to what degree would that entail US neutrality? Since in truth the United States had not been functioning as a true neutral since about late 1915, that would potentially mean a very different war. The United States was producing specifically for French and British a lot of war materials, and supplying foodstuffs. Had the United States been functioning as a Neutral during that entire period it would have demanded that Britain not interfere with US shipments of food, and non war-essential products to the "Central Powers", this would not have been the war we knew at all. It would have also meant that the United States would not have been producing things like ammunition to the Triple Entente which it had since late 1915.

In the Napoleonic Wars this led to a great deal of hostility and eventually war between the US and Britain. The US has historically defended the neutral rights of shipping.
How was not neutral? It;'s standard practice for Neutral countries to sell things to belligerents. and other nations were doing so.
"true neutral" is not a thing international law or policy.

The US did make demands about the British blockade, but the blockade was mostly legal. Demands have no real effect. The Entente trade was highly profitable. the Central powers trade much less so.

The central powers would have struggled to pay for thinsg in the US and did not have the ability to ship things to Eruope.

The US was quite happy to sell to the Central powers.

It was British shipping shipping things to Entente not US ships generally.

The US has only historically defended the rights of neutral shipping WHILE neutral once at war the US demanded stricter blockade than the British.
 
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May 2018
1,019
Michigan
How "neutral" are we talking? The USA was investing heavily in an Allied victory (in fact, U.S. investors were warned as such). If neutral merely means the USA does not go to war with Germany, but the piplines of capital keep flowing, the British Empire probably prevails eventually in a peace satisfactory for them, if not for France, Italy and Russia (depending on what happens). If the USA doesn't go to war over the Zimmerman telegram, I'm pretty sure America's willingness to send supplies to the Allies increases rather than goes down. Americans probably aren't forgetting that telegram (what is it with Germany and wars with telegrams?), they are building up their military and protecting the U.S. Mexico border (even if it isn't necessary, just to answer public outcry). American business interests would see to it that, to protect their existing investments, the Allies are the ones getting the war supplies.

With that much money invested in Allied victory, I'm pretty sure the rich elites guarantee we enter the war eventually just to protect their investment. Then again, the USA never goes to war just because rich elites want to :lol:

If the USA chose true "neutrality", then this affects the war far before 1917.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,970
How "neutral" are we talking? The USA was investing heavily in an Allied victory (in fact, U.S. investors were warned as such). If neutral merely means the USA does not go to war with Germany, but the piplines of capital keep flowing, the British Empire probably prevails eventually in a peace satisfactory for them, if not for France, Italy and Russia (depending on what happens). If the USA doesn't go to war over the Zimmerman telegram, I'm pretty sure America's willingness to send supplies to the Allies increases rather than goes down. Americans probably aren't forgetting that telegram (what is it with Germany and wars with telegrams?), they are building up their military and protecting the U.S. Mexico border (even if it isn't necessary, just to answer public outcry). American business interests would see to it that, to protect their existing investments, the Allies are the ones getting the war supplies.

With that much money invested in Allied victory, I'm pretty sure the rich elites guarantee we enter the war eventually just to protect their investment. Then again, the USA never goes to war just because rich elites want to :lol:

If the USA chose true "neutrality", then this affects the war far before 1917.
At the time of US entry all British loans were secured loans. They were backed by US secuitires owned by the british Government (compulsorily acquired from Biritish citizens for British war bonds) On these terms the risk were extremely nominal for they would get their money. the Risk was over investing in productive capacity. The US gun makers insisted the britsh atcualy paid for and own the rifle assmbley lines for the British pattern 14 rifles , as the 3 manufacturers were unwilling to take on the risk. In end after two years very few rifles had actaully been delivered. (it's takes a while to sort out the kinks of producing a new rifle) and the British sold the lines to the US on the US entry in into the War (for a song) and these lines actually provided most of the US rifles in ww1.

The Zimmerman telegram was actually done using US diplomatic cables which teh US had made available to teh Germans for the purposes of peace negotiations/feelers. To turn around and use these fasciaators to incite Mexico to attack the US was a betrayal, the really rankled the administration.
 
Nov 2019
334
United States
I'm going to attach a Federal Reserve Bulletin from October 1st 1919 entitled EXPORTS FROM THE UNITED STATES BEFORE AND AFTER THE OUTBREAK OF THE WAR.
What you'll find enlightening is just how much of an increase in shipment of products WW1 caused for the United States, again expressly, to Britain, France and Russia. You'll note that during the period 1915 to 1917 domestic items not listed as munitions initially doubled, then tripled, quadrupled, and quintupled, especially in the case of Britain and France. Meanwhile products shipped to all other non-Entente nations fell. Similarly during the period in question the United States shipped $800,000,000 in explosives, not contained in shells, shells are not listed in total volume, nor are cartridges.

Whilst it is mentioned that Britain "purchased" factories for production within the United States of arms, it should be remembered that these purchases were directly funded through Wall Street even where British capital may have secured them. No other belligerent nations were allowed to do so. In fact the transport of munitions from ports was in a violation of the 1909 International treaty.

America was going to fight for the Entente eventually, and individuals like Colonel House secured for Britain what they hoped in terms of a relationship of some security. Wilson needed to couch his intents and lie to the American people about his intents (which in the long run I agree with) until after the 1916 Presidential elections (during which he promised NOT to involve America in WW1).

Probably the least recognized but perhaps most important of items that the United States shipped to Britain and France was foodstuffs. Though it is often pointed out by Canadians how important their supply of foods to Britain were, their capacity of production also suffered from the call up of so many individuals who would be involved in farm production, a quick study of the attached document demonstrates how much more food the US shipped during the war before US entry, and after.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,970
Whilst it is mentioned that Britain "purchased" factories for production within the United States of arms, it should be remembered that these purchases were directly funded through Wall Street even where British capital may have secured them. No other belligerent nations were allowed to do so.
Britian was rasing money on wall st on commerical terms, there was no reason why other nations could not have done the same, well other than lacking the finical resources.
Source for this claim that others were not allowed to do so?


This article here says that Germans were able to raise some money on commerial; terms on walls st.

"On Wall Street, US banks were not enthusiastic to lend to Germany, partly because of inherent pro-Entente sympathies, partly because of discouragement from the Wilson Administration. Between 1914 and 1917 the Germans only managed to obtain $35 million in private credits through New York.[20] Nor did the smaller European neutrals offer much elasticity in foreign credit provision. Swiss banks provided $170 million to all foreign borrowers for the duration of the war. The Dutch financial sector extended 440 million guilders ($220 million) in credits, of which about two thirds went to the Central Powers and the remainder largely to Britain"


In fact the transport of munitions from ports was in a violation of the 1909 International treaty.
Source for treaty?
 
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Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,978
Dispargum
Wartime shortages of grain in the global market caused the price of wheat in the US to rise from $1/bushel in 1910 to more than $2/bushel by 1920. The higher prices caused marginal land on the Great Plains that had previously been ignored to be put under the plow. In 1921 the price returned to normal and many Great Plains wheat farmers were wiped out.