The Effect on Americans Appetite following the Sinking of the Lusitania
The Effect on Americans Appetite following the Sinking of the Lusitania
The sinking of the US Passenger ship, the Lusitania, was a pivotal point in the turn of events in WWI which ultimately resulted in the United States newly founded appetite to enter WWI and shed their neutral status. The Lusitania, A vessel destined to reach Great Britain from New York in early may of 1915, made the mistake of making waves through German warzone waters. All 1201 people aboard the Lusitania died, sinking in a record time of only 20 minutes. Before the sea-attack that occurred on May 7th, 1915, the United States maintained a status of neutrality in WWI and stayed out of the way of the war for the most part. This attack breached the treaty with the European powers, and vetoed their neutrality status, leading to a climax in the American appetite to enter WWI. An earlier agreement was created to prevent unrestricted submarine warfare in open waters, which apparently were ignored in this case by the Germans. Following this attack, were many effects on the war based on the United States entry into the war. Initiated by President Woodrow Wilson started initial efforts to propagandize(See figure 1) and stir the pot when it comes to America’s war effort. During a speech following WWI, Wilson says: “The impact of the Great War on the United States saw political, economic and social changes. The United States emerged from the war as a world military and industrial leader.
Resulting from the sinking of the Lusitania, mistrust and disloyalty problems became a threat to US and Germany. At the birthing of the Sussex Pledge, it was made clear that ships and other boats can operate freely in open water without hearing any interference from either Germany or the US, specifically in submarine warfare. After the violation of the treaty, tensions increased between both countries. Thus, the sinking of this ship was an explicit revocation of the international accord and further lead to war. A majority of the people who lost their lives were not associated with the war, which naturally leads to higher anger in the US. The breach of the peace accord came in the wake of suspicion by the Germans and its sides that England was secretly engaging the USA to use the open seas to supply weapons. The violation of the Sussex Pledge rooted from the German’s idea that the US and England were teamed up to take advantage of open-waters and supply weapons and ammunition. Although they were broad, the accusations were later confirmed when the ship was sunk; Tons of guns and ammunition came from New York and were en-route to Liverpool. Therefore, following the sinking of the Lusitania brought upon a broader realization that the Americans were aiding England and the more substantial allied powers. Apparently, Germany was not happy with this, and this started a giant arms race and a mistrust that would never be solved. The distrust and hatred lead to even more vicious and violent wars and confrontations between the two. The German’s disobeyed the Sussex Pledge and even slightly intensified their submarine warfare. Following this, the American’s had no choice but to enter the war. Spouting from the attacks, the USA decided to openly support England and the allies, to further instigate the fight. To respond, Germany decided to sink all American and English vessels that they could. After all the attacks, American’s released different forms of both accurate news and also propaganda, which were open to the public eyes. Below in Fig 1, you can see an example of a type of propaganda by the US, made to appeal to the American people. Publicity like so creates an image in the public’s eye that Germany is the worst country in the world, in efforts to rally the nation against them in war efforts.
Although the Germans believe the attack on the Lusitania was justifiable and fair, the war appetite for the American’s significantly increased. The Americans started to care once the lives of innocent and unarmed civilians were lost. This increase in appetite demanded an answer on the USA’s behalf, on Germany and its associated allies who were responsible for these despicable acts on a US vessel. The American’s attacks were now based more on revenge rather than strategy. As such, the US decided to abandon its neutral space and finally declare with Germany and its allies. The US was able to shed their noncombatant status so quickly due to the pressure from the public on the Congress. The public’s stance on the war was the roadblock in the US’s initial entry. In conclusion, the sinking of the ship worked as a catalyst for the Americans, who finally found a need to attack back at the Germans and eventually enter the war.
The sinking of the Lusitania marked the beginning of loud arguments between Germany and the USA. For example, the German embassy in the USA warned Americans against traveling in the allied ships since they had deep mistrust with one another. The Americans ignored these calls, and this led to serious havoc on the American bound ships. This worsening relationship forced Woodrow Wilson to sign a pact that would end the US’s promise to keep a neutral status during the European wars. Even worse still, the telegram written by Arthur Zimmerman triggered the need for the Americans to enter into the fight. These clamors for the US to join the war were triggered by a series of violations of war policies by Germany. The wake of growing hostility between the USA and Germany created a perfect ground for the two countries to aggressively engage one another in fierce confrontations.
Principally, the sinking of Lusitania was the most significant extent of provocation by a European country to the Americans, and they would never take it. Thus, the sinking of this ship catalyzed the American to test their military weapons. Before then, the USA had manufactured guns but never proved them in a real war. In fact, this incident opened a wave of curiosity and anxiety by the Americans to see how they would perform and outdo European countries, who for a long time had underscored its capabilities and strength. Thus, the arms race was a very significant episode in the American’s history as it would test its strength against Germany; the self-declared superpower.
With time, the US’s appetite grew into the war, and the country was more than ready to engage Germany. When President Wilson signed a document warranting America to enter into the war, it was a fulfillment of the country’s appetite to join the battle. In fact, Germany did not expect that it would meet any stiff challenge from the USA, and so this became a real point where it would be proved otherwise. America’s entry into World War One climaxed the fate of this war into the British’s sides. It was never anticipated that the war would end in such a short span of time, but it had to come to a halt with the defeat of Germany. When the German leaders were killed or detained, the writings were clear that its side had lost power and control of the war. All these successes came as a result of the US’s intervention, and final attack on Germany. Evidently, the sinking of the Lusitania marked a new phase into the war.
Meanwhile, the German’s aggression did not recede after the end of World War One but soon gained momentum into the Second World War. Ideally, Adolf Hitler gathered all the soldiers, who would later take over the leadership of Germany. Thus, World War Two was triggered by the deep built animosity that compounded from the World War One, which mostly ended upon the intervention of the USA. Meanwhile, the beginning of this war can be traced to the time when the Lusitania was sunken by the Germany operatives under the unrestrictive submarine warfare.
In conclusion, the sinking of the US passenger ship, Lusitania, provoked the Americans, therefore, leading them into the war. The effects of the wreckage on the US ship were so significant that the public formed the opinion supporting a course into the fight. Indeed, the US Congress adopted a universal stance that endorsed a path for the war. With these pilling pressures, America entered the war.