Wilson's Open Door to World War I
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/01/2015
Year Published: 2015
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20862
Discussion of the underlying reasons for the United States' participation in World War I.
Despite Rhetoric of "liberty", "freedom" and "democracy" and charges regarding German violations of America's claimed neutrality, the United States entered World War I for basically the same imperial reasons as the other major belligerents. The war, at its base a German challenge to an older order dominated by British imperial power, threatened a global realignment and redistribution of spheres of influence and territorial and colonial spoils. In that sense, U.S. ruling circles certainly understood what was at stake and could not sit it out.
At its heart, World War I was an imperialist war -- the result of escalating competition for the world's resources, markets for goods and capital investment opportunities, access to raw materials and colonial possessions. U.S. involvement was certainly driven by capitalist imperatives of expansion, profit and accumulation.