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WWI all about the benjamins?

n1oty

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Why don't you finish reading the very link you posted. In the last half of the link, it says that the committee found little hard evidence to support their theory. Frankly, Nye sounds like a socialist whacko.
 
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WW1 was all about old empires tied together by treaties unable to extract themselves from their treaty obligations

The war had been going on for almost three years before the US got involved, and only then because the British made the US aware of Germany attempting to persuade Mexico to declare war on the US.
 

center442

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WW1 was all about old empires tied together by treaties unable to extract themselves from their treaty obligations

The war had been going on for almost three years before the US got involved, and only then because the British made the US aware of Germany attempting to persuade Mexico to declare war on the US.

Accurate. I'd also add the fact that Germany was practicing unrestricted submarine warfare, and any ship entering the waters around Great Britain or France was considered fair game. Many Americans felt that ships flying the U.S. flag should not be fired upon, since we were not part of the conflict. The Germans had earlier agreed to this, but later resumed unrestricted warfare. (There's still a lot of disagreement over whether or not the Lusitania was carrying munitions in addition to passengers.)

Wilson was notably opposed to the U.S. entering WWI.

Nye suggested that Wilson had withheld essential information from Congress as it considered a declaration of war.

I don't believe that Wilson would have withheld information that would have supported his position that we not enter the conflict. Nye's panel never reported any information supporting this. There's a story about Wilson's reaction to the U.S. entering WWI. In the evening of the day that Congress declared war against Germany, Wilson heard crowds in the street outside the White House cheering. He supposedly remarked to someone that it was strange to hear Americans cheering for the death of their young. (I'm working from memory, so my wording may not be exact.)

I won't disagree that money and profits play a part in any conflict, but I just don't see that as the main reason for the U.S. entering WWI. I'm open to any evidence that suggests otherwise.
 

pdm

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Wilson was a giant clambag who, once we were in the war, rammed through all kinds of socialist and statist crap. Like all progressives, he never let a crisis go to waste (wikipedia link).
 
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WWI was an Imperial war just like the vast majority of 19th Century wars. WWI was the last 19th Century war - it just happened to happen in the 20th.

Germany went to war over France and Englands attempts to contain German expansion. (I'm really simplifying here) Unified Germany was a new player on the scene and Keiser Bill wanted an overseas empire like the other major European players. He came into direct conflict with France (as Germany always does) over their common border issues and came into conflct with England over his desire for a world-class navy.

Austro-Hungaria was conflicting with Russia over Serbia. Serbia was a quasi-part of the Austro-Hungarian empire but the Bear had designs on the Balkans as they always did and supported Serbian independance as a means to that end.

The Ottomans had border issues with the Russians and issues over the Middle East with the Brits.

ALL of the players believed war to be inevitable at some point - just no one wanted to be the one to tip it off.

The Arch Duke gets shot by a Serbian terrorist. Austro-Hungaria invades Serbia. Russia declares war on the Austro Hungarians as does France. Germany sees an opportunity and so uses the French declaration as an excuse to honor their obligation with Austria and declares back. Russia declares on Germany as they've got an alliance with France. Ooops. Keiser Bill got a nasty surprise there, didn't know about that and thought that he and 'Cousin Nicky' (he acually wrote letters to the Czar addressed Dear Cousin Nicky) were cool.

Germany invokes their long planned invasion of France - through Belgium. England has a treaty with Belgium (mostly to deter French agression) and so declares against Germany - proving Keiser Bill's suspicion and claim the Cousin George really hated him all these years.

The Ottoman's jumped in inspite of ALL parties preferring they stay out of things. The Japanese joined the allies as a way of making a grab at Germany's far-eastern colonies (they were denied them in the peace settlement and that was a major antecedent to their decision to invade China) and Italy wanted the opportunity to snag some of the alpine passes from the Austrians.

4 years and millions of deaths later Monarchy is no longer an active form of government in The Western World (Constitutional Monarchy's don't count - the soverign is just a figurehead).
 
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calsdad

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Accurate. I'd also add the fact that Germany was practicing unrestricted submarine warfare, and any ship entering the waters around Great Britain or France was considered fair game. Many Americans felt that ships flying the U.S. flag should not be fired upon, since we were not part of the conflict. The Germans had earlier agreed to this, but later resumed unrestricted warfare. (There's still a lot of disagreement over whether or not the Lusitania was carrying munitions in addition to passengers.)

Wilson was notably opposed to the U.S. entering WWI.



I don't believe that Wilson would have withheld information that would have supported his position that we not enter the conflict. Nye's panel never reported any information supporting this. There's a story about Wilson's reaction to the U.S. entering WWI. In the evening of the day that Congress declared war against Germany, Wilson heard crowds in the street outside the White House cheering. He supposedly remarked to someone that it was strange to hear Americans cheering for the death of their young. (I'm working from memory, so my wording may not be exact.)

I won't disagree that money and profits play a part in any conflict, but I just don't see that as the main reason for the U.S. entering WWI. I'm open to any evidence that suggests otherwise.


From:
http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig4/powell-jim5.html

There never was a serious possibility that Germany might attack the United States during World War I. The German Navy was confined to German ports by the British Navy, and British convoys dramatically reduced the number of merchant ships sunk by German submarines. The German Army was stalemated on the Western Front, and over a million German soldiers were engaged on the Eastern Front. German boys and older men were being drafted to fill the trenches. There wasn’t any armed force available for an attack on the United States. Despite the suggestion, in German Foreign Minister Arthur Zimmermann’s inflammatory telegram, about a possible alliance between Germany, Mexico and Japan, America was safe.

Wilson claimed that American national security was linked with the fate of Britain, but because the British Navy had bottled up the German Navy and neutralized German submarines, Germany wasn’t capable of invading Britain. In any case, Britain was struggling to maintain its global empire. The settlement following World War I had the effect of adding more territories to the British Empire. Why should American lives have been lost and American resources spent to expand the British Empire?

Why, for that matter, should the United States have defended the French or the Belgians? They were defending their overseas empires, and both had shown themselves to be brutal colonial rulers. The Belgians were responsible for slavery and mass murder in the Congo – the first modern genocide, involving an estimated 8 million deaths.

And there was a REASON why the Mexicans were pissed at us - we had already screwed around in their country:

The arrogant Wilson should have learned a lesson when he tried nation-building in Mexico, and the effort backfired. What could have been simpler than sending some American soldiers across the Mexican border to find a bandit and help install a good ruler down there? Yet Wilson’s intervention failed to find the bandit, failed to install a good ruler, killed people and made enemies.

Wilson was an interventionist and an internationalist - and a "progressive", in case you haven't noticed - progressives always think they know better and try to screw around with other people who aren't leading their lives in the proper manner.

Apparently thinking only about what he wanted, he pressured and bribed the Russian Provisional Government to stay in the war, when he ought to have known that country had been falling apart ever since it entered the war in 1914. Wilson ought to have known that millions of Russian peasants weren’t going to be affected much one way or the other by what happened on the Western Front, the only thing that Wilson cared about. He ought to have known that Russian peasants were deserting the Russian Army by the thousands, to go home and claim land, and soon there wouldn’t be any army to defend the Provisional Government. If Wilson didn’t know these things, he didn’t have any business trying to play an international war game. Wilson’s blunders made it easier for Lenin to seize power on his fourth attempt in 1917, leading to more than seven decades of Soviet communism.

Wilson ought to have known he was playing with fire when, at the Versailles Conference following World War I, he participated in redrawing thousands of miles of national borders. He knew how nationalist hatreds had exploded in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and triggered the Balkan wars and World War I. Turkish nationalists expelled some 100,000 Greeks from the Anatolian Peninsula where many families had lived for over a thousand years, and large numbers of Greek women were raped and Greek men murdered. Turkish nationalists massacred an estimated 1.5 million Armenians.


Wilson could have kept us out of the war - he didn't. Much of his regretful comments about getting us into WW1 quite frankly seem like propaganda if you ask me, pablum for the American people so they don't catch on to the fact that their leader sent them overseas to get killed by the 10's of thousands to satisfy their own ideological needs.

The British WANTED us in the war because they knew damn well it would turn the tide of power to their side. The two sides were just beating the crap out of each other for years without making any real gains.
 
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