President Wilson attempted neutrality but, as the war went on, this became more and more problematic. However, the German submarine warfare finally pushed the President to send in troops and fight the war.
The German side ruthlessly sunk a large number of ships and caused a lot of loss of property and of life. President Wilson learned of all this and, despite Germany’s claims that they would stop, they failed to do so. The president finally declared that the battle was now a war against all nations (firstworldwar.com).
The President had been attempting to remain neutral for some time but when he realised the damage that was being done and that ships of all nationalities had been sunk, including American vessels, he had no choice but to intervene.
Lewis Hine is a wonderful provider of primary sources. In March 1917 he took a number of photographs in Oklahoma. The photographs featuring children selling newspapers during school hours demonstrate how families were still having to send their children out to work in order to earn money, instead of allowing them to attend school and get an education. Many of these children had other excuses for playing truant. Examples include getting up late and not wanting to get beaten for being tardy, and having lost a school uniform so being unable to attend school. Furthermore, Hine photographed men who were blind or in wheelchairs, probably as a result of the war. Both photographs show the negative impact that the situation was having on Oklahoma in March 1917.
Brinkley, A. The Unfinished Nation: A Concise History of the American People, Volume 2 (6th Edition).
2010. Print. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Firstworldwar.com. “U.S. Declaration of War with Germany.” 2009. Web. 27 Sept 2011.