Terrible Consequences Of First World War Still Afflict American Life Today

Steve Forbes, Forbes.com

ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO today, April 2, 1917, in a dramatic evening address President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress for a declaration of war against Germany. Appropriately, a thunderous rainstorm raged outside. Four days later Congress complied. The U.S. was officially at war with the world's most formidable military power. The future would be dramatically altered, though not in ways anyone could have foreseen.

The unexpected began with the German calculation that the U.S. would have no impact on the ground war in Europe. One high-ranking officer vowed to the Kaiser that not one American soldier would land on the continent. German submarines would see to that! This view reflected the conventional wisdom of the German High Command. Anyway, they reassured one another, the U.S. Army was pitifully small and not well trained. (We had a first-class navy, but that would be of no help in ground battles).

Berlin precipitated American entry into the war when it decided to wage unrestricted submarine warfare against all neutral shipping. No distinction would be made between civilian and military vessels--any ship headed to an Allied port would be torpedoed. Imperial Germany's long-term record of blundering diplomacy continued when, in early 1917, it tried to entice Mexico to go to war against the U.S. in return for much of the territory it had lost in the war with us 70 years before. That revelation and the continuous torpedoing of American ships persuaded a once-reluctant public opinion that we had to enter the conflict.

Germany thought it could starve Britain, which imported most of its food, into submission. Britain responded by inventing the convoy system--protected by destroyers, freighters would sail in groups instead of singly. Even if one ship was sunk, the destroyers would take care of the sub. Britain got all the food it needed, and by the beginning of 1918 the U.S. was sending 40,000 to 50,000 soldiers each week to France. Germany lost the war.

The aftershocks of the Great War on the U.S. were profound. Woodrow Wilson was a utopian, believing the U.S. could show the way to a world of everlasting peace and harmony.

Read full article

You May Also Like:

Trump, Tariffs And The Protectionist Temptation Phil Gramm and Mike Solon, The Wall Street Journal

Trump Approves $1.3 Trillion Budget, Averts Govt Shutdown Jason Devaney, Newsmax

John Bolton Is The National Security Advisor Trump Has Been Waiting For Paul Bonicelli, The Federalist

Facebook Flap -- Don't Overreact With Regulation That Will Destroy Social Media Innovation John Fund, Fox News

Is California Governor Jerry Brown Mentally Ill? Lloyd Marcus, American Thinker

Utah Just Legalized “Free-Range” Parenting [Watch] Elise Solé, Yahoo News

Obama Harvested Data From Facebook And Bragged About It. Why Are We Only Freaking Out About This Now? Declan McCullagh, Reason

Roseanne Defends Supporting Trump To Jimmy Kimmel: 'You All Went So F***ing Far Out’ [Watch] Tre Goins-Phillips, Independent Journal Review

Gun Control Activist David Hogg Draws The Line At Backpack Control John Sexton, Hot Air

Citibank Explains Their Plan To Curtail Second Amendment Rights Kemberlee Kaye, Legal Insurrection

Not A Joke: Congress Is About To Give Itself A Bonus Benjamin Arie, Conservative Tribune

Steven Pinker On Enlightenment, Our Complex Democracy, And Hope For Humanity [Watch] Rubin Report

Obama-Era Regulations Are Ruining Our Merit-Based Immigration System. Here's How To Fix It Ron Paul, Fox News

Even Protectionists Agree That Tariffs Will Make Us Poorer Colin Grabow, Foundation for Economic Education

National Debt, A War between Current And Future Generations? James R. Rogers, Library of Law and Liberty

For More go to the Home Page >>>

Join Our Email List



FreeMarket Central

Some titles recent, all recommended -

Special Video Feature

FreeMarket Central

Voices From The 2017 International Students For Liberty Conference


In Search Of History

The Reagan Tax Cuts Worked

Thanks to "bracket creep," the inflation of the 1970s pushed millions of taxpayers into higher tax brackets even though their inflation-adjusted incomes were not rising. To help offset this tax increase and also to improve incentives to work, save, and invest, President Reagan proposed sweeping tax rate reductions during the 1980s. What happened? Total tax revenues climbed by 99.4 percent during the 1980s, and the results are even more impressive when looking at what happened to personal income tax revenues. Once the economy received an unambiguous tax cut in January 1983, income tax revenues climbed dramatically, increasing by more than 54 percent by 1989 (28 percent after adjusting for inflation).


-- Daniel J. Mitchell,

Shadow Stats Snapshot

FreeMarket Central

ShadowStats alternate economic indicators are based on the methodology of noted economist John Williams, specialist in government economic reporting.

  • Unemployment:
    FreeMarket Central BLS: 4.14%
    FreeMarket Central Shadow Stats: 21.8%
  • Inflation:
    FreeMarket Central February Year-to-Year: 1.8% (CPI-U*)
    FreeMarket Central Shadow Stats: 9.9%

*[cpi-u is the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation rate for all urban consumers]