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Primary Sources: America (U.S.A.) History

In the summer of 1914, the assassination of the heir to Austria-Hungary's throne triggered a chain of events that eventually plunged Europe into all-out war. The conflict, which began in Europe, soon engulfed regions as distant as the Middle East, drawing major powers into opposing alliances. The Central Powers, led by Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire, clashed with the Allies, consisting primarily of France, Great Britain, and Russia.

Initially, the United States opted for neutrality, though individual Americans harbored sympathies for either side. Many Americans provided support through relief efforts, volunteering as ambulance drivers, nurses, and even pilots and soldiers. President Woodrow Wilson advocated strongly for maintaining American neutrality, which most citizens supported.

However, events in early 1917 shifted American sentiments. Germany's decision to resume unrestricted submarine warfare, disregarding civilian and neutral vessels, sparked outrage. This sentiment intensified when intercepted communications revealed Germany's proposal to Mexico, offering lost territory in exchange for support against the United States. These developments prompted a significant shift in American attitudes towards intervention in the conflict.

Starting in 1917, the United States made substantial contributions in terms of supplies, raw materials, and financial support. Under the command of General of the Armies John Pershing, the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) deployed troops at a staggering rate of 10,000 men per day to the Western Front during the summer of 1918. Throughout the war, the U.S. mobilized over 4 million military personnel, with a casualty toll of 65,000. This period also witnessed a considerable expansion of the United States government as it sought to coordinate the war effort, along with a significant increase in the size of the U.S. Armed Forces.

The U.S.A. World War I Primary Source Subject Guide presents a curated collection of original documents, photographs, and personal accounts, offering a firsthand glimpse into America's involvement in the Great War. Through these sources, readers gain insight into the social, political, and military aspects of the conflict, enhancing their understanding of this significant chapter in history.

American doughboys in World War I depended on foreign weapons technology, US  Navy mightAmerica and the Aftermath of World War I – High Point HistoryDoughboys and Gas - American Chemical Weapons in World War One -  MilitaryHistoryNow.comAmerican Aviation: The U.S. Army Air Service - World War I Centennial

Book Sources: USA WWI 

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Online Sources: U.S.A. in World War I 

Videos on World War I (USA)