America’s involvement in World War I was more of boosting morale than actual fighting. It is documented that Wilson called on America to remain a neutral country in both plans and actions. The USA appeared almost neutral, but secretly funded France and Great Britain. America took this neutral position to avoid interfering in European affairs. It was in line with its international policy that advocated for isolation in international conflicts and non-interference in foreign issues (Berkin and Carol 126). However, it was contrary to World War II, where America joined the war on the Allies’ side and got involved in the actual fight.
America’s troops fought on the Allies’ side, and it directly contributed to the defeat of the Axis Powers. In World War II, the U.S. participated in the war using atomic bombs against their enemies. In both wars, the country provided support to the Allies in the form of financial resources and military equipment (Berkin and Carol 76). This support was very instrumental because the war had consumed much equipment and still needed more to meet the ever-increasing demand.
The main similarity between the country’s involvement in both wars was that America targeted to stop dictators from the Axis side from ascending to power as it felt that the ascension of the Axis Powers would expose the world to dictators like Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler. The latter would have dominated world politics greatly to the discomfort of the democratic Allied powers led by America (Berkin and Carol 30).
In both wars, America remained the most sophisticated country in terms of arsenal as it had the most superior weaponry as compared to other participants. This weaponry superiority was due to advanced technologies developed in America that had been brought about by the industrial revolution of the late XVIII century. The USA used this weapon advantage to defeat the Axis Powers either directly or indirectly. In both wars, the country broke diplomatic ties before joining the conflicts (Berkin and Carol 156). Severing diplomatic relations was definite proof that diplomacy had failed to leave America with no choice other than to confront the enemies in the battlefront. America broke diplomatic ties after Germany had declared unrestricted submarine warfare.
In World War I and World War II, America stood as a game-changer as it precisely decided the fate of outcomes in terms of who would claim the victory. The U.S. contribution to World War I tilted the scales in favor of the Allied Powers. At the same time, the participation in World War II was to the advantage of the Allied forces (Berkin and Carol 29). America had a great influence on the Allies, both martially and psychologically. As a result, in both wars, it emerged victorious, even though in World War I the country acted neutral, but it supported the Allied Powers secretly, making them win the war. In World War II, America fought on the Allied side and emerged victoriously. Therefore, its superiority was showcased, and that contributed to rising to the rank of being the world superpower. For instance, in World War I, America demonstrated its superiority through ideas and strategies. In the second case, it displayed its superiority in the fighting artillery and in the number of soldiers that stood ready to fight (Berkin and Carol 109). When other countries could barely raise one million soldiers, America alone boasted of twenty million people.
Furthermore, the main point is that America chose to keep the battleground out of its territory and waters in both cases. The war was fought in Europe and other countries, but never on the American continent. In this case, American citizens remained safe and only soldiers and politicians participated providing ideologies and strategies (Berkin and Carol 111).
However, differences also arise in America’s participation in both World War I and World War II. In the first case, the USA waited until it was attacked on the sea by Germany, which had declared open and indiscriminate war. The second country had also defined a sea war zone, and America joined the war before being aggrieved by the fighting parties (Berkin and Carol 56).
In World War I, the USA was fighting an ideological war, whereas, in World War II, it started the actual war of weapons. Whereas American participation in the first case was marked by its isolation with less influence over world politics, World War II made America a strong country that could not be challenged by any other nation, ascending to the status of a superpower. Although other countries had participated in the war for a long time incurring huge losses that affected their economies greatly, the USA did not feel much of this economic strain remaining a force in the world politics that influenced other countries with its political ideologies such as democracy and fundamental human rights and freedoms (Berkin and Carol 134).
In conclusion, whereas World War I resulted in the USA joining World War II, the latter made America join the cold war between the Soviet Union and the former Allied Powers. Therefore, the country played an active role in both wars. Its participation changed the scales of the wars in favor of the Allied side. However, in both wars, America lost the least number of soldiers as compared to other countries that participated in the conflicts. Economically, America was the most stable since both wars were not fought on its territory, and this factor allowed the citizens of America to continue with nation-building activities stabilizing the country’s economy during and after World War II.
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