By RU Twisted
April 2, 2017 marks the 100th Anniversary of President Wilson formally asking Congress to declare war against Germany and enter what would later be known as World War I or “the Great War.”
This time period—to include both the war and the Progressive Era it was part of—had a monumental impact on every aspect of life that continues to this day. It forever altered the geopolitical landscape and the way people viewed government’s relationship to the governed.
Yet it is almost always ignored. In modern political discussions, very rarely do people indicate even a remote understanding of the important events of this time, despite how crucial they were to shaping our current reality.
Unapologetically American intends to do its part to change that with this series. Because we believe these were important events in relation to our country’s trajectory, we want to make a serious effort—while still keeping it easily accessible and fun to read—to remedy the apparent lack of knowledge about why World War I still matters, 100 years later.
Why did the United States get involved? What lead up to that point? What was the general sentiment in the country about international conflict? What were the long-term effects of America’s efforts?
These questions and many more will be addressed in the weeks to come as we tackle the subject of World War I in true, honest, Unapologetically American fashion. In other words, we’re going to pull no punches, we’re going to be blunt, and we’re going to offer the down-and-dirty most important things to know about it and why they matter.
For example, many historians argue that World War II was an inevitable result of World War I. Did America’s effort help make that happen or did it do everything it could to prevent it? What would have turned out differently had the United States stayed home?
Counter factual and alternate histories are, of course, just speculation. But sometimes asking these questions in light of all available evidence helps us learn from the past so that we can apply it to the future.
And that’s what history is all about, and why it’s important. How the lessons from a century ago can help us today should, at least in theory, be important to everyone.
The United States lost approximately 117,000 people to The Great War (which claimed over 15 million lives total). What did they die for? What can we learn from their sacrifice?
Stay tuned in the coming days and weeks as we examine all of these questions.