Sample History Essay Paper on WORLD WAR I


World War I denotes an international warfare concentrated in Europe that commenced in mid-1914 and ended towards the end of 1918. The US entered the First World War in early 1917; since its entering the war, the US had sought to avoid the WWWI though she kept on trading with countries engaging in the warfare. The eruption of the marine war, initiated by Germany in January 1917 acted as the fundamental reason that forced the then president, Woodrow Wilson, to request the Congress to approve warfare against Germany.[1] It is after the approval of the participation in the warfare by the Congress that America got involved in World War I.

In 1914, during the declaration of the World War I in Europe, the US embarked on a strategy of impartiality and seclusion. When information regarding trench war and the alarm link to World War I got to the Americans, it acted as a confirmation that the isolation approach undertaken by the government, then, was a suitable one. In this regard, the approach gained the support of most Americans who failed to understand how a civilized continent such as Europe could stoop that low as depicted by trench war, as well as the ineffectiveness linked to such strategies. Woodrow Wilson assumed total control of the concerns of foreign policy in accordance with the American constitution. Despite the delegation of some tasks to other government officials such as Cabinet members, the president had powers regarding the conduct of the nation in matters of international relations.[2] Being a scholar of modern history, Woodrow Wilson was much cognizant of the impact of warfare and the complication of the European situation. This is what elicited his initial maintenance of neutrality because he had the conviction that no American interest was affected by the war in Europe since her trade with other nations continued unaffected.

The issue of neutrality of the US embarked on a strategy of fairness as both parties in the war would borrow money from the banks in America.[3] With time, overseas trade became more intricate as a British maritime obstructed the German coastline thus making it difficult for continued trade between the US and Germany. Even though the obstruction was not America’s fault, it led to Germany’s instigation of submarine war with the US. The use of the U-boats by Germany angered America and provoked her declaration of warfare. The US president warned Germany that he would avenge strongly for the sinking of any American ship. The warning was tested in 1915 when Germany sunk the Lusitania, killing all the 128 Americans aboard.

What appeared as Woodrow’s insistent stand succeeded as the government of Germany affirmed that it would pay for any US ships affected, encompassing the worth of their consignment. At the close of 1915, bearable stability had been reached regarding the relationship between Germany and the US.[4] Before the end of the same year, 1915, the US president sought the mediation of America in an attempt to bring peace between Germany and Britain. Early 1916 saw the approval of the House-Grey Memorandum that endorsed the sought mediation by the US. The approved House started its missions with Woodrow fixing some details in the Memorandum. In March 1916, when Sussex was sunk by a U-boat killing two Americans, it negatively affected the relationship amid the US, Britain and Germany. 

Around June 1916, the row concerning the sinking of the Sussex was solved, and the US appeared to have taken a more positive connection with Germany. Nevertheless, the solution of the row was disregarded by Britain as it rejected the agreements on the Memorandum. Britain went ahead to enhance its marine endeavors in terms of obstructing ships trading with Germany, as well as other Central Powers. To the majority of countries, Britain seemed to have lost the ethical high stance and a number of nations believed that Britain did not seek to promote peace in any way. The re-election of Woodrow Wilson in late 1916 affirmed that Americans believed in his capacity to promote peace. True to the expectations of the Americans, Wilson took time to establish the strategy through which the US could engage in peaceful conciliations to end the warfare. In this attempt, Wilson posed inquiries to both sides in the warfare regarding what it would take their readiness to stop the warfare.[5] In their responses, France and Britain, affirmed their requirements, terms that could just be satisfied with an influential military success; nevertheless, the response by Germany was elusive. Irrespective of the responses, Wilson kept on pushing for peace and in early 1917, he promoted discussions with Germany and Britain to achieve their concurrence for a peace plan.          

In 1918, the World War I ultimately ended. The war acted as the first international warfare and resulted in the death of more than 10 million people and unparalleled destruction. Germany officially gave up her insistence of warfare in November 1918, when all countries had decided to end the war and the terms of the termination of the First World War were negotiated.[6] In mid-1919, Germany and other countries such as France, Italy, Russia and Britain approved the Treaty of Versailles, officially ending the warfare. In conclusion, irrespective of the impact of the First World War, America, through the then president Woodrow Wilson, was instrumental in the struggle for peace.    


Capozzola, Chris, Andrew Huebner, Julia Irwin, Jennifer Keene, Ross Kennedy, Michael Neiberg, Stephen Ortiz, Chad Williams, and Jay Winter. “Interchange: World War I.” Journal of American History 102, no. 2 (2015): 463-499.

Keene, Jennifer. “What did it all mean? The United States and World War I.” Histoire@ Politique 1 (2014): 120-136.

Striner, Richard. Woodrow Wilson and World War I: A burden too great to bear. Lanham, United States: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014.

[1]. Richard Striner, Woodrow Wilson and World War I: A burden too great to bear (Lanham, United States:  Rowman & Littlefield, 2014), 68-70.

[2]. Jennifer Keene, “What did it all mean? The United States and World War I,” Histoire@ Politique 1 (2014): 120-126.

[3]. Chris Capozzola, Andrew Huebner, Julia Irwin, Jennifer Keene, Ross Kennedy, Michael Neiberg, Stephen Ortiz, Chad Williams, and Jay Winter, “Interchange: World War I,” Journal of American History 102, no. 2 (2015): 463-489.

[4]. Ibid., 129-136.

[5]. Ibid., 490-499.

[6]. Ibid., 79-81.