|Re: Pop, Pop, Bang..... -- Galahad|
|Posted by CPMariner , Sun, Jul 08, 2012, 13:06:19||Top of Thread||Reviews by CPMariner||Archive||Main BigDoggie.net site|
In 1914, the U.S. was experiencing a serious recession. Production of armaments for sale to both sides was in U.S. economic interests, and that was the policy we initially followed. The British, however, imposed a naval blockade of Germany, including United States-flagged ships. The U.S. couldn't take on the Royal Navy to enforce "freedom of the seas", so that left France and Britain as our trading partners in armaments and other supplies of all kinds, including food.
Payment for those supplies was in the form of loans, with the U.S. government and significant -and influential- private lenders (e.g., J. Pierpont Morgan) as bond holders. It would have been "bad form" for a creditor to go to war against his debtors.
After the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915, Germany imposed "restricted" submarine warfare on the Kreigsmarine. But by early 1917 things were going badly for the Germans -greatly abetted by the flow of arms and supplies to their opponents- and they returned to unrestricted sub warfare. Starting with the Housitania in early 1917, American-flagged ships, both cargo and passenger, were being sunk left and right. That was an afront to U.S. national pride -perhaps an altruistic reason for going to war- but also threatened to choke off American trade to Europe altogether. So we went to war.
(Q: If the Lusitania was the casus belli, why wait two years -1915 to 1917- to declare war?)
See above. Same scenario under the "Lend Lease" doctrine: but with unrestricted submarine warfare already established, the idea was basically to "give" the U.K. destroyers to protect shipments of American arms and supplies to Britain.
On the larger scale, Germany was much more successful in taking over Europe by the end of 1941, leaving the U.S. to face the prospect of a united Europe stretching from the English Channel to the Volga. That would have left us with only two significant trading partners in the region: the U.K. (if they held out) and a monster Europe. Very bad for trade when you have only one large customer with the potential to be economically self-sufficient.
Follow the money, and leave altruism to the churches (some of 'em, anyway).
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