At the beginning of World War I, America, under the leadership of Woodrow Wilson, tried to remain neutral. But this proved very hard, because many Americans were immigrants from western European countries that were in the Triple Entente (Great Britain, France and Russia) against the other countries in the Triple Alliance (Germany, Austria-Hungary, and The Ottoman Empire/Italy). The fact the many Americans shared a lot of cultural similarities with Great Britain, and had a lot of banking investments in with them made it hard for them to stay neutral. However for Wilson’s first full term he kept the United States out of the war, declaring he wanted a “Peace without Victory”. But this did not look to be possible.
After Germany began using submarine warfare as a way of combat, the blew up one of Great Britain’s passenger ships (because they thought it was transporting a large store munitions, which it most likely was) the Lusitania, many American’s were upset because there were American passengers on it. As well, the American’s intercepted the ‘Zimmerman Telegram’, which was from Germany to Mexico, telling them to attack America. The German’s said that if they did, they would help them regain lost provinces. This was disconcerting to America, so we declared war, and became officially on the side of the Triple Entente.
The war effort in America was a ‘Total’ war effort. In past wars, America had not had tough times as they did during the World War, with the fact that they had been mainly fighting small wars against Indians and such. In the total war effort, they rationed food and clothing and other things, with all industries helping out the war effort so that we could most effectively win the war. We created things such as the War Industries Board, the National War Labor Board, and sold liberty bonds to make money.