World War I Museum

Aby Hughes

America's Involvement in WWI

President Woodrow Wilson attempted to keep the US as neutral territory. The war in Europe had been raging for almost 3 years before the US became involved.The US became involved when Arthur Zimmerman, sent a telegram to the German embassy in Mexico, requesting that the Mexican government attack the US when and if the US attacked Germany. When they requested the Mexican government to become involved, it concerned many Americans. This concern grew to feelings of hatred towards the German people.

What was the war about?

What was the initial conflict?

What really set off this war in Europe was the the assassination Archduke Francis Ferdinand by a Serbian nationalist during a visit to the province of Bosnia. Bosnia actually belonged to Serbia and not Austria-Hungary. The people of Austria-Hungary immediately began to blame Serbia for plotting this assassination. Germany was allied with Austria-Hungary while Russia was allied with Serbia. So once the two countries got into a conflict, their allies stepped in. Then their allies had allies, so it was like a domino effect. Once one "war" started everyone was involved.

What was the AEF?

In order to have enough soldiers to fight the war, Congress passed the Selective Service Act, AKA the draft of young men for military service. These doughboys, as American troops were called in Europe, were trained in months and shipped overseas. Officially American troops were called the American Expeditionary Force, or the AEF.


Mobilization is when a nation's troops start preparing for war. The US immediately began preparing troops for war.

Wilson's 14 Points

President Wilson developed a proposal for peace,which consisted of Fourteen Points. Two of his major points were to reduce the number of armaments or weapons and the right to self-determination (power of a nation to govern itself). One of Wilson’s most important points was the need for the creation of a world peace-keeping body, the League of Nations.This League of Nations would provide a place where countries could talk about their differences instead of going to war.