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        The Great War: The United States Enters World War I

        Examine Woodrow Wilson’s reasons for entering World War I using primary sources and video adapted from AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: The Great War. On January 31, 1917, facing stalemate on the Western Front and with millions of its people at home on the brink of starvation, Germany made a tactical decision. It announced that German submarines would attack any ship in the war zone around Great Britain. When U.S. merchant ships were sunk, President Wilson resolved to fight. On April 2, with Americans still divided about whether to enter the war against Germany, Wilson gave a speech to Congress justifying U.S. participation. This resource is a part of the The Great War: AMERICAN EXPERIENCE Collection.

        Find out more at the series' website.

        Video: The United States Enters World War I

        Examine Woodrow Wilson’s reasons for entering World War I using primary sources and video adapted from The Great War: AMERICAN EXPERIENCE.

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        Primary Source: President Wilson's War Message, April 2, 1917

        On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson delivered this address to a joint session of Congress and called for a declaration of war against Germany. The resulting congressional vote brought the United States into World War I.

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        Primary Source: Senator Norris Opposes U.S. Entry into the War, April 4, 1917

        The Progressive Republican from Nebraska, Senator George William Norris (1861–1944), was among a handful of eminent politicians of the day to oppose U.S. entry into the Great War.

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