The Great Dparture

The Great Departure illustrates the United States evolution from a traditional isolationist Nation to an interventionist nation. Daniel Smith presents the factors that influenced the United States to enter the war and conveying the mindset of American leaders and the issues they faced pertaining to the war. WW I dragged the U.S. out of its isolationist shell and placed the U.S. at the forefront of international politics.
Propaganda was a tool used by Germany and the allies to influence the U.S. Weather the Propaganda was used to keep the U.S. out of the war or to try and draw the them into the war made no real difference. Dr. Albert's briefcase affair and the German execution of Nurse Edith Cavell show the extent of Propaganda in the U.S. and other atrocities of war carried out by either side. Daniel Smith recognized the importance of these Propaganda stories and the heterogeneous culture of the U.S. underestimated the actual impact on public sentiment.
The U.S. "the great melting pot" had an enormous immigrant population, to underestimate the effect of Propaganda on a population that had close personal ties to their home land, and their ability to influence the actions of government in a democratic republic is a mistake. President Wilson was operating under this assumption that the people would influence the government when he neglected to accept any of the Senator Lodge's changes to the peace treaty. This in not the reason the U.S. joined the Allies in WW I, but the heterogeneous makeup of the population was an influence on why the U.S. moved away from an isolationist state.
Balance of powers was a factor that influenced the U.S. in its views of WW I. The U.S. and the world had come to rely on the principle of balance of power to ensure peace, security and trade throughout the world. It was no doubt that a victory by the Central Powers would catapult Germany to superpower status and upset the balance of pow…


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