World inability to enforce any of its guidelines.

World War I and United States NeutralityIn May 7, 1915, German U-boats sunk the Lusitania taking the lives of hundreds of Americans. This event in addition to other German acts of aggression fueled the support for American retaliation. As a result, joining World War I seemed like the right decision to make. However, during World War I, the United States should have maintained its neutrality because the failure of the League of Nations, the Treaty of Versailles, and the restrictions of civil rights in the United States could have been avoided.Woodrow Wilson, the American president during the war, introduced the idea of the League of Nations. The League of Nations failed because of many reasons, the major reason was its inability to enforce any of its guidelines. The League lacked its own military force and members were not required to supply anything when joining. Not to mention, considering the League was established after a major war, any nations that could’ve provided financial help (Great Britain and France) were both still healing from the war. An additional reason contributing to the failure was the United States declining to join the League. As the world superpower, its membership was vital and American declination hindered the League. Lastly, throughout time, many of the key and founding members started leaving the organization, which weakened the League even more than before leading to it’s inevitable demise. Although it could be argued the League of Nations was beneficial as it helped pave the way for the United Nations, it’s actions were one of the reasons resentment and nationalism increased in Germany and World War II started. Which the United States was eventually involved in.The Treaty of Versailles was a massive failure that created more problems than it solved. One of the reasons was the heavy war reparations it set on Germany. The reparations put a burden on Germany that crippled it even more post war. It contributed greatly to the hyperinflation of Germany’s currency and made it harder for Germany to grow economically. Another reason for the failure of the treaty was the inclusion of the article nicknamed the “War Guilt” clause. It made Germany accept responsibility for the damages caused during the war. This was another factor that lead to problems in the future like the rise of animosity in Germany, which ultimately led to the second World War. Finally, the United States failing to ratify the Treaty was detrimental because the United States’ decision as a superpower was pivotal for the future and legitimacy of the Treaty. During the war, many restrictions were put in place that helped the United States win the war at the cost of the civil rights of Americans. The first restriction was the Espionage Act of 1917, that was directed to German Americans and allowed for postal officials to ban newspapers and magazines that spoke negatively towards the government and its war efforts This made it difficult and risky for the media to criticize the government. Additionally, the Sedition Act of 1918 penalized people who were trying to obstruct the military draft or using “abusive” language against the government with imprisonment and large fines. The restrictions on civil rights were ultimately reinforced by the imprisonment of anti-war Presidential candidate Eugene V. Debs and by the seizure of the film The Spirit of ’76 by the government because it allegedly contained pro-German undertones. The failure of the League of Nations, the Treaty of Versailles and the restrictions of civil rights in the U.S. are proof America should have avoided involvement in WWI. American neutrality during the war could have meant the rights of Americans not being violated as well as less German hostility after the war and eventually the avoidal of World War II. Ultimately, American neutrality would have been the better reaction compared to retaliation.          


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