In the inaugural podcast of Arguing History, historians Michael S. Neiberg
and Brian Neumann
address the question of Americas decision in 1917 to declare war against Germany. Together they discuss the factors involved in it, such as Germanys wartime provocations and the economic impact the war was having upon the nation. Yet it was more than just a product of the events of the conflict, as it came at a time when the role of the United States in the world was being redefined by its emergence as a major economic and financial power on the international scene. How Americans perceived this also played a role both in the decision to go to war, even though there was no consensus as to how the nation should respond to the consequences of their choice once they made it.
Michael S. Neiberg is the Stimson Chair of the Department of National Security and Strategy at the U.S. Army War College and the author of Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of World War I
(Harvard University Press, 2014). Brian Neumann is an historian with the U.S. Army Center for Military History and the lead editor of the centers series of pamphlets on the war