Essay about The World War I And The Great Power System

1735 Words Nov 21st, 2016 7 Pages
The United States entered the 20th Century, as historian George Herring recounts, “a great power, but not yet [a] participant in the great-power system.” A burgeoning economic superpower, the United States had yet to assert itself politically on the international stage. Reluctant at first, the United States entered World War I (WWI) in 1917 and assumed a leading role negotiating the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. President Woodrow Wilson hoped to use the negotiations to promote American ideals, a lasting peace, and prosperity. However, instead of fostering economic and political stability the Paris peace negotiations produced a vindictive settlement seen as achieving little more than “sowing the seeds for the next major war.” Political and public opinion within the United States exhibited scant enthusiasm for the country to assume a broader political, or economic, international role. Although there were dissenting voices that urged greater engagement, during the 1920s the United States turned inward and became more isolationist, enacting increasingly protectionist economic policies. The Great Depression of the 1930s that ravaged the world markets resulted from two converging economic missteps; a punitive Treaty of Versailles that hindered European post-war recovery and the absence of the international economic leadership of the United States. Planning the peace prior to the end of WWI, President Woodrow Wilson envisioned a progressive new world shaped by American ideals and…

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