The Story of the American Expeditionary Force

The Great Seal of the
United States of America



US Poster


Presented by the Great War Society

In 1918, an arm of the American government in order to assure continued public support for the war effort published the Official Reasons why American chose to enter the World War. The organization responsible for distributing this information was called the Committee for Public Information which played a number of roles for the American government including serving as a propaganda ministry. Below is a clearly states list of reasons for America declaring war overlain with some florid language of the propagandist. Nevertheless, this clearly summarizes what the citizenry told about why their nation was fighting a war.

  1. The renewal by Germany of her submarine warfare.
  2. Imperial Germany was running amuck as an international desperado
  3. Prussian Militancy and autocracy let loose in the world disturbed the balance of power and threatened to destroy the international equilibrium.
  4. The conflict [had gradually shaped] into a war between the democratic nations on one hand and autocratic on the other.
  5. [America's] tradition of isolation had grown out warn and could no longer be maintained in the age of growing interdependency.
  6. Because of the menace to the Monroe Doctrine and to [America's] independence.

Sources and thanks: The Committee for Public Information was the American propaganda bureau during the First World War. The brainchild of muckraking journalist George Creel, the Committee became huge, influential and eventually unpopular. Their pamphlet The Study of the Great War was the source of the material in this article. They also supervised production of all the American war posters of the war such as the example above.. MH

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Additions and comments on these pages may be directed to:
Michael E. Hanlon ( regarding content,
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Original artwork & copy; © 1998-2000, The Great War Society