The Instigator
PatriotPerson
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Jifpop09
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

Was the USA right to enter WW1?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Jifpop09
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/14/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,607 times Debate No: 45986
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (2)

 

PatriotPerson

Pro

First round is for acceptance and stating your beliefs. No arguments are allowed until round two.

I believe that the USA made the right decision in joining World War One.
Jifpop09

Con

I accept on the condition that we don't debate using foresight. For example, you cannot say we benefitted from war debts following the war as an argument. Justification of the war should be based on reasoning before the war started.

I am of the belief that our involvment in WW2 was not justified, as it was a silly war, involving monarchy,nationalism,and colonialism. Things that America has historically avoided.
Debate Round No. 1
PatriotPerson

Pro

Alright, no foresight is allowed.

"I am of the belief that our involvement in WW2 was not justified,"
We are talking about WW1. You know that, right?

I will start off with two reasons:

First of all, the Germans had recently become sub-marine happy, and they used one to sink an American ship, killing dozens of innocent Americans. That alone is a decent reason to have entered the war.

Secondly, the Zimmermann Telegram. ( http://en.wikipedia.org...;)

The story of the Zimmermann Telegram is that Germany sent a telegram to Mexico urging it to declare war on the United States and become a Central Power. British Intelligence intercepted the telegram, and informed the US government about it. This largely increased the American war effort.
Jifpop09

Con

I think it is important that I give individual reasons why each nation joined first. We all know Ferdnard is when the war started, but this is why the nations went to war.

Entente Alliance/Allies.
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Britain: Rivalry and disputes between Germanies navy an colonial colonies. Brought into war by a neutrality treaty with belgium being occupied by Germany. Signed triple entente pact in case of an inevitable war with Germany.

France: Dispute over land lost in the Franco-Prussian war. Signed pact with Britain and Russia in the case of a war with Germany for the retrieval of Allescie Loraine.

Russia: Was seeking expasion into the balkan peninsula, but was halted by the ottoman empire. Signed triple ententein the case of a war in the balkans.

Romania: Used the oppurtunity of war, to take back the land of transylvania.

Japan: Saw an oppurtunity to sieze German land in the pacific.

Italy: Joined the war in order to seize lands form Austria. Particularlly Dalmatia.

Imperial Alliance/ Central Powers.
--------------------------------------

Austria Hungary: Instigated war with Serbia, using the assasination of Franz Ferdinard as a guise to crush Serbian nationalism and bring it back into the imperial empire.

Germany: Was brought into war over the alliance they made with Austria.

Bulgaria: Joined the war to defeat Serbia and to take land.

Ottoman Empire: Entered through a secret alliance with Germany, in order to take lands lost to Russia.
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Now the reason I brought all this up, is to show that the first world war was a european war, being fought for land disputes. When our country was first born, we had a policy of isolating our selves from european squabbles. World war 1 was a silly war, fought for territory and colonial intrests. Americas entrance in the war did not fit, as the war had little to do with the US. Solving land disputes for Europe was not worth 140,000 american lifes.

Rebuttals
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First of all, the Germans had recently become sub-marine happy, and they used one to sink an American ship, killing dozens of innocent Americans. That alone is a decent reason to have entered the war.

Actually it was a british ship. The other ship they sunk was smuggling guns to the allies. Germany apoligized and said they would warn passengers to get off board next time.


The story of the Zimmermann Telegram is that Germany sent a telegram to Mexico urging it to declare war on the United States and become a Central Power. British Intelligence intercepted the telegram, and informed the US government about it. This largely increased the American war effort.

The zimmerman telegraph did not urge war. Germany stated they would do anything to avoid US joining the war, but in the case that they do, that they would want Mexicos support. It was not the first time a secret alliance was made, and Germany was intent on avoiding war with the US.

http://www.firstworldwar.com...;

http://www.archives.gov...
Debate Round No. 2
PatriotPerson

Pro

I see flaws in some of Con's statements over why certain countries entered WW1. First of all, the main reason Japan entered the war is because they saw an opportunity to be victorious, and they wanted to take it. I'm not kidding. The other reason why Japan joined was to expand its sphere of infulence in China, and to gain recognition as a world superpower.

Italy was originally sided with the Central Powers and the German Empire before the war began. The Italian government had been through secret negotiations with France and Great Britain that stated if they were to be victorious in the war, they would provide France and England with bits and pieces of territory. These negotiations and the distrust of their fellow Central Powers caused Italy to refuse membership, and to join the Allies.
______________________________________

"...is to show that the first world war was a european war, being fought for land disputes."
False. You stated youself that Japan was in the war (which is true). Japan is an Asian country. The Ottoman Empire was composed mainly of Asian and African countries, especially those in the Middle East. Other non-European countries that were in the war besides the USA were: Canada, Australia, India, China, Japan, Brazil, New Zealand, Cuba, and the majority of African countries.

"Actually it was a british ship."
False. The Germans did indeed attack an American ship, called the William P. Frye. It was actually transferring wheat to England. Even though it was just a merchant ship, it is still very wrong to attack it. That killed many innocent Americans. ( http://www.history.com...;)

The Zimmermann Telegram told Mexico the following:
1. If The US was to join the war on the Allied side, Mexico should join Germany's side. That would mean Mexico would be at war with the US.
2. If the war were to be won by the Central Powers, Mexico would be given the lands of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona back. Obviously, those lands would have to be taken by force. That implies war between Mexico, The United States, and Germany, which could lead to a World War 1/2, so to speak.




Jifpop09

Con

Japan entered the war is because they saw an opportunity to be victorious, and they wanted to take it. I'm not kidding. The other reason why Japan joined was to expand its sphere of infulence in China, and to gain recognition as a world superpower.

I did not say they didnt. Their way of increasing the sphere of influence, was too take germanys valuable pacific territories.

Italy was originally sided with the Central Powers and the German Empire before the war began. The Italian government had been through secret negotiations with France and Great Britain that stated if they were to be victorious in the war, they would provide France and England with bits and pieces of territory. These negotiations and the distrust of their fellow Central Powers caused Italy to refuse membership, and to join the Allies.

Well, I will disagree with you here. Italy was never a central power, even though they were a signatory of the imperial alliance. They found a loop whole allowing them too back out of war. They later rejoined when the oppurtunity to sieze Maldatia occured.

False. You stated youself that Japan was in the war (which is true). Japan is an Asian country. The Ottoman Empire was composed mainly of Asian and African countries, especially those in the Middle East. Other non-European countries that were in the war besides the USA were: Canada, Australia, India, China, Japan, Brazil, New Zealand, Cuba, and the majority of African countries.

The battles were mainly focused in Europe. The Asian and Middle eastern theathers had a lesser role. The war was world wide, but fought between european colonial territories. This is why it was nicked the European War.

False. The Germans did indeed attack an American ship, called the William P. Frye. It was actually transferring wheat to England. Even though it was just a merchant ship, it is still very wrong to attack it. That killed many innocent Americans. (http://www.history.com......;)

You argued the passenger ship though. Two ships were destroyed. One was a british passenger ship carrying civilians, which the germans accused of smuggling guns. The second was a merchant ship which was acctualy smuggling guns. Germany issued a formal apology for both incidents, and said they would allow passengers to leave the ship before confiscation. Your link does not work by the way.

1. If The US was to join the war on the Allied side, Mexico should join Germany's side. That would mean Mexico would be at war with the US.
2. If the war were to be won by the Central Powers, Mexico would be given the lands of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona back. Obviously, those lands would have to be taken by force. That implies war between Mexico, The United States, and Germany, which could lead to a World War 1/2, so to speak.

You are just repeating what you said in the first round. Germany said many times they would do whatever possible to keep the US neutral. While I don't agree with a secret alliance, a formal alliance would of been strategic as war became a possibility.

You have not focused on why this war has anything to do with US intrests. It was a war fought over imperialism, colonialism, and petty squabbling. Almost every nation who entered the war, did it for land or other selfish reasons. America should not of concerned itself with these affairs.
Debate Round No. 3
PatriotPerson

Pro

"Their way of increasing the sphere of influence, was too take germanys valuable pacific territories."
Japan was looking to boost influence in China. What does Germany have to do with that?

"Italy was never a central power,"
I know. What I said was that Italy was sided with the Central Powers before the war began. When the war actually did break out, Italy sided with the Allies.

"The battles were mainly focused in Europe. The Asian and Middle eastern theaters had a lesser role."
Same with WW2, but we all know darn sure that was a wide-spread war with mass death all over the place.

"You argued the passenger ship though. Two ships were destroyed. one was a british passenger ship carrying civillians, which the germans accused of smuggling guns."
Oh, so that makes it reasonable to kill all those people? That's like Japan apologizing for the Pearl Harbor Attacks, and hoping that they didn't cause any trouble.
You are also wrong about the ships. Maybe there was a British one, but there was an American merchant ship that had civillians on it, and they were transporting wheat to England, not guns.

"America should not have concerned itself with these affairs".
I strongly disagree. The Germans had attacked Americans, and that right there is a reason to concern with affairs. The USA is also an enforcer of world freedom. They had to help the other countries. Did we not do the same in WW2?
Jifpop09

Con

Japan was looking to boost influence in China. What does Germany have to do with that?

Japan was not fighting China. This shows a lack of understanding in World War 1 history. China was a ally like Japan, and Japan had not yet begun invading China. Japan was interested in taking German colonies within Japan. They fought for lands in German Samoa and German New Guinea also.


I know. What I said was that Italy was sided with the Central Powers before the war began. When the war actually did break out, Italy sided with the Allies.

Italy did not join at the start of the war. They joined when a ally victory became likely. They found it a easy way to take territory and defeat a long term threat to Italy's security.


Same with WW2, but we all know darn sure that was a wide-spread war with mass death all over the place.

Well the other theaters in ww1 were insignificant to the Atlantic-European theater. The battles in Asia and Africa were quite small compared to ww2. There was heavy fighting in turkey, but turkey has always been a part of European politics.

Oh, so that makes it reasonable to kill all those people?

Who ever had the idea to conduct a arms trade via passenger ship was not to smart.


That's like Japan apologizing for the Pearl Harbor Attacks, and hoping that they didn't cause any trouble.

Japan had the intention to go to war though.


You are also wrong about the ships. Maybe there was a British one, but there was an American merchant ship that had civilians on it, and they were transporting wheat to England, not guns.

This is my third time stating this. One ship was a British passenger ship loaded with civilians. The other was a merchant ship. Yes, Germany was wrong in shooting both ships down, but they issued a statement saying it would not happen again. This does not justify the deaths of 140,000 people.


I strongly disagree. The Germans had attacked Americans, and that right there is a reason to concern with affairs. The USA is also an enforcer of world freedom. They had to help the other countries. Did we not do the same in WW2?

The difference between ww1 and ww2 is clear though. In ww1, we declared war on Germany. In ww2, Germany declared war on us. We stayed neutral up until Japan and Germany's declarations of war. Our most significant contributions in both wars were supplies and not soldiers anyways. Which were effected negatively in both wars.

My opponents approach was to debate topics with me unrelated to the question at hand. Should of we went to war in ww1? He instead choose to debate unrelated things involving other countries that had little connection to the US involvement. The civilian deaths from the submarine attacks were devastating, but having 140,000 soldiers dying did little to avenge them. If you feel the same way, vote con.

Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Seeginomikata 3 years ago
Seeginomikata
I am not going to vote on this one. It was a really weak debate. I expected much better and deeper arguments, given the title.
Posted by Jakeross6 3 years ago
Jakeross6
"America should not have concerned itself with these affairs".
I strongly disagree. The Germans had attacked Americans, and that right there is a reason to concern with affairs. The USA is also an enforcer of world freedom. They had to help the other countries. Did we not do the same in WW2?

This comment here actually sums up the whole debate. Germany would have lost with or without our aid. It really was a quick surrender by Germany to end the deadly fighting that would have lasted much longer and created a true stalemate otherwise. But seriously? Was a few dozen Americans really worth 140,000 more American deaths, plus the injured in the fighting, plus sending our soldiers into the most horrific conditions ever suffered by any soldier on a daily basis in all of human history? No.
Posted by Jakeross6 3 years ago
Jakeross6
This is not a vote bomb. Con deserves all seven points. The reasons are as follows: Conduct- Pro had a habit of talking down to the Con. One such example is this: "Oh, so that makes it reasonable to kill all those people? That's like Japan apologizing for the Pearl Harbor Attacks, and hoping that they didn't cause any trouble." This also used a bad comparison where intentions were different. S&G- Pro had some bad spelling and grammar, especially where he misspelled "influence."
ON ARGUMENTS: Pro simply asserted that the deaths of the civilians was worth the 140,000 people that died fighting for us in Europe. Con showed that the Zimmerman note was a "just in case" type of thing, hoping to provide security to Germany's worst fear. This was a European war and I would even argue that we entered on the wrong side. Pro also seemed to ignore that both the Louistiana (can't spell it) and the American merchant ship were in fact smuggling weapons to England and made themselves military targets by doing so.
For sources, Pro enjoyed using wikipedia in his opening arguments while Con's sources seemed much more informed about the situation.

This was a terrible debate and I think the fault for that lies with Pro's poor opening arguments and rebuttals.
Posted by Jifpop09 3 years ago
Jifpop09
Here is the source if you guys could not get to it

http://www.firstworldwar.com...
Posted by Jifpop09 3 years ago
Jifpop09
Yeah, I accidentally said ww2. I am so used to talking about ww2 and not ww1.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Jakeross6 3 years ago
Jakeross6
PatriotPersonJifpop09Tied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
Vote Placed by janetsanders733 3 years ago
janetsanders733
PatriotPersonJifpop09Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Good job to both sides, however, I think that Con had slightly better arguements by showing how WW1 could have been avoided since it was mostly caused by selfish desires over land, imperalism, and power.