November 3, 2017

Did U.S. politicians support the more evil side in World War One?

Was U.S. participation in WW1 the worst mistake ever? Retweet

By Perry Willis

This article will show how…

  • WW1 would likely have ended in a draw had the U.S. not intervened.
  • U.S. politicians favored the more evil side.
  • Great Britain committed several acts of aggression against the U.S. that were rewarded rather than opposed.
  • U.S. intervention defended neither America nor freedom.
  • U.S. intervention made the world profoundly worse, not better.

As you read what follows, please remember this crucial point — I am not blaming America for anything, but I am blaming U.S. politicians for lots of things. With that in mind, let’s look at the first claim…

WW1 would likely have ended in a draw had the U.S. not intervened.

Consider these facts…

  • Nearly 1,000 days passed between the start of the war and U.S. entry on April 6, 1917.
  • Neither side had gained any advantage. “Breakthroughs” were measured in yards or miles, then quickly reversed.Trench warfare, in Somme, 1916 - John Warwick Brooke [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
  • Between April 16 and June 1917 nearly half the French army mutinied.
  • Similar things began happening on the Russian front in 1917.

These facts suggest that neither side could prevail. The war was a draw. Peace without a victor was the obvious alternative to continued pointless bloodshed. Such an outcome would have been a huge disincentive to future wars. Alas, U.S intervention foreclosed that opportunity. Even worse…

U.S. politicians probably intervened on the more evil side

Let’s be clear: There were no good guys in WW1. Both sides were wrong. But a comparison of the pros and cons doesn’t favor the side U.S. politicians chose to support.

Great Britain was the largest empire in the world. Russia was second. France was third. By comparison, Germany and Austria-Hungary had small empires and meager prospects for expanding them even if they won the war.

Russia was an autocracy when the war began. Germany and Austria-Hungary were both parliamentary monarchies similar to Great Britain. The two Germanic nations also had elements of decentralized federalism similar to the United States.

Both sides were militarist. All the monarchs involved pranced around in silly uniforms (though the Kaiser did have an aggressive-looking spiked helmet). There was little, moral difference between the combatants except for one crucial thing…The countries we sided with had already subjugated the greater part of the globe! Even worse…

Great Britain committed multiple crimes against the American people

The British blockade was why Germany started sinking U.S. merchant ships. That was the only way Germany could compensate for the preferential trade the U.S. was giving to Britain and France. U.S. politicians would have done exactly what the Germans did under similar circumstances.

Britain paid no price for these crimes. Instead, she benefitted by having U.S. forces deliver an undeserved victory out of what should have been a draw. Even worse…

Our intervention didn’t defend freedom

The war made Americans less free. U.S. politicians imposed price controls and rationing, instituted a military draft, inflated the money supply, and Anti-Dachshund propagandaimprisoned 6,000 dissenters.

The Wilson administration also spent millions on propaganda to radicalize the populace and stifle dissent. The resulting hysteria led to numerous lynchings and false arrests. Some crazed people even attacked German Shepherds and Dachshunds!

Our intervention didn’t defend our security either

U.S. politicians could have ended German submarine warfare without sending armies to Europe. They simply had to stop honoring the British blockade. Germany would have ceased sinking our ships the moment those ships started carrying supplies to Germany, or stopped carrying them to Britain and France. To be truly neutral we needed to trade with both sides or neither. Equally important…

It’s likely we could have ended the entire war much earlier simply by refusing to supply it!

The supply issue was crucial. Germany surrendered in 1918 largely because they were starving. This was due to the British blockade with which the U.S. collaborated. Herbert Hoover became famous enough to run for President partly because he managed a rescue effort to save Germans from famine once the war ended. Meanwhile…

Britain and France were so dependent on U.S. supplies that both countries faced bankruptcy. They had to borrow huge sums from Americans to continue fighting. This means that U.S. politicians could have stopped the war without firing a shot, simply by prohibiting trade with or cutting off loans to the combatants.

Which is worse? Ending trade that was enabling the commission of a crime, or sending innocent young men to die by participating in that crime?

Some have argued that ending the war-trade would have crashed the economy. But that happened anyway, as soon as the war ended. But the resulting depression was brief. Again, which is worse, a short depression or sending young men to murder and maim other young men?

It’s a simple fact — there was no threat to U.S. security other than Germany’s submarine warfare. German armies couldn’t even conquer a few yards of territory between the trenches in Europe. So they had zero chance of reaching and taking American soil, nor did they desire to do so. U.S. politicians could have ended the submarine attacks without firing a shot. They simply had to do one of the following…

  • Stop honoring the British blockade
  • Trade with both sides equally
  • Trade with neither side

Bottomline: U.S. intervention in WW1 did nothing to protect American security. It achieved the exact opposite. It killed young Americans for no purpose and created new enemies that plague us to the present day. Which brings us to the final point…

Our intervention made the world profoundly worse, not better

Our involvement in WW1 helped unleash three great evils in the world…

It also led to World War 2 and then the Cold War. We’ll review these claims as we continue this series on U.S. wars and interventions. The outcomes described above, and in the next few articles, are what make U.S. involvement in WW1 the greatest mistake ever.

If you find these articles valuable, please share them with others. Start a conversation about the correct way to honor veterans and the war dead. We believe it should be possible to honor their courage and mourn their loss, without telling lies about how the political class misused them. And if you’re new to our work, and you like what you see, please subscribe using the form near the bottom of our homepage! It’s free!

Thank you for being an ACTIVE DC Downsizer.

Perry Willis
Co-founder, Downsize DC
Co-creator, Zero Aggression Project

P.S. Previous articles in this series include…

PPS: Here’s a list of books I’ve consulted in this series.

If you buy these books using the links below, Downsize DC will get credits that we can use to expand our research library. Thank you for your interest and support.

The Mexican War

A Wicked War by Amy S. Greenberg

The Spanish-American War, the conquest of the Philippines, and Teddy Roosevelt’s betrayal of Korea…

Bully Boy by Jim Powell
The Politics of War by Walter Karp
The War Lovers by Evan Thomas
Honor in the Dust by Gregg Jones
The Imperial Cruise by James Bradley

World War 1

The Illusion of Victory by Thomas Fleming
World War I by Richard Maybury
The Forgotten Depression by James Grant

If your comment is off-topic for this post, please email us at



  1. joeG
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    The Balfour Declaration was a major factor that put pressure on the United States to enter WWI, a war that was just prelude to WWII. Then in 1948 the promise of the Balfour declaration came to pass, Israel was created and has been the source of America,s misadventures in the Middle East, that are the result of America’s foreign policy being created in Tel Aviv and enforced by AIPAC. Is everyone ready for WWIII?

  2. Alban Colwell
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    How could Palestine be left out fo any truthful analysis about the first and second world war and the aftermath to the present?

    • Perry Willis
      Posted November 8, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      The fate of Palestine was a minor-sideshow in the Versailles Treaty. It’s of more importance to us now than it seemed to anyone at the time.

  3. /Sam
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    We need more high-level, objective articles like this one. Right or wrong, this is the kind of clear thinking sorely lacking in our nation’s debates about its overseas wars and interventions.

    • Perry Willis
      Posted November 9, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Thanks Sam!

  4. Henry
    Posted November 11, 2017 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    “Peace without a victor was the obvious alternative to continued pointless bloodshed.”

    Seems obvious indeed, but some of the actors had resumes that included starring appearances in earlier productions known as “The 30 Years War,” “The 100 Years War,” and the like. With a record of being too pigheaded to reconsider their continuing participation in any of those, what are the chances that a stalemate peace would have reigned this time?

    But indeed, I agree with the remainder of your analysis, and nominate WIlson for a special achievement award for Worst Democrat President Ever, a very high bar to hurdle. Like FDR, he lied his way into office promising strict neutrality, then reversed himself 180° once elected.

    • Perry Willis
      Posted November 12, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      The troops were starting to mutiny. It wasn’t going to matter what the politicians wanted for much longer.

  5. Lawrence P.Ekdahl
    Posted May 22, 2018 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Is it not time we held these war mongering politicians accountable?

    • Perry Willis
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Yes, it is. And step one is educating the American people about exactly what has been done in their name.

  6. Peter J Altomare
    Posted May 22, 2018 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Like this series, and find some of the comments strange, such as how claims of anti-semitism appear in the comments even though it has nothing to do with the argument of the article.
    That said, I agree with General Smedley Butler that “War is a Racket”, yesterday, today and tomorrow.

    • Perry Willis
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for your kind words.

      I don’t see any anti-semitic comments. Are you perhaps talking about comments made on the Facebook post for this article?

  7. Sean Holland
    Posted May 17, 2019 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    The US had little right to complain about the British blockade during the Great War having imposed the same sort of blockade during the Civil War. Not to excuse British or French actions during the Great War, but the German Empire was clearly the aggressor having invaded neutral Belgium and through it France.

One Trackback

  1. By Die Woche im Rückspiegel betrachtet | Lars Schall on November 12, 2017 at 9:13 am

    […] Platz 6 bleibt es bei Fragen. In diesem Fall lauten die Fragen hier: “Did U.S. politicians support the more evil side in World War One?”, und: “Was U.S. […]

Post a Comment

Notice: Undefined variable: user_ID in /var/www/ on line 89

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

© 2008–2019