Credit: FPG/Archive Photos/Getty Images Henry Tolleth

Historical Insights America Enters World War I

“Wake up America!” parades were held all across the country in 1917 to encourage men to enlist. In New York City, nearly 60,000 people who attended the parade saw the Boy Scouts charge down the street waving American flags. April 19, 1917, New York City. Credit: FPG/Archive Photos/Getty Images

America Enters World War I

After years of neutrality, the United States officially entered the war on April 6, 1917, providing much needed manpower and financial aid to the Allied cause.

When the United States declared war on Germany in 1917, Henry Tolleth was probably living in Rose, Wisconsin. *

* Insight to be reviewed

Other relatives

{{count}} of your family members lived in the United States when the country joined World War I.

When the First World War began in 1914, the United States remained neutral. Despite this, German U-boats attacked U.S. merchant vessels and declared “unrestricted warfare against all ships” entering the war zone. Three years, into the conflict, President Woodrow Wilson stood in front of the U.S. Congress on April 2, 1917, and asked for a declaration of war, explaining that the United States must “exert all its power and employ all its resources” to end the First World War. Congress conceded. Thousands of Americans flocked to recruitment stations, eager to “do their bit” to defeat the enemy. Within nine months, 175,000 American soldiers were stationed along the Western Front, prepared to take on the Central Powers. While some Americans criticized President Wilson for going back on his promise to remain neutral, most eagerly put their backs into the war effort, supporting the four and a half million American soldiers who served in Western Europe.