Richmond WW1 Diary 6 April 1917


USA declares war on Germany

In 1914 as war spread across Europe, the United States had adopted a policy of isolationism, aiming to stay aloof from European affairs. As it rapidly became clear that the scope of the war would not be limited to Europe, people within the US agitated for America to join the Allies. But although the US unofficially supported Britain, selling food and weaponry, the US government resisted pressure to declare. Popular support for joining the war was particularly strong after the sinking of the Lusitania by a German submarine in 1915.

Following the sinking, Germany had suspended its submarine warfare activities but these had been renewed at the start of 1917. US President Woodrow Wilson reluctantly declared war on Germany.

While international statesmen were doing what they would to influence the outcome of the war, the people at home focused on doing what they could too. Rationing and food shortages were of prime concern. On 7 April 1915 the Richmond Herald reported on a meeting organised by the Richmond Food Economy Campaign Sub-Committee, discussing the shortage of food.

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