Exactly 100 years ago, a country like the United States of America entered the First World War. It entered, as they say, in American "on time" - more than 32 months after its start, when the forces, means and resources of not only the anti-German coalition, but also Germany itself, which actually unleashed the war, were significantly depleted. The United States entered when the countries that had already fought were, by and large, tired of the war, and when European empires collapsed one after another, including from revolutionary upheavals.
After analyzing the situation, the American authorities and representatives of the business elite in early 1917 came to the conclusion that if you delay a little more or not enter the war at all, you can lose dividends not only in the form of "victory over Germany and its allies", but also dividends financial and economic.
Against the background of a rather sluggish state of the American economy with expenditures of less than $ 500 million in 1916, the entry into the war made it possible for the United States not only to build a new economic model for itself, but also to turn this model into a basic one for the economy of the coming era of globalism. The Federal Reserve System, which appeared in December 1913, after the end of the First World War, became not just an intra-American financial regulator, it actually eliminated the economic dominance of London, which had lasted for many decades. In fact, the very system of inflating the debt bubble was introduced, the servicing of which was first and foremost on the shoulders of foreign "partners" - a system that still exists today.
Already during the first months of the US participation in the world war, economic institutions reported a gigantic increase in the expenditure side of the budget. By the middle of 1917, the growth of spending in the US economy in comparison with the same period in 1916 was more than 15 times! At the same time, before the United States entered World War I, the state faced a problem that has since become accustomed to solving mostly by military means. We are talking about economic sanctions that are no longer beneficial to the United States. From the economic history of the 1st World War it is known that the British and French attempted to blockade all trade directions of Germany and Austria-Hungary - the main "blow" fell on the ports, which actually lost the ability to freely service foreign cargo for the two mentioned powers.
This fact greatly outraged the American political leadership and, first of all, business, which by that time, without any internal contradictions, was trading with both Britain and France on one side, and with Germany and Austria-Hungary on the other.
The Franco-British blockade attempt led to a decline in foreign trade revenues. The $ 4.5 billion that, according to American economic sources, "invested" in the economies of foreign states (primarily European states), the United States no longer satisfied. A message from the President of the United States was voiced that the blockade declared by London and Paris violated human rights. And in order to "restore trampled human rights", Washington is making a move that it will do during the Second World War, namely the use of "neutral" intermediaries in trade with the Germans and Austrians. As an ideal variant of the declared "neutral" - Sweden, whose economy in those years was rapidly growing up because of the very intermediary beginning, which for the time being satisfied the appetites of US companies. True, over time, the British and French decided to explain to the Swedes that if they continue to transport goods to Germany, then they will also fall under the blockade. De jure - hit, de facto - historians of economics have certain doubts.
Realizing that large sales markets in Europe might be lost, Washington decided that it was "time to join." As the proverb says: if it can't cope - lead, which the United States did.
The entry into the First World War led to the intensification of military production, which at the same time "dragged" along with it other sectors of the economy. And if initially the launch of the printing press as the main means for investing in the economy frightened the representatives of the country's financial and economic system, then these representatives realized that it was impossible to refuse. Along with this, taxes were raised (tax growth from 1.2% in 1916 to 7.8% in 1917), as well as the issue of securities, which were called Liberty Bonds.
If you believe American statistics, then these securities, the yield of which was no more than 3.5% (and this for 15 years!) Gave the American budget 20 billion dollars to wage war - no less than 28.5% of the country's GDP. Whether these funds were attracted exclusively by advertising campaigns for bonds or was there “something else” is a separate question. “Voluntary coercion” in the USA has not been canceled either … Moreover, the slogan of the need to “defeat German imperialism” added to the people's “desire” to acquire these pieces of paper. Well, and the fact that the United States had traded with "vile German imperialists" before that briskly was brought to the surface, to put it mildly, reluctantly.
Something else about numbers (data from Vesti Ekonomika).
During the year (from 1917 to 1918), the number of people employed in the defense industry increased by almost a million. Wages increased by an average of 7%. Going to the army or to a military plant turned out to be beneficial for the population.
Production has grown for almost all nomenclature items. Especially impressive growth is in the production of products of the US metallurgical companies. By 1916, steel production in the United States was barely 30 million tons per year. And after the United States entered the war, the volumes increased to 50 million tons. Food exports from the United States to Europe in 1917 tripled their pre-war levels. The growth in income led to an increase in the number of banks. In almost every state, banks began to grow like mushrooms, turning into creditors of European powers mired in war. As a result, the United States moved from a "double" debtor to the category of a confident creditor plus an energy supplier. Against this background, surprising rates of growth of the country's GDP have been outlined: approximately 14-15% per year for 5 years. The US national debt has grown 18 times! Although very few people paid attention to this, because, as already noted, the formation of a virtually new financial and credit system was taking place, when the real free market gave way to the controlling functionality of the FRS with its “features” that are typical for today.
As a result, the First World War made the United States not just a large overseas country with great potential, but the very world player that began to make attempts to skim the economic cream everywhere - through both speculation and a military "club". At the same time, the big war outside the United States gave Washington the understanding that practically any ideas could be carried out under this “shop”. Well, as for 120 thousand dead American soldiers, there is a well-known phrase about this that there is no crime for which capital would not go for the sake of 300% of the profit.