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The United States formally declared war against Germany and entered Wolrd War I in Europe on April 6, 1917, joining the Allied powers of Britain, France, and Russia which had been fighting since the summer of 1914. For three years, President Woodrow Wilson preached American neutrality – a policy which had broad support – but incidents, including the loss of 128 American lives when German submarines sank the Lusitania in 1915, changed public opinion. Under the command of Maj. Gen. John J. Pershing, over 2 million U.S. troops served in France during the war and an estimated 116,516 were killed. On the homefront, to meet increased demands for goods, the federal government expanded dramatically and took an unprecedented role in guiding the economy. Military service and wartime jobs drew thousands of African Americans from the South to the North in the Great Migration.
(Library of Congress)
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