What Happened in American History 1917?

In 1917, America witnessed several significant events that would have a lasting impact on the country’s history. From entering World War I to the women’s suffrage movement, the year was filled with pivotal moments that shaped the nation’s future.

The United States Enters World War I
On April 6, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson declared war on Germany, officially entering the United States into World War I. The decision came after years of tension and conflict between Germany and other European nations, including America’s allies France and Britain.

Many Americans were initially hesitant to enter the war, as they believed it was a European conflict and did not directly involve the United States. However, after Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare and attempted to enlist Mexico as an ally against America, public opinion shifted in favor of intervention.

The entry of American troops into the war had a significant impact on its outcome. The fresh troops and resources provided by the United States helped turn the tide in favor of the Allies and led to Germany’s eventual surrender in November 1918.

The Women’s Suffrage Movement
Another major event in American history in 1917 was the continued push for women’s suffrage. Women had been fighting for their right to vote for decades, but progress had been slow.

In January 1917, suffragists organized a massive parade down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. The event drew thousands of supporters from around the country and helped bring attention to their cause.

Later that year, suffragists picketed outside the White House six days a week for seven months, demanding President Wilson support a constitutional amendment granting women the right to vote. Their persistence paid off when Congress passed such an amendment on June 4th, 1919.

  • The Bolshevik Revolution
  • The Bolshevik Revolution also occurred in 1917 when Vladimir Lenin led a Marxist uprising that overthrew the Russian government and established the Soviet Union. The revolution had a significant impact on world politics and fueled fears of communism in the United States.

The Impact on American Society

These events of 1917 had a significant impact on American society. The country’s entry into World War I brought about significant changes in the economy and led to a rise in patriotism. It also helped establish America as a global superpower.

The women’s suffrage movement paved the way for women’s rights and equality, leading to further advancements in social justice. The Bolshevik Revolution sparked fears of communism and led to increased censorship and government surveillance.


In conclusion, 1917 was a year of immense change and progress in American history. From entering World War I to women’s suffrage, these pivotal moments shaped the nation’s future for years to come. As we reflect on these events, we can appreciate how far we have come as a country while recognizing the challenges that still lie ahead.