In 2014 I was invited by the Cloverdale (California) Historical Society to give a presentation on the American effort in the first year of the war. Below are the slides I used in the presentation. These show the main points I covered, and I think that, collectively, they provide a concise summary of the background behind the decision by President Wilson to request a war declaration and the early U.S. involvement in the war.
Readers are invited to download these images for any educational use you might wish to put them to. The slides are displayed at 580 pixels width, but the originals are 980 pixels when you download them. MH