Pour La Liberté Du Monde. Souscrivez á l’Emprunt á la Banque Nationale de Crédit.
Translation: For The Freedom of the World. Subscribe to the National Loan at the Banque Nationale de Crédit.
Sem (Georges Goursat), Paris, 1917

 

For two and a half years, the United States remained uninvolved with what it considered a strictly European conflict. Under the guidance of the Monroe Doctrine (1823), the country had isolated itself from overseas affairs for nearly a century. By 1917, however, German provocations against the US made neutrality impossible.

America’s entry into the war brought hope to a weary Europe. Three years of fighting had left soldiers hopeless. In France, an unsuccessful spring offensive littered French regiments with disobedience and mutiny. To deal with the unrest, French Commander-in-Chief Phillipe Pétain relaxed the army’s offensive strategy, declaring, “I am waiting for the Americans and the tanks.”

Artists often used American symbols to personify optimism. In this illustration, the Statue of Liberty appears on the horizon, representing the American army’s impending arrival. The statue, given to the US by France in 1886, is an icon of freedom. Here, she returns home to France, crossing the Atlantic once more.