History 314 - Study sheet - ESSAY: Describe Woodrow Wilsons...

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ESSAY: Describe Woodrow Wilson’s policy toward the belligerents in the period between the outbreak of war in 1914 and U.S. entry in 1917. Be sure to: discuss how “neutral” U.S. policy was; trace the development of American policy in the period; provide specific information to illustrate your arguments, including, where appropriate, information from the documents in the Merrill/Paterson book. Used: Lecture material, Sculzinger (Chapter 4), Merrill & Patterson: -“ From Peace to War: Progressive Internationalists Confront the Forces of Reaction ” by Thomas J. Knock -“ The Peace Advocate Out of Touch with Reality ” by Jan Wilhelm Schulte-Nordholt I. WWI officially broke out due to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, on June 28, 1914 by Serbians a. European powers were sucked in, but the US remained neutral (not yet a world super-power) i. Wilson’s first reaction: declaration of neutrality 1. Asked Americans to stay neutral “in thought as well as in deed” 2. Wilson thought war was the result of “competing alliances” in Europe 3. Insisted on right of Americans to trade with all belligerents 4. Insisted also on right of Americans to travel on ships anywhere, including the war zone (was this really necessary?) a. Secretary of state Bryan had differing views— thought US should remain more neutral than it was —leading to Bryan’s resignation in June 1915 II. Wilson’s Neutrality- How neutral was he?? a. One can argue that Wilson was never truly “neutral” i. Anglophile (lecture) 1. Had a soft spot for parliamentary style of government 2. Close relationship w/ British officials 3. First reactions to war were emotionally favorable to the Allies (Schulte-Nordholt) 4. Personally, Wilson was anti-Germany (Schulte-Nordholt) a. Was able to separate personal feelings from official duties, at least for a while b. Knew Americans were in favor of neutrality b. Lusitania incident and German submarine warfare i. February 4, 1915- German government officially declared a blockade around the British islands, saying any ships within this
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area (even neutral ships) would be attacked without warning (Schulte-Nordholt) ii. “The submarine weapon made it much more difficult for the US, like all nonbelligerents, to remain neutral.” (Schulte-Nordholt) 1. Arabic Pledge (look in Ids) 2. Sussex Pledge (look in Ids) iii. Wilson protested to the submarine warfare 1. Claimed right of Americans to travel in any zone they desired 2. Protested against the actions of the Germans, but did not issue similar complaints to the British on behalf of their blockade of German ports a. By protesting, Wilson decreased odds that he would be able to mediate between the powers (Schulte- Nordholt) iv. Lusitania incident (see Ids) v. If had to single one thing out that led Americans to enter the war on the side of the Allies, it would be the submarine warfare (lecture) c. “Preparedness” movement of war- US getting ready to fight i. After the Lusitania incident, Wilson introduced legislation that
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History 314 - Study sheet - ESSAY: Describe Woodrow Wilsons...

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