The American Promise
Chapter 22 Outline
World War I: The Progressive Crusade
at Home and Abroad, 1914-1920
I. Woodrow Wilson and the World
A. Taming the Americas
Wilson sought to distinguish his foreign policy from that of his Republican
predecessors by appointing William Jennings Bryan, a pacifist, as secretary of
Wilson and Bryan, like Roosevelt and Taft, believed that the Monroe Doctrine
gave the United States special rights and responsibilities in the Western
Hemisphere, using it to justify U.S. action in Nicaragua, Haiti, and the Dominican
Wilson's most serious and controversial involvement in Latin America occurred
in Mexico; the country witnessed a violent political turnover in the weeks before
Wilson's inauguration that culminated in General Victoriano Huerta's seizure of
The United States forced Huerta into exile, only to prompt a rebellion among
desperately poor farmers who believed that the new Mexican government, aided
by American business interests, had betrayed the revolution's promise to help the
A rebel army, led by Francisco “Pancho” Villa, attacked Americans and
American interests, causing Wilson to send 12,000 troops to Mexico, only to
withdraw them soon after to prepare for the possibility of fighting in World War I.
B. The European Crisis
Before 1914, Europe enjoyed decades of peace, but beneath the surface lay the
potentially destructive forces of nationalism and imperialism.
European nations sought to avoid an explosion by establishing a complex web of
military and diplomatic alliances, but their efforts to prevent war through a
balance of power, in reality magnified the possibility of large-scale conflict.
Within weeks of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the
Austro-Hungarian throne, by a Bosnian Serb terrorist, the elaborate alliance
system made a local conflict an international one, and war broke out in Europe.
The conflict escalated to a world war when Japan joined the cause against