October 19, 2009
Mr. Mario Bennekin
By the beginning of the XX century, the United States had political or military presence
and control in the majority of Central American and Caribbean countries, as well as the control
of the Pacific Ocean.
By the earliest 1900s The United States of America, which was around 120
years old, was building a big “empire”. The United States had military control in Haiti,
Nicaragua, The Dominican Republic, Cuba, Panama, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and The Virgin
Islands in the Caribbean, and Central America, in addition to Hawaii, which actually was a state,
and The Philippines in the Pacific Ocean. This fact put aside the United States interests on
conquer other lands. On the other hand, in the United States were 8 million of German-
Americans (Kenneth, Davis) who didn’t want a war with Germany, and 4.5 million Irish
(Kenneth, Davis) that scorned Great Britain.
Most Americans wanted to keep out of the
European war. As a result, President Woodrow Wilson, elected in 1912, based the country’s
international policy in the neutrality and isolation of conflicts.
The United States foreign policy was going to be based, as Wilson said in 1914, “Neutral
in facts as well as in name and impartial in thought as well as in action”. Neutrality was actually
very profitable for the nation. As a neutral country, the United States was able to trade with all
the European nations. However, it became increasingly difficult for many Americans business to
remain impartial, even though the President Wilson insisted that American industry and financial
institutions do business with all of the belligerent nations impartially. Indeed, there were
industries, politicians, groups, and associations working to bring the nation into the war.
“Whatever the degree to which Wilson’s moral and strategic thinking may have inched toward
war by the start of his second term, the American economy had become, in significant measure,
join to the fate of the Allies” (Axelrod, Alan).
In 1915, a German submarine attacked a British liner called Lusitania, killing 128
Americans. The public opinion stated the event as an audacious atrocity; however, President
Wilson decided that the Lusitania wasn’t worth a war (Ayers, Edward). Even though there were
pressures to enter the war, President Wilson kept the country out of the war until 1917, a year
later of his reelection. In the 1916 presidential elections, Democrats based Wilson’s campaign