Presentation on Why American Entered Ww1

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In 1914, when the European powers took to war, it was clear that years of building tension had erupted in one of the deadliest wars the world had ever seen. The general consensus among American’s, under the presidency of Woodrow Wilson, was that it was in America’s best interest not to enter the war. There is no doubt that American citizens would have taken comfort in the fact that Wilson was also reluctant to engage in any form of belligerency. He wanted to “vindicate principals for peace” and Wilson in fact stated that America should be “impartial in thought as well as in actions”. In John G. Coogan’s article, “Wilson’s Unneutrality and it’s Costs”, he makes it clear that, that in a time when American would have liked to be regarded as a mediator among the European powers, Wilson willingly disregarded international law and American History, and attempted to redefine neutrality, without the aid of lawyers and textbooks. Coogan believes that the best summation of Wilson’s attitude towards neutrality in the time of World War 1 was that “his own opinion was his law”. Coogan’s article condemns Wilson on the basis that he completely disregarded maritime law. He states that Wilson made no effort to hold the British maritime system within the boundaries of United States doctrines surrounding the rules of the high seas. In the first six months of war, Coogan tells us of how Wilson made only mild protest when Britain went in complete breach of maritime law by claiming the right to seize neutral ships on mere suspicion. These ships could be seized and held under the rule “guilty until you prove yourself innocent”. This was entirely against the sovereign rights of neutral citizens and states, yet Wilson, in Coogan’s opinion, seemed to turn a blind eye to the situation. America, according to Coogan, wished to be seen as a mediator by the European powers. However, the author attacks Wilson again when he says that Wilson chose to ignore Britain’s control over Dutch,...
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