Woodrow Wilsons War
The Great War, as it was called, started on July 28th, 1914 with the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. The United States decided to stay out of the war and be a neutral country. The United States economy was booming during this time because they were supplying many of the countries that were in the war. The United States soon became an economic world power. European countries were too caught up in getting ready and fighting during wartime and didn’t have time to export any goods. The United States was increasing production and exporting goods all over the world. This economic boom made Woodrow Wilson very important to the European countries participating in the war. He was in control of many of the resources needed for the war.
President Thomas Woodrow Wilson a former governor of New Jersey was the 28th president and served his term from 1913-1921. He was a leader of the progressive movement but ran for the Democrats. When President Wilson came to office he passed many new legislative acts. A few of the acts that were made while President Wilson was in office was the Federal Reserve Act, Federal Trade Commission Act, Clayton Antitrust Act, and the Federal Farm Loan Act. President Wilson was a very convincing president. His legislative agenda was un-matched by many past presidents. His views on neutrality were widely accepted throughout the country.
The United States population accepted Woodrow Wilson during this time. He was keeping the United States out of war and this comforted the people with a near promise that America wouldn’t enter a war that didn’t concern them. Everyone listened to President Wilson and enjoyed listening to him when he spoke because he had the same views as the general public. Many people compared his beliefs to President Lincoln’s beliefs on neutrality in European affairs. Although President Wilson liked talking to the public he did not communicate well with his cabinet. President Wilson would not listen to negative news and did not want to talk about things he didn’t like. People around the President were scared of his power and did not confront him. President Wilson is quoted saying, “Although the president cannot conclude treaties without the Senate’s consent, he may guide every step of diplomacy…. He need disclose no step of negotiation until it is complete and when in any critical matter it is completed … whatever its inclination, the Senate may feel itself committed also” (Tucker 18). President Wilson did not leave any notes behind or allude to his thoughts. He was an independent thinker and some citizens did not like that trait about him. Wilson was depressed when his wife passed away during his presidency. Some could speculate that his depression is one of the reasons the United States stayed neutral at first. Wilson’s problems with his own life may have interfered with his presidency and made him very passive. President Wilson’s political advisors did not want to stay neutral in this war. They would try and convince President Wilson that the United States should take a side.
As the war continued the American people began to get concerned about Wilsons neutrality. Many citizens wanted to join the triple Entente because the United States and England had strong ties. However the majority of the population still did not want any part of the war. Many people wanted to be on both sides. The United States did not want any trouble with the Triple Alliance or the Triple Entente. A neutral country does have the right to trade with countries from either side. However the countries that are in the war had the right to prevent the neutral country to make trades that assist an enemy’s military effort. This made it difficult for the United States to trade because although they had the right to trade with whomever they wanted to, countries in war could prevent them from supplying the enemy. This is what propelled the...
Cited: Sinking of the Lusitania." About.com 20th Century History. 2012. Web. 10 Apr. 2012. .
Tucker, Robert W. Woodrow Wilson and the Great War: Reconsidering America 's Neutrality, 1914-1917. Charlottesville: University of Virginia, 2007. Print.
"The Zimmerman Note." - World War I Document Archive. 7 July 2009. Web. 10 Apr. 2012. .
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