President Woodrow Wilson announced USA will remain neutral during WW1

Posted in: Battlefields Tours - News
Written on 19th August 2013 11:30am

On 19th August 1914, a few months after the First World War began, US President Woodrow Wilson announced that his country would remain neutral throughout the conflict.

Today is the 99th anniversary of the day in which US President Woodrow Wilson announced that America would remain neutral during the First World War - "in thought and deed".


Wilson's ideas behind this policy of strict neutrality was his desire to broker a peace. The President repeatedly sent his top aide Colonel House on missions to belligerents - yet all were so confident of victory, that the peace offer was ignored.


In 1915, after Germany sank a British liner with 128 Americans onboard, Wilson even stated, "America is too proud to fight". He then demanded an end to attacks on passenger ships, with which Germany complied.


From almost the very start Wilson was under pressure from former American president Theodore Roosevelt to enter the war. Roosevelt denounced the German's actions in warfare as piracy".


Until early 1917, the public opinion supported Wilson's decision to remain neutral. However due partly to the German atrocities in Belgium, opinion gradually changed and more and more people believed America should enter the war - on the side of Britain and its allies.


The USA finally entered the war in April 1917. The declaration came after Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare. The British then intercepted and forwarded to Washington a telegram meant for Mexico that outlined plans for Germany and Mexico to join forces against America.


Despite this knowledge, Wilson still tried to maintain neutrality. However, when German submarines sank seven US merchant ships Wilson went to Congress calling for a declaration of war on Germany.

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