Cem Anil Kenar HIST104A-B02 Spg12 Wilson’s Stance during WW1: From “He kept us out of the War” to “Make the World Safe for Democracy” As it is well-known the World War I was primarily of a war fought due to imperialist aims, stemming from the need to satisfy the demand for raw material in the Europe. With the industrial revolution urge for raw material became of crucial importance for the European states. This was followed by the aggressive colonization projects that eventually led to a harsh competition between different parties around Europe, who want to hold control over the economic resources.The United States was not a super-power, as it is now, at the time of the War.
Being aware of this Wilson opted to remain as a neutral observer during the initial phase of the war. It was the third year of the war, when the British intelligence intercepted the coded telegram dispatched by the Foreign Secretary of the German Empire, Arthur Zimmermann, on 16 January 1917. While the two blocs, The Entente Powers (France, The British Empire and Russia) vs.The Central Powers, (Austria-Hungary, Germany and the Ottoman Empire), were fairly evenly balanced between 1914 and 1917, with the year 1917 the Central Powers started to be weakened due to several reasons. The Americans were convinced that the Central Powers were doomed to lose the war, when the Zimmermann telegram was revealed. Therefore, Wilson aspired to take advantage of these circumstances and use the telegram as a pretext for convincing the American public opinion to join to the War and side with the Entente Powers.Given that all the parties involved in the war was motivated with the aim to gain competitive advantage over others, Wilson’s decision can be understood as an attempt on the side of the U.
S. to pursue its own interest. In fact, Americans has succeeded in their endeavor to take advantage of the situation. Though the American causalities were around 100,000 with the end of the war, the American economy and its strategic positioning in the World politics were reinforced. This paper is attempt to shed light on Wilson’s stance during the World War I.It will be argued that Wilson had skillfully maximized the American interests during the war through several strategies. Though his re-election campaign was based on the slogan of non-involvement, Wilson was well-aware the danger, as well as the window of opportunity, awaiting the U.
S. Accordingly it will be demonstrated that Wilson had utilized the Zimmerman telegram to justify the involvement of the American in the war. Accordingly the structure of this paper is as follows; firstly a brief summary of Wilsons’s arguments to launch the war is provided.These arguments will be evaluated critically. Secondly, the factors that delayed the American involvement will be discussed. This will be followed by Wilson asked Congress for a declaration of war on April 2, 1917. His arguments to support the American entry into the War were based on the grounds of moral arguments.
For Wilson, the U. S had a moral responsibility to enter the war to make the world safe for democracy. However the main reason underlying his call to join the war on the side of Entente Powers was more complicated than that. The American economy was dependent on the Britain.Therefore while Wilson listed many reasons to justify his call to enter to war, such as the German submarines attack on American civilians on international waters, the autocrat nature of the German state, and the responsibility of Americans to spread democracy and liberalism around the world, these arguments were not convincing. Germans had already announced that the attack on happened because those ships were transporting arms to the Britain. Besides though Wilson claimed that the war against Germany would also mean a war against autocracy, he was sided with Russia, which was also governed by an autocrat.
Wilson proclaimed that the American entry into the World War I was inevitable since the war came very much close to the Americans. However this argument was also open to question. Here one can consider how countries like Norway, Switzerland, Holland, Denmark, Spain that were almost at the line of the battle remained neutral despite the proximity of the fighting actors. Wilson could have remained neutral if he had imposed bans on arm shipment through ships that carry American flag, as Brazil did.  Wilson was quite careful on his wording when he was announcing war against Germany.He emphasized that the American citizens do not have any problem with Germany, whereas American government was targeting the German Kaiser who had been ruling the Germans with autocracy. The reason why Wilson was directly targeting the Kaiser, rather than the German people was related with the significant German immigrant population in the U.
S. Being wary that this population might get vigilant with the announcement of the war; Wilson based his discourse on “liberating the German people”. Wilson was well-equipped with intelligence and strategic thinking.He was aware that the World War I could be window of opportunity for the Americans. The American economy was depended on England before the war. However with the American involvement of the war things has changed. Americans posed a pressure on Britain when the American Federal Reserve board had warned its member basks against granting loans to belligerent governments.
In short thanks to Wilson’s policies, the U. S. had strengthened its economy vis-a-vis Britain and Germany.  There was couple of reasons why Wilson protracted the American involvement in the war.Firstly this was related with the election campaign and propaganda of Wilson, since his second term in the office came after the election, during which his motto was “Peace without victory. ” Wilson was concerned over accusations of hypocrisy, since his re-election campaign emphasized the slogan “he kept us out of war. ” Any earlier attempt to involve into war would damage the image of Wilson.
Therefore Wilson had to wait for a solid reason to declare war against Germany. When the Germans forwarded the telegram to Mexico and proposed to form an alliance, Wilson had a valid ground.The Germans were offering the Mexicans to reconquer the lost territory in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, in return to their declaration of war against the U. S . The reason why I believe that Wilson had used the telegram as a pretext to launch the war against Germany is because of the fact that he had never questioned the authenticity of the telegram, when it was decoded and sent by the British . The telegram was used to mold the public opinion and in a short time period the overwhelming majority of Americans were convinced that the U. S.
had a responsibility to get involved in the war.When Germany posed such a strategic threat against the U. S. , it was unthinkable to expect Wilson to remain neutral. Accordingly the Congress had accepted his proposal of declaration of war with little opposition. (Senate vote 82-6, House vote 373-50) The brutality of the war and high number of casualties was the second reason that delayed the American involvement in the war. Advances in the military technology increased the casualties tremendously.
The more the Americans delayed their involvement, the fewer casualties they would suffer from.The brutality of the war was manifested when around 60,000 British soldiers died in the Hidderburg Line on one day . Therefore during the first three years of War, Wilson skillfully avoided any military aid, but confined himself to monetary and equipment aid. The Americans ended up with 100,000 causalities when the war was terminated. However given that more that 10 million people died during the war, it is obvious that this number is relatively low when it is compared with the losses of other parties.Though it is impossible to grasp what was in Wilson’s mind fully, it is possible to suggest that the considerable number of German originated Americans was another reason that deterred Wilson to declare war against Germany. The number of German natives amounted to 216,000 in the American Union Army, while the number of those having German parents was 300,000.
This might be the third reason that delayed the American involvement  . Germans were already informed about these figures and Zimmermann had threatened Ambassador Gerard that in case of a threat the Germans in the U.S accompanied with the Irish would revolt against the American state . During this period Germany was also attempting to provoke Mexico, which is the bordering state of the U. S. , as well Japan that was eagerly looking forward to challenging the Americans over the Pacific. That might make Wilson hesitant to transport American troops to another continent, and rather consolidate the military strengthen within its borders.
There were two major reasons that can explain the belligerent attitude of Germany against the U. S.First the Germans wanted to intimidate the U. S. and deter the Americans to provide aid to Britain. The second reason was to use Mexico against the U. S.
in the case of their involvement to war. Germans wanted to keep Americans occupied in their own territory through a Mexican attack and avoid their involvement in the continent. Germany had no demands over the American continent. This can be seen in the telegram, where the Mexicans were promised their lost territory ( New Mexico, Texas, Alabama), yet any demand on the German side was absent. 9] In short it was the economic factors that made Wilson to take sides in the War. During the later phases of the war Britain was highly indebted to the US. Even the American economy faced with stagnation due to this heavy loaning.
Had Britain lost the War, the Americans would not collect their loans, at least in the short time. Therefore Wilson had legitimate and rational reasons to get involved in the war. Hence, it is safe to argue that the main motivation of the Americans to take part in the World War I was primarily economic, rather than humanitarian.The moral justification for the involvement, which was based on the claim to halt German aggression and spread democracy and liberalism, was mainly a pretext. Wilson could have remained neutral and pursued his initial policy of non-involvement. However for Wilson, the war was a great window of opportunity to expand American influence around the globe. Wilson’s policy might be judged as hypocritical, since his whole re-election campaign was based on the American non-involvement in the war, yet it was also Wilson who led the nation into the war.
However during the critical phase of history, Wilson accomplished to maximize the gains of the Americans thanks to his skillful strategies. Molding the public opinion with the Zimmermann telegram, Wilson made Americans to get involved into the War. However this was motivated by strategic thinking and an urge to strengthen the power of the U. S. The late involvement of the Americans into the War diminished its losses and causalities. After the entry of the U. S.
the war terminated with the defeat of Germany.
(how to write a poem about a work of art)
Ekphrasis Assignment (how to write a poem about a work of art) Follow these steps: First, select a painting by either Edward Hopper or Johannes Vermeer (go to the web links) Simply describe the chosen work of art as fully as you can. List three to five philosophical or emotional concerns or questions raised by the chosen work of art. Tell a story from your own life that answers one of the questions or concerns and incorporate that. Find a paragraph or two about the chosen work of art and incorporate one or two sentences (you can look online). Return to the work of art one last time rendering one more detail that was missed or overlooked