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Why do you think Wilson was so insistent on maintaining neutrality? Was his reluctance to go to war justified?

Created: 03/20/16

Replies: 7

Posted Mar. 20, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

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Why do you think Wilson was so insistent on maintaining neutrality? Was his reluctance to go to war justified?

Why do you think Wilson was so insistent on maintaining neutrality even as German U-boat attacks claimed American lives? Was his reluctance to go to war justified?


Posted Mar. 21, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

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RE: Why do you think Wilson was so insistent on maintaining neutrality? Was his reluctance to go to war justified?

At first it seemed like he was quite justified in keeping the US out of the war. It would be hard to see why the US should get involved on the surface of it. However, as it became evident that the war was larger than just two armies battling it out, things changed. I wonder if Wilson hadn't been so grief-stricken if he'd have waited as long to get the US involved?


Posted Mar. 23, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rosienick

Join Date: 03/20/16

Posts: 14

RE: Why do you think Wilson was so insistent on maintaining neutrality? Was his reluctance to go to war justified?

Wilson, as President of the USA, must try to feel the response of the people under his leadership. In general, I don't think any country WANTS war...especially if that war is being waged an ocean away and is not intimately affecting the country. Roosevelt also was not eager to enter WWII...and did not do so until after Pearl Harbor. However, once the USA was openly attacked, as in the sinking of the Gulflight (which, I believe, was an American vessel), the mood of the people shifted. Although the Lusitania was a British ship, the tragedy was so awful that Wilson began to waiver. Still...only a little over 100 US citizens were lost on the Lusitania. War was not declared on Germany until over a year later when it became obvious that our allies were in serious danger of being totally defeated.


Posted Mar. 23, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianec

Join Date: 03/15/12

Posts: 21

RE: Why do you think Wilson was so insistent on maintaining neutrality? Was his reluctance to go to war justified?

At that time, the United States was still recovering a sense of identity after the Civil War. That war was fought visibly in the backyards of citizens, defending very personal values. Europe had its own alliances and grievances that stretched back centuries. To send American troops across an ocean to fight someone else's war was troubling to many citizens, and, as roseinick says above, Wilson was charged with representing American attitudes and interests. I think in the context of the times, his reluctance was in keeping with public opinion. As time went by, and the alliance with Great Britain and the violation of America's concept of democracy became evident to the people of the United States, Wilson led the shift to military commitment.


Posted Mar. 24, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
peggya

Join Date: 06/03/15

Posts: 15

RE: Why do you think Wilson was so insistent on maintaining neutrality? Was his reluctance to go to war justified?

Looking at his background as a son of a Presbyterian minister as well as his earlier career as a scholar/professor had to be a strong determinent of his views on war. Also growing up in the South, although he was a child, he was witness to the devastation that ensued from the Civil War and how this affected the psyche of the American people...on the winning and losing side. I think he was a man who despised war and did everything he could to keep this nation from engaging in WW1. In fact,this was one of his campaign slogans..."he kept us out of war". His hand was forced by the fact Britian was severely under matched by Germany and the realization that America had to turn the tide.


Posted Mar. 27, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
celiaarnaud

Join Date: 04/18/12

Posts: 35

RE: Why do you think Wilson was so insistent on maintaining neutrality? Was his reluctance to go to war justified?

In days when travel was still very slow, it's not surprising that the US would stay out of the war as long as possible.There was no reason to think that this was our fight to be involved in. I think the Europeans didn't really know how they got into it. They had all these treaty alliances that obligated various countries to jump in once the conflict started. It's one of those wars that even 100 years later I read about it and I wonder how they let it get so out of hand.


Posted Mar. 31, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
katherinep

Join Date: 07/16/14

Posts: 71

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RE: Why do you think Wilson was so insistent on maintaining neutrality? Was his reluctance to go to war justified?

The American people did not want to enter a War that was not anything to do with them. Period. So, Europe made sure it had to do with them--more and more American ships were attacked and more and more Americans died. Time to go protect our own, so we did. The American people did not want to go to war in WW II either, but despite losing most of its fleet in Pearl Harbor, they went back in to protect Europe once more and once more succeeded.


Posted Apr. 04, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ylhoff

Join Date: 10/23/12

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RE: Why do you think Wilson was so insistent on maintaining neutrality? Was his reluctance to go to war justified?

Wilson's reticence to join the war was the right choice. I wish future presidents (except for Roosevelt) had exercised the same patience to hold back until their hand was forced. I cannot imagine the number of young US men who would have died if Wilson had jumped in immediately. Wilson wasn't a war president, he was an intellectual president ...


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