Abandoning American Neutrality: Woodrow Wilson and the by M. Ryan Floyd (auth.)

By M. Ryan Floyd (auth.)

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Extra info for Abandoning American Neutrality: Woodrow Wilson and the Beginning of the Great War, August 1914–December 1915

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Wilson to Professor Hugo Münsterberg, November 10, 19141 I n announcing the August 20 Order in Council, Prime Minister Henry Asquith’s administration had demonstrated that it had no intention of accepting the Declaration of London or any other international accord that interfered with its political and military objectives. Once the western front had developed into a near stalemate, however, British officials recognized that they would need more men and significantly larger quantities of materiel to win the war.

Many Americans felt that the bill would provide the government with too much influence in the business world and threaten free enterprise. Others thought that it could place the United States at odds with the belligerents and endanger its neutrality. Opposition to the plan frustrated the president because he and McAdoo were trying to aid the business community by providing the ships that the private sector could not afford and at a time it desperately needed the help. 52 One of the first complaints about the lack of shipping came from Standard Oil.

London wanted to delay any real discussion about peace. ” Spring-Rice asserted that the German ambassador hoped to foster a division among the Allies by convincing one of them to support discussions while the others maintained militant stances. 83 On September 21, House received a similar response from Bernstorff. House responded that the British did not feel they could meet without approval from all the Allies. Asserting that this was reasonable, Bernstorff added that talks were going to be difficult and that the present was probably the wrong time to sit down together.

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