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Woodrow Wilson's War Message

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Lucas Peterson

on 16 December 2014

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Transcript of Woodrow Wilson's War Message

Woodrow Wilson's War Message
Lucas Peterson

Woodrow Wilson
Recently Reelected using the phrase "He kept us out of war"
Delivered speech on April 2, 1917
Asked Congress to declare war on Germany
Brought America into biggest global conflict the nation had ever seen.
Three Rhetorical Devices
"Vessels of every kind, whatever their flag, their character, their cargo, their destination, their errand, have been ruthlessly sent to the bottom without warning and without the thought of help or mercy for those on board, the vessels of friendly neutrals along with those of belligerents."
"I have called the Congress into extraordinary session because there are serious, very serious, choices of policy to be made, and made immediately, which it was neither right nor constitutionally permissible that I should assume the responsibility of making...The present German submarine warfare against commerce is a warfare against mankind.
It is war against all nations."
Background Information
Born in Staunton Virginia, 1856
Born under Joesph Ruggles Wilson, a pro-slavery pastor.
13th President of P.U., 34th Governor of New Jersey, 28th President of U.S.
Progressive President, fought for the rights of the common man and woman.
Why was this speech monumental?
Convinced Americans entry into the war was necessary.
Brought America into a large and devastating war
Wilson used much emotion to get Congress on his side
Proved America was a power of the world
Brought women into the workplace
Pushed for women's suffrage, which came soon after the end of the war
"I am not now thinking of the loss of property involved, immense and serious as that is, but only of the wanton and wholesale destruction of the lives of non-combatants, men, women, and children, engaged in pursuits which have always, even in the darkest periods of modern history, been deemed innocent and legitimate. Property can be paid for; the lives of the peaceful and innocent people cannot be."
Wilson's "War Message" was monumental.
Used Pathos, Logos, and Exigence.
Changed the way America lived life.
Ultimately brought women into a bigger role in America.
Full transcript