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Debating the War:

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Jarod Roll

on 12 September 2017

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Transcript of Debating the War:

Debating the War:
Peace to Preparedness

HIS 305
1914: outbreak of war shifted American attention
--Mexican Revolution
--Victoriano Huerta (initially aided by US, then opposed by Wilson)
--Tampico Affair, April 1914
--Roosevelt Corollary, "Great White Fleet"
--Vera Cruz
Debate American role in the world:
--Franklin D. Roosevelt, assistant sec. of Navy called for all-out war, even annexation of Mexico
--Theodore Roosevelt called diversion from Tampico to Vera Cruz "craven," "offense to nation's honor"
--Wilson: "no thought of aggression or selfish aggrandizement"
War in Europe, August 1914
--Allied Powers (France, Britain, Russia, Italy) and Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey)
--US policy based on isolation
--Wilson advocated neutrality
--American society divided
Peace Movement:
--William Jennings Bryan resigned as Secretary of State, June 1915
--Women's Peace Party, 1915
--Jane Addams, Bryan, Eugene Debs, Oswald Garrison Villard (co-founder of NAACP)
--radical opposition
--ex., Helen Keller
--British violent suppression of Irish Easter Uprising, 1916
--Senator George Norris (R, Nebraska): capitalist war
--also popular sentiment in the South
Preparedness Movement:
--Theodore Roosevelt: Americanization
--League to Enforce Peace
--William James: "War is the great preserver of our ideals"
--German submarine warfare in Atlantic
--National Defense Act, 1916
--Council of National Defense, 1916
--Revenue Act, 1916
Election of 1916:
--Wilson ran as the candidate who kept us out of war, still advocated neutrality, called for Americanism; had support of peace movement
--Charles Evans Hughes (R): minimized war, but called for militarization and preparedness
Effects of this debate:
--100% Americanism
--Ku Klux Klan re-founded, Stone Mountain, Atlanta, 1915

The march to war:
1) Wilson: "peace without victory" January 1917
2) Zimmerman Telegram, February 1917
3) Germans re-start unrestricted submarine warfare
4) Wilson asks for declaration of war, April 2, 1917
--Senate, 82-6 (James K. Vardaman, MS, voted no)
--House 373-50 (Jeannette Rankin, MT, voted no)
Full transcript