Centennial of a Disaster

April 6, 2017 is the centennial of one of the greatest disasters in the history of American government.  President Woodrow Wilson, days earlier, had asked Congress to declare war on Germany, effectively entering the First World War on the side of the Allied Powers.  Wilson gave no compelling arguments for sending American men across the ocean to die. The most common rationale was that the Germans resumed "unrestricted submarine warfare," but those are specious grounds, using rules largely written by the British, who controlled the surface of the seas.  The Germans went to great lengths to assuage American opinion, even running advertisements in American newspapers warning shipping firms and the public of the danger of sailing in certain zones. Why was it fine to stop a freighter with wheat sailing from neutral America to neutral Holland, upon threat of sinking, which is precisely what the Royal Navy did throughout the war?  Both sides were using...(Read Full Article)

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