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Woodrow Wilson's Involvment In Ww1 And Its Aftermath

1045 words - 5 pages

Woodrow Wilson is considered to be one of America’s most influential presidents to hold office. Being born in Virginia while raised in South Carolina and Georgia, Wilson progressively rose to power from president of Princeton University to the president of the United States of America. Wilson first considered running for governor then president from Harper’s Weekly editor, George Harvey. With Harvey as Wilson’s assistant, Wilson slowly but surely began to gain the public’s attention with his ideas on political and economic reform such as lower tariffs, establishment of the Federal Reserve and abolition of child labor (O’Brien). He was sworn into office on March 4, 1913 and about a year later, WW1 erupted in Europe leaving Wilson to decide what position the United States would be taking in this catastrophic world war. He ended up choosing to stay neutral, which played a large role in his reelection. The thoughts in every citizen’s mind were whether Wilson could keep this promise for neutrality and what he would do after the war was over.
In the year 1915 when German U-Boats attacked the British ship, the Lusitania and jeopardized the safety of various American ships Wilson knew that neutrality could no longer be maintained after his two years of indifference in the war. This led him to ask Congress to declare war on Germany. Wilson had no other choice as stated by Devlin, “Wilson’s decision was made only after a hesitation that lasted through the month of April and beyond. After the outrageous sinking of the Lusitania in May 1915, it would have been difficult for him politically to have made any other choice” (Devlin 175). His goal was to stabilize democracy and he claimed that fighting on the Allied side in the war would contribute to ensuring democracy for all. Wilson even included this notion in his war message of 1917 by stating, "The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty. We have no selfish ends to serve. We desire no conquest, no dominion. We seek no indemnities for ourselves, no material compensation for the sacrifices we shall freely make." This aspiration for global democracy pushed Wilson to prepare the military for German threats, giving the Americans an upper hand in the war. With the war coming to an end, Wilson developed various proposals that would hopefully settle discrepancies between countries all around the world and even cause political conflict within the government.
The allied side arising victorious resulted in Wilson questioning the way the world deals with foreign affairs. He strongly believed that the countries’ inadequate regards to foreign affairs are what led to the eruption of the first world war. Wilson’s worries gave way to the evolution of his famous fourteen points which was modeled as a frame for a safer world (“45d. The Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations”). These fourteen points called for ending secret treaties, reduction...

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