"More Precious Than Peace": Woodrow Wilson, the German U-boat Campaign, and America's Path to World War I
Gwin, Mary E.
The early 20th century is portrayed as the era of American isolationism, and the United States' official policy of neutrality for most of World War I is frequently attributed to the country's economic interests and substantial population of European immigrants. However, German submarine warfare from 1915-1917 endangered American trade, incited public outrage, and created enemies in both major political parties. Why, then, was US entry into the war delayed so extensively? This paper examines the diplomacy of President Woodrow Wilson in the context of ongoing U-boat warfare and critiques his attempt to balance his personal vision of peace with his public responsibility to defend American interests from German aggression.