Library of Congress Wilson demanded an apology from Germany and stayed his neutral course as long as possible. On April 2,Wilson finally asked Congress for a formal declaration of war. The task Wilson faced was how to mobilize an unprepared America.
Wilson's predecessors, including McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, and Taft, had viewed the United States as an emerging power that needed to extend its influence throughout the world in order to serve national interests. This imperialist policy was justified by the commonly held belief that it was America's duty as a Christian republic to spread democracy throughout the world.
These three Presidents significantly expanded America's influence abroad with the annexation of colonies throughout the world, such as the Philippines and Cuba. Wilson, however, abandoned this imperialist policy and brought to the White House a new way of looking at America's relations with the outside world.
Even though he too believed that the United States was the most politically enlightened nation under God, he felt that all peoples throughout the world had the right to self-determination—that the people in every country should have the right to choose their own governments. Wilson, along with his Secretary of State Bryan, felt that it was America's duty to protect democracy and free peoples in other countries rather than to spread it throughout the globe.
Prior to the outbreak of World War I, protecting democracy throughout the world primarily meant protecting the fledgling republics in Latin America that had struggled in decades past with corrupt governments, pressures from European powers, and even American imperialism under President Roosevelt.
To atone for these mistakes, and to demonstrate that the United States did indeed intend to uphold the Monroe Doctrine, Wilson spent several of his first years dealing with Latin American issues.
He persuaded Congress to repeal the Panama Canal Act which exempted many American ships from paying the required toll for passage through the canal. He signed a treaty with the South American country of Colombia to apologize for Roosevelt's acts of aggression during the American- driven Panama Revolution in These were Wilson's only successes in Latin American relations, however.
The rest of his dealings with South, Central, and Caribbean American countries largely failed, and many of them even resulted in bloodshed. Wilson's attempt to help Nicaraguan rebels eventually required him to occupy the country by force in The same blunder occurred in Haiti in and the Dominican Republic inwhen Wilson eventually sent in American troops to occupy the islands.
It is ironic that despite his loathing of imperialism and his deep belief in self-determination, Wilson resorted to military action in Latin America just as his predecessors had.
Although Wilson had problems in the Caribbean, his greatest challenge came from Mexico. InMexico fell into a bloody revolution when Mexican general Victoriano Huerta overthrew the nation's government and declared himself its military dictator.
Wilson immediately denounced Huerta, declaring that the United States could not and should not recognize violent dictators who seized government in pursuit of their own agendas. The President attempted to initiate peaceful negotiations between Huerta and the usurped government, but both sides refused to submit to his proposal.
Unsure how to proceed, Wilson permitted Huerta's enemies, the Constitutionalists, to purchase military equipment and arms in the U. When the dictator's army seized a small group of American sailors on shore leave in Mexico, Wilson demanded an apology. He also demanded that Huerta publicly salute the American flag in Mexico, which Huerta naturally refused to do.
Wilson responded with force: Veracruz was taken, but eighteen Americans were killed in the battle. Not wanting to commit the U. With their arbitration, the conflict was eventually resolved. Huerta fled the country, and a new government was established in under the leadership of Constitutionalist President Venustiano Carranza.U.S.
Entry into World War I, On April 2, , President Woodrow Wilson went before a joint session of Congress to request a declaration of war against Germany. Wilson cited Germany’s violation of its pledge to suspend unrestricted submarine warfare in the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean, as well as its attempts to entice Mexico .
By war's end, 1,, American troops were stationed in France; also by that time, , American servicemen had died. Wilson also tackled the task of organizing and coordinating production of American war materials and foodstuffs.
Fourteen Points is a blueprint for world peace that was to be used for peace negotiations after World War I, elucidated in a January 8, , speech on war aims and peace terms by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson.
Learn about President Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points speech delivered in Discover what these points actually were and how they affected the outcome of the end of World War I.
The Fourteen Points was a statement of principles for peace that was to be used for peace negotiations in order to end World War ashio-midori.com principles were outlined in a January 8, speech on war aims and peace terms to the United States Congress by President Woodrow ashio-midori.comans generally welcomed Wilson's points, but his .
In August , President Woodrow Wilson asked Americans to remain impartial in thought and deed toward the war that had just broken out in Europe. Wilson wanted the United States to exemplify the democratic commitment to peace, but "The Great War" continually challenged the nation's neutrality.