Chapter

The Tipping-Point Ships

Rodney Carlisle

in Sovereignty at Sea

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780813037622
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813041612 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813037622.003.0009
The Tipping-Point Ships

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Over the weekend of March 16–18, 1917, three US ships were sunk without warning: the Vigilancia, the City of Memphis, and the Illinois. Six Americans aboard the Vigilancia drowned, along with nine seamen of other nationalities. The editorial reaction in the press, which mostly urged that these three sinkings constituted overt acts of war, is discussed. Wilson's cabinet met and recommended that the United States declare war on Germany. Wilson did not give his decision, but asked that Congress convene early on April 2, 1917.

Keywords: Wilson's cabinet; Vigilancia; City of Memphis; Illinois; acts of war

Chapter.  6654 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Military History

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