Chapter

The Agony of Woodrow Wilson

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/9780813037622.003.0010
The Agony of Woodrow Wilson

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Over the period March 20–April 2, 1917, Wilson did not reveal publicly his decision regarding war. On March 21, the US merchant ship Healdton was sunk off the Netherlands with 21 deaths, including 15 Americans. At the time, it was assumed that it had been sunk by a German submarine, but further research has shown that it struck one or two British mines; the details of that research are discussed in an Appendix of the book. The issue of whether the Healdton loss precipitated Wilson's final decision is discussed. Secretary of State Robert Lansing prepared a long list of hostile German actions, some of which had already been addressed by diplomatic notes, and provided that list to Wilson for use in his speech to Congress; Lansing also met with key members of Congress and provided them with the same list.

Keywords: Healdton; Woodrow Wilson; Robert Lansing; Declaration of War

Chapter.  7830 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Military History

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