History 416

Decision to Enter the War

September 21, 2005



I. Wilsonian Agenda Abroad


            1. The Mexican Revolution (Diaz, Taft, and Madero; international ramifications of revolution)


            2. Wilson’s Response (special emissaries; Veracruz; tensions with Carranza)


            3. Wilson and the Caribbean Basin (significance of Panama Canal; Bryan and “deserving Democrats”; Haiti)


II. Wilson and the Third World


            1. Caribbean Basin (Dominican Republic and breakdown of order; imposition of military rule; rebellion and Marines)


            2. Central America (failure of Colombian treaty and legacy of TR; continuation of Nicaraguan occupation; Costa Rican difficulties)


            3. East Asia and Wartime International Affairs (rise of instability—aftermath of Russo-Japanese War, tensions in US-Japanese relations, Chinese Revolution, outbreak of war and spheres of influence system)


            4. The War in East Asia (Japan, Allies, and German protectorates; China and emergence of Yuan Shih-kai; Wilson and continuities with Taft policy; role of China Lobby)


III. Debating War


            1. Latin America and the Contradictions of Wilsonianism (the Pan-American Pact and the promise of internationalism; the Mobile address and Wilsonianism; the strategic realities of the Caribbean Basin; Wilson, the Navy, and race; legacy)


            2. The Issues (the preparedness debate: Plattsburgers, progressivism, and military efficiency, peace progressives and traditional anti-militarism, Wilson and bureaucratic pressure, domestic pressure groups—AUAM, WILPF; war aims: concept of league of nations, LEP vs. progressive internationalists, US as revolutionary power, significance of Wilson—Peace without Victory, transnational coalition)


            3. 1916 and World Affairs (abroad: Sussex pledge; Somme and Western front casualties; tipping scale Eastern Front?; endless war and prospect of mediation—Pope, Wilson, socialist movements; domestic: TR and interventionist demands; foreign policy and 1916 campaign; intricacies of ethnic politics; the Wilson coalition; differences between 1916 and 1912)


            4. Decision for War (changing context of European events: difficulties among France and Italy, February Revolution in Russia; German government and decision for unrestricted submarine warfare; strains of victory—Zimmerman Telegram, armed ship bill, war atmosphere and collapse of progressivism; war vote)