A Progressive Southerner Named Woodrow Wilson

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Philip Hackett Historical Methods Professor Zeller April 9, 2015 Research Project Rough Draft 2 In 1912, a progressive southerner named Woodrow Wilson was elected to be the next President of the United States. Halfway through his first term, Europe erupted into a violent conflict known as World War I. This conflict would pose a major dilemma for the President, whose response would affect not only United States ' future, but that of the entire world. Would the President ask Congress to go to war, or would he promote a stance of neutrality? At first, Wilson championed the support for neutrality. His strong conviction to keeping the United States neutral was a major factor for his re-election in 1916. Even his campaign slogan proudly pronounced that, "He kept us out of war". However, less than a year later, the President would reverse his position and plunge the United States into the war. This is a key point in history to discuss, because Wilson 's decision continues to shape the world today. If the United States had not entered the war, the course of history would be dramatically different. So why did Wilson initially support neutrality and what caused him to renounce it? To answer this question, I will utilize Wilson’s own correspondence and speeches, as well as the analyses outlined in newspapers and scholarly novels. From this, we can discover why the United States was ever involved in the First World War, which started exclusively as a European conflict. Scholars have
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