Woodrow Wilson's Administration
Election for Peace
"As some of the injuries done us have become intolerable we have still been clear that we wished nothing for ourselves that we were not ready to demand for all mankind-fair dealing, justice, the freedom to live and to be at ease against organized wrong."Woodrow Wilson 2nd Inaugural In 1916 Wilson ran on the slogan,"he kept us out of war," and narrowly defeated Supreme Court Justice Charles Even Hughes. Wilson managed to keep America out of the war until it was clear that Germany's submarine warfare would continue to claim American civilian lives. During the 976 days of neutrality Wilson repeatedly tried to negotiate for an end to the fighting, and called on all those involved to accept peace without victory. Facing the imminent defeat of France, and seeing no end to Germany's attacks on civilian shipping, Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany April 2, 1917. Neutrality had ended, the nation was at war.
14 points. It was clear that they could not continue.
Wilson became the first President to leave the country while in office when he left for France aboard the S.S. George Washington Dec 4 1918. Wherever he went in Europe huge crowds gathered to cheer him on. His 14 points were very popular and the common people saw him as the savior of France, and the greatest hope for world peace. His efforts, for the most part, would end in vain. British Prime Minister Lloyd George and French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau resisted most of his ideas. To them the goal was to punish Germany to the extent that it could never make war again. They both were very conscious of the revengeful attitude of constituents, and would not budge. Wilson, through much effort, did manage to prevent some of the more extreme punishments against Germany, and convinced the allies that a League of Nations was necessary. With these small victories in hand Wilson headed home.