Using Deliberative Techniques to Teach United States History

By Eleanora Von Dehsen; Nancy Claxton | Go to book overview

RESOURCE SHEET
Wilson’s War Message, April 2, 1917

… The new [German submarine warfare] policy has swept every restriction
aside. Vessels of every kind, whatever their flag, their character, their cargo,
their destination, their errand, have been ruthlessly sent to the bottom with-
out warning and without thought of help or mercy for those on board, the
vessels of friendly neutrals along with those of belligerents.

… The present German submarine warfare against commerce is a warfare
against mankind.

It is a war against all nations.…

The challenge is to all mankind. Each nation must decide for itself how it will
meet it. The choice we make for ourselves must be made with a moderation
of counsel and a temperateness for judgement befitting our character and
our motives as a nation. We must put excited feeling away. Our motive will
not be revenge or the victorious assertion of the physical might of the nation,
but only the vindication of right, of human right, of which we are only a single
champion.

When I addressed the Congress on the twenty-sixth of February last I thought
that it would suffice to assert our neutral rights with arms, our right to use the
seas against unlawful interference, our right to keep our people safe against
unlawful violence.

But armed neutrality, it now appears, is impracticable.…

-135-

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