Using Deliberative Techniques to Teach United States History

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

RESOURCE SHEET
Events Leading to U.S. Entry into World War I
1914August 1: Outbreak of World War I, pitting Germany and AustriaHungary against Britain, France, and Russia.
August 4: Wilson issues neutrality proclamation.
August 15: U.S. government announces that “loans by American bankers to any foreign nation which is at war are inconsistent with the true spirit of neutrality.”
November 4: Great Britain announces that the waters of the North Sea are a war zone and begins mining the area.
December: Wilson sends his personal adviser, Edward M. House, to propose American mediation in the conflict. Months of discussions with the belligerents end inconclusively, with House cabling, “Everybody seems to want peace but nobody is willing to concede enough to get it.”
December 23: Britain revives the doctrine of the continuous voyage to intercept neutral ships going to Germany and to nations bordering the Baltic Sea under the control of the Germans.
1915February 4: Germany announces that the waters around the British Isles are a war zone and that enemy merchant ships will be destroyed on sight without provision for the safety of passengers and crew. The German government also warns that neutral craft that enter the war zone do so at their own risk.
February 10: The U.S. government calls German policy “an indefensible violation of neutral rights,” and warns that it will hold Germany strictly answerable for the loss of American vessels or lives.
March 11: The British proclaim a blockade of all German ports, with all merchant vessels going to or from them liable to seizure and confiscation.

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