The Legacy of Woodrow Wilson: American War Aims in World War I

By David M. Esposito | Go to book overview

Chapter 9
Venomous Victories

What though the Moor the basilisk has slain
and pinned him lifeless to the sandy plain,
Up through the spear the subtle venom flies,
The hand imbibes it, and the victor dies.

-- Lucan, Pharsalia

President Woodrow Wilson created and sent the American Expeditionary Force to France to achieve discrete political ends. His concerns about the changing Eurasian power alignments and the reduction of the U.S. to a garrison state made expanding the army and participation in the world war urgent necessities in 1917. Wilson recognized that moral authority needed armed strength behind it in order to alter the outcome of the conflict. He had high hopes for the future of humanity, and his decision to send an army to Europe was based just as much on those hopes as it was on his fears. The president found himself both pushed and pulled into the Great War, although he was adamant on forging a new role for the United States in world affairs. As he told Jane Addams, he had no desire to have to "call through a crack in the door"

-133-

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The Legacy of Woodrow Wilson: American War Aims in World War I
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Copyright Acknowledgments v
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Chapter 1 - Containment 1917 1
  • Notes 10
  • Chapter 2 - Most Terrible of All Wars 13
  • Notes 24
  • Chapter 3 - A Cruel and Unmanly Business 27
  • Notes 36
  • Chapter 4 - Not One Chance in Thousands 39
  • Notes 56
  • Chapter 5 - Toward an American Neutrality 61
  • Notes 80
  • Chapter 6 - These People Have One God -- Force 83
  • Notes 93
  • Chapter 7 - The Sun Rises in the West 97
  • Notes 111
  • Chapter 8 - Force Without Stint or Limit 117
  • Notes 129
  • Chapter 9 - Venomous Victories 133
  • Notes 141
  • Bibliography 143
  • Index 155
  • About the Author *
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