Understanding the American Past: American History and Its Interpretation

By Edward N. Saveth | Go to book overview

How We Got into World War I

by WALTER MILLIS [ "How We Entered the Last One," from The New Republic, July 31, 1935. Reprinted by permission.]

To John Bach McMaster, writing in 1918, the explanation of American intervention in the First World War was relatively simple. A follower of Wilson, McMaster believed our entrance into the war was both motivated and justified in the light of Germany's waging unrestricted submarine warfare, which the historian considered to be both inhumane and illegal.1

By the mid- 1920's, however, this point of view which reflected faithfully Wilsonian idealism, was engulfed in a wave of post-war disillusionment. Harry Elmer Barnes's Genesis of the World War ( 1926) contrasted our tolerant attitude towards illegal seizures by the British of American shipping with our intolerance of German submarine warfare. He concluded that our condoning of the actions of the British was indicative of over-all sympathy with the allied cause. Three years later, C. Hartley Gratton, who had been a student of Barnes's, attributed American involvement to our economic ties to the entente cause, propaganda, and inept statesmanship. Under the circumstances, argued Grattan, the Germans had no alternative but to resort to the submarine.2

Charles Seymour, in 1934, affirmed the thesis that Germany's use of the submarine was the reason for our intervening, documenting this point of view from some of the unpublished papers of Wilson's adviser, Colonel House, and from what survivors of the intervention crisis told him. The following year, Walter Millis's The Road to War was less analytical of why we fought than the selection reprinted, here, but as a background account the book is very valuable.

-429-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Understanding the American Past: American History and Its Interpretation
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 626

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.