Historical Interpretations

Joseph Chappell
Mind Map by Joseph Chappell, updated more than 1 year ago
Joseph Chappell
Created by Joseph Chappell about 4 years ago


Historian interpretations regarding Wilson entering the Great War.

Resource summary

Historical Interpretations
1 Inter-wars years
1.1 Historians
1.1.1 C. Hartley Grattan
1.1.2 Walter Mills
1.1.3 Charles Beard
1.2 View on war entry reasons
1.2.1 Believed that Wilson had made the USA enter the war because of his relationship with big business.
1.2.2 Evidence The powerful and wealthy gained huge profits from US enter to the war Exports to the Allies brought America out of Depression 1914 Bryan resigned because he felt the loans and exports were compromising neutrality
1.2.3 Pressures for war entry came from ordinary business interests
1.3 Political stance of historians
1.3.1 Isolationist
1.3.2 Felt that war entry was wrong should not be repeated
1.4 Recent revaluation of period views credebility
1.4.1 Refined economic data suggests the period historians were valid in their veiw Benjamin O. Forham US exports doubled as a percentage of the GNP 1914 - 1916 70% of them went to Europe As a result German renewal of unrestricted warfare which was a real catalyst of America entering the war
1.4.2 Economic reasons not significant 1916 US economy was already healthy due to their entry into markets the nations in WWI could not meet. Regardless of allied trade the nation would have prospered.
2 2008
2.1 Ross Kennedy
2.2 Wilson blamed old European reliance on balanced power.
2.3 Wilson felt collective security could only be achieved by trust.
2.4 Felt Germany had to return taken lands and become a democracy
2.4.1 Wilson shared Allied war aims This contradict neutral ideals as he would always favour one side
3 1990s
3.1 Harold Evans
3.2 Veiw
3.2.1 Wilson followed moral principle
3.2.2 USA had to fight to make the world a better place
3.2.3 Evidence Contrasted Wilson with Roosevelt who he felt would have gone to war earlier in order to ... defeat the aggressor nation Germany remedy US greivances restore the balance of power Felt he went to destroy the old forms of diplomacy and introduce a new world order based on rights and respect for all people
4 1950s
4.1 Carl N. Deger
4.2 View
4.2.1 Argued that Wilson's main interest when he entered the war was legalistic
4.2.2 Evidence Neutrality concepts held by Wilson followed the law which is why he made the USA become involved in Latin America Had stated that under international law, America could freely trade with any nation it wanted to and American citizens were not to be harmed while sailing. Germany defied this and attacked them with unrestricted submarine warfare which Wilson saw as illegal and a crime against humanity.
5 1960s
5.1 Hugh Brogan
5.2 Germans left Wilson with no choice. US involvement was inevitable
5.2.1 Unrestricted submarine warfare renewal was meant to defeat Allies before the USA could get involved
5.2.2 A better world was at stake
5.2.3 Did not like either side but when involvement was certain the Allies were seen as the lesser of the two evils
6 Key
6.1 Had no choice
6.2 Wanted to enter war
6.3 Period bias
6.4 Historian
6.5 Dates
7 Niall Ferguson
7.1 2003
7.1.1 Book Colossus Wilson was an idealist who sought a new international order based on fairness and justice Wilson felt any peace settlement should advantage of European people and not governments seeking to impose control December 1914
7.2 2015
7.2.1 Ferguson felt each nation should chose who their sovereign leadership
7.2.2 Though the Lusitania sinking and submarine problem were triggers, Wilson had sublime thoughts in mind when declaring war
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