American World Role

Presidential Commitment To World Role: Woodrow Wilson War Message 96 Years Ago

On this day in 1917, 96 years ago, President Woodrow Wilson announced a Presidential commitment to a world role as he called upon Congress to declare war against Imperial Germany, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Turkish Empire, what became America’s involvement in the First World War.

Germany had declared unrestricted submarine warfare on January 31, and the Zimmermann Telegram or Note, detailing Germany conspiring with Mexico against our nation, had been exposed in March, and this led Wilson, reluctantly, to ask that America go to war to preserve democracy in the world, with a major US commitment.

The dispute over America’s role in the world has continued for 96 years, with battles between internationalists and isolationists still going on, now with political leaders such as Ron Paul and Rand Paul, and with new challenges from North Korea and Iran on the front burner.

America has made mistakes in its commitments, but remains convinced that our nation cannot shut itself off from the world community, as global affairs affect our prosperity and national security! We just have to use wisdom and intelligence in deciding where our commitments should be concentrated!