Safe for Democracy

In: Historical Events

Submitted By RyanSimler
Words 613
Pages 3
Ryan Simler 10/2/13
Response Question #5

When President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress for a declaration of war, it was not for vengeance or hatred towards the Germans, but to, as President Wilson put it, make the world “safe for democracy” (Pg. 547 p.1). This idea that the world would be declared “safe for democracy” later influenced Wilson’s actions after the war as well and was a major theme in Wilson’s presidency. Yet, many people saw flaws with this philosophy and didn’t think Wilson held up to his statement.
Wilson’s idea of making the world safe for democracy was both literal and figurative. He didn’t want to protect just the idea of democracy, but the American way of life as a whole. With the sinking of American ships by the Germans, it was the perfect platform for Wilson to ask Congress for a declaration of war. This was a shining example of how the world was not safe for democracy, just as the American sailors that had been on those ships weren’t safe either. This wasn’t just America’s problem however, Germany’s militarism threatened democracy in Britain, France, and other fellow democratic European countries. In his address to Congress, Wilson accused Germany of “warfare against all mankind.” (Pg. 547 p. 1). This was no longer a fight for democracy, but a fight for every free man, woman, and child everywhere.
While American soldiers were shipped across the pond to aid the Allies in the war, Wilson started a campaign for democracy back home. Patriotism ran rampant in American streets in an attempt to boost morale and support for the war but instead ended in riots and violence. This idea of protecting democracy and making the world safe for it played throughout the war for Wilson, most importantly at the end with the signing of the treaty in Paris. Per Wilson’s request, a League of Nations was created, a league of joint nations in…...

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