Humanities in Class: Webinar Series

Over There: Why America Entered World War I

Lead Scholar: Dirk Bonker (Professor of History, Duke University)

May 15, 2012

According to President Wilson’s August 1914 appeal to the American people, what were the challenges of neutrality for the United States as both a great power and an immigrant nation? From the beginning, American wartime neutrality became a contested proposition in need of continuous clarification. How did matters of transatlantic finance and trade test the commitment to neutrality? What solutions were found by the Wilson administration? In his addresses to Congress, President Wilson made his case for U.S. intervention. On what grounds and with what goals did he take the nation into war? In April 1917 Congress debated the U.S. entry into the war. What was the case against the war as articulated by its most prominent opponents in the Senate and House?

Subjects: History; World War I; American History; Political History