Abandoning American Neutrality: Woodrow Wilson and the by M. Ryan Floyd (auth.)

By M. Ryan Floyd (auth.)

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Additional resources for Abandoning American Neutrality: Woodrow Wilson and the Beginning of the Great War, August 1914–December 1915

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7 Per Wilson’s request, the following morning Lansing submitted a new draft of the instructions for Page. The president handed the dispatch to House, who took it to his meeting with the British ambassador. The message shocked Spring-Rice. He complained that the problem would never have risen had the State Department spoken to him first. Spring-Rice asserted that for over a month, Lansing’s office knew London’s position, but no one had made it an issue. ” Spring-Rice did not want the letter to create a public outcry against Britain and hoped to find a private way to solve any international differences.

46 Lansing reminded the director that Wilson had decided not to “encourage” loans to warring states and that insuring contraband would also threaten American neutrality. ” If the government intended to underwrite American cargoes, it could not accept a list of approved ports. He stated that the restricted destinations included most German harbors. Despite the heightened risk of sailing to these ports, refusing to insure ships headed to such places could appear to be “partiality upon the part of the Government of the United States, and again would imperil the neutrality of this Government .

Grey said that his government would change the contraband list and that his office had received a guarantee from the Netherlands, which was neutral, that it would not “reexport” foodstuffs to the German government. London sought this agreement to appease US demands and allow Americans to ship food to the Netherlands with minimal British interference. 19 Grey immediately sent Spring-Rice a note that the Foreign Office would write the new Order in Council but added that the ambassador should tell Wilson that Parliament had not approved the treaty.

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