Wilson's torment in deciding whether to send U.S. troops into WWI. It is well known among reasonably informed students of American history that Woodrow Wilson resisted getting American forces involved in World War I, right up to and after the time when British ships with Americans on board were sunk by German submarines in October and November of 1916. But it may not be widely known that during the time the U.S.
involvement in the war became more and more imminent, Wilson's relationship with England was very sour, according to author Arthur Walworth (Walworth 70). One big reason the British were upset with Wilson was that he hadn't done enough to cut Germany off from credit in the world community. It was 1916, an election year, and Wilson's mind was on winning a second term, along with his belief that America should remain neutral in the expanding war in Europe. "His essential duty, as he saw it," Walworth writes on page 70, "was to maintain faith with a people who rejoiced because he had kept them out of war and at the same time to rescue humanity from the scourge of international conflict.
" He saw his constitutional duty to intervene and attempt to stop the war prior to getting Americans involved in it. But though the British and the Germans were hounding Wilson to attempt a diplomatic resolution of the conflict, he held fast – until after the election in November. After he was elected, he believed that the American people voted for him because he escaped involvement in the war – "something worth living and dying for" – and now it was his duty to be a broker for peace (Walworth 71-72), if at all possible. It was now December, and Germany was threatening to "unleash its submarines" in January (Walworth 74), if some kind of armistice or peace deal was cut before then. Wilson had just released his own idea for what later would become the "League ..