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Nothing Less Than WarA New History of Americas Entry into World War I$
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Justus D. Doenecke

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813130026

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813130026.001.0001

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Toward the Arabic Crisis

Toward the Arabic Crisis

January—August 1915

(p.93) 4 Toward the Arabic Crisis
Nothing Less Than War

Justus D. Doenecke

University Press of Kentucky

Colonel Edward Mandell House worked very closely with Wilson during the war, serving as the president's chief emissary in the peace negotiations between the different belligerent nations. After several months of meeting with various civilian leaders, House reported to Wilson that peace in Europe may take longer than they had hoped and that the US should maintain its good relationship with the Allies. Aside from House, groups such as the Women's Peace Party and the League to Enforce Peace also tried their hands at mediation, only to fail in the end. After the Lusitania's sinking, the preparedness movement began to gain ground, even as the US tried to maintain its peacetime mentality. Tensions with Germany rose even more when a U-24 sank the British liner Arabic, killing 44 people including two Americans. Feeling pressure from Wilson, Germany reluctantly issued a new policy promising not to sink liners without warning, provided they did not try to escape or offer resistance. Many Americans agreed with how Wilson handled the Arabic incident, admiring his patience and subtle use of diplomatic pressure. Nevertheless, the efforts at negotiated settlement, debates over preparedness, German subversion, and more incidents at sea continued to intensify throughout 1915 and into the following year.

Keywords:   Woodrow Wilson, peace negotiations, settlement, Arabic liner, German U-boats, preparedness movement, diplomacy

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