President Woodrow Wilson.

Why We Went to War

ON THE second day of April, 1917, President Wilson addressed to the Congress, called in extraordinary session, what has come to be known as his War Message. He advised "that the Congress declare the recent course of the Imperial German Government to be in fact nothing less than war against the Government and people of the United States; that it formally accept the status of belligerent which has thus been thrust upon it; and that it take immediate steps not only to put the country in a more thorough state of defense but also to exert all its power and employ all its resources to bring the Government of the German Empire to terms and end the war."

On April 4 the United States Senate passed the resolution declaring war by a vote of 82 to 6; on April 5 the House of Representatives passed the resolution by a vote of 373 to 50; and on April 6 President Wilson signed the resolution formally declaring the war.

The scene in the hall of the House of Representatives on April 2 when the President read his War Message will not be forgotten by anyone who was present. Every available seat in the gallery was occupied. The diplomatic corps, in official dress, with the ladies of their households and the more important members of their staffs filled the diplomatic gallery, while all the places usually reserved for officials, and those ordinarily available to the public, were occupied by persons eminent in the official, political and intellectual life of the nation. The floor seated not only the senators and representatives, but was crowded with people specially admitted because of their scholarship in international law or their leadership of public opinion. Members of the Cabinet attended in a body and in a row of seats specially placed immediately in front of the speaker sat the entire membership of the Supreme Court of the United States, headed by the venerable Chief Justice White. In the newspaper gallery were packed the highly trained Washington representatives of

Loading, please wait...

Browse Related Articles on {{search_model.selectedTerm.name}}

{{indexVM.results.hits.total | number}} Articles Found

  • {{bucket.key_as_string}}

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.

Continue