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By M. Ryan Floyd (auth.)

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

Example text

72 This did not mean, however, that London was prepared to consider a negotiated solution to the war. The president and his advisors soon discovered that neither side was ready for peace because both Berlin and London felt confident of victory. Germany was still perched along the Marne ready to strike Paris. At the same time, London controlled the seas and no victory on land had convinced its leaders that Berlin would overrun the continent. On September 4, German forces were only 35 miles from Paris and expected victory in mere days.

He also clarified to Spring-Rice that Britain should do everything it could to prevent tension with the United States. ”72 This did not mean, however, that London was prepared to consider a negotiated solution to the war. The president and his advisors soon discovered that neither side was ready for peace because both Berlin and London felt confident of victory. Germany was still perched along the Marne ready to strike Paris. At the same time, London controlled the seas and no victory on land had convinced its leaders that Berlin would overrun the continent.

52 One of the first complaints about the lack of shipping came from Standard Oil. Like other companies, Standard Oil owned ships registered in different countries and sought to regain control of the vessels after the outbreak of the war. On August 18, the company’s representative, William Libby, wrote Bryan, asking him about transferring a number of vessels from German registry to the United States. Libby stated that Standard Oil owned many ships registered to the Deutsch-Amerikanische Petroleum Gesellschaft Company and stressed that the vessels “are all Americanowned” because Standard Oil controlled “the entire capital stock of the D.

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