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The Pre-War Pulse in Wisconsin

Conflict on the Homefront: Wisconsin During World War I

In August 1914, when the war erupted in Europe, President Wilson urged the American people to "act and speak in the true spirit of neutrality." Over the next two and one-half years Wilson issued dozens of statements endorsing America's neutral foreign policy and was re-elected in 1916 with the slogan "He kept us out of war." Yet Germany's military actions, beginning with the invasion of Belgium in late 1914 and continuing with its strategy of unrestricted submarine warfare, gradually shifted American public opinion more and more in favor of the Allied governments, led by the British and French. By April 1917 a majority of American were prepared and accepted the idea of the United States supporting the Allies in the war.

This section explores the variety of perspectives Wisconsin citizens held prior to the United States entering the war.

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Julia Grace Wales and the Peace Movement

Victor Berger and the Milwaukee Socialists

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