United States of America as an Emerging World Power 1890-1920

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This study is one of the very few books that deals with how the United States changed its foreign policy from one-sided neutrality (i.e. its self-recognition as being neutral) to a policy of becoming an active belligerent as an associate power on the side of the allied powers, France and Great Britain. The study shows that the roots of America’s becoming an international power lie with the Monroe Doctrine and its numerous corollaries, and that politics of overseas possessions had already begun in 1859 with the claiming of the Midway Islands, in 1869 with the purchase of Alaska, continuing with the Spanish-American War, the Panama Canal, and Gunboat Diplomacy. All these developments, up to and including WWI, are discussed in light of the prevailing economic aspects of colonialism, foreign policy, and the framework of British, French, German, and American propaganda. The discussion of the sinking of the Lusitania includes the latest research. The presentation of the Zimmermann Telegram includes a new examination of the original coded copy of the telegram and a new English translation thereof, contrasted against the official translation as found in the Congressional document. The book’s appendices include Woodrow Wilson’s Peace Without Victory and War Message speeches; Senator George Norris’s and Senator Robert M. LaFollette’s anti-war speeches before Congress; and Wilson’s Fourteen Points with counter-arguments of Theodore Roosevelt.


“Mr. Dame’s book is well-documented, logically organized and supported with ample and interesting visual material. The appendices contain a table of chronological development in the American politics of colonization, international diplomacy and economic activities as opposed to those events happening in Europe. Therefore, the reader can obtain at a glance an ‘international picture’ of pre-World War One developments….Mr. Dame is a historian who is extremely able to present the greatly interesting smaller scenes of history as they contributed to the larger landscape of historical development. The presentation is easy to read and comprehend. Moreover, because the reader receives a feeling of the flair of the times, Mr. Dame makes the history of the period discussed livable once again. It is a positive contribution to American history.” – Dr.-Ing Andreas Becker, Universität Kaiserslautern

“These are the historical practices that are often overlooked in books concerning America and World War One. Mr. Dame shows concerned emphasis with the daily practicalities of the international developments preceding and happening in World War One, and not with the theoretical aspects of ‘who did what and why,’ as well as ’what would have happened if,’ which are often a major concern of history books. He writes about America’s coming into being as an international power with documented, livable, everyday evidence. He does this with lucidity of language that is laudable.” – Fraue Renate Flesch, Bezirksverband Pfalz, Pfalzbibliothek

Table of Contents

Table of Contents (main headings):
Foreword; Commendatory Preface
1. Leitmotif: Monroe Doctrine; De Lôme Letter; war fever; the Zimmermann Telegram; isolationism; neutrality
2. Neutrality and the Beginning of War: Wilson’s initial position; American public opinion; Belgian neutrality; French violation of Belgian neutrality
3. Vociferous Overtures: German presentation; invective in the US; initial war reports – entry in Brussels, burning of Louvain; vying for American support
4. The Part Played by Propaganda: British propaganda; French propaganda; German propaganda; measures against propaganda, US propaganda; George Edward Creel; propaganda and poison gas
5. Sea Warfare and American Business: British sea blockade; American economy
6. From German Submarine Warfare to the American Declaration of War: the Lusitania; attempts at mediation; contribution of Afro-Americans; the Zimmermann Telegram; Friedrich List and German attempts at aggrandizement; Wilson; Norris; LaFollette
7. Assessment: Propaganda and participation; underlying factors; war fever and international power; America’s roots as an international power
Closing epigraph
Appendices: Chronology of Events leading to entry of the USA into WWI; Woodrow Wilson’s Peace Without Victory and War Message speeches; Senator George Norris’ and Senator Robert M. LaFollette’s anti-war speeches before Congress; Wilson’s Fourteen Points with counter-arguments of Theodore Roosevelt
Bibliography; Index

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