The Perils of Prosperity, 1914-1932 by William E. Leuchtenburg – Chapter 1: Armageddon 

Thought Questions

  • How did American views on Europe change between 1913 and 1918?
  • How did American views on Europe change between 1919 and 1920? (keep reading)
  • How did American views on Europe change after 1920? (keep reading)
  • How did Woodrow Wilson’s views on Europe change between 1914 and The Treaty of Versailles? (keep reading)
  • How did Woodrow Wilson’s views on Europe change during and after The Treaty of Versailles negotiations? (keep reading)
  • What were the factors that influenced evolving American views on the war in Europe?
  • What role did the rights of neutrals play in American views on the war in Europe?
  • How did Irish and German immigrant communities react to the war in Europe?

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “’Never since Christ was born in the Manger,’ wrote a Maine newspaperman as late as July 30, ‘was the outlook for the universal brotherhood of man brighter than it is today.’”
  • “In Harper’s Weekly, Norman Hapgood wrote, “For Germans and French, with a whole complex and delicate civilization in common to be using death engines to mow down men and cities is so unthinkable that we go about in a daze.” People, commented Jane Addams afterwards, “went about day after day with an oppressive sense of the horrible disaster which had befallen the world and woke up many times during the night,” and in the first year of the European conflict, Henry James told a friend, “It’s vain to speak as if one were not’t living in a nightmare of the deepest dye.””
  • “If the war had any rational basis, Americans thought, it could be found in the imperialist lust for markets. “Do you want to know the cause of the war?” asked Henry Ford. “It is capitalism, greed, the dirty hunger for dollars.” “Take away the capitalist,” Ford asserted, “and you will sweep war from the earth.” Americans rejoiced in their isolation from Old World lunacy. “We never appreciated so keenly as now,” wrote an Indiana editor, “the foresight exercised by our forefathers in emigrating from Europe.””

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources