The Centennial of the Declaration of the United States’ Neutrality

August 19, 2014 § Leave a comment

August 19th: One hundred years ago today, President Woodrow Wilson announced the United State would remain neutral in World War One, yet nearly three years later this fact would not hold true.

"Join! The Greatest Mother," Lawrence Wilbur, Fine Condition.

“Join! The Greatest Mother,” Lawrence Wilbur, Fine Condition.

Tensions arose between the United States and Germany in 1917, two and a half years after the United States’ declared neutrality. Trade was interrupted with America’s close economic partner, Britain, as Germany began to sink ships entering in the war zone near the Britain. When Germany declared unrestricted warfare against all ships in this zone, and the Lusitania passenger-carrying boat was sunk by Germany (which defiled international law), America’s involvement in the war was imminent as public opinion towards Germany turned from neutral to sour. In a desire to ensure international peace, Wilson asked congress to declare a war “to end all wars.”

In the poster “Join! The Greatest Mother,” the American Red Cross is personified by a pleading nurse who gazes down at a globe. Wilbur’s message could be interpreted as the responsibility of world peace and the deliverance of aid rests on the United States’ shoulders as they are the last driving force to end the war.

Check out our upcoming show titled “A Call to Action; Posters of the First World War” which includes over 100 original World War I propaganda posters. The Show will run from September 13- September  23rd at our gallery at 2201 Fourth Street, in Berkeley, CA.

This post was written by Nicole Garson, Intern, UCB class of 2016 and Elizabeth Norris, Proprietor of Vintage European Posters

Our Shop is Open Tuesdays-Thursdays from 11-5 and select weekends.
2201 Fourth Street, Berkeley Corner of Allston Way

Please call 510 843 2201 or email vintage to confirm hours.

Visit our collection on the web at



Tagged: , , ,

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading The Centennial of the Declaration of the United States’ Neutrality at Vintage European Posters.


%d bloggers like this: