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.
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
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