Date of this Version
Thesis (M.A.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1944. Department of History.
Today, while the United States plunges through its third year of war against totalitarian aggression, there is manifest among some of the American people a feeling of distrust and suspicion towards their allies, Great Britain and Russia.The attitude towards Russia can be traced, largely, to two sources; the traditional American antipathy for communism, and the average American’s abysmal lack of accurate information concerning the Soviet Union.The distrust of Great Britain cannot be so readily explained, for there are a multiplicity of factors involved.Certainly, however, it is evident that much of the modern Anglophobia springs from the failure of the great Versailles dream.
The two decades that followed the World War witnessed the formulation in the United States of a spirit of so-called realistic pessimism.The general feeling seemed to be that America had been hoodwinked into pulling other people’s chestnuts out of the flames of war, that American fingers had been burned in the process, therefore never again would the United States become entangled in similar international complications.In many American minds Great Britain was condemned as the “Svengali” most responsible for the perpetration of this fraud.The disastrous results of such a foreign outlook have been graphically illustrated in recent years, but enough of the old hates and suspicions are retained by Americans to alarm those who hope that in the world which emerges from this war a new era of international cooperation will prevail.
It is with these thoughts in mind that the study of Anglo-American relations during the years 1914 to 1917 is launched.It is not intended to attempt an exhaustive treatment of the diplomacy of the period, but rather, through the illumination of the more important problems, to catch a glimpse of the conditions under which the United States ultimately went to war.This study is approached, therefore, not so much in the hope of reaching definite conclusions to past problems as in the hope of acquiring knowledge which will be beneficial in shaping the channels of thought that are to be applied to the solution of present and future problems.
Chapters included in this thesis are:Background of American War Opinion, American Business and the War, The United States and British Naval Restrictions, and The Final Phase of Neutrality.