The very weakness of American military power encouraged Germany to start its unrestricted submarine attacks in National debate[ edit ] Garrison's plan unleashed the fiercest battle in peacetime history over the relationship of military planning to national goals.
After several violations, Germany stopped this practice but in early she decided to resume unrestricted submarine warfare, in the hope that this would starve out the British before the Americans could make any effective military retaliation. These special interests were too powerful, especially, Senator La Follette noted, in the conservative wing of the Republican Party.
Fiercely Anglophile, he strongly supported American intervention in the war and hoped that close Anglo-American cooperation would be the guiding principle of postwar international organization.
May have approached the process of American entry into the war as a study in how public opinion changed radically in three years' time.
To many Americans he was still seen as a man of peace whereas his opponent, Charles Evans Hughes, was seen as a warmonger. German submarines torpedoed ships without warning, causing sailors and passengers to drown. American Catholics of Irish and German descent opposed intervention most strongly.
Motion pictures like The Battle Cry of Peace depicted invasions of the American homeland that demanded action.
Berger and Morris Hillquitwere staunch anti-militarists and opposed to any US intervention, branding the conflict as a "capitalist war" that American workers should avoid.
Many public figures hated war—Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan was the most prominent, and he resigned when he thought Wilson had become too bellicose. Preparedness supporters were downcast, the antiwar people were jubilant. Pope Benedict XV made several attempts to negotiate a peace.
The slogan "Peace" gave way to "Peace with Honor".