In the article “How We Entered World War I”, written by Ralph Raico, the repetition of the word “neutral” is used to emphasize the United States’ policy of neutrality and their subsequent decision to enter World War I. Raico argues that the U.S. government, under President Woodrow Wilson, abandoned this policy of neutrality in favor of interventionism. The use of the word “neutral” throughout the article serves to highlight the contrast between the U.S.’s original position and the actions they took to ultimately join the war.
In the early stages of the war, the United States maintained a policy of neutrality. However, as the conflict dragged on and casualties mounted, pressure grew for the U.S. to take a more active role in the war effort. Raico notes that this pressure was largely driven by business interests, who saw the potential for enormous profits from supplying the warring parties with goods and loans.
Despite this pressure, Wilson continued to tout the importance of neutrality, even going so far as to campaign for re-election in 1916 on a platform of maintaining peace. However, as Raico points out, Wilson’s commitment to neutrality was shaky at best. In 1915, he had authorized the sale of weapons and ammunition to the Allied Powers, a move that many saw as a violation of neutrality.
The turning point came in April 1917, when the U.S. entered the war on the side of the Allies. Raico argues that this decision was not based on any clear national interest, but rather on a misguided belief in the moral superiority of the Allied cause. This belief was fueled by propaganda campaigns aimed at portraying Germany as an evil aggressor and the Allies as defenders of democracy.
Throughout the article, Raico uses the word “neutral” to underscore the contrast between the U.S.’s original stance and their eventual involvement in the war. He points out that the U.S. was not just any neutral party, but one that had proclaimed itself as such and had worked to maintain that position.
In addition to emphasizing the U.S.’s policy of neutrality, Raico also uses the repetition of the word to critique the country’s decision to enter the war. He argues that by abandoning their commitment to neutrality, the U.S. embroiled themselves in a conflict that was not theirs to fight. This decision ultimately led to millions of deaths and destabilized the international order for years to come.
Overall, the repetition of the word “neutral” throughout “How We Entered World War I” serves to highlight the contrast between the U.S.’s original stance and their eventual involvement in the war. It underscores the idea that the decision to abandon neutrality was a significant one, and one that had far-reaching consequences. By using this repetition, Raico is able to drive home his message about the dangers of interventionism and the importance of maintaining a policy of neutrality whenever possible.