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INV-27120.99 WOODROW WILSON Printed Document Signed, A Message Calling for War With the Imperial German Government in Defense of American Rights, [April 2, 1917]. New York: Literary Digest, 1917. In three columns with elaborate initials in red and gold. 1 p., 16 x 22 in. 0000-00-00

there are serious, very serious, choices of policy to be made, and made immediately, which it was neither right nor constitutionally permissible that I should assume the responsibility of making.

In this address to Congress, President Woodrow Wilson reluctantly requests a declaration of war on Imperial Germany because of its announcement that “it was its purpose to put aside all restraints of law or of humanity and use its submarines to sink every vessel that sought to approach either the ports of Great Britain and Ireland or the western coasts of Europe or any of the ports controlled by the enemies of Germany within the Mediterranean.” Germany had cast aside its earlier restraint and begun to pursue unrestricted submarine warfare on vessels from every nation with a “reckless lack of compassion or of principle.

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