The Papers of Woodrow Wilson, Volume 31
September 6-December, 1914
Edited by Arthur S. Link
The period between September 6 and December 31, 1914, was a time when President Wilson, having recovered from the shock of the outbreak of the war in Europe and his wife's death, set about to lay the foundations of American neutrality. Volume 31 contains documents that fully illustrate that effort, particularly Wilson's unsuccessful attempt to persuade the British government to adopt the Declaration of London as the code governing maritime warfare. The documents also reveal Wilson's key role in drafting the note of December 26 to London protesting British blockade practices.
Many other aspects of Wilson's activities during these months come to light: his first ill-fated efforts at mediation, the formulation of policies concerning private loans to the belligerents and the export of contraband, and the much disputed question of the transfer of German-owned ships to American registry. The Mexican question continues as a constant concern, particularly when the revolutionary forces divide and civil war breaks out. The documents illustrate in a definitive way the Presidents absolute determination to avoid interference in Mexican affairs.
Arthur S. Link is Edwards Professor of American History, Princeton University.