Woodrow Wilson’s offer of mediation between Britain, France and Germany came some 45 years after Britain and France offered to mediate the conflict between America’s North and South. Lincoln threatened war should they intervene. Lincoln also came to realize the vast money power he had unleashed with war as business interests colluded with government, which led to the postwar Gilded Age. Wilson was elected to stay out of the European war but succumbed to the money power Lincoln had unleashed, and more dark forces drew him into war though a negotiated peace was fully possible. Sadly, with American intervention and Allied victory came the rise of a German national socialist party and many more American dead.
Bernhard Thuersam, www.Circa1865.com
Scotch Presbyterian Conscience versus Piles of Gold
“Woodrow Wilson returned to Washington after the 1916 [presidential] campaign convinced that his mandate from the nation demanded the immediate formulation of peace terms which must somehow be forced on the warring powers.
Physically he was worn out. His sick headaches continued to worry [wife] Edith and Dr. Grayson. His head still spun with the clamor of political oratory.
He felt that British and French dependence on American supplies and American credit might give him a whip hand over the Allies if he could only find how to apply it. One third the world’s gold supply was already piled up in the vaults of American banks. “We can determine to a large extent who is to be financed and who is not to be financed,” he had told an audience gathered at Shady Lawn during the campaign.
He summoned the confidential colonel [Edward M. House] to the White House to resume his last winter’s intrigue for mediation. For once House balked. He was convinced the United States should already have intervened on the side of the Allies. Peace now could only be to Germany’s advantage: “I argued again and again that we should no pull Germany’s chestnuts out of the fire.” They broke up late. Neither man would budge from his position.
House’s point was that the German’s now wanted mediation and were holding the threat of a renewed submarine campaign over the world’s head to obtain a victorious peace. “In my opinion,” House noted . . . “the President’s desire for peace is partially due to his Scotch Presbyterian conscience and not to personal fear, for I believe he has both moral and physical courage.”
Like any oldtime Covenanter Wilson believed in the efficacy of the word. By the right word men could be brought to see the light. The war was making the position of neutrals intolerable.
[He wrote] that the warring nations were all fighting, so they claimed, “to be free of aggression and of peril to the free and independent development of their people’s lives and fortunes . . . must the contest be settled by slow attrition and ultimate exhaustion?” he asked. “An irreparable damage to civilization cannot promote peace and the secure happiness of the world.”
(Mr. Wilson’s War, From the Assassination of McKinley to America’s Rejection of the League of Nations, John Dos Passos, Hamish Hamilton, 1963, pp. 189-190)