How does Wilson use the meaning of the word freedom to justify war?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Many of our stated reasons for going to war have to do with the concept of freedom.  One goal was to make WWI a war to end all wars.  If this would be the last war ever, it would help to ensure freedom throughout the world.  In a way, this was a war between countries that freely elected their leaders and those that didn't.  Thus, an Allied victory would ensure a world with more freedom.  Another goal was to make this a world "safe for democracy."  In democratic governments, people have more freedom than in totalitarian governments.  If the Allies won, this would hopefully ensure more democratic governments than nondemocratic ones.  This would lead to a freer world.  Finally, we believed our rights as a neutral nation were being violated by Germany with their use of unrestricted submarine warfare.  Germany was sinking our ships, which infringed on our rights or freedom as a neutral nation to freely trade with other nations.  We were fighting to preserve those rights.  Thus, an Allied victory would hopefully create a freer world.  Wilson believed our entrance into the war would create a world with more freedom.

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