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Making the World Safe for WorkersLabor, the Left, and Wilsonian Internationalism$
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Elizabeth McKillen

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037870

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037870.001.0001

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The Outbreak of World War I and the Socialist “War on War”

The Outbreak of World War I and the Socialist “War on War”

(p.56) Chapter 2 The Outbreak of World War I and the Socialist “War on War”
Making the World Safe for Workers

Elizabeth McKillen

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the role played by the Socialist Party in shaping the political debate over Woodrow Wilson's neutrality and preparedness policies following the outbreak of World War I. It considers how the Socialist Party sought to create a viable working-class antiwar movement, declaring “war on war” as it strongly contested the Wilson administration's definitions of U.S. national security, preparedness, and citizenship duties. It also also looks at the different personalities involved in early national Socialist Party policy formulations as well as U.S. foreign policy debates, including Allan Benson who sought to make foreign policy more subject to democratic checks and balances by leading a campaign for a national referendum on war.

Keywords:   neutrality, Socialist Party, Woodrow Wilson, preparedness, World War I, antiwar movement, national security, citizenship, foreign policy, Allan Benson

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