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Sovereignty at SeaU.S. Merchant Ships and American Entry into World War I$
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Rodney Carlisle

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813037622

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813037622.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

From Falaba to Sussex

From Falaba to Sussex

(p.16) 2 From Falaba to Sussex
Sovereignty at Sea

Rodney Carlisle

University Press of Florida

Part of the reason that the precipitating casus belli of the United States' entry into World War I has been overlooked by historians and the public is that higher-status American citizens had been killed earlier on British and French ships, while travelling as passengers aboard the Falaba and the Lusitania. Despite efforts in Congress to prohibit US citizens from travelling on belligerent-registered liners, Wilson took the position that such travel was a right of American citizens and protested the attacks to Germany. When a German submarine later attacked the Sussex, Wilson threatened to break diplomatic relations with Germany. In response, Germany promised, in the Sussex Pledge, not to sink any Allied or neutral merchant ships without warning, on condition that the Allies obey international law and allow food to be imported to Germany; but Wilson chose to disregard that condition.

Keywords:   Falaba, Lusitania, Sussex, Sussex Pledge, Woodrow Wilson

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