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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

The Tipping-Point Ships

The Tipping-Point Ships

Vigilancia, City of Memphis, Illinois

(p.106) 8 The Tipping-Point Ships
Sovereignty at Sea

Rodney Carlisle

University Press of Florida

Over the weekend of March 16–18, 1917, three US ships were sunk without warning: the Vigilancia, the City of Memphis, and the Illinois. Six Americans aboard the Vigilancia drowned, along with nine seamen of other nationalities. The editorial reaction in the press, which mostly urged that these three sinkings constituted overt acts of war, is discussed. Wilson's cabinet met and recommended that the United States declare war on Germany. Wilson did not give his decision, but asked that Congress convene early on April 2, 1917.

Keywords:   Wilson's cabinet, Vigilancia, City of Memphis, Illinois, acts of war

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