The declaration of war against Germany did not come at random to the United States, but it happened as a result of the unrestricted submarine warfare policy that Germany adopted against any marine vessel moving along the Mediterranean Sea towards various parts of Europe. Before the declaration of the unrestricted warfare, the previous submarine policy implied the vessels navigating passengers to be spared, and, therefore, a prior warning had to be given to the ones that were to be destroyed. This policy conformed to the laws of humanity and it gave room for the salvation of lives of the people who did not defy orders or attempted to escape.
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There are phrases in the text that give a clue of President Wilson’s later work to establish the League of Nations. For instance, “the present German submarine warfare against commerce is warfare against mankind.” He goes on to say that their intention to engage in war with Germany was to fight for the democracy of all nations whether big or small with an ultimate goal of making the world free. It meant that the unrestricted warfare policy showed that the purpose of Germans was to fight all nations. Therefore, there was a need for a league of nations to be established to protect the political and territorial independence of all countries notwithstanding their sizes.
The war message by Wilson was supposedly directed to the Congress. However, it does not seem to address the Congress alone. The message was also directed to the rest of the world including the Germans in order to make them understand the danger that was imminent due to the unrestricted submarine warfare policy. The speech was meant to address the manner in which innocent people from different nations were losing their lives as a result of the attacks. Therefore, Wilson intended to justify US’s declaration of war on Germany for the sake of mankind.