HOUSE FAR FROM UNITED ON ISSUE OF WAR WITH GERMANY
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) One hundred years ago today, February 19, 1917, a supporter of Woodrow Wilson in the United States House of Representatives admitted that the President "could not obtain even the approximation of a united House on any proposal...which might lead to (war) with Germany."
In a front page story in the New York Sun the following day, it was reported that the President had been plainly told that he "may not expect...support in the German crisis."
A Democrat in the House, however, was convinced that President Wilson had the power to "arm or convoy merchantmen without going to Congress."
The Sun story adds,
"The Pacifist party*, using Representative (Joseph) Moore** of Pennsylvania as spokesman, intends to keep the 'peace or war' issue as broadly before the public (as possible)."
*Peace societies geared up to oppose war & military preparedness. They included American Peace Society, Emergency Peace Federation, American Neutral Conference Committee & the Woman's Peace Party. When President Wilson asked Congress for a Declaration of War against Germany in April 1917, 50 members of the House of Representatives voted no.
**Joseph Hampton Moore was a Republican Congressman who represented Pennsylvania's 3rd Congressional District from 1915-1921. He served in the Congress from 1907-1921.
"House Wants Wilson to Act, Democratic Leaders Says Majority Don't Ask Him to Consult Congress," The New York Sun, February 20, 1917, www.chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/
"Pacifism," by David S. Patterson, International Encyclopedia of the First World War, www.encyclopedia.1914-1918-online.net/
Harris & Ewing Collection
Library of Congress Photo