By M. Ryan Floyd (auth.)
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Additional resources for Abandoning American Neutrality: Woodrow Wilson and the Beginning of the Great War, August 1914–December 1915
The foreign secretary decided that good relations with the United States outweighed the financial benefits that Berlin might receive. ” Britain wanted to ensure that the ships stayed off their normal trade routes. 55 Lansing forwarded the foreign secretary’s telegram to Wilson and wrote that he found Grey’s argument to be fair—that the British demands were appropriate considering the circumstances. There was, however, no reason, he added, to consent publicly to London’s additional stipulations and risk German protests over a violation of US neutrality; American shipowners 22 ABANDONING AMERICAN NEUTRALITY would avoid trading with Germany simply to avoid the risk of seizure by the British.
The president affirmed Britain’s right to use economic warfare against its enemies but wanted London to accept the declaration because it would be internationally recognized and provide a guide for neutral states to follow. ” Finally the president complained that London had actually expanded the doctrine of continuous voyage by declaring the Royal Navy’s right to stop conditional as well as absolute contraband headed through neutral ports if a cargo’s recipient was listed as “To Order” or if the receiver was unknown.
The ambassador was correctly pointing out that the United States had adopted the doctrine of continuous voyage itself, a move that “raised no objection” with the British government. He added that the “doctrine of continuous transport and continuous voyage was in fact known as the American doctrine and went by that name in the Law Books. ”41 Despite Grey’s and the ambassador’s arguments, Lansing maintained that the only document all governments should use as a basis for discussion was the Declaration of London.
Abandoning American Neutrality: Woodrow Wilson and the Beginning of the Great War, August 1914–December 1915 by M. Ryan Floyd (auth.)