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Exhibition Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I

Robert Lansing. Memorandum of the Cabinet Meeting, 2:30–5 p.m. Tuesday, March 20, 1917. Typescript document. Robert Lansing Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (011.00.00)
Edward Stanford Ltd. The Battle Fronts of Europe. London: Roberts & Leete Ltd, before October 1917. Colored map. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress (006.00.00)

A Meeting to Discuss War

President Wilson and his cabinet met on March 20, 1917, to discuss the question of declaring war. Secretary of State Robert Lansing urged war, but he did not believe the United States should go to war solely because German submarines had sunk U.S. ships and killed Americans. In his account of the cabinet meeting discussion, Lansing related how he tried to convince the president of the duty "to suppress an autocratic government like the German because of its atrocious character and because it was a menace to the national safety of this country and of all other countries with liberal systems of government."