Wilson Before Congress
On April 2, 1917, President Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany. He condemned German submarine attacks on U.S. and other neutral shipping. He also argued that autocratic governments, such as the German regime, with their habitual intrigue, unrestrained by the will of their people, were a threat to free and self-governing nations. The president asserted, "The world must be made safe for democracy."
The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty. We have no selfish ends to serve. We desire no conquest, no dominion. We see no indemnities for ourselves, no material compensation for the sacrifices we shall freely make.