2. Early Statement of Neutrality. The U.S. was determined to adopt a stance of rigid neutrality at the start of the war, and President Wilson announced the American stance to this effect shortly after war broke out, on 19 August 1914, reflecting U.S. popular opinion. During his address, he warned U.S. citizens against taking sides in the war for fear of endangering the wider U.S. policy. "The effect of the war upon the United States will depend upon what American citizens say and do.
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