Chapter 29 Wilsonian Progessivism at Home and Abroad. Pages 688-693. Thunder Across the Sea.
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So, Germany announced its use of submarine warfare around the British Isles, warning the U.S. that it would try not to attack neutral ships, but that mistakes would probably occur.
After Germany seemed to break that pledge by sinking the Sussex, the Germans issued the “Sussex pledge,” which agreed not to sink passenger ships or merchant vessels without warning, so long as the U.S. could get the British to stop their blockade.
Wilson barely beat Hughes, with a vote of 277 to 254, with the final result dependent on results from California, and even though Wilson didn’t specifically promise to keep America out of war, enough people felt that he would to vote for him.