When the first world war began, America initially declared itself as a neutral country while the fighting was going on in Europe. America was made up of people who immigrated from many different nations, some of which were involved in the war. Therefore during the time of neutrality, many different Americans had ranging opinions on which side the United States should back up. Although America was neutral, there were instances in which Americans were involved in altercations during the war. This pushed Wilson toward a policy of preparedness, expanding the American army and navy in case of war. This allowed American ships to travel freely without becoming involved in battles.
Foner covers the topic of Wilson’s policy of preparedness briefly. I feel as though he should have expanded on it more, such as the actual practices enforced to expand America’s navy and army. However I feel that it the brevity of the topic was somewhat appropriate considering there are other important parts of the war for him to have covered.