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800-score V1 question [#permalink]
07 Dec 2009, 15:29
I do find the proposed OA debatable - the word many in it is what bothers me. What do you guys say?
Thanks for sharing your opinions!
During World War I, the issue of neutral rights on the seas plagued America’s foreign relations. One of the German justifications for its shoot-on-sight policy was the fragility of the U-boat and its vulnerability to armed vessels. To deal with this problem, in early 1916, Lansing proposed a modus vivendi: if the Allies agreed to disarm their merchant ships, the Germans would agree to not attack such vessels without warning and without protecting the safety of civilians. In effect, the submarine would act as a surface cruiser and observe the established rules of naval warfare.
Unwilling to surrender what they considered to be a right to arm surface vessels, the British rejected the proposal. Lansing quickly dropped the modus vivendi proposal. Unfortunately, he had opened a Pandora’s box. In explaining it to the German government, Lansing had implied that the American government regarded Allied armed merchant vessels as warships. This had been the German position all along, and they seized on the opening the Americans had created. The Germans informed the Americans that their U-boats would resume attacks on armed merchant vessels without prior warning.
These events alarmed the pacifists. The Wilson administration, by dropping the modus vivendi, seemed to be saying that it accepted the British position that armed merchant vessels were not warships. If this were so, then by the administration’s interpretation, Americans would have the right to travel on such vessels. Since the Germans now intended to attack them on sight, Wilson was almost guaranteeing a collision with Germany. To avoid such a confrontation, Representative Jeff McLemore and Senator Thomas Gore introduced resolutions forbidding American travel on armed ships. Wilson interpreted this as a challenge to his leadership in foreign affairs and a surrender of American rights. “For my own part,” Wilson wrote the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, “I cannot consent to any abridgment of the rights of American citizens in any respect. Once we accept a single abatement of rights, many other humiliations would certainly follow, and the whole fine fabric of international law might crumble in our hands.” Congress backed down and tabled the Gore-McLemore resolutions. Wilson’s victory over Congress would later be viewed as a pivotal incident, since later attacks on U.S. shipping drew America into the war.
For what reason does the author say that the dropping of the modus vivendi alarmed the pacifists?(highlighted text)
A. To show that Wilson had few opponents B. To show that many disagreed with Wilson. C. To show that peacemakers feared the Germans. D. To show that not everyone was against Germany E. To show that America was in turmoil.