Rhetorical Analysis Of Woodrow Wilson's Great War

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Language served a large role in America’s rise to power. Woodrow Wilson’s use of rhetoric appealing to the ethos of his American audience to join Europe’s Great War reinforced American exceptionalism (the idea that America is different and better than the rest of the world). Wilson made it clear that the United States wanted nothing for itself from the war. He declared that the primary goal of America’s entrance into World War I was to defeat militarism and build a better world by spreading democracy. He would, he repeatedly said, do his utmost to move international relations away from the sort of secret diplomacy and deals that the European powers had engaged in for centuries and that, in his opinion and that of many Americans, had led to the …show more content…

America’s goals in entering the war included priorities to build a peaceful and impartial international order.
Despite the moral appeal of helping others, promoting democracy stole the freedom of choice—self-determination—from individuals and governments, as he considered democracy the only right way to govern. Wilson envisioned accomplishing his goal for everlasting peace through the democratization of other nations. He promised "freedom, self-determination and eternal peace" (Hoyng). However, this established a set of self-governing values and parameters in which governments could operate in. Moreover, President Woodrow Wilson visualized smaller nation-states adopting self-determination, the idea that countries should be able to determine their own fate without any interference of external power. Nevertheless, Wilson's insistence that governments must be democratic undermined the promise of self-determination ("The Peacemakers"). Consequently, this mirrored Roosevelt's realistic (but imperialistic) view. Roosevelt's foreign policy expressed American dominance and power, while Wilson's

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