Progress and 'relapse'

The Century and World War I

Before the outbreak of World War I, the Century, not unlike many other American journals, regularly expressed an idealistic and basically isolationist position when considering America’s role in the world. In this approach, the magazine reflected the attitudes of Presidents William Howard Taft (1909-1913) and Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921), both idealists who were shaped by the period of isolation enjoyed by America before the Spanish-American War of 1898. Century editorials challenged the politics of power and claimed that war could never be as productive as a policy of enlightened diplomacy.

 

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