American Neutrality and the Anglo-American Crisis of 1916

1916 was arguably the lowest point in Anglo-American relations between the War of 1812 and Suez. Tensions arose daily over the British blockade of Europe and American attempts to mediate an end to World War I, causing Woodrow Wilson and his advisors to muse about the possibility of a future war and the British ambassador to consider withdrawing his credentials. In the background lurked even more consequential issues, particularly the steady but perceptible shift of financial – and potentially military – power west over the Atlantic. This talk explores the events of that year and particularly how popular passions and nationalism shaped the relationship.

Andrew Gawthorpe is a University Lecturer in the Institute for History at Leiden University. He is currently leading a five-year research project on “American foreign policy and liberalism”, funded by a grant from the Dutch Research Council. He is the author of To Build as well as Destroy: The American Experience of Nation-Building in the Vietnam War (Cornell 2019) and also contributes widely to popular media, including through his podcast, America Explained.