Just War Theory and the Views of Woodrow Wilson

Essay by chicken7377High School, 12th gradeB, January 2008

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The Just war theory is a way to determine if the use of military action is justifiable. Just war theory says that war should be waged only as a last resort, and all diplomatic, and non-violent options should be tried before a country engages in war to solve a problem. It also says that a war should not be entered unless there is a legitimate reason for entering, and that revenge should not be taken unless there is a good reason for it, such as damage to the country, and the action taken against another country should not be in excess of what they did. Just war theory also states that soldiers must discriminate between enemy troops and civilians, and civilians should not be killed if at all possible. The just war theory also states that the ultimate goal of war should be to re-establish peace, and war should not be continued if it is not absolutely necessary to resolve a conflict.

Woodrow Wilson was the twenty-eighth president of the United States. He was president from 1913 to 1921. He was commander in chief of the U.S. military during World War One. During his first term as president, he avoided military involvement in WWI. During this time nothing was done to the U.S. that warranted military action, so Wilson and the U. S. did not enter the war. After Germany re-started unrestricted submarine warfare and sunk many U.S. ships, some carrying civilians, and also became non-responsive to U.S. peace negotiations, Wilson entered the war. In this aspect, Wilson followed the Just war theory closely. He had tried to negotiate with Germany, and he had exhausted most of his alternative options. His goal when he decided to go ahead with military action was ultimately, to re-establish peace. In his address to...