chapter  18
AMERICA FACES THE NEW WORLD SITUATION
Pages 5

THE outbreak of the Great War in 1914 saw no country in the world, not even China, so unprepared to face its consequences as was the United States. Ever since the close of the Civil War in 1865, the subject of war was one which had grown to have but the merest academic interest for Americans, and with the exception of the Spanish-American War of 1898, a war of such small dimensions as scarcely to deserve the name of a national conflict, nothing had occurred in half a century to arouse America to any real sense of danger of attack from without, or to diminish in any sensible degree the sense of security which came from her geographical position of isolation. And even after the hurricane broke loose in the summer of 1914, the great mass of Americans continued to believe, for at least two years longer, in the possibility of being able to pursue their peaceful pursuits without having to take much thought for what was going on beyond their boundaries.