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S. Con. Res. 14, Concurrent Resolution restricting the travel of Americans on armed vessels of belligerent nations (Gore-McLemore Resolution), February 25, 1916

Senator Thomas Gore of Oklahoma and Representative Atkins Jefferson McLemore of Texas introduced this resolution in Congress to prevent the United States from being drawn into World War I. It banned Americans from traveling on armed merchant vessels or ships with contraband—largely British. Under pressure from President Woodrow Wilson, both the House and Senate tabled the proposal.

Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives and Records Administration

S. Con. Res. 14 S. Con. Res. 14

U.S. Neutrality during World War I

When war broke out in Europe in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed U.S. neutrality and called on all Americans to remain “impartial in thought as well as action.” As the war in Europe escalated and Germany engaged in submarine warfare against passenger and merchant ships in the Atlantic Ocean, Congress feared that a loss of American lives at sea might elicit public demand for the United States to join the war. Concerned members of Congress pushed for legislation to reinforce American neutrality.