The main factor that contributed towards the U.S.’s initial neutrality in World War I was its non-intervention foreign policy. This policy was first stated by Thomas Paine in his pamphlet Common Sense during the American Revolution. The idea was further mooted by many other presidents such as Thomas Jefferson during his inaugural address and James Monroe in the Monroe Doctrine. This policy continued right up till President Woodrow Wilson with probably the only exception being the Spanish – American war of 1898.Another factor was that President Wilson himself was against the U.S. entering the war. He even used it as a rallying point for his re-election campaign with the slogan "he kept us out of war." He believed that a peaceful solution could be found and even tried mediating between the Allied Powers and the Central Powers, though there were few takers on either side.Geography also played an important role in the U.S.’s neutrality, with the Atlantic Ocean separating U.S. from Europe many felt that the war would stay in Europe, and would not come to the shores of the U.S. Also during the time of President Wilson, the people in general were opposed to the entry of U.S. into the war. Many prominent members of society as well congressmen were opposed to the war, one of them being Senator Robert La Follette. Even though Senator La Follete had supported President Wilson for his election in the 1912 presidential elections he opposed tooth and nail against the U.S. taking part in the war saying
that President Woodrow was under the control of big business.