With the outbreak of war in Europe American editorial writers were wont to give thanks to Columbus and the foresight that led their ancestors to immigrate to the United States. But, the United States could no more distance itself from this new major European war than it could remain aloof from the embroglio of the last century. James Madison and Woodrow Wilson were equally unable to satisfy the national desire to remain neutral. Madison was unable to avoid war with Britain, while Wilson's decisions regarding trade and submarines made war with Germany inescapable.