Why the U.S. entered World War I
By: Karina Ramirez
February 15, 2016
The Sinking of the Lusitania
Unrestricted Submarine Warfare
The Sussex Pledge
A German U-Boat torpedoed a British passenger ship, the Lusitania, killing more than 1,000 people, including 128 Americans. Happened on May 7th, 1915. The sinking turned American opinion against the Germans, helping the move towards entering the war.
The Zimmerman Note
Germany announced that it would resume unrestricted submarine warfare. Unrestricted warfare was introduced when Germany declared the area around the British Isles a war zone, in which all merchant ships, including those from neutral countries, would be attacked by the German navy. This caused President Wilson to send a strongly worded letter to the German government to put an end to the attacks.
US Enters WW1
Germany, seeking to avoid war with the United States, issued the Sussex Pledge, promising to suspend its surprise attacks on merchant vessels. Prompted Wilson to declare that if Germany were to continue this practice, the US would declare war.
World War I
Wilson released a decoded telegram from German foreign minister Arthur Zimmermann to Mexico. Zimmermann proposed that, if the US entered the war, Mexico go to war with the US as a German ally. Zimmermann promised that if Mexico allied with Germany, Germany would provide “financial support and an understanding on our part that Mexico is to reconquer lost territory in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.”
The United States officially declares war on Germany on April 6, 1917. All due to the sinking of the Lusitania. Wilson lost his patience and therefore decided to join the war and fight against the Germans.
A war fought from 1914 to 1918 between the Allies, notably Britain, France, Russia, and Italy (which entered in 1915), and the Central Powers: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire. After the World War some effects were Wilson's Fourteen Points Speech, many American people died and the US economy boosted.
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