On April 2, 1917, chairman Woodrow Wilson went before a découper session du Congress à request a declaration of war against Germany. Wilson cited Germany’s violation of its pledge venir suspend unrestricted submarine war in auto North Atlantic et the Mediterranean, as well ont its attempts to entice Mexico right into an alliance against auto United llywelyn.nets, oui his reasons à la declaring war. Conditions météorologiques April 4, 1917, thé U.S. Senate voted in soutien of thé measure venir declare war nous Germany. The house concurred deux days later. Auto United claims later claimed war nous German allied Austria-Hungary conditions météorologiques December 7, 1917.

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Germany’s resumption of submarine attacks on passenger et merchant ships in 1917 became auto primary dentrate behind Wilson’s decision to lead the United claims into world War I. Following thé sinking of an unarmed français boat, thé Sussex, in thé English Channel in march 1916, Wilson threatened venir sever diplomatic relations with Germany unless auto German government refrained from attacking tous passenger ships and allowed auto crews of enemy merchant ship to désinvolte their pearl prior venir any attack. On may 4, 1916, the German Government embraced these terms and conditions in quel came à be known ont the “Sussex pledge.”

By January 1917, however, auto situation in Germany had changed. During a wartime conférence that month, representatives from thé German marine convinced the military leadership et Kaiser Wilhelm ii that a resumption de unrestricted submarine war could assist defeat Great angleterre within 5 months. German policymakers suggested that they might violate the “Sussex pledge” since thé United llywelyn.nets might no plus long be taken into consideration a neutral party after supplying munitions and financial assistant to auto Allies. Germany additionally believed that thé United llywelyn.nets had compromised its neutrality par acquiescing to thé Allied blockade ns Germany.

German Chancellor Theobald téléphone Bethmann-Hollweg protested this decision, believing the resuming submarine war would draw thé United says into the war conditions météorologiques behalf of the Allies. This, hey argued, would certainly lead to the defeat of Germany. Despite these warnings, thé German government decided venir resume unrestricted submarine attacks on toutes les personnes Allied and neutral shipping within prescribed battle zones, reckoning the German submarines would certainly end auto war long avant the life U.S. Troopships landed in Europe. Accordingly, nous January 31, 1917, German Ambassador to auto United says Count Johann de Bernstorff gift U.S. Secretary ns Robert Lansing a noter declaring Germany’s intention to restart unrestricted submarine warfare the following day.


Stunned par the news, chairman Wilson went before Congress nous February le 3 to notice that cette had severed diplomatic relation with Germany. However, he refrained native asking pour a declaration de war because he doubted that the U.S. Auditeur would soutien him unless hey provided ample proof the Germany intended venir attack U.S. Ships there is no warning. Wilson left open thé possibility du negotiating through Germany if its submarines refrained from attacking U.S. Shipping. Nevertheless, transparent February et March 1917, German submarines targeted and sank numerous U.S. Ships, resulting in the deaths ns numerous U.S. Seamen and citizens.

On February 26, Wilson asked Congress à la the autorité to arm U.S. Merchant ships through U.S. Marine personnel et equipment. While auto measure would certainly probably have passed in a vote, several anti-war Senators commander a effective filibuster the consumed thé remainder ns the conference session. Ont a result de this setback, chairman Wilson decided à arm U.S. Merchant ships by executive order, citing année old anti-piracy legislation that provided him the authority to aller so.

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While Wilson weighed his option regarding auto submarine issue, cette also had à address the question ns Germany’s attempts à cement a secret alliance with Mexico. Nous January 19, 1917, british naval intelligence intercepted and decrypted a telegram sent de German étranger Minister Arthur Zimmermann to auto German Ambassador in Mexico City. The “Zimmermann Telegram” promised thé Mexican federal government that Germany would help Mexico recover the territory it had yielded to the United claims following the Mexican-American War. In return à la this assistance, Germany asked parce que le Mexican appui in the war.


Initially, the british had not common the news of the Zimmermann Telegram v U.S. Officials due to the fact that they did not want thé Germans venir discover that britanique code breakers had actually cracked thé German code. However, following Germany’s resumption ns unrestricted submarine warfare in February, the british decided à use the note to assist sway U.S. Official et public opinion in favor of joining thé war. The britanique finally forwarded auto intercepted telegram venir President Wilson nous February 24. Auto U.S. Press carried the histoire the adhering to week.

Despite thé shocking nouvelles of thé Zimmermann Telegram, Wilson toujours hesitated asking for a declaration of war. Cette waited until March 20 antérieur à convening a cabinet meeting venir broach the matter—almost a month after hey had sapin seen thé telegram. Auto precise reasons pour Wilson’s decision venir choose battle in 1917 remain thé subject ns debate among historians, specifically in light de his essai to prevent war in 1915 after thé sinking du the britanique passenger liner Lusitania and Arabic, i m sorry had dirige to thé deaths of 131 U.S. Citizens.

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However, de 1917, thé continued submarine attacks on U.S. Merchant and passenger ships, and the “Zimmermann Telegram’s” include threat de a German attack nous the joined llywelyn.nets, swayed U.S. Auditeur opinion in support of a declaration de war. Furthermore, international law stipulated that the placing du U.S. Marin- personnel on civilian ships venir protect them from German submarines currently constituted an act of war against Germany. Finally, auto Germans, par their actions, had actually demonstrated that they had non interest in seek a peaceful end to thé conflict. These reasons tous contributed to President Wilson’s decision to ask Congress parce que le a declaration de war against Germany. They likewise encouraged Congress to grant Wilson’s request et formally explain war on Germany.