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What Caused The Us To Break Neutrality And Enter Ww1

563 words - 3 pages


At the beginning of WW1 in 1915, it was President Woodrow Wilson's intent to remain neutral. President Wilson made it clear that he had no intention of joining the war with the Allies ( Great Britain and France ) or the Germans. Although he proclaimed neutrality, he sympathized with Great Britain and France and sent goods overseas to them stating "free ships made free goods". This meant neutral nations could trade goods with whomever they wanted. It was thought that trading goods with Europe would pull the United States out of its economic slump. Great Britain eventually ran short of money to pay for U.S. goods and asked for a loan. Wilson felt this would perhaps break neutrality but conceded because the U.S. would lose its prosperity.
Germany was ...view middle of the document...

Germany subsequently apologized and promised that there would be no more submarine attacks without warning and provisions for safety of civilians. Wilson protested the German blockade of Great Britain but accepted the British blockade of Germany. In January of 1917 Germany announced that it would resume unrestricted warfare. Germany knew that it would lead the U.S. to join the war, but took a chance that this action would bring the British economy to its knees and they would win the war before the U.S. mobilized and became involved.
Another thing that was crucial to the U.S. participation in the war was the huge propaganda campaign. George Creel headed the Committee on Public Information. The committee members traveled around the country giving pro - war speeches and distributing posters depicting the U.S. as patriots and heroes and the Germans as menacing creatures.
On February 25, 1917 the British informed President Wilson of a telegram sent by the German foreign secretary, Arthur Zimmerman, to Mexican officials. The Zimmerman Telegram stated very plainly that the Germans would support the Mexican government if they invaded the U.S. and would send military support as soon as they defeated the Allies. They promised to help Mexico to reclaim Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. When President Wilson received this news he was infuriated. Germany was sinking ships left and right and now trying to plot with Mexico. This would not do . On April 2, 1917 President Wilson asked Congress to issue a declaraion of war. On April 6th the decision was made final.
In conclusion, even though there were many events that occured to lead the United States to war, the two major events that led President Wilson to abandon neutrality and enter the war were the sinking of the Lusitania and the Zimmerman Telegram.

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