German U-boats sank British passenger liners killing Americans. This was condemned by the U. S. but remained neutral after Germany apologized and vowed to not attack anymore ships without warning first. The British then intercepted the Zimmerman telegram which made Germany more of a threat since it said if Mexico declared war on the U. S. then Germany would return U. S. land back to Mexico. This convinced the president that, “the war was, indeed, a defense of democracy against German aggression.” (Roark, 692) The final incident that led us to enter the war was when German subs sank five American ships off Britain. No longer could the U. S. stand by and watch as Germany attacked and killed our people.
Germany responded only with the destruction of the steamer Sussex in March. At this point, Wilson threatened to end all diplomatic relations with Germany, an act that would surely bring the United States into war against Germany. To prevent this–the German Emperor knew he could not defeat the combined strength of the Entente powers and the United States–Germany agreed to respect certain shipping lines. War had been averted, but only for a
Before America entered World War I in April, 1917, they acted as suppliers for Europe. At the time America wanted to remain neutral until Germany became responsible for destroying several United States ships. President Woodrow Wilson warned Germany of retaliation if they continued to sink their vessels. In February, 1915 German announced unrestricted warfare against all ships, neutral or otherwise, that entered the war zones around Britain. Germany continued to violate the United States demands and continued to sink vessels and kill the innocent Americans onboard.
The treaty of Versailles was a between Austria-Hungary and Germany being the central powers, British, France and the U.S being the Allied powers. The leaders of the countries that signed the treaty were George Clemenceau, prime minister of France, David Lloyd George, for Britain, and Woodrow Wilson, president of the U.S. All three political leaders wanted different things for the treaty and sometimes did not agree with each other. Georges Clemenceau’s main objective was to ensure France’s security so that they don’t get invaded again. He was determined to keep Germany down and wanted revenge against them. He wanted to punish Germany and weaken them for what they have caused to European countries and wanted them to pay for the reparations so that France can rebuild itself.
The Germans had come to the table hoping to hear Wilson saying, “the equality of nations upon which peace much be founded on if it is to last must be an equality of rights..” (German Peace Delegation, p. 76) Instead they were hit with several Billion reichmarks in reparations, a reduced military and many other limitations politically, economically, militarily and territory wise (The Versailles Treaty, 1918). Germany was to blame for the war, as were all of Europe. However the old adage, to the victor goes the spoils. With such documents as the Zimmerman Note, one can only speculate on the terms handed down by a victorious
This quote by C. G. Jung, describes perfectly what was happening ninety seven years ago. The Lusitania was 750ft long, weighed 32,500 tons and carried 1,257 passengers and 650 crew members. The Germans and the British kept secrets from each other, of the two adversaries who were to blame for the sinking of the Lusitania? By investigating events of May 7th 1915 maybe a conclusion can be reached. A few days before the sinking of the Lusitania, the German Embassy had released a statement that would warn travelers about the risk they would face when embarking on the voyage.
America, despite its efforts, could not remain neutral and was forced to enter World War 1. Germany did not respect America’s decision to stay neutral and purposely sunk their ships in the British Isles. They sent the Zimmerman Telegram uniting other countries against America. Lastly, they blockaded British ports and prevented American trade with France and GB. Over 100,000 Americans died during WW1, but were rewarded with patriotism, an Allie victory and trade which once again
Until April, 1917, the US remained neutral in WW1. Several hostile acts against the US in early 1917 by Germany forced the US to declare war. Germany instituted its own blockade in response to the British blockade in 1914. After the sinking of a third unarmed ship with American passengers in 1916, Germany issued the Sussex pledge, promising to not sink any more merchant or passenger ships without due warning. The pledge was kept until January 1917, when the original policy of unrestricted submarine warfare resurfaced.
However, Germany was not the only country that blockaded US ships. Great Britain also blockaded some US ships, just not to the extent of the Germans. True, the Germans did sink the RMS Lusitania, but that ship not only carried civilians, but also some weaponry. And the declaration of war against Germany came two years later after the sinking of this ship. If America was truly angry about Germany harming innocent civilians, why did not the declaration of war follow the sinking of the Lusitania immediately?
The entry into World War I in 1917 was a crucial turning point in both Woodrow Wilson's presidency but also American history in itself. When the German's announced the use of unrestricted submarine warfare and there were subsequent sinking of ships with Americans on board such as the Lusitania, the United States immediately decided to enter the war. Then, after the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, Woodrow Wilson came back with the Treaty of Versailles which would create a League of Nations. The original goal of the League was to have to power to prevent all future wars and help create more peaceful agreements worldwide. Although many Americans favored the treaty as well as the League, it did not pass in the Senate and as a result, the United States did not enter in the League of Nations.