What Was The Zimmerman Telegram?


Who Sent The Zimmerman Telegram?

Arthur Zimmerman, the state secretary of foreign affairs of Germany during World War 1, sent the controversial telegram to Mexico.

The time was early January 1917.

He sent the telegram in codes that enemies can’t understand.

Short Answer: During World War 1, German foreign minister Arther Zimmermann sent a notorious telegram to the Mexican government.

In that telegram, he proposed the Mexican government make a military alliance with Germany and Austro-Hungarian empire and collectively invade the United States of America.

But here he made a big mistake.

He sent the telegram via Western Union. At that time, Western Union’s headquarter was in London.

As a result, the telegram was captured by British intelligence before it reached Mexico.

A British intelligence officer, named Nigel de Grey decoded the telegram. 

Immediately, the British government sent the message to the U.S. embassy in Britain and then later leaked it to the media.

The telegram was a major turning point in the whole game of WW1 because it made U.S. president Wilson oblige to declare war on Germany.

But the main question is, what was in the Zimmerman telegram?

Let’s dig it.

What Was The Zimmermann Telegram
The Notorious Zimmerman Telegram

What Was In The Zimmerman Telegram?

The Zimmerman telegram was a proposal of Germany to the Mexican government to make a military alliance with them.

Germany wanted Mexico to declare war against the U.S.

The reason was if Mexico kept the U.S. busy with them then Germany would get a chance to defeat Britain and France without the USA’s interference.

So, this was their primary propaganda. 

Through the telegram, Germany tried provoking Mexico to get back their old lands {Taxes, New Mexico, Arizona, etc}, which they lost in the 19th-century battles.

Even, Germany promised Mexico that they would provide economic help to them for joining the mission.

(Note: Zimmermann mentioned that day by day the hostile behavior of the United States was increasing towards Germany and their allies)

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What Was In The Zimmerman Telegram
Image Credit: Wikimedia.org

How Did The Message Create Impact In The USA?

Yes, the message immediately began polarizing the opinion of American citizens.

The people here, who before were against their country entering the war; now, changed their mindset. 

When the message leaked in the media, it made the USA’s citizens very angry with Germany.

Pressure on president Widrow Wilson’s government increased after this incident.

It led the U.S to break all the diplomatic relationships with the German Empire.

Finally, in 1917 on 2nd April, President Wilson declared war on Germany, and with this move, the United States entered into World War 1.


Did Germany Accept About The Telegram?

After the British leaked it, German foreign secretary Arthur Zimmermann found nothing to hide.

Finally, he had to accept the telegram he sent to Mexico.

In 1917 on 29th March, he said that Germany had to do it due to America’s act as an enemy.

But it was too late by now to come to a diplomatic solution because the US already about to declare war on them.


Was The Telegram Only Cause of The United States Entry Into WW1?

The Zimmermann telegram was one of the main (and immediate) causes; however, it was not the only cause, at all.

Along with this, two other reasons also pushed the nation’s entry into this great destruction.

Among them, the first one was the Unrestricted Submarine Warfare policy by the German navy.

They launched this warfare policy in 1915.

Secondly, during wartime, the United States provided heavy loans to the United Kingdom, France, and other allies.

They were afraid that if the allied nations lose the war, it would become difficult for the USA to get the money back.

So, to help the borrower nations, the United States had to join the war.


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