What Were The 3 Reasons U.S. Entered WW1?


What Were The 3 Reasons The U.S. Entered WW1?

Till 1917, U.S President Woodrow Wilson didn’t want his country to enter WW1.

For the United States, the War was Europe’s internal political matter and hence, they had nothing to do with it.

Even, using the slogan “He Kept Us Out Of War”, Wilson won the second presidential election.

But suddenly what happened, that they entered into the great destruction.

What were the 3 main reasons that the U.S. entered World War 1?

Let’s discuss them…one by one.

Short Answer: 

  1. The controversial Zimmermann’s telegram – A secret plan of Germans to attack the United States.
  2. German U-boats attacked US ships (Cargo and civilian vessels) in the Atlantic Ocean.
  3. The United States of America was afraid of losing money that they provided Great Britain and France as loans. 
What Were The 3 Reasons The U.S Entered WW1
What Were The 3 Reasons The U.S. Entered WW1?

1. Germany’s Plan To Make Alliance With Mexico To Attack U.S

In January 1917, German foreign minister Arthur Zimmermann sent a telegram to Mexico.

The telegram included dangerous propaganda against the United States of America that got leaked in the press.

In the letter, he proposed Mexico for making an alliance with Germany and Austro-Hungarian empire for fighting against the United States.

Here he also encouraged Mexico to bring back the lands (New Mexico, Taxes, and Arizona) that they lost in the old battle of the 19th century.

Germany also assured Mexico that they would provide them economic help.

It was strange that Zimmerman sent it through an American commercial company, named ‘Western Union’.

At that time, Western Union’s office was in London.

We don’t know why but probably he didn’t know about it.

As a result, It came into the hands of British intelligence.

The telegram was written in codes, which were later decoded by a British intelligence officer. The officer’s name was Nigel de Grey.

After that, British media leaked it in the press.

On 29th March 1917, the German foreign minister Zimmermann accepted that the telegram was sent by him.

Even he rationalize that they were getting oblige to do it, due to the USA’s actions like an enemy.

So, this became the very first reason, which pushed the U.S. to enter WW1.

What Were The 3 Reasons The U.S. Entered WW1

2. 2nd Reason, The U.S. Entered WW1 – German Attack On US Ships 

In 1915, Germany launched a war policy called ‘Unrestricted Submarine Warfare’.

As per the policy, Germany ordered their navy to attack any vessel in the Atlantic without any warning.

They mainly launched it to make Britain oblige to surrender.

In the same year 1915 on May 7th, the German U-boats attacked and destroyed a British ship (named ‘Lusitania’) in the Atlantic Ocean, where 128 American and 1070 British civilians lost their lives.

This time, the U.S strongly condemned Germany and warned them not to attack ships without any warning.

The United States also demand German authority withdraw the warfare policy. Because it created a major threat to their exports to Europe.

Germany, under pressure from America, canceled it for some time.

But in 1917, they again launched the Unrestricted Submarine Warfare policy and started attacking any ships without any warning (also on the US vessels).

They destroyed and sunk many of America’s cargo vessels.

These incidents made the US realize, if they wouldn’t take any further action then this would lead them to heavy economic and other losses.


3. Fear of Losing Wealth

The third reason is the fear of losing wealth.

Actually, during wartime, the US provided massive loans to the Allied power nations like Great Britain, France, etc.

The only hope of getting back the loans stands if they won the war.

Otherwise, the way to get the money back would be tied.

The United States knew it very well and hence they didn’t want Axis to win the war.

Therefore, to help the allied power countries also, the US had to jump into the conflict.

However, many American historians want to claim, they entered the war to protect democracy in Europe, not just to get back the money. 


Now I hope you have got your answer on ‘what were the 3 main reasons that the U.S. had to enter World War 1’.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here