What Were The 3 Reasons The U.S. Entered WW1?
|Short & Quick Answer:
1. First Reason: The controversial Zimmermann’s telegram – A secret plan of Germans to invade the United States of America with the help of Mexicans.
2. Second Reason: Unrestricted Submarine Warfare policy by the German navy. Their U-boats attacked US ships (Cargo and civilian vessels) in the Atlantic Ocean.
3. Third Reason: The United States of America was afraid of losing money, they provided Great Britain, France, and other allies as loans.
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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 believed that 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.
Brief Description: 3 Amazing Reasons U.S. Entered WW1
1. Germany’s Plan To Make A Military Alliance With Mexico To Invade The United States
In January 1917, German foreign minister Arthur Zimmermann sent a secret telegram to Mexico.
The telegram contained dangerous propaganda against the United States of America that got leaked in the press.
In the letter, he proposed Mexico for making a military 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 battles of the 19th century.
Germany also assured Mexico that their country would provide them with generous financial support.
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 to the press.
Although the US government still did not fully believe that news.
The US government believed it was a British propagation to draw Americans into the war. Everything got crystal clear in March 1917.
On 29th March 1917, German foreign minister Zimmermann accepted that he sent the telegram to the Mexican government.
Even he rationalized that they were getting obliged to do it, due to the USA’s actions like an enemy.
Later the event significantly pushed the American government & became the very first reason for the U.S. to enter WW1.
[Did You Know? Along With Mexico, Arthur Zimmerman Also Proposed Japan Come To Their Side & Fight Against The United States. However, Japan Already Declared War On Germany & Later Released A Statement That They Were Not Interested In Changing The Side]
2. 2nd Reason, The U.S. Entered WW1 – Germans Attacked On US Ships
In 1915, Germany launched a war policy in the Atlantic, 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 Great Britain oblige to surrender the war.
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 demanded Germany withdraw its 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 they targeted the US vessels).
They destroyed and sunk many of America’s cargo vessels.
These incidents made the US realize, that if soon, they wouldn’t take any further action then this would lead them to heavy economic and other losses.
[Did You Know? HMS Pathfinder Was The First Victim of The Unrestricted Submarine Warfare. HMS Pathfinder Was A British Royal Navy Ship Attacked By A German Submarine On 5th September 1914. Although Germans Were Not Yet Launched It Officially]
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 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 that 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 three main reasons that the U.S. had to enter World War 1’.