Why the US Became 

Involved in WW1

Notes for an Essay Example





The United States became involved in more war one for two main reasons. The Zimmerman telegram and unrestricted submarine warfare by Germany.

    The Germans were desperate by 1917 in renewed U-boat warfare in an attempt to cut off trade to Britain.

he Telegram was not an isolated case of German-Mexican collaboration, for Germany had long sought to incite a war between Mexico and the U.S., which would have tied down American forces and slowed the export of American arms to the Allieshe Zimmermann Telegram was a coded message sent from German Foreign Minister Arthur Zimmermann to Germany's ambassador in Mexico, Heinrich von Eckhardt, in January 1917. The British managed to intercept this coded message and were able to decipher it. The Zimmerman telegram was published in the United States on March 1, 1917. It was a coded telegram asking Mexico to join Germany's side on World War I and Germany promised that if they join them that they would get their lost and back from the United States. Here is what they lost to the United States: New Mexico, Arizona and Texas. The zimmerman Telegram was the last straw for the United State and on April 6, 1917 the United States declared war on Germany.

Within this secret message, Zimmermann revealed Germany's plan to restart unrestricted submarine warfare as well as offered Mexico territory from the United States if Mexico were to declare war on the United States.

When the British shared the contents of the Zimmermann Telegram with the United States, the American public was outraged. Instead of World War I being contained to Europe, which seemed far away, the American public now felt the war was being brought to their own land.

The Zimmermann Telegram helped change public opinion in the United States away from isolationism and toward joining World War I with the Allies.

jh"By 1917, the Germans needed to take desperate action to stave off defeat. By renewing U-boat warfare in an attempt to cut off trade to Britain and by trying to get Mexico to declare war on the United States, Germany drew the United States into the war on the side of the Allies. War was declared on April 2. " 

- germany needed to stop supplies to britain by unrestricted submarine attacks, but was aware that this would force america to enter the war , hence germany offered land to mexico in return for mexican support (in the event america declared war) 

the united states became involved in WW1 for three main reasons 

1. unrestricted submarine warfare .... american ships were being sunk by the germans despite their neutrality 
(when the luisitania was sunk there was a huge public outcry) 

2. the americans had loaned vast sums of cash to britian and france, and unless they won the war ... america wasnt going to get the money back
3. the zimmerman telegram ... promising mexico all the territories lost to america in return for assisting in the war (texas, arizona etc) (this was the final thing that pushed america into the war) 

mixed with propoganda about the horrors of war crimes in belgium , the american public by 1917 were eager to be involved 

in my opinion america was justified in getting involved, as the central powers (germany , austria, bulgaria, turkey) were the war mongers who started the war ... and had no respect for neutrality (they attacked belgium without warning , they sunk merchant ships despite being neutral)


1. Why did the U.S. enter the war?

         British is one of America's closest trading partner

         The U.S supported the british by sending them money

         On january 1917 Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare

         A German U-boat attacked the Liner Lusitania which had 128 americans aboard

         Germany promised not to attack passenger ships anymore

2. On whose side were they on and why?

         U.S was neutral but supported their allies (The Allied Powers)

         The Allied Powers is British, U.S, Russian, French

         U.S was in the war from April 6, 1917 till the war end on november 11, 1918

         They sent 4 mil. military personnel and only suffered 110,000 deaths

3. How did submarines play into it?

         The submarines primary targets where merchant convoys that bring supplies for war effort

         From 1914 to 1918 German U-boats sank about 5000 boats

         Each country wanted to blockade them in the water

         The German empire relied on imports for food and raw materials

         The British declared  the whole north sea a war zone and could fire upon any boatTo protect national security, avoid foreign entanglements, encourage international trade

Britain was one of America's closest trading partners. In January 1917 Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare. A German U-boat sank the British liner Lusitania 1915 with 128 Americans on board. Germany promised not to do this to passenger ships anymore and the U.S  stayed neutral for a while. The U.S help the british by sending them money to them.


The United States was a formal participant in World War I from April 6, 1917 until the war's end on November 11, 1918. Before entering the war, the US had remained neutral, though the US had been an important supplier to Britain and other Allied powers. During the war, the US mobilized over 4,000,000 military personnel and suffered 110,000 deaths


effectively used in economic warfare by enforcing naval blockade against enemy ships and shipping lanes. The primary targets of the U-boat campaigns in World War I were merchant convoys bringing in supplies for the war effort. From 1914 to 1918 German U boats sunk almost 5000 ships. The German Empire relied on imports for food and the United Kingdom relied on imports to feed its population. Both required raw materials to supply their war industry. The British had ships which were superior in numbers and can operate throughout the world's waters. The British declared the entire North Sea a war zone and said that any boat passing through it they could fire upon.


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