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World War 1 Why did America Enter the War With Germany ww1
America Declares Neutrality World War 1
America was reluctant to participate in World War 1, in fact in August 1914, when the war broke out in Europe; President Woodrow Wilson issued a declaration of neutrality. Preferring to remain isolated from the war.
America tried to broker peace between the allies and the axis, the war was in Europe; America did not need to get involved.
American neutrality meant that they could continue their trade and banking agreements with both warring parties.
Woodrow Wilson, America's President became an ambassador of peace and tried to end the war through political means.
Woodrow Wilson officially declared America as neutral on August 4th 1914.
America's neutral stance came to an end in 1917, after a series of events virtualy forced them into the War against Germany.
Sinking The Lusitania WW1
On May 7th 1915, German U-boats, patrolling in the Atlantic Ocean, fired torpedo's at the British passenger ship Lusitania sinking her in 20 minutes.
In January 1917, Germany announced it would destroy all ships heading to Britain.
Although Wilson broke off diplomatic ties with Germany, he still hoped to avert war by arming merchant vessels as a deterrent. Nevertheless, Germany began sinking American ships immediately.
The sinking of the Lusitania killed 1,195 of the 1,959 passengers and staff who were on-board including 123 Americans.
Again just under a year later German U-boats targeted and sunk the ship RMS Sussex which had American citizens on board, this lead Wilson to send an ultimatum to Germany.
"Unless The Imperial Government immediately stop their current methods of submarine warfare against passenger and freight carrying ships, The United States Government will have no choice but to sever diplomatic relations with the German Empire altogether."
With this Ultimatum served,Wilson then set about expanding America's armed forces knowing that his country may soon be at war.
The Ultimatum seemed to work as all Submarine warfare by the Germans was stopped temporaraly.
Wilson's Fight For Peace WW1
Wilson was still determined to broker for peace and after his re-election in 1916, he sent a Telegram to both Britain and to Germany with the simple Question
"What would it take for them to be willing to end the war?"
The British reply to him was simply, " We will only accept peace after a total victory".
The German reply did not answer the question asked.
Wilson still continued his quest for peace despite these answers and believed that the war could be ended through peacful negotiations.
Wilsons 14 Point Plan To Peace WW I
Wilson still believed that there was still a chance of peacful negotiation bringing an end to the hostilities in Europe and he devised a 14 point plan which included, setting up a league of nations so that any further wars in the future could be prevented through political means rather than by bloodshed.
The German Navy put an end to any thoughts of a peace treaty in 1917, when they started attaking and sinking ships again with their submarines.
A telegram sent from Germany to Mexico was intercepted by British agents became the final straw for Wilson and America and war was the only alternative left.
America's hand had been forced.
American Soldiers in the Trenches
The Zimmerman Telegram
In February 1917, British intelligence gave the United States government a decoded telegram from Germany's foreign minister, Arthur Zimmerman, that had been intercepted en route to his ambassador to Mexico.
The Zimmerman Telegram authorized the ambassador to offer Mexico the portions of the Southwest it had lost to the United States in the 1840s if it joined the Central Powers.
However, because Wilson had run for re-election in 1916 on a very popular promise to keep the United States out of the European war, he had to handle the telegram very carefully.
Wilson did not publicize it at first, only releasing the message to the press in March after weeks of German attacks on American ships had turned public sentiment toward joining the Allies.
On 2 April 1917, Wilson asked Congress for a declaration of war and four days later all but six senators and fifty representatives voted for a war resolution.
The Selective Service Act that was passed the following month, along with an extraordinary number of volunteers, built up the army from less than 250,000 to four million over the course of the conflict. General John Pershing was appointed head of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) and led the first troops to France
On April 6th 1917, America declared war on Germany
DURING THE COURSE OF WORLD WAR 1, 116708 AMERICAN SOLDIERS LOST THEIR LIVES AND 204002 WERE WOUNDED