United Stated Declares War on Germany

Essay by coralineHigh School, 12th grade October 2009

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“Property can be paid for; the lives of peaceful and innocent people cannot be. The present German submarine warfare against commerce is warfare against mankind” (Wilson, War Address to Congress). Following that statement, the president of United States, Woodrow Wilson, officially addressed the Congress to declare war on the German Empire in April 2, 1917. His reason for the war, according to Wilson, was to “make the world safe for democracy” (Ferrell). Historically speaking, United States called for a declaration of war against Germany as a result of a series of atrocities Germany had taken against the United States. Two particular causes that greatly contributed to this decision were the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915 (causing the deaths of approximately 150 American citizens) and the Zimmermann telegram.

The Zimmermann telegram could be argued as the main cause which drove the United States to the war against Germany. Basically, the Zimmermann telegram was a conspiracy between Germany and Mexico in an attempt to seize lands from the United States.

Zimmermann proposed that in the event of hostility between Germany and the United States, Germany and Mexico would join in an alliance. In turn, Germany would provide the funding for Mexico to take back its lost territories of Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico (Ferrell). This action ignited the already growing tension between Germany and United States. No longer tolerable, the United States had no choice but to declare war. The United States’ declaration of war against Germany during World War I still remains as a debated topic up to date; the topic itself generated many different perspectives on the issue, particularly those who supported the causes of the war and those who were against the war, as well as the public’s opinion of the time.

As a result of the...