Why did the United States go to war? Case I Case II Below are two cases with theories on why the U.S. had entered WWI. After clicking and reading each case with the different point of views, select which case you agree with. Final thoughts
Final Thoughts Now that you have finished reviewing the two cases, draw your own conclusions as to the USA’s motivation in WW1. You can respond in our blog; create your own perspective or just give us your thoughts. Back Home
Case I American View Arthur Zimmermann’s View William Reginald Hall’s View Back Home 1. Click on “Case I” below to read the first theory. Then come back to this page. 2. Click and read each perspective and the bottom of this page corresponding with the theory. 3. Gather your thoughts on each view. Case I
Case I The United States has just recently published news that on January 16, 1917, the British intercepted a telegram that could maybe change the course of history. The telegram was created by Foreign Secretary of Germany, Arthur Zimmermann, and sent to the Ambassador of Mexico, Heinrich von Eckardart. The message informed the Mexican Ambassador that Germany would be resuming the use of unrestricted submarine warfare (USW). Germany proposed that if Mexico would join the war against the United States that they would be given financial support as well as the United States territory of New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona. Germany used USW to sink the ships of their enemies and any ships heading towards their coast in an attempt to starve them of food and leave them without materials. The German use of USW jeopardized United States trade with its allies and also killed Americans. In an agreement with the Sussex Pledge, Germany had promised the United States that they would cease the use of USW to keep United States entry to war unthinkable. Since the United States diplomatic relations with Germany was severe, they were aware of the possibility that the United States would enter the war after Germany would contravene the Sussex Pledge. Germany desires to propose an alliance with Mexico to enable the creation of a Central America and Pacific front to protect themselves from United States forces, hoping that the front would distract the them and help Germany gain victory. Many believed the message to be a forgery made by the British to try and raise the anti-German feelings that are growing in America and cause the United States to join in on helping their loyal British allies during the brutal war. However, on March 29, 1917, Arthur Zimmermann confirmed that the telegram was genuine and that there was no harm in seeking an alliance with Mexico. Will Woodrow Wilson's patience come to an end? Back http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/zimmermann/ http://www.firstworldwar.com/source/zimmermann_speech.htm
Case II Woodrow Wilson’s View Dough Boy’s View Back Home 1. Click on “Case II” below to read the first theory. Then come back to this page. 2. Click and read each perspective and the bottom of this page corresponding with the theory. 3. Gather your thoughts on each view. Case II
Case II "World Safe for Democracy" America stands for freedom and democracy for all. Woodrow Wilson has stated that he is taking us into The War To End All Wars. In his speech to congress, he has said, "The world must be made safe for democracy" and that there is no place in the world for "selfish, autocratic power." America is called upon to defend democracy for the world. Austria-Hungary maintains its monarchy. The Ottoman Empire is an autocracy. Germany is a militaristic autocracy. Kaiser Wilhelm II has been quoted saying, " this war is the vindication of monarchy and autocracy over democracy." When Germany battled the democratic France, they began the war between democracy and monarchy. With these organized powers there is no safety for democracy in the world. Back Wilson’s speech to Congress- http://www.firstworldwar.com/source/usawardeclaration.htm http://www.johndclare.net/causes_WWI2_countries.htm
An A m e r i c a n View William Reginald Hall’s View Arthur Zimmermann’s View Back to Case I Back Home It was March 1, 1917. I was on my way to work, walking down East Broad Street and stopping at the newspaper stand for my newspaper. Calls from the vendors mentioned news on Germany that i hoped was not true. I purchased the New York Times and was in awe when I read the top story. Germany planned on resuming the use of USW. The same USW that killed many including Americans. Also, just for their own protection they wanted Mexico to make an alliance against us so they would not have to face our unstoppable forces. Could it be that the British made a fake just to bring us into war? No it could not be, they would never stoop down that low. Germany is just scared because they know us Americans would see victory. This news angered me. Germany has deceived us once again. They betrayed us and we need to get our revenge. We can not just sit there and be neutral in a war that we have become so involved with. The United States is helping their allies and now we are receiving threats from the traitors. It was the news of the day. In work us men only spoke of what we heard today. Germany is a threat to the United States, and we can not afford that. Its impact was so big on us that every one of our opinions of war have changed, and we are now ready.
Arthur Zimmermann American View William Reginald Hall’s View Back to Case I Back Home I cannot believe that telegram was intercepted. The Allies must have tapped into our peace networks, the dirty dogs! Scheiße! This is so embarrassing. Germany has been publicly humiliated in the middle of the greatest war we have ever seen and it's all my fault. My only choice is to admit that I sent it. What's the worst that can happen? Perhaps after this war I will just retire from Forgein Secretary and live the rest of my life out quietly. Just imagine if the telegram had gotten to Eckardart. The United States would have delayed coming into the war just that much more and we would have Mexico and Japan on our side. Mexico would revolt against the tyranny of the United States and the US would be so distracted they would not be able to focus on what is going on in Europe and would just stay at home. They would not be involved in this war, or at least not very, and the Allies would be defeated. If only, if only...
William Reginald Hall’s View Arthur Zimmermann’s View American View Back to Case I Back Home To The President of The United States of America, My name is William Reginald Hall and I am the Director of Naval Intelligence for the British navy. I bring you the most urgent of news. At 0800 hours yesterday, our code breaking team intercepted a German telegram heading for Mexico. It was sent by the German Foreign Secretary Arthur Zimmerman to the German ambassador in Mexico Heinrich Von Eckardt. The telegram consisted of a proposal by Germany to align itself with Mexico against the United States. In return for a Mexican alliance, the Germans also stated that Mexico shall regain lands lost to the united states such as Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico. What fools to think they could outsmart us like this. The telegram also mentions talk about the German navy resuming unrestricted submarine warfare. We trust your judgment on how to deal with these situations presented in this letter. A physical copy of the actual telegram will be sent to you shortly. Sincerely, William Reginald Hall British Naval Intelligence
Woodrow Wilson’ View Dough Boy’s View Back to Case II Back Home To Thomas R. Marshal, Vice President I wanted you to be fully aware of my policies regarding this Great War. As you are already aware of, it is our job to protect our nation and keep the United States of America out of the war for as long as possible, and maybe even totally. I have tried to make diplomatic strides towards peace between the allies and the central powers but they have refused to take me seriously. We will continue to support our friends Great Britain and France, however, we have trouble brewing. We need to discuss what to do about the Germans use of the U-boat and their unrestricted, submarine warfare. If our merchant ships keep being attacked, we may have no choice but to enter the war alongside the allies. Please let me know of your ideas or proposals. Sincerely, Woodrow Wilson
Dough Boy’s View Woodrow Wilson’s View Back to Case II Back Home June 18, 1917 I had signed up with the Local Draft Board in Swarthmore, PA yesterday. They gave me the card with the number 4327. I'll just wait it out, see when they call my number, enlist me into the service. I cannot lie, I am nervous. I will be gone from home, with at least two years time to be wounded or killed. But still, it is exciting. Maybe I will be a hero and have a parade when i get back. September 21, 1917 I've been reading the newspapers, scanning for the list of numbers, each day. Finally, stamped in ink by the War Department was the number 4327. 4327. It is time to serve my country. I got on the train with all the other drafted folks. We rode to Maryland, getting more and more gung-ho as we went. When they finally let us out we were shouting...its was like a college football game. It's nice to be a part of something so big. They gave us our uniforms, white belt and all. Right away some of the guys got out a wad of dough to start polishing the belts. It's wonderful knowing that I am going to be a hero, that I am going to saving the poor German citizens from their awful government. A government that forces a war on them. We are so lucky to be American, and to have the chance to bring our way of life to those in need. They have no freedom and no say. Now their governments are trying to take over Europe. It's just not right, and we're going to stop it. President Wilson is right. We need to make the world safe for democracy. The Central Powers are not going to allow democracy or the free world to survive if they win this war. I am more than proud, more than ready to protect freedom from those that would destroy it. Long live the red, white and blue!