The Zimmermann Telegraph In January 1917

The Zimmermann Telegraph
In January 1917, the German Foreign Office published a secret diplomatic communication, known as the Zimmermann Telegraph, which projected a military alliance between Germany and Mexico. The Zimmermann Telegraph was issued right after the United States entered World War I against Germany. The telegraph offered United States territory to Mexico since they joined the war for the German cause. Heinrich von Eckardt, the German ambassador in Mexico, received the Zimmerman Telegraph. The telegraph was sent out by Arthur Zimmerman.
Americans found the telegraph so threatening because the Germans were offering significant financial aid to Mexico, who needed it, if they joined the Germans in the war against America. If Mexico proposed an alliance, they would be offered the US territory of Texas, Arizona and New Mexico. The reason for the war against Germany and the United States was because Germany re-established its policy of unrestricted submarine warfare that was deserted in 1915. All ships trading with Britain, which included the United States, would be targets for their submarines and would be sunk without warning (EWTH). The Zimmermann telegraph is so important to the history of World War I because it made Woodrow Wilson, the President of the United States, reverse his position on “American involvement in the European conflict and commit the United States to the war against Germany,” (Enotes). After British Government’s intelligence services intercepted and decoded the Zimmermann telegraph, they immediately sent it to President Wilson. President Wilson was shocked when he found out, and the next day suggested to Congress that the United States should start arming their ships. He also approved for the State Department to publish the news in the paper. When people saw this, they claimed it was fake news. However two days later, Arthur Zimmermann announced the truth. When entering World War I, President Wilson planned on fighting a peaceful war with Germany. But after receiving the telegraph, he knew there was no way a peaceful war was the way to go.

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