Zimmerman Telegram: What Was The Zimmerman
Telegram, and How Did It Affect World War One?
Zimmerman Telegram was an important piece of America's decision to
enter World War One. After
having remained neutral
in the war for nearly three years, several events in 1916 and early
1917 occurred which brought America into the war against
previously engaged in unrestricted submarine warfare on the British,
where the Germans declared they would sink any ship in or near
British waters without warning. This
included not just British and other allied shipping, but even ships
from neutral nations, such as the United States. Several instances of
German subs sinking neutral civilian ships and British civilian
ships, such the William P. Frye, an American merchant ship in
1915, the British cruise ship Lusitania in 1915, and the
French ship Sussex in early 1916.
1916, Germany agreed to halt the practice of unrestricted submarine
warfare (attacking ships without warning) in order to prevent
possible American entry into the war. By early 1917, however, the
British naval blockade of Germany (which the United States honored),
was causing severe hardship to the German economy, prompting the
Germans to renew their all-out naval attacks on the British, in an
attempt to force Britain to sue for peace.
fearing the effect of antagonizing the Americans and their likely
entry into the war on the side of Britain and France, Germany decided
to make an offer to Mexico. This
offer was sent to the German ambassador to Mexico by the German
Foreign Minister, Arthur Zimmerman.
In the so-called Zimmerman Telegram, Germany proposed an
alliance between Germany and Mexico in the event of American entry
into the war. Germany promised financial
aid to Mexico and support in a Mexican war to re-conquer the
territory lost in the first Mexican-American
The telegram also asked Mexico to help negotiate peace between
Germany and Japan in order to bring the Japanese also into the war
against America and Britain.
intercepted the coded message and presented the decoded letter to
American President Woodrow Wilson on February 24, 1917. The contents of the telegram
were released to the American press on March 1, and the reaction
among the American populace was predictable.
Combined with the resumption of Germany's unrestricted
submarine warfare on February 1, 1917, President
Wilson asked Congress for a declaration of war on Germany on April 2,
voted for war, and the U.S. declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917,
entering World War One.
the contents of the Zimmerman Telegram are several questions:
Germans admit that the Telegram was genuine?
Or did they claim it was "fake news?"
29, 1917, Zimmerman publicly admitted that he did indeed send the
telegram to his ambassador in Mexico, defending his action as a
logical precaution in the event of American entry into the war. Until his confirmation, many
in the U.S. doubted the authenticity of the letter.
Mexico consider declaring war on the United States based on the
answer is NO. Mexico
was in the middle of one of the bloodiest civil wars
in all of history
at the time, and the government of President Carranza knew Mexico could not win against America,
especially since Mexico had been unable to effectively prevent
American occupation of the port city of Vera Cruz by the U.S. in
1914, and also had been unable to stop the American Army under
General John Pershing from entering northern Mexico in 1916 in
pursuit of Mexican rebel leader Pancho
Japan mentioned in the Zimmerman Telegram and what was the Japanese
had entered the war against Germany on Britain's side in 1914,
primarily to gain control of German colonies among islands in the
Pacific Ocean and on mainland China.
The Zimmerman Telegram instructed the German minister in
Mexico to ask the Mexican president to act as an intermediary between
Germany and Japan to bring Japan into the theoretical war with the
United States. Japan
later released a statement that they were not interested.
is the transcription of the infamous, and very ill-advised Zimmerman
of Zimmermann Telegram (1917)
message text of the Zimmermann Telegram)
from London # 5747.
to begin on the first of February unrestricted submarine warfare. We
shall endeavor in spite of this to keep the United States of America
neutral. In the event of this not succeeding, we make Mexico a
proposal or alliance on the following basis: make war together, make
peace together, generous financial support and an understanding on
our part that Mexico is to reconquer the
lost territory in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The settlement in
detail is left to you. You will inform the President of the above
most secretly as soon as the outbreak of war with the United States
of America is certain and add the suggestion that he should, on his
own initiative, invite Japan to immediate adherence and at the same
time mediate between Japan and ourselves. Please call the President's
attention to the fact that the ruthless employment of our submarines
now offers the prospect of compelling England in a few months to make
peace." Signed, ZIMMERMANN
on the Zimmerman Telegram
for Images: Zimmermann Telegram, 1917; Decimal File,
1910-1929, 862.20212/82A (1910-1929), and Decoded Zimmermann
Telegram, 1917; Decimal File, 1910-1929, 862.20212/69, General
Records of the Department of State; Record Group 59; National
Zimmerman Telegram, by Barbara
Merchant Ships, Sailing Vessels, and Fishing Craft Lost from all
Causes during World War I
Documents - Arthur Zimmermann on the Zimmermann Telegram, 29