United Stated Declares War On Germany

2325 words - 9 pages

“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 declaration of war, many different opinions arose. Among those opinions, the most blatant voices would be those who supported the war. They (the people who supported the war) believed that the United States should declare war on Germany in order to maintain a safe world for democracy as well as defending the United States’ rights. In his book, Hastedt Glenn recounted the atrocity Germany attempted against the United States by stating, “Germany was trying to coerce Mexico into invading United States, according to the Zimmermann telegram. In return Mexico would receive its lost territories of Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico” (Hastedt). That action alone clearly affirms the violation of United States’ rights as a country. Many people inferred Germany’s action as undemocratic as well as threatening toward the citizens of America. Others looked at Germany in a very negative light as a result of the sinking of Lusitania. In his speech toward Congress, President Wilson regarded the sinking of Lusitania as follow:The sinking of the Lusitania, as well as many other ships, be it neutral or friendly, was...

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