America's Entry Into World War 1

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America’s Entry Into World War 1

At the beginning of 1917, Woodrow Wilson made one last moving speech, asking the fighting powers to come to the peace table. Subsequently, the Germans made a huge tactical decision. Figuring that it would take the United States longer to get to France than it would take Germany to win the war with full submarine warfare, the Germans announced that all bets were off. Not only were they blockaded, the also intended to blockade Britain by sinking any ship that was headed that way. Then, the Germans made yet another bold move. They sent a note called the Zimmermann telegraph to Mexico, inviting them to invade the United States with the help of Japan. However, the Mexicans knew that this plan would never work. Britain, who had been reading through diplomatic mail from other countries that passed through their islands along the transatlantic cable, intercepted the telegram and excitedly showed it to the United States. With Germany already sinking ships, the telegram was the final straw-the U.S declared war on Germany.

The British ocean liner RMS Lusitania primarily ferried people and goods across the Atlantic Ocean between the United States and Great Britain. On May 1, 1915, the Lusitania left port in New York for Liverpool to make her 202nd trip across the Atlantic. On board were 1,959 people-159 of who were American citizens. Since the outbreak of World War I, ocean voyage had become dangerous. Each side hoped to blockade the other, thus prevent any war materials getting through. German U-boats, also known as submarines, stalked British waters, continually looking for enemy vessels to sink. All ships headed to Great Britain were instructed to be on the lookout for U-boats and take precautionary measures, such as travel at full speed and make zigzag movements. Unfortunately, on May 7, 1915, Captain William Thomas Turner slowed the Lusitania down because of fog and traveled in a predictable line. Neither the captain, nor the...
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