At the start of the war, President Wilson had declared the neutrality of the United States. Most Americans opposed USinvolvement in the European war, but the sinking of the Lusitania and other actions made by Germany, American citizens drew America sympathies to the Allies.
German military leaders believed that they could still win the war by cutting off British supplies. They expected their U-boats to starve Britain into surrendering within a few months, longer before the US had fully prepared for war.Germany’s government had announced it was its purpose to put aside all restraints of law or of humanity and use its submarines to sink every vessel that sought to approach either the ports of Great Britain and Ireland or the western coasts of Europe or any of the ports controlled by the enemies of Germany within the Mediterranean.The new policy has swept every restriction aside. Vessels of every kind, whatever their flag, their character, their cargo, their destination, their errand, had been ruthlessly terminated without warning and without help or mercy for those on board, the vessels of friendly neutrals along with those of nations against them, even hospital ships and ships carrying relief to the people of Belgium
It is a war against all nations.American ships had been sunk, American lives taken, and the ships and people of other neutral and friendly nations had been sunk and overwhelmed in the waters in the same way.There has been no discrimination.The U.S. thought that it would suffice to assert their neutral rights with arms, which turned out to be a useless attempt.This is one reason the U.S. decided to go to war.
Tension between the US and Germany increased after the British intercepted and decoded a message from Germany’s minister, Arthur Zimmermann, the German ambassador to Mexico. This message was known as the “Zimmermann note”. It revealed a German plot to persuade Mexico to go to war against the Unit…