Why did the USA join the War?

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The 'Special Relationship'

England was a major trading partner with America, significantly more Germany, it made sence to side with them

England had cut communications between America and Germany, thus only telling America what they wanted to hear

Woodrow Wilson's mum was English

Trade with Britain and France rose from $753 million- $2.75 billion- 1914-1916. Trade with Germany dropped $345 million- $29 million- mainly due to Britain's navy blockade

American banks loans to allies $2.3 billion but Germany only recieved $27 million

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Zimmermann Telegram

Germany want peace with Mexico, they wanted to form an alliance, in which Mexico would be able to get back lost territory in New Mexico, Texas and Arizona

The coded message was sent via washington's communication lines which annoyed many

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Unrestricted Submarine Warfare

Traditional rules of submarine warfare meant that any submarine would have to surface in order to check whether it was a merchant ship or not 

However Germany went against this shotting anything that got in the way of the submarines with no care for safety

This angered many Americans as, as a result many American civilians became the causulties of these attacks 

Americans where no longer safe at sea

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Lusitania

This is a particular case where unrestricked submarine warfare affected the American people

This boat was sunk by a German submarine attack in which 128 Americans died

This boat was a passanger ship not a merchant ship, and was targeted without care 

This fuelled Republicans anger toward Germany, in that they wanted to go to war with them. Key Republican at the time was Roosevelt

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Conclusion

1920-30's- Argued USA joined the War for economic reasons, in that they were protecting their own interests of their economy.

1945- Believed that the USA joined the war for ideological reasons in that the victory of Germany would undermine liberal democracy.

It was also for a strategic benefit in that it would prevent a German- Mexican Alliance

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