President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war against Germany
Date : 1917-April-02
Country/Region : United States of America (USA)
On April 2, 1917, United States President Woodrow Wilson delivered a speech to Congress and asked them to declare war on Germany. He requested this due to a series of incidents that strained US-German relations during World War I.
At the beginning of the war, the United States maintained a neutrality policy. However, Germany targeted American and other neutral ships through their submarine attacks and it led to increased tensions of the United States. In 1915, the loss of American lives was a result of the sinking of the British ocean liner RMS Lusitania. This incident further affected to US-German relations adversely.
Wilson indicated several justifications for American intervention and emphasized the requirement to make the world "safe for democracy" during his speech. Further, he expressed that Germany's resumption of unrestricted submarine attacks in 1917, which violated international laws was a direct threat to America. In addition to that, Wilson highlighted Germany's attempt to form an alliance with Mexico, known as the Zimmermann Telegram. According to this, if the United States entered the war, Mexico would support Germany. This disclosure further increased public opinion in favor of intervention.
On April 6, 1917, Congress responded to Wilson's speech by passing a resolution to declare war on Germany. The intervention of the United States in World War I marked a significant turning point in world history.
Category : Politics