The Zimmermann Telegram (also called the Zimmermann Note) was a telegram sent to Mexico from Germany on January 16, 1917. It was what made America enter World War I. It is named for the German man who sent it, Arthur Zimmermann. Zimmerman was the German Foreign Secretary (took care of things with other countries). Zimmermann sent it to the German ambassador in the United States, Johann von Bernstorff. Bernstorff then sent it to the German ambassador in Mexico, Heinrich von Eckardt.
The telegram told the Mexicans to join the war on the Germans' side in the Central Powers. The telegram told the minister to tell the Mexicans to attack America. Germany promised to give Mexico back all the land the United States had taken from Mexico if they helped the Germans win the war. America took Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona from Mexico. Germany wanted America to enter the war so America would stop helping the enemies of Germany. Germany wanted to get America to go to war with Mexico to distract America.
The British secretly got the telegram. They were able to decode the telegram. They held on to the telegram until February 24, 1917. They gave it to President Woodrow Wilson of the United States of America. President Wilson published (showed the people of the United States) the telegram. The telegram made the American people angry. Wilson asked Congress (makes laws for the United States) for a Declaration of War (permission for war against another country). Congress accepted the request on April 2, 1917. The United States of America announced war on Germany on April 6, 1917. America did not want to join the war. The telegram is what made America come into the war.
They held onto the Telegram until February 24, 1917.
Other websites[change | edit source]
- Failed Diplomacy: the Zimmermann Telegram
- The life and death of Charles Jastrow Mendelsohn and the breaking of the code.