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Zimmerman Telegram


ZIMMERMAN TELEGRAM. Tensions arising from German submarine action during World War I provoked the United States to sever diplomatic relations with Germany on 3 February 1917. On 24February, the British delivered to the U.S. ambassador in London an intercepted German telegram dated 19 January declaring that unrestricted submarine warfare would begin on 1 February. The note, sent by German Foreign Secretary Arthur Zimmerman to the German minister in Mexico, expressed the fear that the United States would abandon neutrality and directed the minister to arrange an alliance between Mexico and Germany and to urge Japan to switch to the German side. Mexico was to attack the United States on its southwestern border and recover Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The publication of the note on 1 March caused popular indignation against Germany and played a significant role in Congress's affirmative response to President Woodrow Wilson's request, on 2 April, for a declaration of war against Germany.


Tuchman, Barbara W. The Zimmermann Telegram. New York: Macmillan, 1966.

Richard E.Yates/c. w.

See alsoGermany, Relations with ; Mexico, Relations with ; Submarines ; World War I, Navy in .

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