Causes of US Entry into World War I

  • Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

    In the summer of 1914, a Serb patriot killed the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, Franz Ferdinand, in Serajevo. The Vienna government (backed by Germany) aroused by such kind of act, presented a stern ultimatum to Serbia (backed by Russia). World War I began.
  • World War I begins and US reaction

    World War I began after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Two main forces in the war were the Allies ( France, Great Britain, Russia) and the Central Powers ( Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Turkish Ottoman Empire). President Wilson of the US called on Americans to be "neutral in thought as well as deed" at the outset.
  • Sinking of the Lusitania

    On May 7, 1915, the submarine of Germany sank the British passenger liner Lusitania off the coast of Ireland, which lead to the death of 1198 lives, including 128 Americans.
  • Arabic Pledge

    The British liner, the Arabic, was sunk in August 1915, with the loss of 2 American lives. Germany reluctantly agreed not to sink unarmed and unresisting passenger ships without warning after President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, threatened to fight a war with Germany if they continue such action.
  • Pancho Villa raids New Mexico

    Hoping to provoke a war between Wilson and Carranza, Villa and his followers blazed across the border into Columbus, New Mexico, and murdered 19 Americans on March 9, 1916
  • Sussex Pledge

    After the Germans torpedoed a French passenger steamer, the Sussex, president Wilson aroused and threatened to break diplomatic relations with Germany. The Germany then agreed no to sink passenger ships and merchant vessels without giving warning. In return, the US would have to persuade the Allies to modify the navy blockade.
  • "He kept us out of war"

    Wilson's campaign slogan in the presidential election in 1916, which announced to the citizens that America would not join war in the Europe.
  • Resumtion of unrestricted submarine warfare

    On January 31, 1917, Germany officially announced to the world their decision to wage unrestricted submarine warfare, sinking all ships, including America's, in the war zone. This act made the US one step closer to entering the war.
  • Russian Revolution

    In 1917, Bolshevik overthrow the cruel regime of the tsars. America now could fight on the side of the Allies, without the black sheep of Russian despotism in the Allied fold.
  • Zimmermann Note

    German foreign secretary Arthur Zimmermann had secretly proposed a German - Mexican alliance, tempting Anti Yankee Mexico with veiled promises of recovering Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. This message helped draw the United States into the war and thus changed the course of history.