This article is for quizzes on Thursday January 5th...

The Zimmermann Telegram (or Zimmermann Note) was an internal diplomatic communication issued from the German Foreign Office in January 1917 that proposed a military alliance between Germany and Mexico in the event of the United States' entering World War I against Germany. The proposal was intercepted and decoded by British intelligence. Revelation of the contents enraged American public opinion, especially after the German Foreign Secretary Arthur Zimmermann publicly admitted the telegram was genuine on 3 March, and helped generate support for the United States declaration of war on Germany in April.
The message came in the form of a coded telegram dispatched by the Foreign Secretary of the German Empire, Arthur Zimmermann, on 11 January 1917. The message was sent to the German ambassador to Mexico, Heinrich von Eckardt. Zimmermann sent the telegram in anticipation of the resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare by Germany on 1 February, an act the German government presumed would almost certainly lead to war with the United States. The telegram instructed Ambassador Eckardt that if the United States appeared certain to enter the war, he was to approach the Mexican Government with a proposal for military alliance with funding from Germany.
The decoded telegram is as follows:
"We intend to begin on the first of February unrestricted submarine warfare. We shall endeavor in spite of this to keep the United States of America neutral. In the event of this not succeeding, we make Mexico a proposal of alliance on the following basis: make war together, make peace together, generous financial support and an understanding on our part that Mexico is to reconquer the lost territory in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The settlement in detail is left to you. You will inform the President of the above most secretly as soon as the outbreak of war with the United States of America is certain and add the suggestion that he should, on his own initiative, invite Japan to immediate adherence and at the same time mediate between Japan and ourselves. Please call the President's attention to the fact that the ruthless employment of our submarines now offers the prospect of compelling England in a few months to make peace." Signed, ZIMMERMANN
The Zimmermann Telegram was part of an effort carried out by the Germans to postpone the transportation of supplies and other war materials from the United States to the Allies of World War I that were at war with Germany. The main purpose of the telegram was to make the Mexican government declare war on the United States in hopes of tying down American forces and slowing the export of American arms. The German High Command believed they would be able to defeat the British and French on the Western Front and strangle Britain with unrestricted submarine warfare before American forces could be trained and shipped to Europe in sufficient numbers to aid the Allies. The Germans were encouraged by their successes on the Eastern Front into believing that they would be able to divert large numbers of troops to the Western Front in support of their goals.

Mexican President Venustiano Carranza assigned a military commission to assess the feasibility of the Mexican takeover of their former territories contemplated by Germany. The general concluded that it would be neither possible nor even desirable to attempt such an enterprise

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