United States Enters the Great War

American Empire

North America 1917.0406

United States Enters the Great War

The Spanish-American War, the Banana Wars, the Mexican Revolution, World War I and the Great Depression (6 April 1917)

Historical Map of North America & the Caribbean

While the US was embroiled in Latin America, the Great War had erupted across Europe, pitting the German-led Central Powers against France, Britain and Russia and their allies. At first the US was neutral, but gradually it came to see Germany as the greater threat. Germany's 1917 announcement of unrestricted submarine warfare in an attempt to starve Britain into surrender further aggravated its relations with the US and, when German plans to incite a war between Mexico and the US were uncovered, America declared war.

Main Events

US invades Dominican Republic

United States intervenes in Dominican Republic to overthrow recent coup-leader Desiderio Arias and maintain order

US buys Danish West Indies

United States and Denmark negotiate Treaty of the Danish West Indies, resulting in the US purchasing the islands (to become the US Virgin Islands)

Germany announces resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare

Zimmermann Telegram made public in United States

February Revolution

Mass demonstrations break out in Petrograd, capital of the Russian Empire, in March (late February in the Julian calendar) in response to economic and social problems, compounded by the strain of World War I. After a few days, the mutinous Russian Army sides with the revolutionaries, forcing Tsar Nicholas II to abdicate in favor of a Provisional Government under Prince Georgy Lvov.

US declaration of war on Germany

The United States Congress declares war upon the German Empire; on April 2, President Woodrow Wilson had asked a special joint session of Congress for this declaration. The resolution passes 82 to 6 in the Senate and 373 to 50 in the House.

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