Wilson insisted that "America is too proud to fight," yet succeeded in getting Germany to suspend submarine warfare until January, 1917. The final straw was actually the "Zimmerman telegram" of 1917, intercepted by Great Britain and passed along to the U.S. government, in which the German foreign minister invited Mexico to declare war on the U.S. with the promise of receiving Texas, Arizona and New Mexico after the war. The U.S. entered the war in April, 1917.
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|Rollin Kirby cartoon in the New York World|
showing Kaiser Wilhelm applauding
William Jennings Bryan.
He had made serious attempts to negotiate treaties with the belligerent nations of Europe, failing in his efforts with Germany. He foresaw that the European powers were more likely to wear themselves out than to achieve total victory, "and if either side does win such a victory it will probably mean preparation for another war."
After Germany sunk the Lusitania, Bryan objected to the Wilson administration's increasing tilt toward the Allied powers -- Wilson's insistence that Germany stop u-boat attacks was not balanced by any demand that Great Britain lift its naval blockade against Germany. In June, Bryan resigned from the cabinet, sniffing, "[W]hy be so shocked by the drowning of a few people, if there is to be no objection to starving a nation?"