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Sovereignty at SeaU.S. Merchant Ships and American Entry into World War I$
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Rodney Carlisle

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813037622

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813037622.001.0001

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A Telegram, Algonquin, and an Abdication

A Telegram, Algonquin, and an Abdication

(p.91) 7 A Telegram, Algonquin, and an Abdication
Sovereignty at Sea

Rodney Carlisle

University Press of Florida

This chapter details the history of the Zimmermann Telegram, and shows that while it caused much political editorializing and may have aroused those who had previously been strong neutralists to anger against Germany, it did not change the mind of Woodrow Wilson or his cabinet, and was not a casus belli, either in the narrow legal sense, nor in the broader historical one. The loss of the Algonquin is discussed, and the fact that it had just been transferred from British registry meant that it was not a clear act of war against the United States. Meanwhile, in Russia, the Tsar abdicated, and Americans perceived the revolution there as establishing a democratic form of government. Wilson asked Congress to enact a policy to arm merchant ships, which died in the Senate in a filibuster.

Keywords:   Zimmermann Telegram, Algonquin, Woodrow Wilson, Tsar, Casus belli, Armed ship bill, Filibuster, Senate

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