To the extent possible under law, National Archives Education Team has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to " The Zimmermann Telegram ". Created by the National Archives. Bookmark this Activity in My Activities:. Copy this Activity to My Activities for editing:.
|Published (Last):||25 October 2004|
|PDF File Size:||13.74 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||11.33 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
To the extent possible under law, National Archives Education Team has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to " The Zimmermann Telegram ". Created by the National Archives. Bookmark this Activity in My Activities:. Copy this Activity to My Activities for editing:. In this activity, students will analyze the Zimmermann telegram to determine if the United States should have entered World War I based on the telegram's information and implications.
Suggested Teaching Instructions This activity can be used during a unit on U. For grades , working individually or in small groups, with breaks for class discussion. Approximate time needed is 30 minutes. Ask students begin the activity and look at the first two documents: the encoded Zimmermann Telegram and the partial Decode Worksheet.
How do the two documents relate to each other? Discuss their findings. On the encoded telegram, students may notice the series of numbers, a specific date, the places Mexico City and Galveston, and the terms German Legation and German Embassy.
On the decode worksheet, students may notice that numbers are associated with specific terms, that many of the terms are in another language specifically German , and that the places Mexico, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona are noted. You may share with students that in January of , British codebreakers deciphered a telegram from German Foreign Minister Arthur Zimmermann to the German Minister to Mexico, Heinrich von Eckhardt; this is known as the Zimmermann telegram.
After the class discussion, direct students to read the next document: the decoded telegram. Students will be asked to identify the author, audience, and purpose. You may share with students that, in the message, Arthur Zimmermann, the Foreign Secretary of the German Empire, informed the Mexican government that Germany was going to resume unrestricted submarine warfare. Zimmermann also invited Mexico to join the war on Germany's side if the United States did not stay neutral, in an effort to regain Mexico's lost territory of Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico.
Why or why not? Share with students that, in an effort to protect their intelligence from detection and to capitalize on growing anti-German sentiment in the United States, the British waited until February 24 to present the telegram to Woodrow Wilson.
The American press published news of the telegram on March 1. Follow us on Twitter:. Follow us on Facebook:. Share this site:. View our webinars:. Get our iPad app:. New Documents. New Activities. The National Archives. DocsTeach is a product of the National Archives education division.
Our mission is to engage, educate, and inspire all learners to discover and explore the records of the American people preserved by the National Archives. The National Archives and Records Administration is the nation's record keeper. We save documents and other materials created in the course of business conducted by the U.
Federal government that are judged to have continuing value. We hold in trust for the public the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights — but also the records of ordinary citizens — at our locations around the country.
Primary source documents included on this site generally come from the holdings of the National Archives and are in the public domain, except as noted. Teaching activities on this site have received the CC0 Public Domain Dedication ; authors have waived all copyright and related rights to the extent possible under the law. See our legal and privacy page for full terms and conditions.
The Zimmermann Telegram
The telegram was intercepted and decoded by British intelligence. Revelation of the contents enraged Americans, especially after German Foreign Secretary Arthur Zimmermann publicly admitted on March 3 that the telegram was genuine, helping to generate support for the United States' declaration of war on Germany in April. The message was sent to the German ambassador to Mexico, Heinrich von Eckardt. The telegram instructed 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. 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.
Why was the Zimmermann Telegram so important?