What if One Country Controlled the Internet?

America was starkly isolationist during Woodrow Wilson's first term as President.  Many people campaigned passionately that America's place was not at the forefront of a European war. Even as war broke out, Americans were sharply divided on America's role in world affairs.  Factions emerged embracing isolationism to varying degrees. This factionalism would rear its head immediately after the war as America's role in world affairs became the subject of intense debate and political battling.


This intercepted note spells out Germany's offer to assist Mexico in recapturing its lost territories of New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas if America entered the war. A mere collection of numbers without proper uncoding and translation, the message of the telegram brought about America's involvement in the war. Britain's control of the international cable, by cutting those belonging to other countries, meant they had a stronghold on communication and could tap into messages whose release would shape the world.


Why This Pushed Isolationist America Into War 

  • Why didn't Wilson ask Congress to declare war earlier, say, when the Lusitania was sunk? 
  • Given the essence of the Zimmerman Telegram, what about it pushed America over the threshold? Why was this the final straw?
  • How did the message get to President Wilson?  How was it transmitted?
  • What was public opinion like immediately after war was declared?