MEMO #4 – THE SUSSEX PLEDGE
In July of 1915, after the sinking of the British liner Arabic, the United States protested strongly to the German government. The German government agreed not to sink any more liners. However, the Germans broke this promise with the sinking of the French passenger steamer Sussex. The Sussex did not sink, but 80 passengers (including some Americans) were injured or killed. The American government warned the German government that the U.S. would break off diplomatic relations unless Germany changed its policy on unrestricted submarine warfare. The Germans agreed in a statement known as the Sussex Pledge, but they stated that the U.S. must persuade the British to remove their blockade against food and fertilizer. If not, the Germans may reinstate their unrestricted submarine warfare.