Treaty Language Concerning Merchant Ships, Page 2


America's Ambassador to Germany, James Gerard, served in that diplomatic capacity between 1913-1917.  As such, he was in Germany when:

  • Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, were assassinated in Sarajevo in June of 1914;
  • War broke out in Europe during August of 1914;
  • Germany sank the Lusitania in 1915.

Those events, and others, caused Gerard to change his mind on whether Germany would go to war with America.

In February of 1917, the German government requested Gerard to sign a modified version of a 1799 treaty after the two countries severed their diplomatic relations. The changes would impact how Germany and America would deal with each other's merchant ships if hostilities, or war, broke-out between them.

This image depicts a reproduced portion of a page from that revised draft treaty which Gerard had been asked to sign. It is included in My Four Years in Germany, by James W. Gerard.

The Ambassador refused to sign the new treaty on behalf of his country.

Click on the image for a better view.

Media Credits

Document image online, courtesy Brigham Young University.




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