At first, President Wilson refused to intervene with the war in Mexico. But after a small party of American sailors was accidentally captured by the Mexicans, Wilson ordered the navy to seize the Mexican port of Vera Cruz.
Venustiano Carranza became the president of Mexico. Francisco Villa, rival to President Carranza, attempted to provoke a war between Mexico and the U.S by killing Americans. Wilson, rather, ordered General John J. Perishing to break up Villa's band of outlaws. The invading American army was withdrawn from Mexico in 1917 as the threat of war with Germany loomed.