In 1917, Wilhelm II, Emperor of Germany, wrote to Mexican President Venustiano Carranza, secretly offering to declare war on the United States in exchange for a large sum of money. This offer, and a growing need for oil supplies, would cause the United States, and subsequently the United Kingdom, to intervene directly in the history of Mexico, deposing the president in office to appoint a Head of State of their choice. The film explains how and why Mexico became the world’s second-largest producer of crude oil in the early twentieth century. It also takes a comparative look at the Mexican and Russian revolutions. This instalment is the first episode in the series Oil, 100 Years of History. It illustrates the subtle links between vital economic development of a country and the struggle for national sovereignty.