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World War I 11th Grade

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Text of World War I 11th Grade

  • 1.World War I 1914-1918

2. Woodrow Wilsons Diplomacy

  • Woodrow Wilson had been elected in 1912 and opposed imperialism.
  • The US interfered in Mexico because of a revolution that forced Porfirio Diaz to flee the country.
  • Francisco Madero was the new leader. However, he was a weak administrator andGeneral Victoriano Huerta took over.
  • Wilson sent marines to seize the port of Veracruz and overthrow Huerta.
  • Anti-American riots broke out.
  • International mediation placed Venustiano Caranza as Mexicos new president.
  • Mexican forces, led by Pancho Villa, were opposed to Caranza and conducted raids into the US. General Pershing was sent to Mexico to capture Villa but was unsuccessful.
  • Wilsons Mexican policy damaged US foreign relations.

3. The Outbreak of World War I

  • The roots of WWI can be traced back to 1860, when Prussia began a series of wars in order to unite German states.
  • By 1871 Germany was united and the new nation changed European politics.
  • France and Germany were long time enemies and therefore, Germany formed the Triple-Alliance with Austria-Hungary and Italy.
  • In response to this, France formed the Franco-Russian Alliance against Austria-Hungary and Germany.
  • Great Britain remained neutral until the early 1900s, when it began an arms race with Germany. This increased tensions between the two countries, causing the British to gain closer relations with France and Russia.

4. The Balkans A Powder-Keg

  • Nationalism, was a powerful idea in Europe in the late 1800s. Self-determination was a basic idea of nationalism. This idea led to a crisis in the Balkans where different groups within the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires began to seek independence.
  • In June 1914, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne was killed by a Bosnian revolutionary. This act set off WWI.
  • On July 28, Austria declared war on Serbia.
  • On August 1, Germany declared war on Russia.
  • Two days later Germany declared war on France.

Gavrilo Princip Archduke Francis Ferdinand and wife 5.

  • Triple Entente and Central Powers

The Allies France, Great Britain, and later Italy fought for the Triple Entente. Germany and Austro-Hungary joined the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria to form the Central Powers. A stalemate lasted three years and the Central Powers had greater success on the Eastern Front. 6. American Neutrality

  • Wilson declared the US neutral. However, Americans , slowly began to support for one side or the other with many immigrants supporting their homelands. Most were on the Allied side.
  • English Propaganda influenced Americans and companies and banks that had strong ties with the allied countries needed an Allied victory so as to be paid back for loans and equipment that had been sold at lease.

7. Moving Toward War

  • Even though Americans supported the war, they did not want to enter the war physically.
  • The British navy blockaded Germany to keep it from getting supplies. To get around the blockade, Germany used U-boats, submarines, that would sink any ship that entered the waters around Britain.
  • Civilian ships were also hit, and the Lusitania, a British liner, was hit killing almost 1200 people (128 Americans).
  • US ordered Germany to stop U-boat strikes and the two countries signed the Sussex Pledge where Germany promised to stop sinking merchant ships. This kept the US out of the war for a bit longer.

8. The US enters WWI Germany, fearing the US might enter the war cables to the German ambassador in Mexico. They ask Mexico to side with them and in return they would help Mexico regain the territory it had lost to the US. The Zimmerman telegram was intercepted by British intelligence and leaked to American newspapers.Added to this, Germany continues with the unrestricted submarine warfare, sinking six US merchant ships.On April 6, 1917, the US declares war against Germany. 9. The US in WWI

  • So as to be effective in Europe, the US had to:
  • A. Draft soldiers through the selective service.
  • B. Accept African Americans in racially segregated units.
  • C. Women were accepted as pharmacists, photographers, clerics. Only nurses, however, went overseas.
  • D. Mobilize industry resources for war through the War Industries Board that was created to coordinate the production of war materials.


  • E. Food Administration was responsible for increasing food production while reducing consumption.
  • F. Daylight Savings Time was introduced for people to conserve coal and oil.
  • G. To raise money for the war, the government began selling Liberty Bonds and Victory Bonds.
  • H. To prevent strikes the National War Labor Board (NWLB) was established.
  • Immigration reduced drastically and African Americans had better chances in wartime jobs. This was called the Great Migration that changed the racial makeup of many northern cities.
  • J. Mexicans also entered the US and moved North providing labor for farms and ranches.
  • K. Acts such as the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918 were implemented so as to ensure American publics support of the war.


  • In 1917 WWI had claimed millions of European lives.
  • Soldiers dug trenches and No Mans Land was found throughout all of the western front.
  • To break through enemy lines and reduce casualties, new technologies were created:
  • a. poison gas
  • b. tanks
  • c. airplanes
  • Inexperienced American soldiers nicknamed Doughboys, boosted the morale of Allied forces.
  • Convoys sailed to Europe reducing shipping losses and ensuring that American troops reach Europe safely.

Combat in WWI 12. New Technology in WWI 13. A Flawed Peace Although Russians supported the war effort, their government was not equipped to handle the major problems of the nation. In 1917, Vladimir Lenin, leader of the Bolshevik Party overthrew the Czarist rule and replaced it with a Communist one.Lenin pulled Russia from the war and signed the Brest-Litovsk Treaty with Germany in exchange for territory. This closed the Eastern front for Germany.Germans now turned to the western front but were not successful. In September 1918, a massive American attack showed Germany they were at their limit. On November 11, 1918, Germany signed an armistice and the war ended. 14. Treaty of Versailles

  • In January 1919, leaders of the victorious Allied nations met to resolve the issues caused by the war.
  • President Wilsons plan, called the Fourteen Points, addressed the principle of justice to all people and nationalities. Among the points proposed were:
  • A. free trade and disarmament
  • B. open diplomacy
  • C. the right to self-determination.
  • D. evacuation of the Central Powers from all countries invaded during the war.
  • E. The formation of the League of Nations.
  • The other Allied governments thought Wilson was too lenient and signed the Treaty of Versailles where other than the Fourteen Points, Germany was also stripped of its armed forces and forced to pay reparations to the Allies.

15. The Years After WWI

  • Rapid inflation occurred as a result of government agencies removing their controls from the economy.
  • Cost of living increased and workers asked for higher wages.
  • Strikes broke out all over the US.
  • General strikes occurred and in 1919 and 75 percent of the Boston police force went on strike.
  • Calvin Coolidge, governor of Massachusetts called the National Guard to stop the strike and when the police tried to return to work they were fired and replaced.
  • Race riots also occurred once African Americans did not want to give up their jobs to American soldiers that had returned home and wanted jobs.

16. The Red Scare

  • After WWI many Americans associated communism with disloyalty and unpatriotic behavior.
  • Strikes led people to believe that Communist Reds might take control.
  • Postal service intercepted parcels that were sent to leaders in the business and political arena that would explode when opened.
  • One bomb damaged the home of US Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer. As a result people became suspicious of Communists or revolutionaries trying to destroy the American way of life.
  • Palmer set up the General Intelligence Division, today FBI and organized raids on various radical organizations, mostly rounding up immigrants who were then deported.
  • Americans linked radicalism with immigrants and this led Congress to limit immigration .