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SS.912.A.4.5 World War I

What you need to know...

  • You will need to know the general causes of World War I, including how political alliances, imperialist policies, nationalism, and militarism each generated conflict in World War I.
  • You will need to know  the reasons for United States involvement in World War I and how involvement in the war was justified to the American public.
  • You will need to know  the cause-and-effect relationships that resulted in American intervention in World War I.
  • You will need to know the major events and issues that affected the home front.
  • You will need to know  the role of technology and/or the concept of total war in World War I.
  • You will need to know  the significant individuals and their role in military and/or political leadership during World War I.
  • You will need to know  the dichotomy between the Fourteen Points and the Treaty of Versailles, which resulted in the failure of United States
  • support for the League of Nations.
  • You will need to know the short and/or long-term social, political, and/or economic consequences of World War I for the United States
  • and America’s role in international relations in the post-war period.

Terms to know include, but are not limited to:
African Americans in World War I, armistice, Big Four, entangling alliances, Espionage Act, Fourteen Points, Hispanics in World War I, home front,
imperialism, League of Nations, Lusitania, militarism, new technology in World War I, propaganda, reparations, Selective Service Act, Sussex Pledge, trench warfare, unrestricted submarine warfare, Treaty of Versailles, war bonds, women in World War I, Zimmermann Telegram.

Example 1

A major purpose of President Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points (1918) was to
a. ask Congress to enter World War I
b.  set goals for achieving peace after World War I
c.  provide an aid program for rebuilding war-torn nations
d.  retaliate for the sinking of the Lusitania


Base your answers to example questions 2 and 3 on the following passage.

We intend to begin on the first of February unrestricted submarine warfare. We shall endeavor in spite of this to keep the United States of America neutral. In the event of this not succeeding, we make Mexico a proposal of alliance on the following basis: make war together, make peace together, generous financial support and an understanding on our part that Mexico is to reconquer the lost territory in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The settlement in detail is left to you.…
— Telegram of January 19, 1917

Example 2

This telegram was part of an effort to
a. form an alliance between Germany and the United States
b. convince several western states to secede from the United States
c. bring Mexico into World War I on the side of Great Britain and France
d. enlist Mexican support for Germany if the United States declared war


Example 3

Publication of this telegram in United States newspapers helped to
a. reelect Woodrow Wilson as president
b. convince the American public to support entrance into World War I
c. encourage Congress to pass neutrality legislation
d. grant statehood to Arizona and New Mexico


Example 4

Henry Cabot Lodge and other senators opposed ratification of the Treaty of Versailles (1919) because they believed the treaty
a. failed to punish Germany for its involvement in World War I
b. excluded reparations for European allies
c. could draw the United States into future conflicts
d.  placed blame for World War I on all the warring countries


Example 5

The United States tried to avoid involvement in World War I by following a policy of
a. neutrality
b. collective security
c. economic boycotts
d. military preparedness



Example 6

The main reason for the increased migration of African Americans out of the rural South during and following World War I was the
a.  availability of cheap farmland in the West
b. opportunity for factory jobs in the North
c. chance to escape racial segregation by joining the military
d. elimination of the Ku Klux Klan in the northern states


Example 7

The newspaper headline below describes a significant event in U.S. foreign affairs.
– MAY 7, 1915 –

How did this event contribute to the United States’ entry into World War I?
A. It furthered anti-government protests in the United States.
B. It encouraged anti-immigration campaigns in the United States.
C. It became necessary for President Wilson to propose a plan for peace.
D. It became difficult for President Wilson to defend a policy of neutrality.


Example 8

Use the pie chart below and your knowledge of U.S. history to answer the following question.


Which of the following reasons best accounts for the percentage of U.S. deaths in relation to other countries’ percentage.

A. The U.S. entered the war early and therefore experienced a great number of deaths on the battlefield.

B. The U.S. experienced a large number of accidental deaths which contributed to a high percentage of deaths.

C. The U.S. entered the war late and therefore experienced a low number of deaths on the battlefield.

D. The U.S. had a large number of men volunteer to fight alongside Russia, which meant that they were counted as part of Russia’s percentage of deaths.


Example 9

Which of the following was NOT a cause of World War I?

            A. nationalism

            B. imperialism

            C. militarism

            D. socialism


Example 10

In 1914 which of the following Florida locations was chosen by the United States Navy as the sight of the first permanent naval air station because the climate allowed for year-round flying?

            A. St. Augustine

            B. Key West

            C. Tampa Bay

            D. Pensacola


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In Your Textbook

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Chapter 11

Pages 370 - 406

World War I

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Wilson and the 14 Points

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World War I: A New Kind of War

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Teaching Assessments