Chapter 21 World War I


Chapter 21 – World War I


1.  nationalism - devotion to the interests of one’s own country

2.  militarism - the policy of building up strong armed forces to

prepare for war

3.  terrorism - deliberate use of violence to instill fear to achieve

political or social goals

4.  isolationism - the belief of staying out of other country’s affairs

5.  communism - economic and political system in which state

owns and rules it all; no private businesses

6.  socialism - a system or condition of society in which the

means of production are owned and controlled by

the state; some private businesses

7.  capitalism - an economic system characterized by private or

corporate ownership of goods through free competitive market; government has little say

8.  kaiser - the ruler of Germany from 1871 - 1918

9.  Central Powers - WWI – countries in support of Serbian ally

10.  Allied Powers - WWI – countries in support of Austria-Hungary


11.  stalemate - deadlock in which neither side is strong enough to

defeat the other

12.  propaganda - spreading of ideas to help a cause or hurt an

opposing cause

13.  Lusitania - a British passenger liner sunk by German U-boat

14.  warmonger - one who urges or attempts to stir up war

15.  Zimermann telegram - note intercepted by British and given to the US which instructed Mexico to attack the US if

the US declared war on Germany

16.  Tsar - ruler of Russia until the Revolution of 1917

17.  Selective Service Act - - passed by Congress in 1917 mandating men to go to draft

18.  Illiterate - unable to read of write

19.  Bureaucracy - a body of non-elective government group of

policy makers Liberty Bonds

20.  pacifist - a person who objects to war; believes it is evil

21.  armistice - a temporary truce between opponents

22.  abdicate - to relinquish power formally

23.  epidemic - contagious; affecting or tending to affect a large

number of individuals within a population

24.  self-determination - right of a group to decide its own form of


25.  reparations - payments to cover war damages

26.  mobilize - to prepare for war

27.  convoy - a large group of merchant vessels sailing together

28.  trench warfare - type of fighting where soldiers fire on one another

from opposing lines of dugout trenches

29.  deport - to expel from a country

30.  Treaty of Brest-Litovsk - 1918 peace treaty between Russia and the Central

Powers, headed by Germany, marking Russia’s exit from WWI

31.  Harlem Hell Fighters - the first all-black US combat unit to be shipped overseas during WWI

32.  Battle of Beleau Woods - May 1918, the first large scale battle fought by

Americans in WWI

33.  Battle of the Argonne Forest- the biggest battle fought by the American

Expeditionary Force in WWI, causing Germany to

Surrender the war

34.  League of Nations - came into being after WWI, its goal – to ensure

war never broke out again (Woodrow Wilson)

35.  Big Four - reps from Britain, France, Italy and the US sign

the Treaty of Versailles at Paris Peace Conference

in January 1919

36.  Treaty of Versailles - a peace settlement signed after WWI

37.  Herbert Hoover - the 31st President of the United States

38.  Eugene V. Debs - 5-time Presidential candidate of the Socialist Party

jailed when he spoke and urges workers not to support the war

39.  John J. Pershing - commander of the American Expeditionary Force

40.  Vladimir Lenin - Socialist leader of the Bolsheviks, and leader of

the Soviet state from 1917-1924, practiced Marxism and communism

41.  Henry Cabot Lodge - Massachusetts Republican who opposed the

Treaty of Versailles, especially pertaining to the League of Nations

Chapter 21 – World War I

Section 1 - The Road to War

Obj: causes; trench warfare; how Germany’s use of the U-Boat affected our neutrality; why the US moved towards war

·  Most Americans believed that war would not touch them

·  Nationalism helped fuel the war

·  Imperialism had also fueled rivalries among powerful nations.

·  Militarism was the third source of tension – the policy of building up strong armed forces to prepare for war.

o  Nationalism - pride

o  Imperialism - power

o  Militarism - preparation

·  Alliances were formed – agreement to protect one another in case of attack.

·  June 28, 1914 – Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife Sophia were fatally shot by Gavrilo Princip, a member of the Black Hand, a Serbian terrorist group.

·  Black Hand wanted to Bosnia to break free from Austria-Hungary and join Serbia

·  Austria-Hungary accused Serbian government of assassination

·  Russia moved in to protect Serbia

·  July 28, 1914 Austria-Hungary declared war of Serbia. Russia ordered forces to mobilize.

·  Austria-Hungary ally Germany called on Russia to cancel mobilization order.

·  August 1, 1914 – upon receiving no reply Germany declared war on Russia

·  August 3, 1914 – Germany declared war on Russia’s ally France.

·  Germany slices through neutral Belgium on their march to France

·  Britain declared war on Germany (Britain promised to defend Belgium if it were attacked)

·  So what began as a local crisis in Bosnia, exploded into a major war.

·  1914 – 1918 – at the time the conflict was called the Great War

·  Central Powers:

o  Germany

o  Austria-Hungary

o  Bulgaria

o  Turkish (Ottoman) Empire

·  Allied Powers:

o  France

o  Britain

o  Russia

o  In time 21 other nations including Italy

o  The United States (1917)

·  The first three years – stalemate

·  Trench warfare – both sides dug ditches ranging from the very shallow to deep enough to serve as headquarters and first-aid stations.

o  Trenches covered about 450 miles between the North Sea and the Swiss border

o  Sides were held up by sandbags and timber

o  Soldier’s gear weighed between 60-75 pounds, and included:

§  Blanket

§  Waterproof groundsheet

§  Extra boots

§  Occasionally waterproof gum boots

§  Quilted coat

§  Shovel to digging

§  Helmet

§  Wire clippers

§  Pail for rations

§  2 quarts of water

§  4 days food

§  200 cartridges

§  Hand grenades

§  Gas mask

§  3 pairs of socke

§  Soap

§  Toothbrush

§  Bottle of whale oil

§  Towel

§  Rifle

§  Bayonet

o  Trench food:

§  Beef stew

§  Corned beef

§  Bread

§  Hard biscuits

§  Pork and beans

§  Tins of jam

§  Butter

§  Sugar

§  Tea

o  Problems:

§  Trench foot – caused by wet feet over a day

·  Feet swell

·  Turn numb and blue

·  If untreated, gangrene, resulted in amputation

·  Treatment, rub whale oil on feet, change to dry socks three times a day

§  Mud –

·  wounded would be trapped and sometimes drown

·  clogs rifles and gear

·  weighs down men

·  causes trench walls to fall

§  rats –

·  huge, as big as rabbits

·  infest trenches

·  Between front lines lay a “no man’s land” (barbed wire)

·  Some new weapons in trench warfare:

o  Chlorine gas

o  Mustard gas

·  Trench warfare deadly

o  Battle of Verdun lasted 10 months, more battles in the east

·  US Government adopted an official position of neutrality.

·  Effects of war for the US:

o  Boosted economy as American farmers and manufacturers rushed to fill orders for war goods.

o  1917 – trade with the allies had greatly increased, but not as much for the central powers.

o  The imbalance meant that the US was not strictly neutral

·  As a neutral nation, US claimed the right to trade with either side in the conflict

·  Germany had a new weapon – the U-Boat (submarine)

·  They attacked even neutral ships in the blockade zone and warned the US and other nations to keep their ships out of the blockade zone.

·  President Wilson vowed to hold Germany responsible if any U-Boats caused any loss of American life or property.

·  Germany ignored Wilson’s warning.

·  May 7, 1915 – Lusitania, a British passenger ship, torpedoed. 1200 died, including 128 Americans.

·  Germany, not ready to draw US into war, agreed to restrict its submarine campaign, before attacking any ship, they would surface and give warning.

·  This agreement was called the Sussex Pledge (it also kept the US out of the war a little longer)

·  Feb 1916, Jeff McLemore warned Americans against traveling.

·  A little more than a year later, German torpedoes brought more American deaths on the high seas.

·  President Wilson asked Congress for a declaration of war, he originally thought that as a neutral nation he could bring nations in war to a fair peace (A Peace Without Victory)

·  Wilson’s peace efforts fail

·  January 1917 – Wilson’s final plea for peace – it was too late

·  US broke off diplomatic relations with Germany

·  February 1917 – Zimmermann Telegram (note) intercepted by Britain and given to the US, instructed Mexico to attack the US if the US declared war on Germany and, in return, Germany would help Mexico win back Texas, Arizona and New Mexico.

·  Other events in 1917 that pushed the US closer to war:

o  German subs sand several American merchant ships

o  A revolution in Russia drove Tsar Nicholas II from power

·  April 6, 1917 – President Wilson signed the declaration of war.

·  The US Army was not ready for war

o  Forces consisted of fewer than 200,000 soldiers – many new recruits

·  May 1917 – Congress passed the Selective Service Act – the draft

o  Required all males between 21 and 30 had to sign up

o  By the end of 1918 nearly 3 million men were drafted

·  Close to 50,000 American women also served in WWI

o  Some volunteered overseas with the American Red Cross

o  First time in history some served in the military

o  The Navy –

§  12,000 clerical workers

o  The Marines –

§  305 recruits known as Marinettes

o  The Army –

§  Over 1,000

·  Nurses (the largest female group in the armed forces)

·  Interpreters

·  Switchboard operators

·  Ambulance drivers

·  Entertainers

·  Approx. 400,000 African Americans served in the armed forces

o  More than half in France

o  Still faced discrimination (from white American soldiers, not European allies)

§  At first the Army refused black draftees

§  Then in response to pressure, two African American combat divisions were created

Chapter 21 – World War I

Section 2 – Supporting the War Effort

Obj: Americans at home respond and react to war

·  The day after Congress declared war.

·  George M. Cohan writes “Over There”, became the battle cry of US soldiers.

·  To prepare for war, the government needed money

o  WWI would cost the US $35.5 billion

o  Americans helped pay almost 2/3 of the amount by buying government war bonds

§  Liberty loan drives

§  Celebrity endorsements

§  Boy Scouts

§  Schoolchildren did their part:

·  Rolled bandages

·  Collected tin cans, paper, toothpaste tubes and apricot pits (used to burn and make into charcoal for gas mask filters)

o  Women knit socks and sweaters, and sewed hospital gowns in their homes and churches

o  Victory gardens were planted in backyards and vacant lots (more food for soldiers)

o  Rationing –

§  Wheatless Monday and Wednesday (no bread)

§  Meatless Tuesday

§  No pleasure Sunday (save gas)

o  Steel and other metal limiting and donating

§  Women donated corsets

§  Manufacturers stopped making tin toys and removed metal from caskets

·  Allies were depleted – from food to arms.

o  Britain & France verge of collapse.

o  Russian soldiers were deserting to join Lenin’s revolution

·  Before it could fight, US needed to enlarge its armed forces.

·  May 19, 1917 – Congress passed the Selective Service Act

·  US reorganized its economy to produce food, arms and other goods needed to fight the war.

·  President Wilson set up programs

o  Food Administration – fed troops and sent food to Allies

o  Managing Industry – War Industries Board told factories what needed to be produced

§  Board had great power

§  Managed the buying and selling of war materials

§  Set production goals and ordered construction of new factories

§  Also set prices, with the approval of the President

o  National War Labor Board – settled conflicts between workers and factory owners

o  The Committee on Public Information

§  Sold the war through posters, pamphlets, and movies

·  Women Workers – women filled in the gaps for the men

o  Steel mills

o  Ammunition factories

o  Assembly lines

o  Streetcar conductors

o  Elevator operators

·  During the war German Americans endured suspicion and intolerance as did anything German.

o  Towns with German names changed them

o  Food names were changed

o  Even German shepherd dogs were now being called “police dogs”

·  The war spurred migration within the nation.

·  Pacifists opposed the war.

·  Antiwar feeling also ran high among Socialists and radical labor groups.

·  June 15, 1917 - to encourage unity, Congress passed laws:

o  The Espionage Act

o  The Sedition Act (May 1918)

·  Laws enforced:

o  Set heavy fines and long prison terms for antiwar activities encouraging draft resisters

o  It was a illegal to criticize the government or to interfere with the war effort.

o  Thousands of pacifists, socialists, and other war critics tried

o  Hundreds went to jail

·  American citizen’s complaints were ignored by the government

·  Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. argued that free speech, guaranteed by the First Amendment, could be limited, especially in wartime.

Chapter 21 - World War I