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World War I
Teacher’s Guide
Written By:
Melissa McMeen
Produced and Distributed by:
www.MediaRichLearning.com
AMERICA IN THE 20TH CENTURY: WORLD WAR I—THE WAR IN EUROPE
TEACHER’S GUIDE
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Materials in Unit .................................................... 3
Introduction to the Series .................................................... 3
Introduction to the Program .................................................... 3
Standards .................................................... 4
Instructional Notes .................................................... 5
Suggested Instructional Procedures .................................................... 6
Student Objectives .................................................... 7
Follow-Up Activities .................................................... 8
Internet Resources .................................................... 8
Answer Key .................................................... 9
Script of Video Narration .................................................... 14
Blackline Masters Index .................................................... 25
Pre-Test .................................................... 26
Video Quiz .................................................... 27
Post-Test .................................................... 28
Discussion Questions .................................................... 33
Vocabulary Terms .................................................... 34
American Pride .................................................... 35
Roots of War .................................................... 36
Ethics of Warfare .................................................... 37
Choosing Sides .................................................... 38
Doughboy .................................................... 39
Media Rich Learning .................................................... 42
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Materials in the Unit
• The video program World War I—The War in Europe
• Teachers Guide
This teacher's Guide has been prepared to aid the teacher in utilizing materials
contained within this program. In addition to this introductory material, the guide
contains suggested instructional procedures for the lesson, answer keys for the activity
sheets, and follow-up activities and projects for the lesson.
• Blackline Masters
Included in this program are ten blackline masters for duplication and distribution.
They consist of, classroom activities, information sheets, take-home activities, Pre-Test,
Post-Test, and the text to the Video Quiz.
The blackline masters are provided as the follow-up activities for each lesson. They will
help you determine focal points for class discussion based on the objectives for the
lesson.
The blackline masters have a three-fold purpose: to reinforce the program; to provide an
opportunity for the students to apply and analyze what they have learned from the
program; for use as diagnostic tools to assess areas in which individual students need
help.
Introduction and Summary of Series
America in the 20th Century is a comprehensive series designed to provide a clear overview of
the people and events that distinguished the 20th century. Rare archival footage and
photographs, authentic recordings, and other primary source documents, bring history to life,
while stunning graphics and engaging narration lend context and clarity to the subject.
The series has been developed specifically for classroom use. It is organized around established
standards and thoughtfully divided into chapters, with each volume functioning well as a fulllength program or as focused support for specific study areas.
Introduction and Summary of Program
This visually rich program is the first of a two-part World War I study from the America in the
20th Century series. World War I – The War in Europe provides a clear and concise narrative
discussion of the conflict illustrated by seldom seen photographic and film images – carefully
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chosen and dramatically presented. Historically accurate, full-color maps provide geographical
context for the program, while cogent narration and a dynamic soundtrack bring the period to
life. Topics Include the roots of the war; European military alliances that ignited the war;
industrial age technological advances such as the U-boat, machine guns, air combat and
chemical weapons; United States involvement including the participation of women and
African Americans; U.S. economic policies and public support for the war effort.
Standards
Era 7: The Emergence of Modern America (1890-1930)
STANDARD 2:
The changing role of the United States in world affairs through World War I. Note: The following standards are addressed, with some overlap, in our two World War I
programs, World War I—The War in Europe and World War I—On the Homefront.
Standard 2B
The student understands the causes of World War I and why the United States intervened. Benchmarks:
Grade level: 5-12
Explain the causes of World War I in 1914 and the reasons for the declaration of United States
neutrality. [Identify issues and problems in the past]
Grade level: 7-12
Assess how industrial research in aviation and chemical warfare influenced military strategy
and the outcome of World War I. [Analyze cause-and-effect relationships] Grade level: 7-12
Analyze the impact of American public opinion on the Wilson administration's evolving foreign
policy from 1914 to 1917. [Examine the influence of ideas] Grade level: 7-12
Evaluate Wilson's leadership during the period of neutrality and his reasons for intervention.
[Assess the importance of the individual] Standard 2C
The student understands the impact at home and abroad of the United States involvement in
World War I.
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Benchmarks:
Grade level: 7-12
Explain U.S. military and economic mobilization for war and evaluate the role of labor,
including women and African Americans. [Identify issues and problems in the past] Grade level: 9-12
Analyze the impact of public opinion and government policies on constitutional interpretation
and civil liberties. [Evaluate the implementation of a decision] Grade level: 5-12
Explain how the American Expeditionary Force contributed to the allied victory. [Interrogate
historical data] Grade level: 7-12
Evaluate the significance of the Russian Revolution, how it affected the war, and how theUnited
States and Allied powers responded to it. [Marshal evidence of antecedent circumstances] Grade level: 5-12
Evaluate Wilson's Fourteen Points, his negotiations at the Versailles Treaty talks, and the
national debate over treaty ratification and the League of Nations. [Evaluate the implementation
of a decision] Instructional Notes
It is suggested that you preview the program and read the related Suggested Instructional
Procedures before involving your students in the lesson activities. By doing so, you will become
familiar with the materials and be better prepared to adapt the program to the needs of your
class.
You will probably find it best to follow the program and lesson activities in the order in which
they are presented in this Teacher's Guide, but this is not necessary.
It is also suggested that the program presentation take place before the entire class and under
your direction. The lesson activities focus on the content of the programs.
As you review the instructional program outlined in the Teacher's Guide, you may find it
necessary to make some changes, deletions, or additions to fit the specific needs of your
students.
Read the descriptions of the Blackline Masters and duplicate any of those you intend to use.
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Suggested Instructional Procedures
To maximize the learning experience, teacher’s should:
• Preview the video World War I—The War in Europe
• Read the descriptions of the blackline masters.
• Duplicate any blackline masters you intend to use.
Students should be supplied with the necessary copies of blackline masters required to
complete the activities. By keeping students informed of current events, teachers can extend
any of the lessons on the program.
Student Objectives
After viewing the program World War I—The War in Europe and participating in the follow-up
activities, students will be able to:
• Identify the underlying and immediate causes of the war
• Describe the technological advances used in the war
• Explain the United States intention for staying neutral and why they finally decided to join
the war
• Explain the efforts made by the United States to join the Allies, including the military
mobilization
• Recognize the economic mobilization and public support methods established to help the
war effort
• Identify the American expeditionary force that led the Allies to victory
Follow-Up Activities
Blackline Master #1: Pre-Test is an assessment tool intended to gauge student comprehension of
the Objectives prior to the launching of World War I – The War in Europe lesson, which
includes the video and the ensuing activities. The results of the Pre-Test may be
contrasted with the results of the Post-Test to assess the efficacy of the lesson in
achieving the Student Objectives.
Blackline Master #2: Video Quiz is a printed copy of the questions that appear at the end of the
video presentation. The Video Quiz is intended to reinforce the salient points of the
video immediately following its completion and may be used for assessment or as a
catalyst for discussion.
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Blackline Master #3a-d: Post-Test is an assessment tool to be administered after the lesson (PreTest, video and follow-up activities) has been completed.
Blackline Master #4: Discussion Questions offers questions to spur conversation and to identify
student comprehension and misunderstanding.
Blackline Master #5: Vocabulary Terms is a list of pertinent terms and definitions
Blackline Master #6: American Pride is an activity for students to research the propaganda
postcards and design their own that would have been used to help support the war
effort.
Blackline Master #7: Roots of the War is a chart for students to complete on the underlying
causes of the war and how each contributed to the outbreak.
Blackline Master #8: Ethics of Warfare is a writing activity to encourage students to recognize
and develop their own thoughts on the controversial issues of warfare during World
War I.
Blackline Master #9: Choosing Sides is a group activity for students to list three reasons why the
United States should join the Allies and also the Central Powers in the war just as
President Wilson may have done when choosing sides.
Blackline Master #10: Doughboys is a research activity to discover the origin of the nickname of
the American soldiers using the selected web site.
Internet Resources
For Teachers
http://wtj.com/wars/greatwar/
The War Times Journal
http://www.worldwar1.com/tgws
The Great War Society
http://www.firstworldwar.com
First World War, the War to End All Wars
http://www.sonic.net/bantam1/wqww1.html
World War One Webquest
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For Students
Note: Teachers should preview all sites to ensure they are age-appropriate for their students.
http://www.rockingham.k12.va.us/EMS/WWI/WWI.html
Rockingham Public Schools
World War I, The Great War, The Western Front
http://www.pbs.org/greatwar/
Public Broadcasting Station
The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century
http://library.thinkquest.org/10927/worldwar.htm
Think quest Presentation
Answer Key
Blackline Master #1: Pre-Test
1. false
2. false
3. true
4. true
5. true
6. true
7. false
8. false
9. true
10. false
Blackline Master #2: Video Quiz
1. false
2. false
3. false
4. false
5. false
6. true
7. true
8. true
9. false
10. true
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Blackline Master #3: Post-Test
1. D
2. C
3. D
4. D
5. C
6. A
7. D
8. D
9. B
10. B
The following answers may vary.
11. Initially, a series of interwoven military alliances stabilized Europe. These agreements
promised the aid of partner countries in the event of attack by enemies. Nations were
reluctant to upset this balance of power.
12. the sinking of the British ship, Lusitania, by the Germans; Discovering the “Zimmerman
Telegram” stating the Germans would give U.S. territory to Mexico if they would join the
Germans at war.
13. machine guns, chemical gases, tanks, flame throwers, air balloons, airplanes; and an
explanation of how these were new or improved in war
14. enlist to fight in the war; plant victory gardens; eat meatless meals; observe gasless Sundays,
lightless nights ; buy Liberty Bonds; view movies supporting the war
15. two lines of trenches zigzagging across northern and eastern France (the Western Front) for
thousands of miles, wide enough for two men abreast and standing erect to fire their guns;
they were congested with rats, mire, lice, and other diseases
16. the seas were neutral territory for transporting goods and contraband; Germans violated the
policy by attacking and sinking British ships from U-Boats. This, in-part, led the U.S. into
war with Germany.
17. African Americans were segregated into separate units. They were not allowed to join the
Navy or Marines. African American officers were only permitted to be in charge of AfricanAmericans troops. The 369th Infantry Regiment was dubbed “The Harlem Hellfighters” and
saw more continuous duty on the front lines than any other regiment.
18. George Creel, a muckraking journalist, headed the committee to create propaganda such as
movies, books, songs, Four-minute Men speeches, etc. to help “sell” the war to the American
public.
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Essays should contain the following main points along with an explanation.
19. Nationalism, tension between German and Slavic peoples; imperialism and rivalry for land;
militarism and military alliances upset the checks and balances system and led to the
outbreak of World War I.
20. There were large immigrant population in the U.S. who felt empathy for their native
countries; to ensure the Allies would be able to repay the debts owed to the U.S., the
German sinking of British ship, Lusitania; discovery of the “Zimmerman Telegram,”
German war atrocities
Blackline Master #4: Discussion Questions
Answers will vary. Possible answers follow.
1. Nationalism, tension between German and Slavic peoples; imperialism and rivalry for land;
militarism and Military Alliances upset checks and balances system and led to the outbreak
of World War I
2. The assassination of the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand and his wife by a Serbian Nationalist.
3. First war of the industrial age with telegraphs, tanks, movies, and machine guns, etc.
4. President Wilson saw no reason to get involved in Europe’s troubles 3,000 miles away; The
U.S joined the war because, “The world must be made safe for democracy;” sympathy for
Britain, France (similar heritage); dislike of German atrocities such as killing civilians;
stronger economic ties with the Allies; sinking of Lusitania; Zimmerman Telegram
5. All the countries were reluctant to upset the balance of power, did not want to tip the scales.
6. Women were not drafted or allowed to enlist in the Army; the Navy and Marines accepted
female volunteers for non-combat position (nurses, clerks, stenographers, secretaries); they
were allowed to serve as army nurses without benefits, equal pay, or military rank. AfricanAmericans were segregated into separate units and were not allowed to join the Navy or
Marines. They were trained to be officers in charge of African-Americans only. The 369th
Infantry Regiment was dubbed “The Harlem Hellfighters” and saw more continuous duty
on the front lines than any other regiment.
7. Assembled, coordinated, and distributed details about war materials and production; used
steel from corsets to make battleships; encouraged mass production techniques to increase
efficiency and eliminate waste; established price controls; allocated raw materials
8. Women gave up corsets, enlist to fight in the war; plant victory gardens; eat meatless meals;
observe gasless Sundays, lightless nights ; buy Liberty Bonds; view movies supporting the
war
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9. Fabrication allowed parts to be built elsewhere and then assembled in a central shipyard in
order to reduce the time needed to build ships. They were transported in a convey system,
with large groups traveling together under the guard of heavily armed cruisers circling the
fleet.
10. Soldiers were called “doughboys” and were led by General John J. Pershing. In April 1918
the U.S fought as a separate army and by May 1918 helped stop the German attacks at
Chateau-Thierry, Cantigny, Belleau Wood and Vaux, leading to improved Allied morale. In
the summer the U.S. triumphed in the second battle against the Germans at Meuse-Argonne
and Saint-Mihiel. By October the Germans began to retreat with a United States and Allied
victory imminent.
Blackline Master #6: American Pride
Answers will vary. Postcards can be evaluated on execution, accuracy, creativity, and content.
Blackline Master #7: Roots of the War
Answers will vary. Charts can be assessed on execution, accuracy, and content.
Blackline Master #8: Ethics of Warfare
Answers will vary. Essays can be assessed on execution, accuracy, creativity, and content.
Blackline Master #9: Choosing Sides
Answers will vary. Charts can be assessed on execution, accuracy, creativity, and content.
Blackline Master #10: Doughboys
Answers will vary. Research can be assessed on execution, accuracy, and content.
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World War I
! ! The War in Europe
INTRODUCTION
One year after Woodrow Wilson's election as President of the United States, Europe went to war.
Wilson had pledged to continue the progressive reforms that were improving American government,
business, work and living conditions. Determined to stay neutral in the European conflict President
Wilson warned:
WOODROW
WILSON:
“There is no chance of progress and reform in an administration in which war plays a principle
part.”
Sadly, just four years later, President Wilson asked Congress for a declaration of War against Germany,
remarking:
WOODROW WILSON:
“The world must be made safe for democracy.”
Extenuating world events had changed his mind and America entered—World War One.
Chapter 1—Roots of a Conflict
It was called by some: The War to end all Wars. Socialists dubbed it The Imperialist War. Soldiers often
called it, The Trench War.
Some even named it, The Great War.
World War One was, in fact, the first modern war. A war waged with the ingenuity of the industrial age—
from telegraphs to tanks—movies to machine guns.
Despite being a modern war, the roots of World War One were steeped in Europe's tumultuous past.
As far back as 1870 France and Germany were enemies. When Germany won the Franco-Prussian war it
seized two French provinces, Alsace and Lorraine. From then on a competitiveness for European
leadership evolved between the two countries, and a spirit of Nationalism gripped them both.
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This Nationalism went far beyond simply maintaining patriotic feelings for one's country—Instead,
Germany, France and other European countries believed that the interests of their homeland should
always be put ahead of world cooperation. The resulting contempt for one country by another inevitably
led to the risk of war.
Nationalism was at the root of conflicts between Russia and Austria-Hungary.
Russians believed that they were the protector of all of Europe's Slavic people, regardless of which
government they happened to live under. For example, Serbia was an independent country, but millions
of other Serbs lived under Austria-Hungary's rule. The result was an intense rivalry between Russia and
Austria-Hungary for influence over Serbians and the country of Serbia.
Poland had been divided among Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia, and wanted to reunite in their
own Polish state with self-rule.
The Czechoslovakians, also wanted freedom and self-determination. Under Austria-Hungary's rule they
were not even allowed to use their own language.
Consequently, by 1914 Europe was a hotbed of Nationalism, and tensions ran high between the
governments and their constituents.
While the spirit of Nationalism flourished across Europe, many countries were building their global
empires.
Great Britain and Germany were colonizing Africa and the Middle East in a frenzy of Imperialism. France
and Germany, were now rivals at home, and abroad, as they clashed over control of Morocco.
Russia turned its attention to Europe as she sought control over the Serbs.
The contest for international trade, resources, and land soon resulted in a build up of military strength.
The British, Germans, French, Italians, Japanese and Americans began an arms race, stockpiling
weapons, recruiting armies and launching battleships to protect their interests at home and abroad.
As each country amassed countless weapons and beefed-up their Army and Navies they saw the
wisdom of agreeing to military alliances—mutual treaties of assistance—that would commit each nation
to support one another should they be attacked.
By 1914 there were two major defense alliances. The Triple Entente, later called the Allies consisted of
France, Great Britain, and Russia, although Russia had a separate treaty with Serbia.
The other, the Triple Alliance, later called the Central Powers, included Germany, Austria-Hungary the
Ottoman Empire and Italy. Italy would later join the Allies.
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For a little while these Military Alliances served as a type of checks and balances system, with each
nation reluctant to upset the balance of power. But, despite these alliances, war soon erupted. A single
event would soon tip the scale...
On June 28, 1914, in the capital of Bosnia, a village called Sarajevo, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of
Austria and his wife Sophie were waiving to the happy crowds from their motorcade, when a young man,
leapt from the sidewalk and shot them both dead.
The assassin turned out to be a member of a secret society called the “Black Hand,” who's goal was to
reunite all Serbs under one rule.
The assassination was used by the Austria-Hungary government as an opportunity to make a grave
example of Serbia, and squelch any Nationalist uprisings in the future.
One month later, Austria-Hungary declared war against Serbia.
If it weren't for the military alliances it might have been a relatively small, localized conflict. Instead, one
nation after another was pulled into the fight due to their treaties of support.
In order to aid its Serbian allies, Russia mobilized its armed forces.
Germany, who was obligated by treaty to support Austria-Hungary, declared war on Russia two days
after that.
Subsequently, Germany declared war on Russia's ally, France.
One day later, Great Britain, who had a treaty with France, declared war on Germany and AustriaHungary.
World War One had begun.
Chapter 2 — The European Conflict
As Germany invaded the neutral country of Belgium, no one foresaw how long the war would last and
how gruesome the costs would be.
Over 65 million people fought. Over 20 million were wounded. Between nine and ten million died on the
battlefield and another 20 million lost their lives due to hunger and disease related to the war.
The magnitude of the killing was unprecedented. The number of deaths nearly equivalent to the entire
population of California today.
In just the first three months of the war nearly the entire original British army was wiped out.
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Despite all the carnage, the battle lines remained almost stationary in France. The Western Front, as it
was known, was defined by two lines of trenches zigzagging across northern and eastern France for
thousands of miles. Wide enough for two men to walk abreast and stand erect to fire their machine guns,
the trenches were choked with mire, rats and lice.
German soldiers occupied one line, Allied soldiers the other. Between them lay a no man's land filled
with barbed wire and mud, smoldering with bomb craters.
From time to time soldiers would storm out of these trenches and attempt to overrun the enemy only to
be met with a hail of bullets.
Both sides suffered hundreds of thousands of casualties while accomplishing practically nothing, as the
battle lines remained essentially unchanged.
Meanwhile the tools of technology, which had provided prosperity for the industrialized world, were now
being used to create more efficient and more ghastly weapons.
A solider described the shocking sight of machine guns that could fire 500 to 600 bullets per minute:
SOLDIER:
“I saw trees as large as a man's thigh literally cut down by the stream of lead.”
In 1914 the German army deployed their new cannon against Belgium. Big Bertha as it was called, could
hurl an eighteen-hundred-pound shell nine miles.
A year later, at the second battle of Ypres the Germans introduced poison gas to warfare. Soon both
sides used chemical weapons like chlorine which suffocated its victims, or mustard gas, that burned the
skin and blinded its casualties.
By 1916 the British army began using tanks in battle with great success. Before long, however, German
soldiers realized that flame throwers, weapons that could shoot a stream of flaming gasoline, could be
used to stop them.
Balloons, and then airplanes, were converted into weapons of war. When Germany attacked the Belgian
city of Liege in 1914, it was the first time civilians were killed by a war plane.
Planes were fitted with machine guns and loaded with bombs, and soon began dueling in air to air
combat. These Dogfights became a common sight over the skies of Europe.
Germany's leading fighter pilot, Manfred Richthofen, nicknamed The Red Baron by the British because
of his brightly painted red Albatross airplane, shot down eighty allied aircraft before being struck by a
bullet from the trenches and crashing to his death.
If I should come out of this war alive. I will have more luck than brains.
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Even more destruction was waiting on and under the Atlantic Ocean. As Germany pressed its
Unterseeboots— its submarines—into the battle.
German submarines—U-boats—patrolled the Atlantic firing torpedoes on merchant ships trying to
deliver supplies to the Allies. It aroused the anger of Americans in particular because they felt that this
was a violation of the principle of the freedom of the seas—long a cornerstone of United States Foreign
Policy.
Germany then launched a U-boat blockade in response to the British blockade along the German coast,
which in theory, prevented contraband—weapons and military supplies—from reaching Germany.
But the British definition of contraband was wide sweeping including food and fertilizer for crops.
750,000 Germans died of starvation during the British blockade.
75,000 people lost their lives due to German submarine warfare.
The blockades continued the pattern of the war begun in the trenches.
Everywhere the fighting was inconclusive, while the new technologically advanced weapons made the
lack of victories—more devastating.
Chapter 3 — America Joins the Ranks
Into this battle of death and despair came the United States in the spring of 1917, despite President
Woodrow Wilson's promise that the U.S. could stay neutral.
WILSON WOODROW:
“...so far as I can remember, this is a government of the people, and this people is not going to
choose war.”
And most Americans, though they felt sympathy for the plight of Europeans, saw no reason to join a fight
3,000 miles away.
At the time of Wilson's second inauguration, immigrants constituted one third of the United States
population. More than eight million German-Americans lived in the U.S. and naturally felt sympathy
toward their former homeland, as did British-Americans, Italian-Americans and Russian-Americans.
America had the closest ties with the Allies. The U.S. shared a common language and history with
England and many democratic institutions..
America traded traded with Great Britain and France twice as much as with Germany, and stories of
German war atrocities had outraged many citizens of all ethnic backgrounds. Still, most Americans
wanted to remain neutral --but that was not to be, primarily for two reasons.
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America entered the war largely to insure that the Allies would be able to repay the huge debts owed to
the United States. Private financiers, like J.P. Morgan, faced the prospect of bankruptcy if the Germans
won.
And America had to prevent Germany from threatening U.S. shipping.
A change in American attitude occurred when the British ship Lusitania was sunk by a German U-boat.
Of the 1,198 who were killed there were 128 Americans. More ships were sunk incurring more loss of
American lives. When the German Kaiser announced on January 31st 1917 that U-boats would sink all
ships in British waters whether they were hostile or neutral there seemed little choice but to enter the
war.
The discovery of The Zimmerman Telegram cemented that decision. It was a coded note from German
Foreign Minister Arthur Zimmerman to the German Minister to Mexico, promising U. S. territory to
Mexico in return for joining the German cause.
ARTHUR ZIMMERMAN:
“...we make Mexico a proposal or 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.”
A little over a month later, Congress formally declared war on Germany and The Central Powers.
The American public was shocked, but still there was no rush to enlist.
The result was congress to voting overwhelmingly for a draft, requiring eligible men to register with the
government. Of the 24 million who signed up, three million were chosen by lottery to serve.
Women were not drafted and the Army would not even let them enlist. The Navy and Marines accepted
women volunteers for non-combat positions accepting 13,000 who served as nurses, clerks,
stenographers, secretaries and telephone operators. Women could become Army nurses, but did not
receive the benefits, equal pay or military rank of Army men.
The number of African Americans who served in World War One was double their proportion in the
general population. African American soldiers were segregated into separate units and living quarters
and were not allowed to join the Navy or the Marines. For the first time in history, some African
Americans were trained to be Army officers, though they were only allowed to be in charge of African
American troops.
The renown all-African-American 369th Infantry Regiment dubbed: The Harlem Hellfighters saw more
continuous duty on the front lines than any other American regiment.
Two of the 369th's soldiers were the first Americans ever to receive the French military honor The Cross
of War.
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Chapter 4 — Supporting the War
Of course, before any American soldiers were able to fight in World War One the United States had to
get troops and supplies to Europe. The costs of such an operation were staggering. To raise money and
get the resources needed The United States government implemented extraordinary measures.
First, the Federal government took control of the economy and gave the President the power to fix
prices, and regulate certain war-related industries.
President Wilson next established the War Industries Board and appointed millionaire financial expert
Bernard Baruch to head it. Wilson often called him Dr. Facts because of his ability to assemble,
coordinate and distribute details about war materials and production.
BERNARD BARUCH:
“Every man has a right to be wrong in his opinions. But no man has a right to wrong in his
facts.”
No detail, however seemingly trivial, escaped his scrutiny. Baruch noticed that 8,000 tons of steel were
used each year to make lady's corsets. He asked American women to give up that fashion in support of
the war. They did, and the steel saved could be employed to build two battleships.
The board encouraged companies to use mass production techniques to increase efficiency and
eliminate waste. It also established price controls, allocated raw materials, and told manufacturers what
they needed to produce in order to help the war effort. As a result, industrial production increased by
twenty percent.
Other government agencies controlled the railroads, regulated the use of coal and oil and mediated labor
disputes avoiding crippling strikes.
The War Industries Board also created a massive publicity campaign encouraging the public to
contribute to the war effort by planting Victory Gardens and observing Meatless Meals so food could be
sent overseas to the troops. Gasless Sundays and Lightless Nights soon followed. A popular rhyme of
the day went:
My Tuesdays are meatless. My Wednesdays are wheatless. I'm getting more eatless every day.
In order to conserve energy, the War Industries Board even adopted an idea first championed by
Benjamin Franklin—Daylight Savings Time. To take advantage of the longer days of summer and use
less electricity.
And finally, to raise the $33 million cost of the war the government took two actions. First, it established
an Excess Profits (or War Profits) tax on corporate earnings, and higher income taxes on wealthier
citizens. Taxes were raised on tobacco, liquor and luxury goods as well. These actions collected about
one-third of the money needed.
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The rest was raised by appealing to Americans' strong sense of patriotism. Liberty Bonds were sold—
these—in essence—loaned money to the government to fight the war.
Movie stars and newspapers, parades and billboards all carried the message to buy bonds. Amazingly,
on average, every adult American lent the war effort about $400.00—a large amount at the time.
Even with the money necessary to fight the war the government realized they would need the popular
support of Americans, most of whom had been either neutral or openly against involvement.
Therefore President Wilson appointed a former muckraking journalist, George Creel to head The
Committee On Public Information, our nation's first propaganda agency.
Creel, who was only five foot seven inches tall, was a giant when it came to advertising and public
relations. He called his committee, ...the world's greatest adventure in Advertising. He described his goal
in a 1920 memoir as…
GEORGE CREEL:
“The creation of a passionate belief in the justice of America's cause that would weld the
American people into one, white hot mass instinct with fraternity, devotion, courage and
deathless determination.”
Creel convinced the best writers, artists, musicians and advertising people of the day to help him sell the
war. From booklets and books for Americans in various languages...
To antigovernment propaganda messages for our enemies.
Creel even got into the movie business with features such as Pershing's Crusaders and Under Four
Flags with the help of famous film director D.W. Griffith.
These pro-war movies were not only hits they actually made money for the cause, $852,744.
Remarkable, when you realize that it only cost a nickel to see a movie back then.
Simply put, Creel helped make an unpopular war—popular.
His masterstroke was the creation of a national force of 75,000 men who would deliver patriotic four
minute speeches anytime, anywhere.
The Four Minute Men spoke on the draft, rationing, bond drives, and victory gardens. By the end of the
war they had delivered more than seven and a half million speeches to 314 million listeners.
Musicians too gave voice to the war. Songs like: Till we meet again, It's a long, long way to Tipperary,
Keep the homefires burning, and Over There, kept American spirits high.
Meanwhile, the immense task of transporting troops to France began. After years of relying on foreign
vessels to take American goods overseas, America's supply of ships was limited. Consequently,
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AMERICA IN THE 20TH CENTURY: WORLD WAR I—THE WAR IN EUROPE
shipyard workers were exempt from the draft or given deferments to make shipbuilding a priority
industry.
Using a new construction technique called fabrication-- a process by which parts were built elsewhere
and then assembled in a central shipyard-- substantially reduced the time needed to build ships.
The system worked, and worked well. In a single day—appropriately, the Fourth of July, 1918, America
launched 95 ships!
Rear Admiral William S. Sims decided that the best way to get troops and supplies safely past the
German U-boats was to use a convoy system.
That meant that merchant and troop transport ships would cross the Atlantic in large groups, escorted
by a guard of heavily armed destroyers and cruisers, circling the fleet. The plan cut shipping losses in
half.
One hundred submarine chaser boats, and 500 airplanes were also used to stop U-boats from sinking
ships bound for Europe.
Remarkably, of the two million men who sailed to Europe during the war, only 100 were lost to U-boat
torpedoes.
General John J. Pershing led the American Expeditionary Force. Pershing believed in aggressive action
in combat and was highly regarded by his superiors and the men he commanded. Black Jack as he was
popularly known among the troops was understood to be fair, courageous and a top-notch
administrator.
At first American troops were employed mainly as replacements for European casualties. By April of
1918, Pershing convinced the Allies that Americans should fight as a separate army.
GENERAL JOHN PERSHING:
“We came American, we shall remain American and go into battle with old glory over our heads.
I will not parcel out American boys.”
Accordingly, American soldiers, called Doughboys because of their white belts that they cleaned with
pipe clay or dough, fought together under the command of French Marshal Ferdinand Foch.
By now, the government of Russia had been overthrown by the Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Lenin. Russia
withdrew from the war, signing a peace treaty with Germany. This meant the Germans could now
consolidate their army and concentrate on a single front.
By May of 1918 the Germans managed to get within fifty miles of Paris.
America had arrived “over there” just in time to help stop the German advance at Cantigny.
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AMERICA IN THE 20TH CENTURY: WORLD WAR I—THE WAR IN EUROPE
A few weeks later the Doughboys helped thwart the German attacks at Chateau Thierry and Belleau
Wood, and Reims.
In late summer the Allies, with America's help, triumphed in the second battle of the Marne and in
September mounted offensives against the Germans at Saint-Mihiel and in the Meuse-Argonne regions
where 1.2 million U.S. troops fought.
By October it was clear the tide had turned against Germany and the Central Powers, as German troops
began to retreat all along the front.
The victory was not without devastating cost, however. All told, the United States lost 48,000 men in
battle, approximately 62,000 died of disease, and another 200,000 were wounded and needed
immediate medical care.
SOLDIER:
“The Army is only 12 miles away. I have Americans, English, Scotch, Irish, and French, and apart
—in the corners—are Germans. They have to watch each other die side by side ...the cannon
goes day and night and the shells are breaking over and around us ....I have to write many sad
letters to American mothers. I wonder if it will ever end.”
Thankfully, an end to the slaughter was not far off. Although, on the home front, the effects of the war
were enormous.
From fines and imprisonment for those who opposed the war...to new roles for Women and African
Americans...World War One was proving to be a major turning point in American history.
The story of America's involvement in World War One continues in part two: On the Home Front.
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Blackline Masters
• Blackline Master #1: Pre-Test
• Blackline Master #2: Video Quiz
• Blackline Masters #3a-3d: Post-Test
• Blackline Master #4: Discussion Questions
• Blackline Master #5: Vocabulary
• Blackline Master #6: American Pride
• Blackline Master #7: Roots of War
• Blackline Masters #8: Ethics of Warfare
• Blackline Master #9: Choosing Sides
• Blackline Master #10: Doughboy
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Activity:
Pre-Test (1)
Subject:
World War I—The War in Europe
Name
Date
DIRECTIONS: Read the following statements, and circle whether they are true or false.
1. Communism was the leading cause of World War I.
True
False
2. The United States was eager to support the war.
True
False
3. The Allies and Central Powers were the two opposing forces in the war.
True
False
4. World War I was the first war to use planes in warfare.
True
False
5. The Germans introduced U-boats to sink opposing ships.
True
False
6. Millions of men were drafted to fight in the war for the United States.
True
False
7. African-Americans were not allowed to fight for the United States.
True
False
8. The government had no financial problems when joining the war.
True
False
9. The United States citizens’ support for the war was crucial.
True
False
10. The United States joined with Germany to finally win the war.
True
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False
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AMERICA IN THE 20TH CENTURY: WORLD WAR I—THE WAR IN EUROPE
Activity:
Video Quiz (2)
Subject:
World War I—The War in Europe
Name
Date
DIRECTIONS: Read the following statements, and circle whether they are true or false.
1. Asian military alliances were responsible for the outbreak of World War I.
True
False
2. Americans were universal in their desire to enter World War I.
True
False
3. President Theodore Roosevelt signed the declaration of war against Germany.
True
False
4. The sinking of the Titanic sealed the U.S. decision to enter World War I.
True
False
5. The Triple Entente and the Triple Alliance combined to form the Central Powers.
True
False
6. Over 65 million people fought in World War I.
True
False
7. Battlefield trenches were choked with mire, rats and lice.
True
False
8. German U-boats sunk many merchant ships destined for Great Britain.
True
False
9. Women and African Americans did not participate in World War I.
True
False
10. General John J. Pershing led the American Expeditionary Force.
True
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False
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Activity:
Post-Test (3a)
Subject:
World War I—The War in Europe
Name
Date
Multiple Choice
DIRECTIONS: Read each of the following statements. Then circle the best answer.
1. Which name was not used to describe World War I?
a. The Imperialist War
b. The Great War
c. The Trench War
d. None of the above
2. What caused the conflict between Russia and Austria-Hungary?
a. Control over French Provinces
b. Control over Morocco
c. Control over Serbians
d. They had no conflict
3. Developing military strength consisted of increasing…
a. International trade
b. Resources
c. Land
d. All of the above
4. Which country did not belong to the Triple Entente, later called the Allies?
a. Great Britain
b. France
c. Russia
d. Germany
5. What was the name of the secret society that was trying to re-unite all Serbs under one rule?
a. The Red Baron
b. Big Bertha
c. The Black Hand
d. The Dogfighters
6. Which two countries did not sign a treaty together during the war?
a. Austria-Hungary and France
b. Germany and Austria-Hungary
c. Russia and France
d. Great Britain and France
Activity:
Post-Test (3b)
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Name
MEDIA RICH LEARNING
AMERICA IN THE 20TH CENTURY: WORLD WAR I—THE WAR IN EUROPE
World War I—The War in Europe
Subject:
Date
7. Millions of people died during the war due to…
a. Fighting in the battlefield
b. Hunger
c. Diseases related to war
d. All the above
8. Which of the following did the War Industries Board not do?
a. Create Daylight Savings Time
b. Use women’s corsets to build two battleships
c. Increase industrial production by 20%
d. All of the above are correct
9. What was the new construction technique that allowed America to launch 95 ships on July 4,
1918??
a.
b.
c.
d.
Four Minute Men
Mass Production & Fabrication
Convoy Systems
None of the above
10. Which of the following did not apply to the efforts made by the doughboys for the American
Force in the war?
a. They were led by General John J Pershing
b. They over threw the Russia Government
c. They fought the last German offense in France
d. They Improved the Allies morale to win the war
Short Answer Questions
Directions: Read each of the following statements and answer in one or two sentences.
11. Describe the “Checks and Balances System” and its importance prior to the start of the war.
_________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________
12. Name two events that brought the United States into World War I?
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
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Activity:
Post-Test (3c)
Subject:
World War I—The War in Europe
Name
Date
13. Explain three items of the modern warfare used in World War I.
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
14. List three things American citizens did to support the war at home.
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
15. Explain and describe trench warfare.
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
16. Explain the United States foreign policy, “Freedom of the Seas” and its role in the U.S.
joining the war.
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
17. What role did African-Americans play in World War I?
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
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MEDIA RICH LEARNING
AMERICA IN THE 20TH CENTURY: WORLD WAR I—THE WAR IN EUROPE
Activity:
Post-Test (3d)
Subject:
World War I—The War in Europe
Name
Date
18. What did the Committee on Public Information do to support the war, and who was the
head of the committee?
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
Essay Questions
Directions: Write a short essay in response to each statement on separate piece of
paper.
19. What were four underlying causes for the start of World War I? Choose one of the four
causes and discuss in detail how it played a part in starting the war.
20. Explain three reasons why the United States decided to join the war.
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AMERICA IN THE 20TH CENTURY: WORLD WAR I—THE WAR IN EUROPE
Activity:
Discussion Questions (4)
Subject:
World War I—The War in Europe
Name
Date
1.
List and explain the four underlying causes of World War I.
2.
Describe the event that catapulted Europe into World War I.
3.
Explain why World War I was also known as the “Modern War” and give examples of
technological advances.
4.
Discuss why the United States wanted to stay neutral and the reasons why they decided to join.
5.
Describe how the checks and balance system kept the war from starting before it did.
6.
Explain the roles women and African-Americans had in fighting the war.
7.
Describe the efforts made by the War Industries Board to control the economy in preparation for
war.
8.
List and explain some of the efforts the general public could do to support the government and
the United States while at war.
9.
Discuss the process the military used in getting ships made and transported over to Europe safely.
10.
Explain the battles the United States fought against Germany and their outcomes.
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MEDIA RICH LEARNING
AMERICA IN THE 20TH CENTURY: WORLD WAR I—THE WAR IN EUROPE
Activity:
Vocabulary Terms (5)
Subject:
World War I—The War in Europe
Name
Date
Democracy
A government in which the supreme power is held by the people
Progressivism
Believing in moderate political change and social improvement by government action
Socialism
A social system based on government ownership and administration of the means of production
and distribution of goods
Imperialism
Establishing political or economical control over other countries
Nationalism
Devotion to national interests, unity, and independence
Alliance
A union to promote a common interest
Trench
A long narrow cut in the ground used to shelter soldiers
Contraband
Goods legally prohibited in trade; smuggled goods
Propaganda
The spreading of ideas or information to further or damage a cause
Convoy
A group of ships traveling together for protection
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AMERICA IN THE 20TH CENTURY: WORLD WAR I—THE WAR IN EUROPE
Activity:
American Pride (6)
Subject:
World War I—The War in Europe
Name
Date
DIRECTIONS: Explore actual propaganda postcards from World War I on the Internet at
http://www.ww1-propaganda-cards.com/. After looking at the website, create your own
postcard that would convince the public to support a war.
Message of Postcard: __________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
PROPAGANDA POSTCARD
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MEDIA RICH LEARNING
AMERICA IN THE 20TH CENTURY: WORLD WAR I—THE WAR IN EUROPE
Activity:
Roots of War (7)
Subject:
World War I—The War in Europe
Name
Date
DIRECTIONS: Complete the chart below filling in each section to describe how each
underlying cause of the war contributed to the conflicts in Europe.
contribution to war in Europe
nationalism
imperialism
militarism
military alliances
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MEDIA RICH LEARNING
AMERICA IN THE 20TH CENTURY: WORLD WAR I—THE WAR IN EUROPE
Activity:
Ethics of Warfare (8)
Subject:
World War I—The War in Europe
Name
Date
DIRECTIONS: Discuss with your class some of the controversial issues surrounding
implements of “modern warfare” that were used during the war. Some topics of
concern were chemical warfare, machine guns and other modern technologies, water
and air combat, and even the killing of civilians. Choose a topic that interests you on
the ethics of warfare and write a persuasive essay about where you stand on your
topic. Explain why.
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
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MEDIA RICH LEARNING
AMERICA IN THE 20TH CENTURY: WORLD WAR I—THE WAR IN EUROPE
Activity:
Choosing Sides (9)
Subject:
World War I—The War in Europe
Name
Date
DIRECTIONS: Discuss with your class some of the reasons why the United States
decided to join the war and why they chose to fight with the Allies. President Wilson
had to make the decision about which side to join. Form groups of three students
and complete the chart below. Your group needs to provide three reasons why the
United States should join the Allies and three reasons why they might have joined
the Central Powers.
Allies
Central Powers
reason #1
reason #1
reason #2
reason #2
reason #3
reason #3
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MEDIA RICH LEARNING
AMERICA IN THE 20TH CENTURY: WORLD WAR I—THE WAR IN EUROPE
Activity:
Doughboy (10)
Subject:
World War I—The War in Europe
Name
Date
DIRECTIONS: There are many theories why American soldiers were nicknamed
“doughboys.” Conduct your own research on the Internet to discover some of these ideas.
Here is a web site to help you get started. List three theories for the nickname and state which
one you believe is the correct origin and explain why.
Doughboy Origins Web Site: http://www.worldwar1.com/dbc/origindb.htm
First Theory:
_______________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
Second Theory: _______________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
Third Theory:
_______________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
State the theory you believe is correct and explain why: ______________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
PAGE 35 OF 36
MEDIA RICH LEARNING
AMERICA IN THE 20TH CENTURY: WORLD WAR I—THE WAR IN EUROPE
Look for other educational programs from the award-winning team at
Media Rich Learning:
America in the 20th Century
America Becomes a World Power
World War I—The War in Europe
World War I
The Roaring Twenties
The Great Depression
World War II
The Post-War Years
Vietnam
Cold War
The Sixties
The Civil Rights Movement
The Almost Painless guide to U.S. Civics
The Almost Painless Guide to the Executive Branch
The Almost Painless Guide to the Legislative Branch
The Almost Painless Guide to the Judicial Branch
The Almost Painless Guide to the U.S. Constitution
The Almost Painless Guide to the Election Process
The American Industrial Revolution
For more information, access to password-protected content, and to
order programs, visit:
www.mediarichlearning.com
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