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Causes of the war

militarism, alliances, imperialism, nationalism


the development of armed forces and their use as a tool of diplomacy; Military build up caused by a threat posed by neighbors, turned into an arms race as each nation tried to develop weapons more powerful than their neighbors


The nations were scared to disrupt the balance of power between the alliances when a spark between the Allies and Central powers caused conflict; Triple Alliance and Triple Entente


European nations wanted territory held by neighboring countries (Germany fought with France and Britain to be the best and have colonies)


Attempts to unite all German-speaking peoples under one flag and attempts to unite all Slavic people were bound to conflict as the populations were scattered over the same territories; Led to competition and antagonizing because of devotion to a country; Ethnic groups hated being dominated and wanted to become independent; Russia and Austria-Hungary became rivals through fighting for Serbia

triple alliance

Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Italy→Central powers

triple entente

France, Great Britain, and Russia→Allies

archduke franz ferdinand

Assassinated on a goodwill trip to Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina; Heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne; Was a cause of the Great War

the black hand

Secret terrorist group that was responsible for planning the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand; Goal was to create a state that brought the unification of all the Serbs (Austrian emperor saw this as a good excuse to crush Serbia)

causes of US involvement in war

zimmerman telegram/note; lusitania; u-boat attacks

Zimmerman telegram/note

Says that if Germany can't keep the US neutral, they'd give Mexico financial support to attack the US in order to regain their lost territories


Ship sinks in 18 minutes; 128 Americans die

U-boat attacks

Sinks the Lusitania; Attacks were a threat to Allied ships of supplies and soldiers

How does the US prepare for and fight the war?

Mass production, convoy system, economic boom, new weapons, war industries board, fuel administration, national war labor board, food administration, committee on public information, and the espoinage & sedition acts

Mass Production

US had to build ships to transport men, equipment, and food to Europe; The submarine warfare had taken a toll on the current fleet; Government took 4 steps

What four steps did the government take in mass production?

1. exempted or deferred shipyard workers from draft. 2. used techniques to honor them. 3. started using pre-fabrication technique (mass produce parts elsewhere and then assemble ships in shipyard) 4. government took commercial and private ships and converted them for wartime use

Convoy system

American Vice Admiral Williams suggested the British try it; Destroyers would guard merchant ships traveling in groups across the Atlantic; Cut losses in half by 1917; US Navy also placed mines across North Sea that traveled to Europe during the war, only 637 were killed in U-boat attacks

War Industries Board

Encouraged companies to use mass-production techniques to increase efficiency; Urged them to eliminate waste by standardizing products; Industrial production in the US increased by 20%; Retail prices increased because of WIB applying price controls at the wholesale level→costs more to get the necessities; Corporate profits increased

Fuel Administration

Monitored coal supplies; Rationed gasoline and heating oil; Introduced daylight savings time to conserve and take advantage of long days in the summer; Started "gasless Sundays" and "lightless nights"

National War Labor Board

Established by Wilson to deal with fights between management and labor; Workers would lose their draft exemptions if they disobeyed the decisions; Improved factory conditions (Pushed for an 8-hour workday, promoted safety inspections, & enforced the child labor ban)

Food Administration

Set up by Wilson to help produce and conserve food; Set up under Herbert Hoover; "Meatless days" and "sugarless days" to conserve food; Food shipment to Allies→triples; Conserving food in WWI was voluntary, but in WWII, it was mandatory

Committee on Public Information

Popularized the war [propaganda]; Became the nation's first Propaganda agency→influenced people's thoughts and actions; Muckraker journalist George Creel was the head (Persuaded nations' artists and advertising agencies to promote war through their art and writing); Used "Four-Minute Men" to speak about the war

Espionage and Sedition Act

A person could be fined up to $10,000 and sentenced to 20 years in jail for interfering with the war effort or for saying anything disloyal, profane, or abusive about the government or war effort; Violated the First Amendment and targeted socialists and labor leaders; Led over 2,000 prosecutions for loosely defined antiwar activities; Victor Berger was refused a seat in the House because of his antiwar views

What were the new nations after WWI?

Yugoslavia (from Serbia, Albania & Austria-Hungary); Austria and Hungary (from Austria-Hungary); Finland; Estonia; Latvia; Lithuania; & East Prussia

Allied Powers

Russia, Great Britain/Ireland, Belgium, France, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Montenegro, Serbia, & Romania

Central Powers

Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, & Ottoman Empire

Neutral Nations

Spain, Switzerland, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Albania, Luxembourg

What were some new weapons from WWI?

Bayonets, flamethrowers, grenades, machine guns, pistols, poison gas, rifles, tanks, trench mortars

Economic Boom

Because of new weapons and ships being produced, along with food going to soldiers, there was a great economic boom in the US

Selective Service Act

Required all men 21-30 to register with local draft board for random selection

Espionage and Sedition Act

A person could be fined up to $10,000 and sentenced to 20 years in jail for interfering with the war effort or for saying anything disloyal, profane, or abusive about the government or war effort

Vladimir Lenin

Leader of the Bolsheviks


Established a Communist regime in Russia; Means "the majority"; Cried out for a worldwide revolution that would abolish capitalism everywhere


Temporary suspension of fighting to work out a truce


Germany agreed to a cease-fire and signed the truce, which ended the war

League of Nations

Proposed by Wilson; Fourteenth point in the Fourteen Points which called for the creation of an international organization to address diplomatic crises like those that sparked the war; Provided a forum for nations to discuss and settle their grievances without having to resort to war

Great Migration

WWI accelerated the Great Migration; Large-scale movement of hundreds of thousands of Southern blacks to cities in the North; Was the greatest affect on African Americans


Wilson based the Fourteen Points on the principle of self-determination; Groups that claimed distinct ethnic identities were to form their own nation-states or decide for themselves to what nations they would belong

Fourteen Points

Speech given by Wilson; First five points included issues that Wilson believed had to be addressed to prevent another war; Next eight points dealt with boundary changes; Based the provisions on the principle of self-determination; Fourteenth point called for the creation of an international organization


Treaty of Versailles required Germany to pay war damages to the Allies

Treaty of Versailles

Established nine new nations and shifted the boundaries of other nations; Humiliated Germany because it contained a war-guilt clause forcing Germany to admit sole responsibility for starting WWI

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