Exam preparation materials


Rapid Review Guide

To achieve the perfect 5, you should be able to explain the following:

• World War I greatly impacted the American mind-set and America’s role in world affairs; this was the first time that America became directly involved in affairs taking place on the European continent.

• Many American expressed support for the Allied powers from the beginning of the wan German U-boat attacks solidified American support for Britain and France.

• The sinking of the Lusitania and the Zimmermann Telegram did much to intensify American anger against Germany.

• Germany’s decision to utilize unrestricted submarine warfare caused President Wilson to call for war in 1917; Wilson claimed that this policy violated America’s rights as a neutral power.

• The American Expeditionary Force did much to aid the Allied war effort, both militarily and psychologically.

• The federal government did much to mobilize the American population at home for the war effort; Liberty bonds were sold, voluntary rationing took place, and propaganda was used to encourage Americans to oppose the “Hun” however possible.

• Many blacks moved to northern cities to work in factories during World War I; this migration would continue through the 1920s.

• Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points met opposition from French and English leaders at the Paris Peace Conference; many of them had to be abandoned to secure the creation of the League of Nations.

• The Treaty of Versailles was opposed by U.S. Senators who felt that America should pursue an isolationist policy after the war. As a result, the treaty was never signed by the United States and the United States never joined the League of Nations,

• Many Europeans leaders expected America to be active as a leader in world affairs after World War I. Instead, America adopted neoisolationist policies that lasted until America entered World War II.

Time Line

1914: Outbreak of World War I in Europe

Woodrow Wilson officially proclaims American neutrality in World War I

National Security League founded to prepare America for war

1915: Sinking of the Lusitania by German ll-boat

1916: Germany torpedoes Sussex, then promises to warn merchants ships if they are to be attacked

Woodrow Wilson reelected with campaign slogan of “He kept us out of war”

1917: Zimmermann Telegram

Germany declares unrestricted submarine warfare

United States enters World War I, stating that U.S. rights as a neutral had been violated

Russian Revolution; Russian-German peace talks

Conscription begins in United States War

Industries Board formed to create a war economy

Espionage Act passed

American Expeditionary Force lands in France

1918: Military success by American Expeditionary Force at Chateau-Thierry

Sedition Act passed; free speech limited (illegal to criticize government or American military forces)

Wilson announces the Fourteen Points Armistice ends World War I (November 11)

1919: Paris Peace Conference creates Treaty of Versailles

Race riots in Chicago

Wilson suffers stroke during speaking tour promoting Treaty of Versailles

Senate rejects Treaty of Versailles; United States does not join League of Nations

Review Questions

1. All of the following events prepared America for war against Germany except

A. accounts of the conduct of the “Huns” during military operations reported in many American newspapers

B. the Sussex Pledge

C. German policy concerning use of U-boats in 1917

D. the sinking of the Lusitania

E. The Zimmermann telegram

(Correct Answer: B. In the Sussex Pledge the Germans actually promised not to sink American merchant ships without warning.

All of the other choices deeply angered many in America. It was reported in American newspapers that German soldiers—“Huns”—ate babies in villages they occupied, although there was no evidence that this had ever actually occurred.)

2. The French were opposed to many of Wilson’s Fourteen Points because

A. they were fundamentally opposed to the creation of a world body such as the League of Nations

B. they felt that the French and the Italians should formulate the major provisions of the treaty

C. they were angry that Wilson had insisted that the Germans not take part in the creation of the treaty

D. French diplomats had little respect for Wilson and his American counterparts

E. the Fourteen Points disagreed fundamentally with what the French felt should be contained in the Treaty of Versailles

(Correct Answer: E. While Wilson saw the treaty as an opportunity to create a democratic world free of old diplomatic entanglements, the French saw the treaty as an opportunity to punish the Germans in as many ways as possible, as much of the fighting of the war had taken place on French territory.)

3. After America declared war in 1917

A. millions of American men showed up at draft boards across the country to volunteer for the war

B. ration cards were issued to all families

C. camps were set up to detain “troublesome” Americans of German background

D. drills took place in American cities to prepare Americans for a possible attack

E. movie stars and other celebrities helped sell Liberty Bonds to the American public

(Correct Answer: E. Charlie Chaplin and others appeared at rallies and encouraged Americans to buy Liberty Bonds. A draft was needed to get enough American soldiers for the war; rationing during World War I was voluntary.)

4. Some critics maintained that the United States had no right to be outraged over the sinking of the Lusitania because

A. the Lusitania was carrying contraband, which meant that it could legally be sunk

B. the Germans had sunk a passenger ship before

C. the Germans had placed advertisements in American newspapers warning Americans not to travel on the Lusitania

D. German U-boat policies were well publicized

E. All of the above

(Correct Answer: E. Six months earlier the Germans had sunk the Arabic, another passenger liner. Many maintain that the advertisements the Germans put in American newspapers were strong enough warnings that the ship was going to be sunk.)

5. Many senators were opposed to American entry into the League of Nations because

A. they feared that the United States would end up financing the organization

B. they feared the U.S. Army would be sent into action on “League of Nations business” without congressional authorization

C. American opinion polls demonstrated that the American public was almost unanimously opposed to American entry into the League

D. they feared that the Germans and the Russians would dominate the League

E. Warren G. Harding, Wilson’s vice president, was a staunch isolationist

(Correct Answer: B. A major fear of many influential senators was that American entry into the League would cause Congress to lose its right to right to declare war and approve American military actions. It should be noted that Germany and the Soviet Union were not initially members of the League of Nations.)

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