American Cultures – 0 World War I summer Reading Guide Questions

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American Cultures – 6.0

World War I - Summer Reading Guide Questions
After completing the assigned reading for World War I, answer the guide questions listed below. Review and follow the “Requirements for Homework Guide Questions” and be aware that failure to follow the format below will result in deductions from the overall assignment. When you return to school the guide questions will be collected, graded and you will be tested on this material. It is expected that you will have mastered the material in the reading and be prepared to take the test when you return.

Requirements for Homework Guide Questions

  • Paper heading: Name


Topic: World War I

  • Restate or rewrite each of the guide questions. You can avoid extra work by downloading the questions and simply reformatting them.

  • Leave 2 spaces between each question


When war broke out in Europe in 1914, most Americans did not see our national interest at stake. Loyalties were divided, but eventually the U.S. joined the Allies when Germany broke its pledge on submarine warfare. Americans mobilized rapidly, accepting unprecedented governmental control. A drive to mobilize Americans’ minds led to domestic hostility and violations of civil rights. Wilson went to the Peace Conference in Paris with his Fourteen Points to establish a new international ideal but opponents in Europe, at home and Wilson’s own uncompromising attitude defeated his plan. U.S. victory in World War I made it a reluctant world power. In the1920 election, Americans chose Harding’s “normalcy.”

The Great War (p. 649 - 653)


  • Describe the underlying causes of World War I.
  • Explain the chain of events that trigger World War I.

  • Outline the chain of events through which America entered World War I.

The Guns of August:

1) What events led the European nations into World W I?

2) Identify & explain: Triple Alliance

Triple Entente’

3) What caused the unprecedented casualties of World War I?

American Neutrality:

4) What was the American neutrality policy and why was it difficult to follow?

Preparedness and Peace:

5) Why did Wilson advocate preparedness and at the same time neutrality?

6) What was the issue with submarine warfare and German tactics?

7) What were the Lusitania and Sussex incidents and what effect did they have on American policy? What pledge did the Germans make?

8) What support and what opposition were there to military preparedness?

Safe for Democracy:

9) What did the Germans hope to accomplish by resuming unrestricted submarine warfare?

10) What were Wilson’s first moves against Germany?

11) Identify: Arthur Zimmerman… Explain: The Zimmerman Note

12) What reasoning or justification did Wilson use in asking for a declaration of war?

American Mobilization (p. 653 - 657)

  • Objective: Describe how the United States government mobilized the minds of Americans at home and American soldiers overseas.

Selling the War:

13) Describe how the CPI sold the war to the American public. What were the consequences of the CPI campaign?

Opposition to War:

14) Why do Progressive reformers support the war?

15) Why do many of the women’s organizations and the middle class women associated with these organizations support the war?

You’re in the Army now”:

16) Identify and explain: Selective Service Act

17) How was the Selective Service Act designed to avoid opposition to the draft?

Racism in the Military:

18) Describe the circumstances under which African Americans served in the United States military during World War I

Americans in Battle:

19) Identify: General John J. (“Blackjack”) Pershing... What were his personal beliefs about fighting World War I

20) What did Americans initially expect their role to be in World War I? Why do we become fully engaged in the war?”
Over Here (p. 657- 663)


  • Summarize the effect of World War I on the American home front.

  • Describe the effects of World War I on America’s economy, politics and cultural life.

Organizing the Economy:

21) Identify & explain: War Industries Board / Bernard Baruch

22) Identify & explain: The Food Administration / Herbert Hover

23) Describe how the U.S. government raised the money necessary to fight the war.

The Business of war:

24) What was the wartime trend toward a bureaucratic state and greater federal presence?

Labor and the War:

25) How did the labor unions respond to the war?

26) What was the policy of the federal government toward labor? What did Samuel Gompers and the National War Labor Board accomplish?

27) What happened to the Immigration Act of 1917 during the war?

28) What happened to the more radical elements of the labor movement and specifically to the IWW?

Women at Work:

29) What effect did war production have on women workers?

30) What was the Women In Industry Service and what did its director, Marv VanKleeck, try to accomplish?

31) What happened to jobs for women at the war’s end?

Woman Suffrage:

32) How did World War I advance the cause of women’s suffrage and women’s status in general?

33) What tactics did different women’s groups follow and what effect did the more radical

National Women’s Party have?


34) Describe how the war helped the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment?

Public Health:

35) How did wartime mobilization bring greater government involvement with public health issues? What was the government response to the influenza epidemic?

Repression and Reaction (p. 663- 666)

  • Objective: Describe how the U.S. government enforced loyalty and discouraged dissent.

Muzzling Dissent: The Espionage and Sedition Act

36) Identify: The Espionage and Sedition Acts… Explain how these acts were used to control dissent for the war effort

37) Describe how the United States government encouraged vigilante activity.

  • Objective: Explain how participation in World War I increased the existing social tensions in America.

The Great Migration and Racial Tensions:

38) What was the Great Migration and how did it increase racial tensions?

39) What did many African American leaders feel would happen as a result of supporting the war effort? What happened instead?

Labor Strife:

40) Why did the labor peace established during the war come to an abrupt end by 1919?

41) How did most Americans view the strikes?
An Uneasy Peace (p. 666-671)

  • Objective: Explain the difficulties President Wilson encountered in trying to project his progressive ideas to the world and to his own constituents.

The Fourteen Points:

42) Identify: The Fourteen Points… Explain the main ideas associated with the Fourteen Pts

Wilson in Paris:

43) How successful was Wilson in applying his Fourteen Points?

The Treaty Fight:

44) Why was there a fight about ratifying the Treaty of Versailles in the United States Senate?

45) Why did President Wilson resist Henry Cabot Lodge’s actions and what did he try to do instead? What was the end result?

The Russian Revolution and America’s Response:

46) What happened in Russia during the war?

47) Who took control of Russian and what actions did they take related to the war?

48 What was Wilson’s response to the developments in Russia?

The Red Scare:

49) Identify and explain: Mitchell Palmer

50) What was the Red Scare and what caused it?

51) What was the legacy of Mitchell Palmer’s campaign?

The Election of 1920:

52) What did the results of the 1920 election reflect about American society?


53) What were the overall effects of the war on American life?

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