The Great War Terms and Concepts

Points Woodrow Wilson

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14 Points

Woodrow Wilson’s plan for a postwar settlement, stressing national self-determination, no secret treaties, disarmament, freedom of trade and a League of Nations to promote peace.

American Neutrality

US stays out of World War I from 1914 to 1917, but lends money to Britain and sells arms to Britain and France, angering Germany


the death of over 100 Americans when a German submarine sinks this British ship in 1915 moves American closer to war against Germany

Zimmerman Telegram

British agents intercept this telegram from Germany to Mexico, offering military help to Mexico for an attack on the United States. Helps trigger US declaration of war against Germany in 1917

Ludendorff Offensive

The final German effort to win the war in France before American troops arrived in force, consisting of attacks from March 1918ninto late April. The failure to break the Allied lines exhausted the German army and allowed the Allies to begin their own attacks in the summer.

League of Nations

the international congress (1st United Nations, in effect) created by Treaty of Versailles for promoting peace. US does not join League even though it was Wilson’s idea

Treaty of Versailles

ended World War I and imposed serious penalties on the Triple Alliance powers

"War Guilt" Clause

a clause in the Versailles Treaty that stated the war was provoked by Germany, thus giving the Allies their claim to reparations

Lost Generation”

term for those who had died or lost their innocence in the Great War.

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