Ch 22: The Great War

  • Lesson Plans

    The American People: Creating a Nation and a Society ©2001

    by Gary B. Nash and Julie Roy Jeffrey John B. Howe, Peter J. Frederick, Allen F. Davis, Allan M. Winkler

    Focus Lesson 17

    Chapter 22: "The Great War"

    AP* Course Description

    1. The First World War 
      1. Problems of neutrality 
        1. Submarines 
        2. Economic ties 
        3. Psychological and ethnic ties 
      2. Preparedness and pacifism 
      3. Mobilization 
        1. Fighting the war 
        2. Financing the war 
        3. War boards 
        4. Propaganda, public opinion, civil liberties 
      4. Wilson's Fourteen Points 
        1. Treaty of Versailles 
        2. Ratification fight 
      5. Postwar demobilization 
        1. Red scare 
        2. Labor strife 

    Key Components

    • Instructor's Guide: pp. 104–107 
    • Study Guide, Vol. II: pp. 63–69 
    • Test Bank: pp. 355–371 

    Key Web Sites

    Given the changing nature of the Internet, you may wish to preview these sites. Always check for updated links to U.S. history sites.

    Key Words and Terms

    • Lusitania 
    • Keatings-Owens Child Labor Bill 
    • National Women's Party 
    • Zimmermann Telegram 
    • Espionage Act 
    • War Industries Board 
    • Wilson's Fourteen Points 
    • Eighteenth Amendment 
    • Nineteenth Amendment 
    • Russian Revolution 
    • Carrie Chapman Catt 
    • Charles Evans Hughes 
    • George Creel 
    • Henry Cabot Lodge 
    • League of Nations 
    • Workmen's Compensation Bill 
    • Federal Farm Loan Act 
    • unrestricted submarine warfare 
    • War Revenue Act 
    • Trading with the Enemy Act 
    • Sedition Act 
    • Versailles Peace Conference 
    • Treaty of Versailles 
    • Victoriano Huerta 
    • Lenin 
    • General John Pershing 
    • Francisco "Pancho" Villa 
    • Bernard Baruch 
    • Venustiano Carranza 

    Suggested Pacing

    Allow three class periods on a 45-minute traditional bell schedule or one session on a 90-minute block schedule. The focus should be on the political and diplomatic maneuvering and not on the battles. 

    Test Strategy

    The AP* exam will not ask questions about the battles of World War I (or any war). Both the multiple-choice questions and the essay prompts will ask students to analyze the political/philosophical ideas or differences of the people involved, the causes of events, and the importance of decisions. Help students dissect cause and effect like a journalist. Have them answer these questions about The Great War: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? 

    Key Concepts

    Students should be aware of the continuity of U.S. foreign policy before and after 1900. This chapter places Wilson's interventionist actions in Central America within this pattern. The nation's entrance into World War I was a continuation of its policy of using power, and at times military force, to protect its overseas economic interests. Remind students of both "gunboat diplomacy" and "dollar diplomacy." They should contrast Wilson's "moral diplomacy" with his predecessors and note that at times Wilson betrayed his principles.

    The authors of the text point out that although progressives feared that the war would end all reform efforts, in reality it was the high point of the progressive movement. On the negative side, the war resulted in both the suppression of civil rights for those who opposed the war and in antiforeign crusades. 

    Summing Up Student Understanding

    Have students list on the board the various themes in this chapter: racial discrimination in the armed forces, intervention in Mexico, intervention in Central America, problems with neutrality, foreign entanglements, mobilization for war, and so on. Then have students draw on their knowledge of U.S. history—pre- and post-World War I—to match similar themes or ideas from another period in U.S. history to the time of the Great War. You might divide the class into teams and run the activity as a "quiz bowl." 


    You might also find these additional readings useful in developing students' background knowledge or for DBQ activities: 

    • American Issues: Vol. II Since 1865, edited by Unger and Tomes—Chapter 7 
    • Constructing the American Past, Vol. II, edited by Gorn, Roberts, and Bilhartz—Chapter 7 
    • American Experiences: Vol. II From 1877, edited by Roberts and Olson (secondary source readings)—Part Three