Social Studies - 2017-18

USII.5c - World War I

The student will demonstrate knowledge of the changing role of the United States from the late nineteenth century through World War I by

c)  explaining the reasons for the United States’ involvement in World War I and its international leadership role at the conclusion of the war.

Blooms Level: Understand

Adopted: 2008


Big Themes/Concepts: Alliances, War vs. Peace, Conflict, Nationalism, Militarism, Imperialism

United States looks to increase its power on the world stage. 

World War I had a long-term effect on American history. 

The end of World War I set the stage for World War II. 

Alliances have both positive and negative effects. 

The United States continues to be involved in European affairs. 

The horrors of the conflict helped reshape how people view warfare.


The United States’ involvement in World War I ended a long tradition of avoiding involvement in European conflicts and set the stage for the United States to emerge as a global superpower later in the twentieth century.

There were disagreements about the extent to which the United States should participate in world affairs.

What were the reasons for the United States’ becoming involved in World War I?

Who were the Allies?

Who were the Central Powers?

In what ways did the United States provide international leadership at the conclusion of the war?


Reasons for United States involvement in World War I

·  Inability to remain neutral

·  German submarine warfare: Sinking of the Lusitania

·  United States economic and political ties to Great Britain

·  The Zimmermann Telegram

Major Allied Powers

·  British Empire

·  France

·  Russia

·  Serbia

·  Belgium

·  United  States

Central Powers

·  German Empire

·  Austro-Hungarian Empire

·  Bulgaria

·  Ottoman Empire

United States leadership as the war ended

·  At the end of World War I, President Woodrow Wilson prepared a peace plan known as the Fourteen Points that called for the formation of the League of Nations, a peacekeeping organization.

The United States decided not to join the League of Nations because the United States Senate failed to ratify the Treaty of Versailles.

Analyze and interpret primary and secondary source documents to increase understanding of events and life in United States history. (USII.1a)

Sequence events in United States history. (USII.1c)

Interpret ideas and events from different historical perspectives. (USII.1d)


World War I, Lusitania, Zimmerman Telegram, Allied Powers, Central Powers, Woodrow Wilson, Fourteen Points, League of Nations, Treaty of Versailles, alliances, neutrality.

Updated: Aug 17, 2017