Social Studies - 2018-19

USII.5c - World War I

The student will apply social science skills to understand the changing role of the United States from the late nineteenth century through World War I by

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

Adopted: 2015



The United States’ involvement in World War I set the stage for it to emerge as a global superpower later in the twentieth century.


Reasons for the 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 (until 1917)

 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 Senate did not ratify the Treaty of Versailles because of a desire to resume prewar isolationism. The United States did not become a member of the League of Nations.


Updated: May 16, 2018