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For more information, please see full course syllabus of AP U.S. History
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The Great War

  • Causes of the Great War: Nationalism, militarism, imperialism, & entangling alliances (combined with other factors) led to European nations to a brutal war
  • The U.S. stayed out of the war at first; most Americans saw no reason to get involved since we had a good relationship with both sides; the belief in “U.S. exceptionalism,” the feeling that democratic values & institutions made their country immune from the corruption & chaos of other nations
  • American public was divided; b/c of the huge immigrant population in the U.S. & there were 3 main groups: isolationists, interventionists and the internationalists
  • Eventually, U.S. enters war because of German sinking of Lusitania and the Zimmermann Note
  • U.S. engaged in total war and mobilized the home front, initiated the draft, and led a propaganda campaign
  • Conscientious objectors and peace activists spoke out against the war while African Americans hoped to be treated as equals for their war efforts
  • The U.S. gov cracked down on dissent over the war with the passing of the Espionage Act and Sedition Act

The Great War

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Overview 0:06
  • Causes of the Great War 0:47
    • A Brutal War Between European Nations
    • Franco-Prussian War
    • Nationalism
  • Europe Map, 1914 4:40
  • Assassination Hurtles Europe Toward WW1 6:11
    • Archduke Francis Ferdinand
    • Young Bosnia
    • Kaiser William II
  • Fighting Breaks Out 8:56
    • Ultimatum
    • Austria-Hungary Declares War
    • Pan-Slavism
  • Trench Warfare and Deadly Weapons 10:28
    • No Man's Land
    • War of Attrition
    • Western Front
    • Modern Weapons
  • Wilson Urges For Neutrality 13:09
    • U.S. Exceptionalism
    • Isolationists, Interventionists and the Internationalists
  • Key Events in 1915 and 1916 15:57
    • No Longer Attack Passenger Ships Without Warning
    • German Invasion of Neutral Belgium
    • A Slim Margin
  • Early Anti-War Sentiments 17:30
    • Domestic Divisions
    • Cancellation of Irish Home Rule
    • Robert La Follette of Wisconsin and George Norris of NE
    • Andrew Carnegie and Henry Ford
  • Pro-War Propaganda 19:08
  • Wilson Abandons Neutrality 20:43
    • Blockade Against Britain
    • Lusitania
    • Sussex
    • The National Defense Act
    • The Naval Construction Act
  • Sinking of Lusitania 23:00
  • The Zimmermann Note 23:27
    • Germans Proposed an Alliance with Mexico
    • Intercepted Telegram
    • Unrestricted Submarine Warfare
  • The Home Front 24:21
    • The Lives of Ordinary Americans
    • Conscription
    • Doughboys
    • Slackers
  • We Want You! 26:03
  • Wartime Economy 27:24
    • War Industries Board
    • Bernard Baruch
    • The Food Administration
    • The Committee on Public Information
    • George Creel Directed the CPI
  • More Propaganda Posters and Songs 31:12
  • Opposition and Hope For Minorities 33:57
    • Conscientious Objectors
    • Women's Peace Party
    • The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
    • Segregated Regiments
  • Crackdown on Dissent 37:28
    • Espionage Act
    • The Sedition Act
  • Example 1 39:39
  • Example 2 40:39
  • Example 3 42:50