<< Back to Lessons Index

Discover_our_World_Yellow / Lesson 5: World War I

World War One

World War One Begins In Europe

  • World War One was a War fought between 1914-1918 AD in Europe
  • During World War I the people who fought in the war did not call it World War I because they did not know that their would be World War II ---so they called it "The Great War"

World War One Causes Francis Ferdinand  
  • There were actually many causes for World War I

  • However: WWI began when a Serbian Student assassinated or Shot to death, the Archduke of Austria, Francis Ferdinand

  • Francis Ferdinand would have eventually become the King of Austria-Hungary if he had not been killed on June 28, 1914

  • He was shot while riding in a Parade in Bosnia----the Serbian people of Bosnia did not like him because he had planned to annex or take rule over the country of Bosnia-and the Serbian people of Bosnia wanted Independence

Europe had many alliances

  • An alliance is a treaty of friendship between nations who promise to defend each other if they are attacked
  • The Alliances caused many countries to enter into War
  • Here is how the web of alliances worked:
  • 1. King of Austria-Hungary is mad that his son was killed so his country declares war on the country of Serbia
  • 2. Germany was allied with Austria-Hungary so they declared war on Serbia to help Austria-Hungary
  • 3. Serbia was allied with Russia-so Russia entered the war to help Serbia
  • 4. Britain and France were allied with Russia-so they entered the war to help Russia
  • 5. Turkey was allied with Germany and it entered to help Germany
  • 6. Germany crossed over the neutral country of Belgium and Belgium was mad about that and entered the war to fight against Germany

The Allied Powers vs. the Central Powers

  • Europe became divided into two groups in World War One as a result of the Alliances-the groups were divided on what side they were in the War
  • The Allied Powers: These countries fought the Central Power countries
  • 1. Britain
  • 2. France
  • 3. Russia
  • 4. Belgium
  • 5. Serbia
  • 6. Later, Italy and U.S.
  • The Central Powers: These countries fought the Allied Power countries
  • 1. Germany
  • 2. Austria-Hungary
  • 3. Turkey

The United States

  • We did not want to go to War-so we said that we were neutral or isolationist-which meant that we did not take a side in the war
  • We had immigrants of all European countries living in America and we did not know which side to enter
    We stayed out of the war until 1917

The New German Technological Weapons used in World War One

  • The Germans had developed some very destructive new devices for war
  • 1. They invented submarines which were underwater boats which were nicknamed "U-boats"
  • 2. They used machine guns
  • 3. They used Chemical Gas which was like breathing Poison
  • 4. They used airplanes with machine guns
  • 5. They used metal tanks

The Germans Attack Americans

  • The German U-boats would send out torpedoes to sink enemy ships in the Atlantic Ocean The British were trapped because they have an island country and if they tried to sail away-the Germans would sink their ships with torpedoes---so the British were starving - because ships with food and supplies could not get to their country without being sunk by Germans The Americans wanted to help the British people----The Americans along with many British Americans decided to send a ship with supplies to Britain-the ship was called "The Lusitania" ---The Germans saw the ship and they torpedoed it on May 1, 1915 and the ship sank by Ireland The 128 Americans on the ship were killed along with the British people The Americans were now upset with Germany for killing Americans The United States told Germany that they cannot kill Americans who are not fighting in the war The Germans torpedoed and sank eight more American ships in response

The President of the United States during WWI =Woodrow Wilson

  • Woodrow Wilson was the President of the United States during World War One

  • President Wilson asked Congress to go to war against Germany on April 2, 1917 for sinking American ships

  • The United States Congress declared war on all of the Central Power countries that were allied with Germany four days later

  • The United States enters World War One in 1917 on the side of the Allied Powers

Woodrow Wilson

President Wilson Gives a Speech to the American People and Soldiers before they leave for War

  • President Wilson told Americans that we would enter the "Great War" as a nation that would fight this war as a means to "End all Wars"
  • Wilson told the Americans that this war would be the last war ever fought and that they should go into this war as a Way to bring Peace to the World---this WWI war would be "The War to End all Wars"

Woodrow Wilson

    The Home Front

    • As the American ships boarded ships for Europe----the Americans who stayed in America were said to be on the "Home Front"
    • The Home Front is the place where the American soldiers were from and where they lived in America-there was no fighting on the home front
    • The American people helped out their soldiers by making supplies, weapons, food, clothing and fuel in factories
    • Americans created Victory Gardens and they sacrificed certain foods on certain days-so they could send food to their soldiers overseas---Americans had "Wheat less Mondays," "Meatless Tuesdays"---Daylight Savings time was started in WWI to conserve on light and energy

    World War One

    • The French celebrated as American soldiers entered the Streets of France to help fight the Germans
    • The Americans kept sending more troops and fresh reinforcements ----and this weakened the Central Powers that had been fighting the War for four years----while Americans had only fought the War for one year
    • The Soldiers in WWI dug holes in the land called Trenches to hide in while they fought---wars had changed since the Civil War-if they attacked full force---the German weapons would slaughter them
    • Finally, the Americans captured the Germans and forced them and the Central Powers to surrender on November 11, 1918 (Veterans Day)

    World War One

    • 10 million people died in WWI
    • 100,000 of those who died were Americans
    • There were 5 million American soldiers who fought in WWI
    • President Wilson set up a League of Nations--- which was an organization made up of Countries that vowed to prevent future wars
    • However, the United States Congress decided not to join the "League of Nations" because they thought it would cause them to join future wars like the alliances did

    WWI---The Great War lasted for the years 1914-1918

    • WWI lasted between 1914-1918
    • However, the treaty that officially ended WWI was not signed until 1919
    • The Treaty that ended WWI was called the Treaty of Versailles
    • The Treaty of Versailles was signed at Paris, France
    • The Treaty punished Germany more severely than the other Central Power countries
    • Germany lost it's borders, German money was useless, Germany lost it's colonies and Germans had to pay large fines to the Allied Powers
    • The punishments that Germany faced from this treaty caused them to want to start WWII as revenge


    • WWI was not a war that Ended all wars as Wilson thought
    • WWI strengthened the role of the United States in World Events
    • WWI changed the World forever
    • Wilson created a document called the Fourteen Points---to convince Congress why we should go to war in 1917