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  • 1921 BCE

    Representations and the War Guild Clause

    The treaty barred Germany from maintaining an army. It also required Germany to return the region of Alsace-Lorraine to France and to pay reparations, or war damages, amounting to $33 billion to the Allies. First, the treaty humiliated Germany. It contained a war-guilt clause forcing Germany to admit sole responsibility for starting World War I.
  • 1920 BCE

    Big Bill Haywood and the IWW

    When she left jail, the authorities deported her to Russia. “Big Bill” Haywood and other leaders of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) were accused of sabotaging the war effort because they urged workers to strike for better conditions and higher pay.
  • 1919 BCE

    Emma Goldman

    The anarchist Emma Goldman received a two-year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine for organizing the NoConscription League.
  • 1919 BCE

    Agreements made in the Treaty of Versailles

    The Treaty of Versailles (vEr-sFT) established nine new nations—including Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia—and shifted the boundaries of other nations. It carved five areas out of the Ottoman Empire and gave them to France and Great Britain as mandates, or temporary colonies. Those two Allies were to administer their respective mandates until the areas were ready for self-rule and then independence.
  • 1918 BCE

    War Industries Board

    The main regulatory body was the War Industries Board (WIB). It was established in 1917 and reorganized in 1918 under the leadership of Bernard M. Baruch (bE-rLkP), a prosperous businessman.
  • 1918 BCE

    Second Battle of the Marne

    In July and August, they helped win the Second Battle of the Marne. The tide had turned against the Central Powers. In September, U.S. soldiers began to mount offensives against the Germans at Saint-Mihiel and in the Meuse-Argonne area.
  • 1918 BCE

    Conscientious Objector

    O During the fighting in the Meuse-Argonne area, one of America’s greatest war heroes, Alvin York, became famous. A redheaded mountaineer and blacksmith from Tennessee, York sought exemption as a conscientious objector, a person who opposes warfare on moral grounds, pointing out that the Bible says, “Thou shalt not kill.”
  • 1918 BCE

    Cease-fire and Armistice

    So at the eleventh hour, on the eleventh day, in the eleventh month of 1918, Germany agreed to a cease-fire and signed the armistice, or truce, that ended the war.
  • 1918 BCE

    National War Labor Board

    To deal with disputes between management and labor, President Wilson established the National War Labor Board in 1918. Workers who refused to obey board decisions could lose their draft exemptions. “Work or fight,” the board told them.
  • 1918 BCE

    Food Administration

    To help produce and conserve food, Wilson set up the Food Administration under Herbert Hoover. Instead of rationing food, he called on people to follow the “gospel of the clean plate.” He declared one day a week “meatless,” another “sweetless,” two days “wheatless,” and two other days “porkless.” Restaurants removed sugar bowls from the table and served bread only after the first course.
  • 1918 BCE

    Espionage and Sedition Acts a\

    In June 1917 Congress passed the Espionage Act, and in May 1918 it passed the Sedition Act. Under the Espionage and Sedition Acts a person could be fined up to $10,000 and sentenced to 20 years in jail for interfering with the war effort or for saying anything disloyal, profane, or abusive about the government or the war effort.
  • 1918 BCE

    Eugene V. Debs Arrest

    The Espionage and Sedition Acts targeted socialists and labor leaders. Eugene V. Debs was handed a ten-year prison sentence for speaking out against the war and the draft.
  • 1918 BCE

    Wilson's Fourteen Points

    On January 18, 1918, he delivered his now famous Fourteen Points speech before Congress. The points were divided into three groups. The first five points were issues that Wilson believed had to be addressed to prevent another war.
  • 1917 BCE

    Germany Blockades the North Sea

    As fighting on land continued, Britain began to make more use of its naval strength. It blockaded the German coast to prevent weapons and other military supplies from getting through. By 1917, famine stalked the country. Americans had been angry at Britain’s blockade, which threatened freedom of the seas and prevented American goods from reaching German ports. However, Germany’s response to the blockade soon outraged American public opinion.
  • 1917 BCE

    Wilson's "Peace Without Victory Speech"

    After the election, Wilson tried to mediate between the warring alliances. The attempt failed. In a speech before the Senate in January 1917, the president called for “a peace without victory. . . . a peace between equals,” in which neither side would impose harsh terms on the other. Wilson hoped that all nations would join in a “league for peace” that would work to extend democracy, maintain freedom of the seas, and reduce armaments.
  • 1917 BCE

    Zimmermann Note

    First was the Zimmermann note, a telegram from the German foreign minister to the German ambassador in Mexico that was intercepted by British agents.
  • 1917 BCE

    Bolshevik Revolution

    In November, the Bolsheviks, led by Lenin and Trotsky, overthrew the provisional government. They set up a Communist state and sought peace with the Central Powers.
  • 1917 BCE

    Selective Service Act of 1917

    The Selective Service Act in May 1917. The act required men to register with the government
    in order to be randomly selected for military service. By the end
    of 1918, 24 million men had registered under the act.
  • 1917 BCE

    369th Infantry Regiment

    The all-black 369th Infantry Regiment saw more continuous duty on the front lines than any other American regiment. Two soldiers of the 369th, Henry Johnson and Needham Roberts, were the first Americans to receive France’s highest military honor, the Croix de Guerre—the “cross of war.”
  • 1917 BCE

    Convoy System

    American Vice Admiral William S. Sims convinced the
    British to try the convoy system, in which a heavy guard of destroyers escorted merchant ships back and forth across the Atlantic in groups. By fall of 1917, shipping losses had been cut in half.
  • 1917 BCE

    Raising Money for the War

    The United States spent about $35.5 billion on the war effort.
    The government raised about one-third of this amount through taxes, including a progressive income tax (which taxed high incomes at a higher rate than low incomes), a war-profits tax, and higher excise taxes on tobacco, liquor, and luxury goods. It raised the rest through public borrowing by selling “Liberty Loan” and “Victory Loan” bonds.
  • 1917 BCE

    Committee on Public Information and the "four minute men"

    To popularize the war, the government set up the nation’s first propaganda agency, the Committee on Public Information (CPI). Propaganda is a kind of biased communication designed to influence people’s thoughts and actions. The head of the CPI was a former muckraking journalist named George Creel.
  • 1917 BCE

    Anti-German Sentiment in America

    He main targets of these attacks were Americans who had emigrated from other nations, especially those from Germany and Austria-Hungary. The most bitter attacks were directed against the nearly 2 million Americans who had been born in Germany, but other foreignborn persons and Americans of German descent suffered as well.
  • 1917 BCE

    Victor Berger

    Berger's views on World War I were complicated by the Socialist view and the difficulties surrounding his German heritage. However, he did support his party's stance against the war. When the United States entered the war and passed the Espionage Act in 1917, Berger's continued opposition made him a target.
  • 1917 BCE

    American Expeditionary Force and General John J. Pershing

    The American Expeditionary Force (AEF), led by
    General John J. Pershing, included men from widely
    separated parts of the country. American infantrymen were
    nicknamed doughboys, possibly because of the white belts
    they wore, which they cleaned with pipe clay, or “dough.”
  • 1916 BCE

    Battle of the Some

    During the First Battle of the Somme— which began on July 1, 1916, and lasted until mid-November—the British suffered 60,000 casualties the first day alone. Final casualties totaled about 1.2 million, yet only about seven miles of ground changed hands.
  • 1916 BCE

    Trench Warfare

    This bloody trench warfare, in which armies fought for mere yards of ground, continued for over three years. Elsewhere, the fighting was just as devastating and inconclusive.
  • 1916 BCE

    Sinking of French Passenger Liner Sussex

    March 1916 Germany broke its promise and torpedoed an unarmed
    French passenger steamer, the Sussex. The Sussex sank, and about 80 passengers, including Americans, were killed or injured.
  • 1915 BCE

    Sinking Of British Liner Arabic

    Three months later, in August 1915, a U-boat sank another British liner, the Arabic, drowning two Americans. Again the United States protested, and this time Germany agreed not to sink any more passenger ships.
  • 1915 BCE

    Sinking of British Liner Lusitania

    One of the worst disasters occurred on May 7, 1915, when a U-boat sank the British liner Lusitania off the southern coast of Ireland. Of the 1,198 persons lost, 128 were Americans. The Germans defended their action on the grounds that the liner carried ammunition. Despite Germany’s explanation, Americans became outraged with Germany because of the loss of life. American public opinion turned against Germany and the Central Powers.
  • 1915 BCE

    Shell shock, Trench foot, and Trench mouth

    Experiences often led to battle fatigue and “shell shock,” a term coined during World War I to describe a complete emotional collapse from which many never recovered. Physical problems included a disease called trench foot, caused by standing in cold wet trenches for long periods of time without changing into dry socks or boots. A painful infection of the gums and throat, called trench mouth, was also common among the soldiers.
  • 1914 BCE

    1914 Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

    In June 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to
    the Austrian throne, visited the Bosnian capital Sarajevo. As
    the royal entourage drove through the city, Serbian nationalist
    Gavrilo Princip stepped from the crowd and shot the
    Archduke and his wife Sophie.
  • 1914 BCE

    Schlieffen Plan

    On August 3, 1914, Germany invaded Belgium, following
    a strategy known as the Schlieffen Plan. This plan called
    for a holding action against Russia, combined with a quick
    drive through Belgium to Paris; after France had fallen, the
    two German armies would defeat Russia.
  • 1907 BCE


    By 1907 there were two major defense alliances in Europe.
    The Triple Entente, later known as the Allies, consisted of France, Britain, and
  • 1907 BCE

    Central Power

    Germany and Austria-Hungary, together with the Ottoman Empire—an empire of
    mostly Middle Eastern lands controlled by the Turks—were later known as the
    Central Powers.
  • Austria-Hungary Surrenders to the Allies

    On November 3, 1918, AustriaHungary surrendered to the Allies. That same day, German sailors mutinied against government authority. The mutiny spread quickly. Everywhere in Germany, groups of soldiers and workers organized revolutionary councils.
  • Establishment of the German Republic

    On November 9, socialist leaders in the capital, Berlin, established a German republic. The kaiser gave up the throne.