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World War I, 1914-1920
Guide: America Goes to War

These resources explain why the United States abandoned its policy of neutrality toward World War I. Use these resources to support your students' understanding of why neutrality was abandoned and how the war impacted Americans at home and abroad. Use the Export to My Lists button above to turn this into a research list for your students.

Time Period Key Understandings

  • Labor unions developed as social and political movements
  • Rural and urban areas have distinct needs that shape political and economic concerns
  • Racial and ethnic groups have fought to obtain civil rights and liberties
  • Government accountability relies on a politically engaged populace
  • Society's idea of morality changes over time
  • A balance between public safety and economic growth is desirable
  • A nation's diplomatic powers rest in its ability to have a foreign presence
  • There are multiple factors that a nation must consider when deciding to go to war
  • The U.S. has gone through periods where it feels it is in its best interest to remain detached from certain global events
  • Negotiating a peace involves compromises and consensus and can extend well beyond the end of hostilities

Key Questions

  • What events or factors led to the U.S. decision to abandon its policy of neutrality and enter the war on the side of the Allies?
  • What challenges did the U.S. government face when preparing to enter World War I?
  • What types of sacrifices did Americans at home make to support the military effort abroad?


  1. Overview: America Goes to War
  2. Visuals: America Goes to War (Visual)
  3. Outline: Outline
  4. Lesson: Introduction
  5. Photos & Illustrations: Zimmermann Telegram: newspaper story
  6. Reference Articles: Committee on Public Information
  7. Reference Articles: Harlem Hellfighters
  8. Reference Articles: Selective Service Act
  9. Reference Articles: World War I
  10. Political Cartoons, Posters & Document Images: World War I poster encouraging women to work
  11. Political Cartoons, Posters & Document Images: World War I poster: "Defeat the Kaiser and his U-Boats"
  12. Political Cartoons, Posters & Document Images: World War I: "Sleeves up" for patriotism poster
  13. Political, Government & Court Documents: Wilson, Woodrow: Call for War against Germany (1917), excerpt

MLA Citation

"America Goes to War." History Hub, ABC-CLIO, 2019, historyhub.abc-clio.com/Search/Display/2153046. Accessed 25 Aug. 2019.

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Entry ID: 2153046

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