The Unfinished Nation: Chapter 23 “America and The Great War”


Chapter 23 Main Themes:


  1. The gradual involvement of the United States in WWI, from leaning toward the Allies since the outbreak of hostilities to eventually being drawn into full participation in the war.

  2. The decisive impact of American intervention on land and sea in tipping the balance of victory for the beleaguered Allied forces.

  3. The war mobilization of the Wilson administration - how they financed the war, managed the economy, and encouraged public support of the war effort.

  4. The idealistic aims and bitter defeats suffered by Woodrow Wilson internationalist foreign policy after World War I.

  5. The profound economic, social, and racial significance of America's involvement in the Great War.


A thorough study of Chapter 23 should enable the student to understand:

·  The background factors and the immediate sequence of events that caused the United States to declare war on Germany in 1917.

·  The contributions of the American military to Allied victory in World War I.

·  The extent of government control of the economy during World War I and the results of that control.

·  The use of propaganda under George Creel and the CPI to further the WWI effort.

·  The announced American objectives in fighting the war, Wilson's Fourteen Points.

·  Woodrow Wilson's motives, successes, and failures at the Paris Peace Conference.

·  The circumstances that led the United States to reject the Treaty of Versailles.

·  The economic problems the United States faced immediately after the war.

·  The reasons for the Red Scare and the upsurge of racial unrest that afflicted postwar America in 1919.





            Any nation involved in a war.



            The most radical and organizationally the strongest of the contending socialist groups in Russia in 1917. Also known as Reds, or simply as communists. Led by Lenin, in November 1917 the Bolsheviks won control of the central government of Russia from a moderate coalition that had taken charge provisionally after the March 1917 popular revolution, which deposed the czar.