World War I

"At the sound of the first droning . . .

...of the shells we rush back, in one part of our being, a thousand years. By the animal instinct that is awakened in us we are led and protected. It is not conscious; it is far quicker, much more sure, less fallible, than consciousness. . . . It is this other, this second sight in us, that has thrown us to the ground and saved us, without our knowing how. . . . We march up, moody or good-tempered soldiers—we reach the zone where the front begins and become on the instant human animals."

— Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

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World War I

— from the series America in the 20th Century

The crucible of World War I forged the United States into a formidable global force, forever shaping the trajectory of our nation's foreign policy. It is a pivotal chapter that offers profound insights into the intricate dance of diplomacy on the world stage.

The genesis of American foreign policy in the 20th century lies at the confluence of two pivotal events: the emergence of the United States as a major global power following the Spanish-American War in the late 19th century and its entry into World War I. The American intervention in World War I marked a profound turning point, setting the stage for the nation's role as a dominant world power throughout the remainder of the century.

Delve into the intricacies of this era and discover valuable lessons about the complexities of contemporary foreign policy. Explore the challenges of maintaining neutrality while navigating the responsibilities of an economic giant with global interests. Witness the fervent aspiration to export democracy worldwide, as the United States grappled with the complex dynamics of a rapidly evolving world.

World War I doughboy

Video Chapters

Step back to World War I in the third compelling installment of our acclaimed video series, America in the 20th Century. This meticulously crafted program delves deep into the origins, execution, and far-reaching consequences of the Great War. Explore the rapid advancements in battlefield technology, the pivotal American role in the conflict, and the tireless pursuit of a lasting peace settlement.

Additionally, experience America's wartime home front, where the conflict's impact resonated far and wide. Witness the fervent campaigns to rally public support, the evolving roles of women and African-Americans, and the profound implications for civil rights and civil liberties during this transformative period in history.

World War I is presented in eight video chapters. Experience a sneak peek here or unlock the complete videos by accessing our exclusive members-only Streaming Room™. Not yet a member? Subscribing is quick and effortless, and provides access to a wealth of history and social studies content.

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