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America in World War I | Influenza Epidemic

America in World War I

Under the command of General John J. Pershing, the American Expeditionary Force arrived at the western front just in time to stop a series of German offensives in the spring of 1918. That September, the Americans and their Allies advanced against the German line. In the Meuse-Argonne offensive, over a million American soldiers succeeded in driving the Germans back and cutting off their most important supply lines to the front. The Germans negotiated an armistice on November 11 at their last line of retreat; the armistice became in essence a German surrender and marked the end of World War I. After eight months of intensive fighting, American troops had quieted the western front.


How did U.S. entry into the war strengthen the Allied position? How was American intervention decisive on the battlefield? How was it important for economic and political reasons?


How did World War I reshape America's relationship with European powers? What alliances did the war create for America? In what ways did the U.S. achieve world power status? What consequences would this have for America's post war foreign policy?


Create a Congressional speech for or against the draft of American soldiers to be sent to Europe to fight in the Great War. What evidence would you use for and against this policy?

Influenza Epidemic

In 1918/1919, the world was dealt a crippling blow when a virulent strain of the Influenza virus swept across the world, killing millions; more than had died in the previous four years of war. Believed to have begun in the United States, where approximately 700,000 people died, the pandemic soon spread to Europe, Asia and the rest of the world where over 40 million people died from the virus, or the resulting pneumonia.


Why might such a disproportionately large number of deaths occurred in Asia?


Which areas of the world seem to have been unaffected by the epidemic? Why might that be?


What, if anything, do the regions that were the hardest hit have in common?

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