World War One: American Heroes

Image result for world war one American heroes Statue of Harem Hellfighter Henry Johnson

Today we will finish World War I with an examination of two American heroes(along with a short look at Harlem Hellfighter, Henry Johnson). Sargeant Alvin York and Eugene Bullard. Alvin York was from the mountains of East Tennessee and he single-handedly captured an entire battalion. He killed at least 25 enemy German soldiers while capturing 132. In 1941 a Hollywood movie hit theaters portraying York’s act of heroism.

York.jpgThis battle scene was painted in 1919 by artist Frank Schoonover. The scene depicts the bravery of Alvin C. York in 1918.

After watchin a video about Alvin York we will watch a video about Eugene Bullard, read a short biography, and then answer constructed response questions. Eugene was known as the black swallow and he was the world’s first black combat pilot. Before the Tuskegee Airmen, there was Eugene Bullard.

Eugene Bullard Constructive Response Questions

The Two Lives of Eugene Bullard article from PBS American Experience

The Two Lives of Eugene Bullard article to print

WWI & Russian Revolution Study Guide

WWI American Heroes Powerpoint

World War I- The Great War Textbook reading

WW1 Glossary

BBC Schools World War I Glossary

World War One Glossary from Alpha History

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Russian Revolution

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At the beginning of World War I, Russia was a nation in turmoil. The reforms promised after the Revolution of 1905 never materialized and poverty persisted as the economy worsened. As the war progressed Russia’s prospects in the war were dim as Russia showed herself ill-equipped to fight a war against the Germans. As 1917 began Russia was on the edge of another revolution. By the end of 1917 Bolsheviks under Vladimir Lenin had seized power began to establish a radical Communist government as well as executing the entire Russian royal family. This led to a negotiated peace with the Central Powers and Russia’s withdrawal from World War One.


Below you find links to the Russian Revolution, Guided notes and the worksheet for the day.

Russian Revolution Textbook Reading

Russian Revolution Powerpoint

Russian Revolution Guided Notes 

WWI Practice Quiz

Assassin’s Creed® Chronicles: Russia_20160209173945

World War I: The War Ends

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As the war dragged on into 1916 and then 1917 it seemed to be a war with no end. The Western Front was a stalemate with battles that yielded little progress but costs thousands of lives. In response to a British blockade the Germans utilized U-boats or submarines to attack British naval vessels but then the Germans began to target British merchant ships delivering goods to Great Britain. When the passenger ship Lusitania was sunk by a U-boat killing over 1200 people including 120 Americans. Fearing the entry of the US into war Germany soon ceased attacking passenger ships but by 1917 the Germans returned to unrestricted submarine warfare because they saw it as vital to defeating the British navy.

WWI U-boat

The attacks on shipping began to draw the US closer to war and then the discovery of the Zimmerman note which was a secret message from the German government to Mexico promising the southwestern US if they came into the war on the side of Germany. So with the pressure from different directions, the US declared war in April 1917.


The Zimmerman Note

Today we will examine the end of the war and the Treaty of Versailles which formally ended the war. We will examine the conditions of the peace treaty and how it also set up the conditions that led to World War II.

End of WWI and the Peace Treaty Powerpoint

End of WWI and the Peace Treaty Guided Notes

Battle of The Somme Primary Source Worksheet (assigned earlier)

Treaty of Versailles Source Reading(optional)

World War I definitions & Constructed response questions(today’s work)

African, Asian, and African-American Troops in World War One

WW1 Flower_Paris_1916_Toor Collection

Many Sikh Indian troops fought for the British during WWI

Because most of the action and fighting during WWI took place within Europe many have the mistaken idea that only Europeans fought in WWI. But the reality is that WWI was a truly global war that included troops from around the world. Many African and Asian troops took part in the fighting as colonial troops with the hope that their courage and valor world win them respect and eventually self-rule and independence.


369th Infantry Unit

When the United States entered the war in 1917 one of the most decorated and prestigious units was the  369th Infantry Unit better known as the Harlem Hellfighters. The Harlem Hellfighters were an all African-American unit who fought with amazing tenacity and courage alongside French troops in Europe. Because of racial discrimination in the US during training, the 369th was sent to France ahead of other troops and were allowed to fight alongside French troops because American generals did not want them fighting with white US troops. The

The French government awarded the entire regiment the Croix de Guerre. The video below by the National Guard highlights the courage of the Harlem Hellfighters.

The Harlem Hellfighters
Harlem Hellfighters-History Channel
African Soldiers in World War I
India’s WW1 Hero You’ve Never Heard of


Below are links to the Powerpoint and assignments for the day.

Black and Asian Troops during World War One Powerpoint

Black and Asian Troops during World War One Guided Notes

Harlem Hellfighters Reading

Harlem Hellfighters Organizer Worksheet

We will also watch a trailer from the movie Joyeux Noel a movie which recounts the true and extraordinary Christmas truce of Christmas 1914 when German and Allied troops exchanged Christmas presents and played each other in soccer.

The graphic novel below is based on The Harlem Hellfighters; 200 Bonus points will awarded to students who read the novel and write a 1-page typed review.


For more information on Black history in Great Britain see the website Black Presence in Britain- Black British History

Bhagat Singh Thind was an Indian who enlisted in the United States Army in 1917. He settled in California after arriving in America in 1913.

World War I: A New Kind of War


Today we will continue to examine World War One or The Great War as it came to be known. World War One began with great waves of patriotic enthusiasm but the enthusiasm soon died down as the war reached a stalemate on the Western Front and thousands died trying to claim a few feet.


WWI also became a new type of war as new technologies led to new weapons and even more horrific ways to bring death to the battlefield. WWI saw the introduction to machine guns, poison gas, new artillery and high powered shells. Airplanes and tanks were seen for the first time on the battlefield. We will also see that the war spread to battlefields outside of Europe to the Ottoman Empire, Middle East, Africa and even Asia. When you come to class you will take about 5 minutes to take an online review quiz. Afterward, we will examine the war in more detail as we look at the powerpoint found below.

World War One-A New Kind of War Powerpoint

World War One- A New Kind of War Guided Notes

Europe Plunges into War Textbook reading


After we take notes you will read primary & secondary sources about the Battle of the Somme. You will use all the sources to answer constructed response questions but you will also compare the sources and evaluate their reliability.


World War Definitions & Questions  (Substitute in case of absence)

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New Unit: World War I Begins


Next, we will begin looking at World War One sometimes called the Great War.We will first examine the complicated causes and events leading up to World War One. These events are complicated but are based on four basic causes. These four causes or tensions were

  • Militarism
  • Alliances
  • Imperialism
  • Nationalism

But the spark that caused the explosion of World War One was the assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914. As the Archduke and his wife were traveling through the streets of Sarajevo they were both killed by Gavrilo Princip a member of a Serbian nationalist group. Soon after recriminations and ultimatums were issued that led to multiple declarations of war that plunged all of Europe into a war that spread worldwide.


Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife

Below are the links for the day:

Beginnings & Causes of World War 1 Powerpoint

Beginnings & Causes  of World War 1 Guided Notes

WWI Begins Textbook Reading

WW1 Glossary

BBC Schools World War I Glossary

World War One Glossary from Alpha History

Causes of World War One Organizer & Crossword

WW1 Definitions and Constructed Response Questions

Serb student assassinates Archduke and his duchess


World War I Rap Battle

Get ready for a Test!

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Next week we will take a test on Nationalism and Imperialism. I have prepared a study guide to assist you in studying for the test. The test will include Nationalism(mostly Britain, Italy, and Germany) and Imperialism. Make sure you understand the impact of imperialism on, China, Japan, Africa, and India. The link for the study guide is found below as well as the powerpoints we used and helpful textbook readings.

Nationalism & Imperialism Study Guide

IMPORTANT: The study guides passed out in class have a typo. Number 10 should read: Which African countries remained independent during colonialism? Scratch out European and write in African.

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Introduction to Imperialism Powerpoint 

Imperialism in China/Japan emerges as a World Power Powerpoint

Scramble for Africa Powerpoint

Britain takes over India powerpoint

Textbook Readings

China Resists Outside Influence Textbook Reading

Japan Modernizes Textbook Reading

Imperialism in Southeast Asia Textbook reading

Scramble for Africa Textbook reading

British Imperialism in India Textbook Reading

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Imperialism: India under British Rule


Illustration: British general Robert Clive makes a secret deal to gain territory in India for Britain

Wednesday/Thursday examine imperialism by looking at the British takeover of India. The British began their conquest of India not with the landing of an army but with a desire to establish trade. The British East India Company was a joint stock company formed to establish trade between Britain and India & East Asia. Soon after establishing trading posts in East India the Company soon became entangled in Indian politics.


As Britain gained an influence the Mughal empire slowly declined in power. As Britain controlled territory the British began to manipulating local rulers using the suggestion that their power depended upon British support. The East India Company had their own army largely composed of Indian soldiers called sepoys. British insensitivity led to the Sepoy Mutiny(or the War for Indian Independence as it’s called today in India). After a serious of massacres and atrocities on both sides, the British emerged victorious(with help from other Indians) and established India as a crown colony with Queen Victoria proclaimed the Empress of India. While the British brought some improvements they were mostly concerned with enriching themselves. By the end of the 19th century with the establishment of the Indian National Congress in 1885 and the Muslim League in 1906 Indian nationalism began to unite Indians in their desire for Indian self-rule.



Britain takes over India powerpoint

Britain Takes over India Guided Notes

British Imperialism in India Textbook Reading

India Language Map Worksheet

India Map & Websearch Worksheet


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India State Map

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India Language Map

The Scramble for Africa

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During the mid-1800s Africa was largely unknown and unexplored by Europeans but between 1880 and 1914 European nations competed among themselves to divide Africa up as colonial possessions. This is often called the Scramble for Africa as Europeans divided the continent up with no attention given to language or cultural differences. The impact of this division of Africa still impacts Africa today as the continent struggles with the legacy of imperialism.

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You will examine the PowerPoint fond below. Then you will read about the atrocities in the Congo and the actions of a little known African American hero who served as a missionary in the Congo. Finally, you will examine a political cartoon and complete definitions relevant to imperialism in Africa.

Scramble for Africa Powerpoint

Scramble for Africa Guided Notes

Africa Colonial Map & Current Africa Map  (You can use the maps below)

Imperialism in Africa Definitions and Cartoon  (Use as makeup work)

Scramble for Africa Textbook reading


Africa After the Scramble, 1914

Africa Today


William Shepherd-center

William Shepherd Missionary & Explorer Reading

William Shepherd Missionary & Explorer Worksheet

Imperialism in China & Japan Modernizes


Europeans & Japan dividing China into spheres of influence

Tuesday & Wednesday we will look at both the impact of imperialism on both China and Japan. China struggled to stay isolated from the European nations but found themselves dominated by Europe.


Opium War Movie Poster

Japan also remained isolated for centuries but that isolation ended when US president Millard Fillmore sent Commodore Matthew Perry on a trade mission to Japan. Perry convinced the Japanese to sign the Treaty of Kanagawa which opened up Japanese ports to trade. The Japanese found this deeply humiliating and led to the Japanese drive towards modernization. Japan modernized so quickly that they became an industrial & imperial power. See the links below for the Powerpoint.

Afterwards, you will examine 2 political cartoons and evaluate them. Complete at least one paragraph on each cartoon.

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Commodore Perry in Japan: A Japanese perspective

Imperialism in China/Japan emerges as a World Power Powerpoint

Imperialism in China/Japan emerges as a World Power Guided Notes

Imperialism Political Cartoons

China Resists Outside Influence Textbook Reading

Japan Modernizes Textbook Reading

Imperialism in Southeast Asia Textbook reading


Japan during the Meiji Restoration