Unit 3: Chapter 12

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  1. militarism
    maintaining a strong force of armed services
    By the early 1900s in Europe, diplomacy had taken a back seat to militarism. This policy involved aggressively building up a nation's armed forced in preparation for war and giving the military more authority over the government and foreign policy.
  2. mobilization
    the act of assembling and putting into readiness for war
    On July 29, Russia, as Serbia's protector, began mobilization—the readying of troops for war.
  3. stalemate
    a situation in which no progress can be made
    Relatively equal in size and strength, the two sides reached a bloody stalemate, a situation in which neither side is able to gain the advantage.
  4. autocrat
    a cruel and oppressive dictator
    The Kaiser, or emperor, was an autocrat—a ruler with unlimited power.
  5. propaganda
    information that is spread to promote some cause
    While civilians suffered severely under German occupation, some of the worst stories of German crimes were not true. British newspapers published false propaganda, or information intended to sway public opinion, that spread throughout the United States.
  6. pledge
    a binding commitment to do or give or refrain from something
    In what came to be called the Sussex pledge, the German government again promised that U-boats would warn ships before attacking.
  7. revolution
    the overthrow of a government by those who are governed
    This Russian Revolution cheered the prowar faction in the United States.
  8. selective service
    a system in which people are drafted into the military
    Congress passed a Selective Service Act in May 1917, authorizing a draft of young men for military service.
  9. expedition
    a military campaign in a foreign country
    Volunteers and National Guardsmen made up the remainder of what was called the American Expeditionary Force (AEF).
  10. convoy
    a collection of merchant ships with an escort of warships
    Starting in May 1917, all merchant and troop ships traveled in a convoy. A convoy consisted of a group of unarmed ships surrounded by a ring of destroyers, torpedo boats, and other armed naval vessels equipped with hydrophones to track and destroy submarines.
  11. zeppelin
    a large airship designed to carry passengers or bombs
    German zeppelins, or floating airships, and German bombers launched more than 100 raids on London, killing almost 1,500 civilians.
  12. armistice
    a state of peace agreed to between opponents
    A civilian representative of the new German Republic signed an armistice, or cease-fire, in a French railroad car at 5:00 AM on November 11, 1918. Six hours later, as agreed, the guns finally fell silent.
  13. genocide
    systematic killing of a racial or cultural group
    In a campaign of genocide, or the organized killing of an entire people, Ottoman forces deported and murdered Armenians, whom they suspected of disloyalty to the government.
  14. bond
    a certificate of debt issued by a government or corporation
    It borrowed money by selling Liberty Bonds, special war bonds to support the Allied cause. Like all bonds, they could later be redeemed for the original value of the bonds plus interest.
  15. ration
    distribute in fixed allowances
    He also had the power to begin a system of rationing, or distributing goods to consumers in a fixed amount.
  16. sedition
    an illegal action inciting resistance to lawful authority
    Sedition is any speech or action that encourages rebellion.
  17. vigilante
    a person who takes the law into his or her own hands
    Groups of vigilantes, citizens who take the law into their own hands, lynched and horsewhipped others.
  18. self-determination
    government of a political unit by its own people
    Wilson also called for the right of Austria-Hungary's ethnic groups to self-determination, or the power to make decisions about one's own future.
  19. spoil
    valuables taken by violence
    Wilson claimed that he was not interested in the spoils, or rewards, of war.
  20. reparation
    compensation exacted from a defeated nation by the victors
    They insisted that Germany supply reparations, or payment for economic injury suffered during a war.
  21. treaty
    a written agreement between two states or sovereigns
    On June 28, the great powers signed the treaty at Versailles, the former home of French kings, outside of Paris. Thus, the treaty is known as the Versailles Treaty.
Created on July 27, 2021 (updated July 30, 2021)

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