11.2 American Power Tips the
What problems did the U.S. face
as it entered the war?
How Did the U.S. Prepare for War?
• First, the U.S. needed to build up its
armed forces
• Congress did this by passing the Selective
Service Act, which required men to
register with the government so they could
be drafted into service
• This put about 3 million men in uniform
• Women served in non-combat positions
America Turns the Tide
• To prevent loss by German submarine
attacks, the U.S. and Britain began using
the convoy system, where merchant ships
traveled in a large group guarded by naval
• American soldiers helped turn the tide of
battle in Europe because of their energy
and attitude
Fighting ‘Over There’
• The American Expeditionary Force was led by General
John J. Pershing
• American infantrymen were called doughboys b/c of the
white belts they wore and cleaned with pipe clay, or
• New weapons like the tank and the airplane played a
decisive role in the war
• Pilots went from shooting each other with pistols to using
mounted machine guns
• Eddie Rickenbacker was an American ace pilot who shot
down 26 enemy planes and fought in 34 air battles
• New weapons and tactics made World
War I very destructive
• Soldiers faced miserable conditions,
including filth, trench foot, trench mouth,
‘shell shock’ from constant bombardment,
vermin, poison gas, and disease
American Troops Go on the
• American soldiers arrived in Europe just in time
to stop a German advance on Paris
• One soldier, Alvin York, had been a
conscientious objector (a person who opposes
war on moral grounds), but eventually his
actions in battle gained him national celebrity
• Germany, finally exhausted from the war, agreed
to an armistice on November 11, 1918
• The war took a bloody toll, killing more than 22
million and causing untold suffering