End of WWI

Contributor: Sarah Lerdal. Lesson ID: 11050

"The war to end all wars" ended a long time ago. Why didn't it end all wars? How could a treaty start another war? Dig into the past with videos and articles to learn about the Treaty of Versailles!


United States

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson called for "peace without victory."

  • What does that idea mean to you?

Take a minute to think about this concept.

WWI started in Europe in 1914.

For several years, the United States remained neutral. In 1917, the United States entered on the side of the Allies.

Two months before Congress declared war, President Wilson said the following during his 22 January, 1917 Address of the President of the United States to the Senate, courtesy of University of Michigan - Dearborn:

"Only a tranquil Europe can be a stable Europe. There must be, not a balance of power, but a community of power; not organized rivalries, but an organized common peace...

...it must be a peace without victory... Victory would mean peace forced upon the loser, a victor's terms imposed upon the vanquished. It would be accepted in humiliation, under duress, at an intolerable sacrifice, and would leave a sting, a resentment, a bitter memory upon which terms of peace would rest, not permanently, but only as upon quicksand."

  • Did Congress and the rest of the world follow Wilson's suggestion of "peace without victory"?

Wilson's goals were laid out in his plan known as the Fourteen Points.

Read the Avalon Project's online copy of President Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points (Yale Law School, Lillian Goldman Law Library). Take notes of some of his major ideas.

The leaders of France, Britain, Italy, and the United States met at the Paris Peace Conference. The decisions made there helped create the treaty that officially ended WWI, known as the Treaty of Versailles.

As the country that was looked at as the perpetrator of the war, Germany was not invited to attend the conference, nor were any of the other Central Powers.

Watch World War I - Treaty of Versailles, from Mojo, to learn more about the Treaty of Versailles:Image - Video

Take some time to read the History Channel's account of the Treaty of Versailles, and watch the video:

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Think about the positive and negative implications of both the Fourteen Points and Treaty of Versailles.

  • Do you see any parts that had potential to cause future problems for the nations involved?

This treaty had lasting effects. Many historians contend it set the stage for World War II.

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