Thursday, March 17, 2011

Honors Business Economics: 18 March 2011

Beyond the Sound Bites (after the Test if time):

Clear your desk except for a pencil. Once everyone is quiet, and no talking during the Test, we can begin. Be sure to put your name on the Test.

You may write on the Test itself.

If you finish early, you may take out non-class materials; once everyone is finished, put away the non-class materials. Then, I will collect the Test.

Be sure your name is on the Test.

If your name is not on the Test it will not be returned.

Food Prices Rise

The emerging middle class in China and India is adopting Western eating habits. And more and more arable land is being used to grow biofuel instead of food.

Food prices grow most since 1974

Wholesale prices rise 1.6 pct. due to biggest jump in food costs in more than 36 years

US Cost of Living Hits Record, Passing Pre-Crisis High

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Chapter 9 Sources of Government Revenue

Student Web Activity

"Understanding Individual Income Taxes"


As you have already learned, the individual income tax is a tax on people's earnings. The tax laws should be written so that both the taxpayer and the tax collector can understand them. This task is not always easy, but people seem more willing to accept the necessity for taxes when they understand them. The purpose of this activity is to examine the taxes that are taken from your income.

Destination Title: Internal Revenue Service

Note: Clicking on the link above will launch a new browser window.
Need help using your browser for this activity? Click here for tips.

Read the article What is Taxed and Why. Print a copy of the page or read the information and answer the following questions. Answer the questions below.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and select information for one of the jobs listed.

1. Who benefits from withholding taxes? How?

2. What is tax liability?

3. What is the difference between vertical and horizontal equity?

4. What is a tax deduction? Give examples.

5. Create a list of tax deductions and tax credits that your family may use on your next tax form.

Section 1 The Economics of Taxation

Taxes and other governmental revenues influence the economy by affecting resource allocation, consumer behavior, and the nation’s productivity and growth. The three criteria used to determine if a tax is effective are equity, simplicity, and efficiency. Furthermore, the benefit principle of taxation and the ability-to-pay principle of taxation are used to help decide the group or groups that should bear the burden of the tax. Finally, taxes can be proportional, progressive, and regressive, depending on the way the average tax per dollar changes as taxable income changes.

Content Vocabulary

sin tax

incidence of a tax

tax loophole

individual income tax

sales tax

tax return

benefit principle of taxation

ability-to-pay principle of taxation

Regressive, Flat, and Progressive Tax Chart

proportional tax

average tax rate


progressive tax

marginal tax rate

regressive tax

Reading Strategy
In-class assignment: with a partner, complete the graphic organizer by listing the criteria for taxes to be effective. Then define each of the criteria in your own words.

People in the News

Teenage Tax Preparers

Economic Impact of Taxes

Shifting the Incidence of a Tax, p. 231

In Motion

In-class assignment

With a partner, answer the questions.

What does Panel A show?
What does Panel B show?
What is the difference of absorbing a price increase between an elastic, and an inelastic demand? 


Criteria for Effective Taxes

Two Principles of Taxation

Three Types of Taxes

Chapter 9 Section 1 Review

In-class assignment: with a partner, use the graphic organizer to describe the economic impact of taxes.


Profiles in Economics

Monica Garcia Pleiman

Section 2 Federal, State, and Local Revenue Systems

There are four main sources of federal government revenues. The first is the individual income tax, a progressive tax administered through a payroll withholding system. The second largest component is FICA, which is levied on employers and employees equally to pay for Social Security and Medicare. The third is borrowing by the federal government. The corporate income tax is the fourth largest source. The excise tax—a tax on the manufacture or sale of selected items such as gasoline and liquor—is the fifth-largest source of federal government revenue. Other sources of federal revenue include estate taxes, gift taxes, customs duties, and user fees. State governments receive revenues in the form of sales taxes, intergovernmental revenues, individual income taxes, and employee retirement contributions. Local governments receive funds from state and federal governments, property taxes, utility and liquor stores, sales taxes, and other sources.

Content Vocabulary

Internal Revenue Service

payroll withholding system



payroll tax

corporate income tax

excise tax

estate tax

gift tax

customs duty

user fee

intergovernmental revenue

property tax

tax assessor

natural monopoly

Reading Strategy

In-class assignment: with a partner, complete the graphic organizer to identify and describe the revenue sources for federal, state, and local governments.

Issues in the News

Taxing Tycoons

Federal Government Revenue Sources

State Government Revenue Sources

State and Local Government Revenue Sources, p. 242

In Motion
In-class assignment


Local Government Revenue Sources

Case Study

Dreaded Tax Returns

Chapter 9 Section 2 Review

In-class assignment: with a partner, use a graphic organizer to list the federal government's major revenue sources.

Section 3 Current Tax Issues and Reforms

Major tax revision bills have been passed since 1980. The first reduced the progressiveness of the individual income tax and the second made it more proportional. The third, passed in 1993, made it more progressive again. The fourth, passed in 1997, provided wealthy individuals with significant tax relief for long-term investments, and provided modest tax relief for child and educational expenses. The fifth in 2001 focused on reducing the top four marginal tax brackets by significant percentages by 2006. Due to slow economic growth in 2002, the 2001 tax reform was accelerated.

Content Vocabulary

Reading Strategy
In-class assignment: with a partner, complete a graphic organizer by listing the advantages and disadvantages of the flat tax. Include a definition of flat tax in your own words.

Business Week News Clip

Europe Circles the Flat Tax

Sec. 3 Review

In-class assignment: with a partner, use a graphic organizer to list the advantages and disadvantages of the value-added tax.

Chapter 9 Resources

Chapter 9: Sources of Government Revenue
Multiple Choice Quiz


Ch. 9 Crossword Puzzle

Chapter 9 Flashcards

Chapters 8-11


The Beatles - Taxman

Email (or hand in hard copy) to

Friday HW
1. p. 231, Reading Check

Honors World History II: 18 March 2011

The 1973 oil crisis started in October 1973, when the members of Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries or the OAPEC (consisting of the Arab members of OPEC, plus Egypt, Syria and Tunisia) proclaimed an oil embargo "in response to the U.S. decision to re-supply the Israeli military" during the Yom Kippur war; it lasted until 18 March 1974. With the U.S. actions seen as initiating the oil embargo and the long term possibility of high oil prices, disrupted supply and recession, a strong rift was created within NATO. Additionally, some European nations and Japan sought to disassociate themselves from the U.S. Middle East policy. Arab oil producers had also linked the end of the embargo with successful U.S. efforts to create peace in the Middle East, which complicated the situation. To address these developments, the Nixon Administration began parallel negotiations with both Arab oil producers to end the embargo, and with Egypt, Syria, and Israel to arrange an Israeli pull back from the Sinai and the Golan Heights after the fighting stopped. By January 18, 1974, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had negotiated an Israeli troop withdrawal from parts of the Sinai. The promise of a negotiated settlement between Israel and Syria was sufficient to convince Arab oil producers to lift the embargo in March 1974. By May, Israel agreed to withdraw from some parts of the Golan Heights.


Beyond the Sound Bites:

Maj. Mike Lyons (Ret.) CBS News Military Analyst discusses the U.N. Security Council imposing a no-fly zone resolution over Libya.


Sarah Palin "was being interviewed on February 23rd on national television by Sean Hannity on a range of issues. On the Libya crisis, she proposed a no-fly-zone to protect the armed and un-armed opposition to the Qaddafi regime."


Obama Administration spells out war plan for Libya; Obama lost longtime supporter Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) who said that any military intervention in Libya should require a formal declaration of war by the U.S. Congress.

UN Security Council Approves ‘No-Fly’ Zone Over Libya

Just hours after Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi warned that his military forces would take no mercy in storming the rebel stronghold of Benghazi Thursday, the United Nations Security Council approved the implementation of a “no-fly“ zone over the country and authorized ”all necessary measures” needed to protect civilians from Gadhafi airstrikes.

The AP reports:

The vote in the 15-member council was 10-0 with five abstentions, including Russia and China.

The United States, following the lead of France and Britain, pushed for speedy approval.

Update on Japan

Forecast for Plume's Path Is a Function of Wind and Weather


Status of the Nuclear Reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant
None of the six reactors at the plant have operated since the earthquake. But explosions have damaged four of the buildings, and fuel in the reactors and spent fuel stored in the buildings is in danger of melting and releasing radioactive materials.


How a Reactor Shuts Down and What Happens in a Meltdown


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The Chapter 12 Make-up Test is today.

There has been a change in schedule.

"On Friday at period 1 – Junior Girls will meet in the auditorium and junior boys in the cafeteria."

Thus, the Test originally scheduled for Friday, the 18th, will be re-scheduled for Monday; otherwise, the schedule will remain the same.

The two Tests, one for Chapter 14, and one for Chapter 15, are on the entire chapter: there are no Section Quizzes for these two Chapters.



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Chapter 16 War and Revolution 1914-1919

Chapter 16 Section 2 The War

Most people in 1914 believed that the war would end quickly. The picture changed, though, as trench warfare between France and Germany turned into a stalemate and casualties mounted throughout Europe. Italy switched sides, and the Ottoman Empire joined the war on the side of the Triple Alliance. The war broadened further when German colonies came under attack and the British encouraged Ottoman provinces in the Middle East to revolt. The United States entered the war in 1917 in response to the German use of submarines against passenger ships. As the war dragged on, governments took control of national economies, censored the news media, and used propaganda to bolster public opinion. Women entered the workforce in large numbers. After the war, many lost their jobs to men but gained expanded rights and status. By 1921 women had the vote in Austria, Germany, Great Britain, and the United States.

Aviary MP3 player embedded

Key Terms

trench warfare
war of attrition
total war
planned economies

1914 to 1915: Illusions and Stalemate

Propaganda of World War I, 2:35

These are some recruitment and propaganda posters from England and France during World War I. The song: "Boys in Khaki, Boys in Blue," means British and French soldiers.


Each of the nations which participated in World War One from 1914-18 used propaganda posters not only as a means of justifying involvement to their own populace, but also as a means of procuring men, money and resources to sustain the military campaign.

In countries such as Britain the use of propaganda posters was readily understandable: in 1914 she only possessed a professional army and did not have in place a policy of national service, as was standard in other major nations such as France and Germany.

American Battle Monuments Cemetery in Aisne Marne, France, 2:00

In-class assignment, with a partner, answer the questions.

How many Americans were killed at Aisne Marne?
What is the chapel built over?

This video presents a brief narrated tour of Aisne-Marne American Cemetery's landscaped grounds, architecture, and works of art.

The 42.5-acre Aisne-Marne Cemetery and Memorial in France, its headstones lying in a sweeping curve, sits at the foot of the hill where stands Belleau Wood. The cemetery contains the graves of 2,289 war dead, most of whom fought in the vicinity and in the Marne valley in the summer of 1918. The memorial chapel sits on a hillside, decorated with sculptured and stained-glass details of wartime personnel, equipment and insignia. Inscribed on its interior wall are 1,060 names of the missing. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified. During World War II, the chapel was damaged slightly by an enemy shell.

Belleau Wood adjoins the cemetery and contains many vestiges of World War I. A monument at the flagpole commemorates the valor of the U.S. Marines who captured much of this ground in 1918.

The Eastern Front


In-class assignment: with a partner, answer the questions.

What led to the defeat of the Russians at Tannenberg?
What tactical mistake between commanders did the Russians commit?
What technology aided the Germans in the battle?
What impact does Tannenberg have for the Russians?

Battle of Tannenberg, 4:26

Battle of Masurian Lakes

In-class assignment, with a partner, answer the question.


Reading Check


How did the war on the Eastern Front differ from the war on the Western Front?

1916 to 1917: The Great Slaughter


A film version of the novel "All Quiet on the Western Front illustrates the horror of trench warfare.

In the first scene, Paul Baumer (Richard Thomas) is chastised by his teacher (Donald Pleasence) for lack of attention in class, (specifically for furtively making a sketch of a small bird). He is ridiculed as an 'idealist' and a 'dreamer.'

In the final trench scene, Paul sympathetically chivvies his exhausted soldiers into staying alert for their own safety. Yet moments later he himself becomes (fatally) distracted by a small bird, the same symbol of beauty that had so irritated his mentor three years previously. Other ironic subtleties reveal themselves here. Paul now seeks solace in smoking, a habit he had until now totally despised. (Recall how he had haughtily rejected his teacher's proffering of a cigarette!). Even this actor's distinctive facial mole acquires significance. Devoid of any disguising make-up, it disturbs as an appalling disfigurement on an otherwise handsome face, a subtle symbol perhaps of the Great War's brutal despoiling of a whole generation of Europe's 'Golden Youth'. Most tellingly, the movie links the image of Paul's drawings as the metaphor for the idealism of the new generation, a hope that died with Paul in the mud of those hellish trenches.

If you enjoyed this excerpt, you may enjoy the entire film.

The horror of war during the great slaughter of World War I is illustrated by one of the most famous novels from the Great War; this is a film version of "All Quiet on the Western Front" (1979), 6:01.


A worksheet is available to:

guide your reading.


All Quiet on the Western Front (1979), 6:01

What is the role of the teacher in preparing his male students for war?
In the first scene, how is the protagonist, Paul Baumer (Richard Thomas) chastised by his teacher?
What advice does the teacher offer to Paul after class?
In the next scene we see Paul as a combat weary veteran of war: how has Paul changed?
On the battlefield how has the dreamer Paul done his duty?
What distracts the dreamer part of Paul on the battlefield?


The teacher prepares his students by emphasizing martial characteristics, science, progress, ideas, Beethoven, Schiller, Goethe, and a German sense of duty.

Paul is criticized for his lack of attention in class, (specifically for furtively making a sketch of a small bird). He is ridiculed as an 'idealist' and a 'dreamer'.

The teacher recommends that the dreamer Paul do his duty to the Fatherland.

Paul now seeks solace in smoking, a habit he had until now totally despised. (Recall how he had haughtily rejected his teacher's proffering of a cigarette).

Paul sympathetically encourages his exhausted soldiers into staying alert for their own safety.

Paul himself becomes (fatally) distracted by a small bird, the same symbol of beauty that had so irritated his mentor years previously.

Tactics of Trench Warfare

Trench Warfare, 7:57

In-class assignment: with a partner, answer the questions.

1. What was the layout of the trenches?
2. Describe the bunkers.
3. Describe the machine gun nests.

First part of a short film describing various aspects of trench warfare. Presented by Oxford University's First World War Poetry Digital Archive project.

In-class assignment, with a partner, describe the significant facts you learn while viewing the animation.

Among other animations, you can view: Life in the Trenches


You can try your gaming luck during several front line missions with,

trench warfare:



The Battle of Verdun, 3:58

In-class assignment: with a partner, answer the questions.

What was the longest battle of WW I?
How much space did the battle occupy?
Why was the battle fought? To what end?
When did the battle occur?
How long did the battle last?
What were the total number of casualties?

This is a brief demo Eagle Films created for a War museum concerning the brutal and bloody WW-I battle of Verdun. It was one of about twenty multimedia projects that were to be produced under the supervision of Philip Cook of Eagle Films.

War in the Air

Interrupter gear, invented by the Frenchman Roland Garros but later perfected with deadly accuracy by Germany.

Diagram of German machine gun synchronisation gear.

To fire the gun,

1. The gun's crank is worked twice, once to load, once to cock.
2. The green handle is pulled
3. which lowers the red cam follower onto the cam wheel.
4. When the cam raises the follower, the blue rod is pushed against the spring.
5. When the pilot presses the purple firing button, inside the breech block the cable lowers the blue bridge piece
6. so that when the blue rod is activated by the cam, the yellow trigger bar is pushed
7. and the gun fires.
Graphic source: Wikipedia Commons

During World War I, advances in technology, such as the gasoline-powered engine, led the opposing forces to use tanks, airplanes, and submarines against each other. In 1916, Britain introduced the first armored tank. Mounted with machine guns, the tanks were designed to move across no man’s land. Still, the first tanks broke down often. They failed to break the stalemate.

Both sides also used aircraft. At first, planes were utilized simply to observe enemy troop movements. In 1915, Germany used zeppelins (zep uh linz), large gas-filled balloons, to bomb the English coast. Later, both sides equipped airplanes with machine guns. Pilots known as “flying aces” confronted each other in the skies. These “dogfights” were spectacular, but had little effect on the course of the war on the ground.

Captain Albert Ball before his death at 20 years of age.
Graphic source: Wikipedia Commons

Albert Ball, 1:40

The young Englishman's early career is profiled. Paying for his own lessons, Ball learns to fly and is approved for service in the Royal Flying Corps.

The Battle of The Somme begins and the early career of Albert Ball is profiled, 5:16

Albert Ball (14 August 1896 – 7 May 1917) was an English First World War fighter pilot and recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest decoration for gallantry "in the face of the enemy" that can be awarded to members of the British or Commonwealth armed forces. At the time of his death, he was twenty years old and he was the leading Allied ace with 44 victories, second only to German ace Manfred Von Richthofen. By the end of the war he was the United Kingdom's fourth top scoring ace.

Richthofen - A German Legend - The Red Baron, 1:46

Richthofen - The Red Baron
A German Legend
Footage & Soundtrack:
Der Rote Baron (Germany 2008)

Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen (2 May 1892 - 21 April 1918) was a German fighter pilot known as the "Red Baron". He was the most successful flying ace during World War I, being officially credited with 80 confirmed air combat victories. He served in the Imperial German Army Air Service (Luftstreitkräfte). Richthofen was a member of an aristocratic family with many famous relatives.
Freiherr (literally "Free Lord") is not a given name but a German aristocratic title, equivalent to a baron in other countries and the origin of Richthofen's most famous nickname: "The Red Baron". Red was the colour of his plane. The German translation of The Red Baron is About this sound "Der Rote Baron" . Richthofen is today known by this nickname even in Germany, although during his lifetime he was more often described in German as Der Rote Kampfflieger, (variously translated as the The Red Battle Flyer or The Red Fighter Pilot). This name was used as the title of Richthofen's 1917 "autobiography."
Richthofen's other nicknames include "Le Diable Rouge" ("Red Devil") or "Le Petit Rouge" ("Little Red") in French, and the "Red Knight" in English.

World War 1 Aircraft - Sopwith Camel F.1, 1:16

The Sopwith Camel is probably one of the most famous British fighters of the war, in addition to the SE5a simply because it was one of their first superior fighters of the war. The Camel was dreaded by most Entente pilots, however. It was fast and maneuverable, but the upper wing had numerous problems and tendencies to shear off entirely and plunge the airframe into the ground (and this caused the death of many pilots), and torque was so great to the left side of the plane that it was sometimes rendered unable to fly altogether. It was dangerous for both novice and seasoned pilots to fly, any many died trying to tame the beast.

Cf. War in the Air 1914-45 (Smithsonian History of Warfare) by Williamson Murray

In-class assignment, with a partner, answer the question.

Reading Check


Why were military leaders baffled by trench warfare?

Widening of the War

Though most of the fighting took place in Europe, World War I was a global conflict. Japan, allied with Britain, used the war as an excuse to seize German outposts in China and islands in the Pacific.


Because of its strategic location, the Ottoman empire was a desirable ally. If the Ottoman Turks had joined the Allies, the Central Powers would have been almost completely encircled. However, the Turks joined the Central Powers in late October 1914. The Turks then cut off crucial Allied supply lines to Russia through the Dardanelles, a vital strait connecting the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.

In 1915, the Allies sent a massive force of British, Indian, Australian, and New Zealander troops to attempt to open up the strait. At the battle of Gallipoli (guh lip uh lee), Turkish troops trapped the Allies on the beaches of the Gallipoli peninsula. In January 1916, after 10 months and more than 200,000 casualties, the Allies finally withdrew from the Dardanelles.

Gallipoli trailer (Mel Gibson), 1:44

Lawrence of Arabia

Gene Siskel & Roger Ebert discuss the 1962 Oscar-winning First World War film Lawrence of Arabia, 4:45.

The Turks were harmed severely in the Middle East. The Ottoman empire included vast areas of Arab land. In 1916, Arab nationalists led by Husayn ibn Ali (hoo sayn ib un ah lee) declared a revolt against Ottoman rule. The British government sent Colonel T. E. Lawrence—later known as Lawrence of Arabia—to support the Arab revolt. Lawrence led guerrilla raids against the Turks, dynamiting bridges and supply trains. Eventually, the Ottoman empire lost a great deal of territory to the Arabs, including the key city of Baghdad.

In-class assignment, with a partner, answer the question.

Reading Check


Entry of the United States

By the time the Yanks get involved there is a popular song which memorialized American involvement:


In-class assignment, with a partner, answer the question.

Reading Check


Why did the Germans resort to unrestricted submarine use?

The Home Front: The Impact of Total War

On total war the best reference is:

War Made New: Weapons, Warriors, and the Making of the Modern World by Max Boot, pp. 198-201.

The broad impact of the Industrial Revolution resulted in both gains and losses. There was more food, medicine, clothing, more of everything, yet, the new technologies extinguished "life as effectively as they could be used to support it" (Boot, p. 198).

The Industrial Revolution did not cause WW I yet indirectly it "fostered the rise of Germany" (Boot, p. 198). "The figures boggle the mind:

from 1914 to 1918, sixty three million were seriously wounded or disabled.

Millions of civilians also died. . . . they were many orders of magnitude greater than those of any previous conflict. Pre-industrial states could not possibly have fed, clothed, equipped, moved--or slaughtered--so many individuals. Germany and France had 20 percent of their populations under arms. Britain mobilized only 13 percent, but this was still far higher than the 7 percent that Napoleon had been able to marshal with the levee en masse" (Boot, p. 198). Each soldier in addition had far more firepower than an entire regiment possessed a century earlier.

Increased Government Powers

Planned economies were necessary to fuel the increased demands of total war (Boot, p. 199). The pre-industrial state was not equal to the task of equipping and arming such large armies that were required in modern warfare. Governments nationalized industries along with the cooperation of major private companies. In Britain, France, and Germany, military spending shot up 2,000 percent (Boot, p. 199).

Manipulation of Public Opinion

Public dissent was not encouraged. A military dictatorship controlled Germany but even in the liberty-loving U.S. antiwar activists such as the socialist Eugene Debs was subject to arrest and confinement (Boot, p. 199).

Total war also meant controlling public opinion. Even in democratic countries, special boards censored the press. Their aim was to keep complete casualty figures and other discouraging news from reaching the public. Government censors also restricted popular literature, historical writings, motion pictures, and the arts.

Both sides waged a propaganda war. Propaganda is the spreading of ideas to promote a cause or to damage an opposing cause. Governments used propaganda to motivate military mobilization, especially in Britain before conscription started in 1916. In France and Germany, propaganda urged civilians to loan money to the government. Later in the war, Allied propaganda played up the brutality of Germany’s invasion of Belgium. The British and French press circulated tales of atrocities, horrible acts against innocent people. Although some atrocities did occur, often the stories were distorted by exaggerations or completely made up.

Total War and Women

Women gained more rights as they took jobs previously open only to men (Boot, p. 200). It is not surprising that not long after the war women were granted the right of suffrage.

Women played a critical role in total war. As millions of men left to fight, women took over their jobs and kept national economies going. Many women worked in war industries, manufacturing weapons and supplies. Others joined women’s branches of the armed forces. When food shortages threatened Britain, volunteers in the Women’s Land Army went to the fields to grow their nation’s food.

Nurses shared the dangers of the men whose wounds they tended. At aid stations close to the front lines, nurses often worked around the clock, especially after a big “push” brought a flood of casualties. In her diary, English nurse Vera Brittain describes sweating through 90-degree days in France, “stopping hemorrhages, replacing intestines, and draining and reinserting innumerable rubber tubes” with “gruesome human remnants heaped on the floor.”

War work gave women a new sense of pride and confidence. After the war, most women had to give up their jobs to men returning home. Still, they had challenged the idea that women could not handle demanding and dangerous jobs. In many countries, including Britain, Germany, and the United States, women’s support for the war effort helped them finally win the right to vote, after decades of struggle.

Laissez-faire economic structures did not survive World War I. Social hierarchies broke down under the transformation. Women were granted the right to vote. World War I is "a conflict that could never have been waged on such a titanic, transformative scale were it not for the changes in warfare that had occurred in the previous half-century. This was the bittersweet legacy of the Industrial Age (Boot, p. 201).

In-class assignment, with a partner, answer the question.

Reading Check


What was the effect of total war on ordinary citizens?

People in History

Edith Cavell

Like most ordinary people caught up in war, Edith Cavell (1865–1915) did not plan on becoming a hero. An English nurse, she was in charge of a hospital in Belgium. After the German invasion, Cavell cared for wounded soldiers on both sides. She also helped Allied soldiers escape to the Netherlands.

In 1915, the Germans arrested Cavell for spying. As she faced a firing squad, her last reported words were, “Standing as I do in view of God and Eternity, I realize that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness toward anyone.” Why do you think the British government spread the story of Edith Cavell?

The Lusitania

Germany used U-boats to create its own blockade. In 1915, Germany declared that it would sink all ships carrying goods to Britain. In May 1915, a German submarine torpedoed the British liner Lusitania off the coast of Ireland. Almost 1,200 passengers were killed, including 128 Americans. Germany justified the attack, arguing that the Lusitania was carrying weapons. When American President Woodrow Wilson threatened to cut off diplomatic relations with Germany, though, Germany agreed to restrict its submarine campaign. Before attacking any ship, U-boats would surface and give warning, allowing neutral passengers to escape to lifeboats. Unrestricted submarine warfare stopped—for the moment.


Section 3 The Russian Revolution

Key Terms


war communism

Background to Revolution

“Mr. War Minister!

We, soldiers from various regiments,. . . ask you to end the war and its bloodshed at any cost…. If this is not done, then believe us when we say that we will take our weapons and head out for our own hearths to save our fathers, mothers, wives, and children from death by starvation (which is nigh). And if we cannot save them, then we’d rather die with them in our native lands then be killed, poisoned, or frozen to death somewhere and cast into the earth like a dog.”

—Letter from the front, 1917

Note Taking

Reading Skill: Summarize Copy the time line below and fill it in as you read this section. When you finish, write two sentences that summarize the information in your time line.
Beginnings of Upheaval

The year 1913 marked the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty. Everywhere, Russians honored the tsar and his family. Tsarina Alexandra felt confident that the people loved Nicholas too much to ever threaten him. “They are constantly frightening the emperor with threats of revolution,” she told a friend, “and here,—you see it yourself—we need merely to show ourselves and at once their hearts are ours.”

Appearances were deceiving. In March 1917, the first of two revolutions would topple the Romanov dynasty and pave the way for even more radical changes.

The outbreak of war in 1914 fueled national pride and united Russians. Armies dashed to battle with enthusiasm. But like the Crimean and Russo-Japanese wars, World War I quickly strained Russian resources. Factories could not turn out enough supplies. The transportation system broke down, delivering only a trickle of crucial materials to the front. By 1915, many soldiers had no rifles and no ammunition. Badly equipped and poorly led, they died in staggering numbers. In 1915 alone, Russian casualties reached two million.

Vocabulary Builder

crucial—(kroo shul) adj. of vital importance

In a patriotic gesture, Nicholas II went to the front to take personal charge. The decision proved a disastrous blunder. The tsar was no more competent than many of his generals. Worse, he left domestic affairs to the tsarina, Alexandra. In Nicholas’ absence, Alexandra relied on the advice of Gregory Rasputin, an illiterate peasant and self-proclaimed “holy man.” The tsarina came to believe that Rasputin had miraculous powers after he helped her son, who suffered from hemophilia, a disorder in which any injury can result in uncontrollable bleeding.


By 1916, Rasputin’s influence over Alexandra had reached new heights and weakened confidence in the government. Fearing for the monarchy, a group of Russian nobles killed Rasputin on December 29, 1916.

The March Revolution

By March 1917, disasters on the battlefield, combined with food and fuel shortages on the home front, brought the monarchy to collapse. In St. Petersburg (renamed Petrograd during the war), workers were going on strike. Marchers, mostly women, surged through the streets, shouting, “Bread! Bread!” Troops refused to fire on the demonstrators, leaving the government helpless. Finally, on the advice of military and political leaders, the tsar abdicated.

Duma politicians then set up a provisional, or temporary, government. Middle-class liberals in the government began preparing a constitution for a new Russian republic. At the same time, they continued the war against Germany.

Outside the provisional government, revolutionary socialists plotted their own course. In Petrograd and other cities, they set up soviets, or councils of workers and soldiers. At first, the soviets worked democratically within the government. Before long, though, the Bolsheviks, a radical socialist group, took charge. The leader of the Bolsheviks was a determined revolutionary, V. I. Lenin.

The revolutions of March and November 1917 are known to Russians as the February and October revolutions. In 1917, Russia still used an old calendar, which was 13 days behind the one used in Western Europe. Russia adopted the Western calendar in 1918.

In-class assignment, with a partner, answer the question.

Reading Check


Develop a sequence of events leading to the March Revolution.

The Rise of Lenin


Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (ool yahn uf) was born in 1870 to a middle-class family. He adopted the name Lenin when he became a revolutionary. When he was 17, his older brother was arrested and hanged for plotting to kill the tsar. The execution branded his family as a threat to the state and made the young Vladimir hate the tsarist government.

A Brilliant Revolutionary

As a young man, Lenin read the works of Karl Marx and participated in student demonstrations. He spread Marxist ideas among factory workers along with other socialists, including Nadezhda Krupskaya (nah dyez duh kroop sky uh), the daughter of a poor noble family. In 1895, Lenin and Krupskaya were arrested and sent to Siberia. During their imprisonment, they were married. After their release, they went into exile in Switzerland. There they worked tirelessly to spread revolutionary ideas.

Lenin’s View of Marx

Lenin adapted Marxist ideas to fit Russian conditions. Marx had predicted that the industrial working class would rise spontaneously to overthrow capitalism. But Russia did not have a large urban proletariat. Instead, Lenin called for an elite group to lead the revolution and set up a “dictatorship of the proletariat.” Though this elite revolutionary party represented a small percentage of socialists, Lenin gave them the name Bolsheviks, meaning “majority.”

In Western Europe, many leading socialists had come to think that socialism could be achieved through gradual and moderate reforms such as higher wages, increased suffrage, and social welfare programs. A group of socialists in Russia, the Mensheviks, favored this approach. The Bolsheviks rejected it. To Lenin, reforms of this nature were merely capitalist tricks to repress the masses. Only revolution, he said, could bring about needed changes.

In March 1917, Lenin was still in exile. As Russia stumbled into revolution, Germany saw a chance to weaken its enemy by helping Lenin return home. Lenin rushed across Germany to the Russian frontier in a special train. He greeted a crowd of fellow exiles and activists with this cry: “Long live the worldwide Socialist revolution!”

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

Lenin (1870–1924) was the son of a teacher and his wife who lived in a little town on the Volga River. Vladimir lived with his parents and five siblings in a rented wing of a large house. By all accounts it was a happy home. Vladimir excelled at school and looked up to his older brother Alexander. But when Vladimir was 16, his father died. When he was 17, his beloved brother Alexander was hanged for plotting to kill the tsar.

Still reeling from the death of his brother, Vladimir enrolled at Kazan University. There he met other discontented young people. They united to protest the lack of student freedom in the university. Within three months, Vladimir was expelled for his part in the demonstrations. How do you think Lenin’s early life affected his later political ideas?

In-class assignment, with a partner, answer the question.

Reading Check


What was Lenin's plan when he arrived in Russia?

The Bolsheviks Seize Power

Lenin threw himself into the work of furthering the revolution. Another dynamic Marxist revolutionary, Leon Trotsky, helped lead the fight. To the hungry, war-weary Russian people, Lenin and the Bolsheviks promised “Peace, Land, and Bread.”

The Provisional Government’s Mistakes

Meanwhile, the provisional government, led by Alexander Kerensky, continued the war effort and failed to deal with land reform. Those decisions proved fatal. Most Russians were tired of war. Troops at the front were deserting in droves. Peasants wanted land, while city workers demanded an end to the desperate shortages. In July 1917, the government launched the disastrous Kerensky offensive against Germany. By November, according to one official report, the army was “a huge crowd of tired, poorly clad, poorly fed, embittered men.” Growing numbers of troops mutinied. Peasants seized land and drove off fearful landlords.

The Bolshevik Takeover

Conditions were ripe for the Bolsheviks to make their move. In November 1917, squads of Red Guards—armed factory workers—joined mutinous sailors from the Russian fleet in attacking the provisional government. In just a matter of days, Lenin’s forces overthrew the provisional government without a struggle.

The Bolsheviks quickly seized power in other cities. In Moscow, it took a week of fighting to blast the local government out of the walled Kremlin, the former tsarist center of government. Moscow became the Bolsheviks’ capital, and the Kremlin their headquarters.

“We shall now occupy ourselves in Russia in building up a proletarian socialist state,” declared Lenin. The Bolsheviks ended private ownership of land and distributed land to peasants. Workers were given control of the factories and mines. A new red flag with an entwined hammer and sickle symbolized union between workers and peasants. Throughout the land, millions thought they had at last gained control over their own lives. In fact, the Bolsheviks—renamed Communists—would soon become their new masters.

In-class assignment, with a partner, answer the question.

Reading Check


What was the impact of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk on Russia?

Civil War in Russia

After the Bolshevik Revolution, Lenin quickly sought peace with Germany. Russia signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in March 1918, giving up a huge chunk of its territory and its population. The cost of peace was extremely high, but the Communist leaders knew that they needed all their energy to defeat a collection of enemies at home. Russia’s withdrawal affected the hopes of both the Allies and the Central Powers, as you read in Section 3.
Vocabulary Builder

withdrawal—(with draw ul) n. the act of leaving

Opposing Forces

For three years, civil war raged between the “Reds,” as the Communists were known, and the counterrevolutionary “Whites.” The “White” armies were made up of tsarist imperial officers, Mensheviks, democrats, and others, all of whom were united only by their desire to defeat the Bolsheviks. Nationalist groups from many of the former empire’s non-Russian regions joined them in their fight. Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania broke free, but nationalists in Ukraine, the Caucasus, and Central Asia were eventually subdued.

The Allies intervened in the civil war. They hoped that the Whites might overthrow the Communists and support the fight against Germany. Britain, France, and the United States sent forces to help the Whites. Japan seized land in East Asia that tsarist Russia had once claimed. The Allied presence, however, did little to help the Whites. The Reds appealed to nationalism and urged Russians to drive out the foreigners. In the long run, the Allied invasion fed Communist distrust of the West.

Brutality was common in the civil war. Counterrevolutionary forces slaughtered captured Communists and tried to assassinate Lenin. The Communists shot the former tsar and tsarina and their five children in July 1918 to keep them from becoming a rallying symbol for counterrevolutionary forces.


Who opposed the new Bolshevik regime?

Triumph of the Communists

The Communists used terror not only against the Whites, but also to control their own people. They organized the Cheka, a secret police force much like the tsar’s. The Cheka executed ordinary citizens, even if they were only suspected of taking action against the revolution. The Communists also set up a network of forced-labor camps in 1919—which grew under Stalin into the dreaded Gulag.

The Communists adopted a policy known as “war communism.” They took over banks, mines, factories, and railroads. Peasants in the countryside were forced to deliver almost all of their crops to feed the army and hungry people in the cities. Peasant laborers were drafted into the military or forced to work in factories.

Meanwhile, Trotsky turned the Red Army into an effective fighting force. He used former tsarist officers under the close watch of commissars, Communist party officials assigned to the army to teach party principles and ensure party loyalty. Trotsky’s passionate speeches roused soldiers to fight. So did the order to shoot every tenth man if a unit performed poorly.

The Reds’ position in the center of Russia gave them a strategic advantage. The White armies were forced to attack separately from all sides. They were never able to cooperate effectively with one another. By 1921, the Communists had managed to defeat their scattered foes.

In-class assignment, with a partner, answer the question.

Reading Check


Why did the Red Army prevail over the White Army?

War and Revolution in Russia 1914 - 1921 by Dr Jonathan Smele


Section 4 End of the War

Tanks, 1:46

Cassell Military Classics: Iron Fist: Classic Armoured Warfare by Bryan Perrett

One helpful animation is:

Animated Map: The Western Front, 1914 - 1918

Animated battle of the Somme


Among other animations, you can view: Life in the Trenches


You can try your luck during several front line missions with

Trench warfare:


By the time the Yanks get involved there is a popular song which memorialized American involvement:


American involvement in WW I, 4:11

The Great War #1, World War 1 Era Period Music and Pictures. WW 1 spanned from August of 1914 to November of 1918 and raged across the globe. The United States was officially involved in the war from April 1917 to the end.

The dough boys are nearly forgotten today in the shadow of World War 2, Vietnam and Iraq. Millions of American men and women, black and white, served our country in The Great War. This series of shorts shows the music of their time and photographs from the Great War.


BBC Schools Links

GCSE Bitesize Revision - History
A secondary revision resource for GCSE exams covering the First World War.

The Bitesize series features audio clips from history and commentators:


Standard Grade Bitesize Revision - History
A secondary revision resource for Standard Grade covering the First World War.

BBC Sites

BBC History - World War One
This World War One site from BBC History features interactive movies, animations, feature articles and 3-d models.

One helpful animation is:

Animated Map: The Western Front, 1914 - 1918


History Trail – How to do History
Follow in the footsteps of professional historians and find out how they do history. Discover how postcards, council records, tapestries and people's memories of the past are all valuable sources for the historian.

Other Sites

Learning Curve – The Great War
This is a comprehensive offering from the Public Records Office, which tells the story of the First World War through six different source based investigations. It aims to show how the War developed and includes teachers' notes.

Spartacus Educational – The First World War
Spartacus' World War One website offers a growing encyclopaedia of entries about the war, as well as links to other websites.

First World - The war to end all wars
This site gives a general overview of the First World War. It offers a collection of insightful feature articles, photos and footage, memoirs and diaries.

Spark Notes – World War 1 (1914-1918)
Gives a summary and commentary on each main study area of the First World War.

Art of the First World War
Presents 100 paintings from international collections from around the world to commemorate the First World War.

The World War One Document Archive
The World War One Document Archive presents primary documents concerning the Great War.

World War 1 - Web Links
This site lists links to in-depth articles on all aspects of the First World War, including a large collection of links to primary source material.

National Curriculum Online: History
Information about the National Curriculum for History, QCDA and DfEE schemes of work, pupils' work and information about standards and support materials.

QCDA History
The Qualifications and Curriculum Development Authority (QCDA) History section.

Examine key issues with the help of original documents.


The best overall war reference for the entire modern period:

War Made New: Weapons, Warriors, and the Making of the Modern World by Max Boot

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

Cassell Military Classics: Iron Fist: Classic Armoured Warfare by Bryan Perrett

Day of the Assassins: A Jack Christie Novel by Johnny O'Brien

War in the Air 1914-45 (Smithsonian History of Warfare) by Williamson Murray
The Encyclopedia of Warfare: The Changing Nature of Warfare From Prehistory to Modern-day Armed Conflicts by Robin Cross, pp. 170-193.

The Encyclopedia of Weaponry: The Development of Weaponry from Prehistory to 21st Century Warfare, Ian V. Hogg, pp. 112-139.

Battles and Campaigns (Mapping History) by Malcolm Swanston

A documentary about the battle of the Somme 1916 part 1, 9:58

H. W. Brands on Woodrow Wilson and the First World War, 9:32

War and Revolution in Russia 1914 - 1921 by Dr Jonathan Smele


Review the causes of the Revolution


Find out more about the last imperial family of Tsarist Russia.


Photo album of Tsar Nicholas II's Romanov family


A profile of Lenin


World War I in Popular Culture

In 1966, the "Ace" was immortalized in song by the Royal Guardsmen with their hit, Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron. This was followed in 1967 by Return of the Red Baron, in which it is revealed that the Baron survived their previous encounter but runs away when Snoopy challenges him to a duel with pistols, and then by Snoopy's Christmas, in which the two foes temporarily set aside their differences for a Christmas toast, as per the Christmas Truces that occurred during World War I. Snoopy's Christmas continues to be played as a holiday favorite on many oldies radio stations.

During the 1968 U.S. Presidential election, the Guardsmen released two additional songs, "Snoopy for President", in which Snoopy's bid for the nomination of the Beagle party is tipped in his favor by the Red Baron, and "Down Behind the Lines", which does not mention Snoopy specifically but describes the attempts of a World War I pilot to fly his damaged Sopwith Camel back to friendly territory.

In 2006 the Guardsmen recorded a song called "Snoopy vs. Osama" in which Snoopy shifts his focus away from The Red Baron and captures Osama Bin Laden.

Snoopy vs. The Red Baron, 2:08

1966, The Royal Guardsmen - Snoopy vs. The Red Baron, 2:40

The group from Ocala, FL with the British moniker rose to fame in 1966 with its single, “Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron,” which became the title track of its debut album. The album reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and remained there for 12 weeks. It went on to sell one million copies, earning it gold certification from the R.I.A.A. in 1967.

Reading Check


Did the growth of nationalism in the first half of the nineteenth century lead to increased competition or increased cooperation among European nations?

Reading Check


According to some historians, how might internal disorder have been one of the causes of World War I?

Test/Quiz Resources

Self-check Quiz on Chapter

Vocabulary eFlashcards

Academic Vocabulary


Content Vocabulary

People, Places and Events

All Quiet On The Western Front, 3:09

Time of Dying by Three Days Grace

The Chapter 13 Test Prep Page is available.

HW: email (or hard copy) me at

Friday HW
1. p. 507, Geography Skills