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World War I State Standards

10.5 Analyze the causes and course of the First World War.


  • Analyze the arguments for entering into war presented by leaders from all sides of the Great War and the role of political and economic rivalries, ethnic and ideological conflicts, domestic discontent and disorder, and propaganda and nationalism in mobilizing the civilian population in support of "total war."
  • Examine the principal theaters of battle, major turning points, and the importance of geographic factors in military decisions and outcomes (e.g., topography, waterways, distance, climate).
  • Explain how the Russian Revolution and the entry of the United States affected the course and outcome of the war. Understand the nature of the war and its human costs (military and civilian) on all sides of the conflict, including how colonial peoples contributed to the war effort.
  • Discuss human rights violations and genocide, including the Ottoman government's actions against Armenian citizens.


10.6 Analyze the effects of the First World War.


  • Analyze the aims and negotiating roles of world leaders, the terms and influence of the Treaty of Versailles and Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points, and the causes and effects of the United States's rejection of the League of Nations on world politics.
  • Describe the effects of the war and resulting peace treaties on population movement, the international economy, and shifts in the geographic and political borders of Europe and the Middle East.
  • Understand the widespread disillusionment with prewar institutions, authorities, and values that resulted in a void that was later filled by totalitarians.
  • Discuss the influence of World War I on literature, art, and intellectual life in the West (e.g., Pablo Picasso, the "lost generation" of Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway).


10.7 Analyze the rise of totalitarian governments after World War I.


  • Understand the causes and consequences of the Russian Revolution, including Lenin's use of totalitarian means to seize and maintain control (e.g., the Gulag).
  • Trace Stalin's rise to power in the Soviet Union and the connection between economic policies, political policies, the absence of a free press, and systematic violations of human rights (e.g., the Terror Famine in Ukraine).
  • Analyze the rise, aggression, and human costs of totalitarian regimes (Fascist and Communist) in Germany, Italy, and the Soviet Union, noting especially their common and dissimilar traits.

World War II State Standards

10.8 Analyze the causes and consequences of World War II.


  • Compare the German, Italian, and Japanese drives for empire in the 1930s, including the 1937 Rape of Nanking, other atrocities in China, and the Stalin-Hitler Pact of 1939.
  • Understand the role of appeasement, nonintervention (isolationism), and the domestic distractions in Europe and the United States prior to the outbreak of World War II.
  • Identify and locate the Allied and Axis powers on a map and discuss the major turning points of the war, the principal theaters of conflict, key strategic decisions, and the resulting war conferences and political resolutions, with emphasis on the importance of geographic factors.
  • Describe the political, diplomatic, and military leaders during the war (e.g., Winston Churchill, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Emperor Hirohito, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Douglas MacArthur, Dwight Eisenhower).
  • Analyze the Nazi policy of pursuing racial purity, especially against the European Jews; its transformation into the Final Solution; and the Holocaust that resulted in the murder of six million Jewish civilians. Discuss the human costs of the war, with particular attention to the civilian and military losses in Russia, Germany, Britain, the United States, China, and Japan.

Post World War II & Cold War State Standards

10.9 Analyze the international developments in the post-World World War II world.


  • Compare the economic and military power shifts caused by the war, including the Yalta Pact, the development of nuclear weapons, Soviet control over Eastern European nations, and the economic recoveries of Germany and Japan.
  • Analyze the causes of the Cold War, with the free world on one side and Soviet client states on the other, including competition for influence in such places as Egypt, the Congo, Vietnam, and Chile.
  • Understand the importance of the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan, which established the pattern for America's postwar policy of supplying economic and military aid to prevent the spread of Communism and the resulting economic and political competition in arenas such as Southeast Asia (i.e., the Korean War, Vietnam War), Cuba, and Africa. Analyze the Chinese Civil War, the rise of Mao Tse-tung, and the subsequent political and economic upheavals in China (e.g., the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, and the Tiananmen Square uprising).
  • Describe the uprisings in Poland (1952), Hungary (1956), and Czechoslovakia (1968) and those countries' resurgence in the 1970s and 1980s as people in Soviet satellites sought freedom from Soviet control.
  • Understand how the forces of nationalism developed in the Middle East, how the Holocaust affected world opinion regarding the need for a Jewish state, and the significance and effects of the location and establishment of Israel on world affairs.
  • Analyze the reasons for the collapse of the Soviet Union, including the weakness of the command economy, burdens of military commitments, and growing resistance to Soviet rule by dissidents in satellite states and the non-Russian Soviet republics.
  • Discuss the establishment and work of the United Nations and the purposes and functions of the Warsaw Pact, SEATO, NATO, and the Organization of American States.
  • Understand and Analyze the Development of the Nuclear Bomb and its uses.

Modern Warfare State Standards

10.10 Analyze instances of nation-building in the contemporary world in two of the following regions or countries: the Middle East, Africa, Mexico and other parts of Latin America, and China.

  • Understand the challenges in the regions, including the geopolitical, cultural, military, and economic significance and the international relationships in which they are involved.
  • Describe the recent history of the regions, including the political divisions and systems, key leaders, religious issues, natural features, resources, and population patterns.
  • Discuss the important trends in the region today and whether they appear to serve the cause of individual freedom and democracy.

10.11 Analyze the integration of countries into the world economy and the information, technological, and communications revolutions (e.g., television, satellites, computers).

  • Compare the present with the past, evaluating the consequences of past events and decisions and determining the lessons that were learned.
  • Analyze how change happens at different rates at different times; understand that some aspects can change while others remain the same; and understand that change is complicated and affects not only technology and politics but also values and beliefs.
  • Use a variety of maps and documents to interpret human movement, including major patterns of domestic and international migration, changing environmental preferences and settlement patterns, the frictions that develop between population groups, and the diffusion of ideas, technological innovations, and goods.
  • Relate current events to the physical and human characteristics of places and regions.

10.12 HISTORICAL RESEARCH, EVIDENCE, AND POINT OF VIEW

  • Distinguish valid arguments from fallacious arguments in historical interpretations.
  • Identify bias and prejudice in historical interpretations.
  • Evaluate major debates among historians concerning alternative interpretations of the past, including an analysis of authors' use of evidence and the distinctions between sound generalizations and misleading oversimplifications.
  • Construct and test hypotheses; collect, evaluate, and employ information from multiple primary and secondary sources; and apply it in oral and written presentations.

10.13 HISTORICAL INTERPRETATION

  • Show the connections, causal and otherwise, between particular historical events and larger social, economic, and political trends and developments.
  • Recognize the complexity of historical causes and effects, including the limitations of determining cause and effect.
  • Interpret past events and issues within the context in which an event unfolded rather than solely in terms of present day norms and values.
  • Understand the meaning, implication, and impact of historical events while recognizing that events could have taken other directions.
  • Analyze human modifications of a landscape, and examine the resulting environmental policy issues.
  • Conduct cost/benefit analyses and apply basic economic indicators to analyze the aggregate economic behavior of the U.S. economy.

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