World War I Glossary

The Home Front 1914 to 1918
The Home Front 1914 to 1918
  • Aggression The action of attacking another person or country.
  • Archduke Ferdinand The crown prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He and his wife were killed by a Serbian in 1914. This act set the stage for World War I.
  • Armistice An agreed upon time for fighting to stop. It is a truce. It can be temporary or permanent.
  • The Christmas Truce The period of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in 1914 when soldiers from both sides stopped fighting. In many places, soldiers met in No Man’s Land, exchanged small gifts and played games.
  • Communism A form of government where the government owns everything in the name of the people. Russia replaced their monarchy with Communism.
  • Democracy A form of government where all representatives are elected by the people.
  • Escalate To increase or become more. In wartime, it usually means that there are more battles.
  • The Fourteen Points A speech by President Wilson. In it he outlines his fourteen points to stop The Great War and prevent future wars in Europe.
  • The Great War Another name for World War I.
  • Influenza A virus that spreads easily from one person to another. Sometimes called flu.
  • The League of Nations An organization with representative from all countries. It was designed to help countries settle their issues with each other without going to war. It was proposed during the Peace negotiations in 1919. It was dissolved in 1946.
  • Monarchy A form of government that is headed by a king or emperor.
  • No Man’s Land The area between the trenches. It was usually covered with barbed wire and mines.
  • President Woodrow Wilson The president of the United States during the First World War. He did not want the US to get involved in a foreign war. He waited until he had gotten terms of peace from every nation involved before he entered the war.
  • Reconnaissance The act of looking at things. It is a term used to describe the pilots who flew over enemy lines to look at where the enemy was stationed and where their supplies lines lay.
  • The Red Baron A German fighter pilot.
  • Reparations To make up for wrongdoing. Usually in the form of a cash payment.
  • Representative A person that speaks for a larger group of people. The representative can be elected such as a president, or can speak because of their position such as a king. In some cases, a representative can be appointed such as an ambassador or General.
  • Shrapnel Tiny pieces of a bullet or a bomb. These tiny pieces can be added to the bomb to cause more injury and damage.
  • Socialism A form of government where the state owns everything. The people elect some representative while others are appointed by the government.
  • The Sopwith Camel A British airplane that was used by early fighter pilots.
  • Spotters The person that sat in front of the pilot and watched the ground, noting the enemy’s position.
  • Stagnant Unmoving. In warfare it means that neither side is winning or changing the battle lines.
  • Territory Land that a country considers their own. For example, Tennessee falls within the territory of the United States.
  • The Treaty of Versailles The agreement between European nations that ended the war. It required that Germany pay reparations to France. It also kept Germany from building an army or owning warships or tanks.
  • Trench A hole that is longer than it is wide. In WWI, trenches were used to protect soldiers and hold the line of defense.
  • Truce An agreed upon time for fighting to stop. It is usually temporary, such as the Christmas truce.
  • The War to End all Wars A name for the First World War.