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World War I
The United States Enters World War I

World War I
World War I

The United States Enters World War I
Print The United States Enters World War I Reading Comprehension

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 10
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.93

     challenging words:    propaganda, isolationism, alliance, wartime, blockade, crossing, democracy, telegram, independence, neutral, campaign, luxurious, economy, government, fierce, cargo
     content words:    World War, United States, Atlantic Ocean, Great Britain, On May, National Security Committee, President Wilson, German Foreign Minister, Arthur Zimmerman, German Ambassador

The United States Enters World War I
By Sharon Fabian

1     When World War I began in 1914, it seemed like something far away. The war was between nations on the other side of the world, and the people of the United States were glad that it was so far away. We were content with things the way they were here and had no wish to become involved in Europe's war.
2     Gradually that feeling of isolationism began to change. As early as 1915, an event occurred that brought the war to the attention of United States' citizens. That event was the sinking of the Lusitania. The Lusitania was a British ship that carried both cargo and passengers. It made the trip back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean, carrying travelers between Great Britain and the United States. Fast and luxurious, the Lusitania was a popular ship; it had been described as a floating palace.
3     In May 1915, the Lusitania was crossing the Atlantic Ocean. In addition to about 2,000 passengers, it was also carrying a cargo of ammunition for the Allies. On May 7, German submarines torpedoed the Lusitania. In twenty minutes, the Lusitania was gone, sunk to the bottom of the ocean. About 1,200 passengers went down with the ship, including many Americans. After that, U.S. citizens began to think of Germany as a "bully" and to side with the Allies.

Paragraphs 4 to 9:
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