Yeast that is too old will not rise, nor will it rise if there is too much salt in the dough. Check the date on the pkg. Also when you buy yeast keep it in the fridge til you are ready to use it.
If you are using traditional yeast, proof it before using (mix the package in 1/4 cup warm (not hot - which can kill it) water a smidge of sugar and if after 10 min or so it is looking like beige shaving foam, you are good to go. If it's just granules sitting in your water or sporadic foam it's dead and toss it.
If you are using rapid yeast you don't need to proof it, however you should make sure that your ingredients are warm in order to activate the yeast.
Knead your dough til it is smooth enough to handle without being excessively sticky, form into a ball and I roll it in a greased bowl so that it is shiny and then place a sheet of waxed paper and a tea towel over it and set in a warm area to rise. It should be doubled in an hour.
Good luck and let us know how it turns out.