The year is 1916. The Great War (WWI) has been raging for over a year. The United States has remained neutral and stayed out of the conflict. Opinion in the States is sharply divided as to what our role should be in this conflict. Should we stay out of it completely and only offer humanitarian aid to victims of the war? Or should the US join the war? If the US joins the war, who should we support?
First watch this video that describes the state of the United States at the start of World War I. (9:26)
Next, watch this short clip on Woodrow Wilson and how he wanted to make the world safe for Democracy. (1:26)
Woodrow Wilson makes the world safe for Democracy – http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/feature…
Lastly, take a look at these three (3) online exhibits that show how poster art was used to sway opinions of the American people either for or against the war.
New York’s Library of WWI Propaganda – https://www.nypl.org/events/exhibitions/overhere/m…
Library of Congress Selling America on WWI Online Exhibit – http://americanhistory.si.edu/advertising-war
Echoes of the Great War – American Experiences of WWI (includes positions for and against the war) – https://www.loc.gov/exhibitions/world-war-i-americ…
Think about the different opinions about America’s involvement in World War I, all the different people who have those options, and why. You will choose one position for or against joining the war and one perspective for this assignment.
Your assignment is to create a “propaganda poster” either for or against the US entering WWI. Your poster must be a combination of graphics, photos, or other images that you find from your research and a short slogan or other motivational saying supporting your cause. You must provide a reference on the poster worksheet for each graphic, photo, or other image that you use in your poster unless you created it yourself. There is a list of resources to get your started at the end of this assignment that are also listed in the course shell.
Your “poster” can be on a PowerPoint slide, a Google slide, Google Drawing, a Word doc, a pdf, or other presentation format. Once you have created your poster, it is best to save it to a pdf format. You will also fill out the poster worksheet to explain your poster and list the sources you used in making your poster. Upload both your poster and the poster worksheet through the submit button here in Blackboard.
Create a poster. Requirements for the poster:
Clearly convey one of the positions listed below. The United States should:
Remain neutral and only proving humanitarian aid.
Join the Allies.
Join the Central Powers.
Have at least one statement that advocates for your position.
e.g. Dogs for neutrality!! Don’t let your masters pull you into this needless war!! Who will defend them when you are gone?
Include information about who you are and why you are advocating for that position either in an additional statement or in a graphic form.
Are you an immigrant supporting your home country or your new country?
Are you a union worker who agrees or disagrees with the union position on the war?
Are you a concerned US citizen speaking out about US policies or issues of equality?
This does not have to be based on who you are now.
Have at least one illustration, photograph, or other graphic that helps convey your position.
Be easy to read and show some thought about the design. (Don’t just slap images and words on a slide and call it done.)
Turn in the poster worksheet, completely filled out. Change the file name to your last name, first name and section number
See the sample poster, Dogs Against War!
A tutorial on how to design a propaganda poster – https://www.slideshare.net/lindou/google-drawing-p…
A tutorial on Google Drawing – http://www.lindajdougherty.com/2016/01/googe-drawi…
Need help with PowerPoint? Use this guide here – http://guides.lib.unc.edu/posters/pptwindows2016
Recognize the major turning points in American history since the Civil War.
Specify ways that women and minorities have responded to challenges and made contributions to American culture.
Examine how changes in social and economic conditions and technology can cause corresponding changes in the attitudes of the people and policies of the government.
Use technology and information resources to research issues in contemporary U.S. history.
Write clearly and concisely about contemporary U.S. history using proper writing mechanics.
Links for Research and Images
African-Americans in the War
Eugene Bullard – African American who joined the French Foreign Legion and fought for France
Harlem Hellfighters – African American unit in France
Online articles on the Anti-War effort of WWI, including a section on Labor and Socialism
The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Anti-War Resolution
Walter Fuller’s exhibits for the Anti-Preparedness League opposed to the War
Jingo the Dinosaur – the mascot for the Anti-Preparedness League
Immigrants and Other Social Movements
Library of Congress Online Resources on Immigration (has information on many different groups who immigrated to America)
Harvard University Open Collection on Immigration
Mapping America’s Social Movements – includes experiences for immigrants, African Americans, women, labor movements, and many others.
WWI and the Suffragettes
America’s Age of Reform and International Conflict:
Background and Sources to Consider: Various reform groups with various causes developed in the US in the late 1800s and early 1900s; these are loosely called “Progressives” as they aimed to use government policies and laws to improve and advance society. (“Progressives” were not necessarily unified on all fronts—and were not a single political party; and do not assume that you would agree with all of their causes.). Also, this period was a time when the US started as a major player in international conflicts—first in the “Spanish American War and then in World War I. There were deep isolationist sentiments about such overseas entanglements, and President Wilson first has one position and then the other. Our assigned chapters for this week are chapters 19 and 20, and they have excellent and varied coverage of both subjects—be sure to make use of them. Also, in the Week 4 unit, click on “Learn” and find the slide presentations of chapter highlights, but especially the videos there about reformers looking for voting rights and the regulation of big business and about how the US went from relative isolation to being a major international player in war and trade. Then click on “Week 4” and review the two folders of PRIMARY SOURCES on both of this week’s subjects—these are full of examples you can use.
Doing this Discussion
WHAT TO DISCUSS:
Choose and discuss one of the following two topics related to the late 1800s and early 1900s. Consider the sources noted above. Develop your main post with a paragraph or two; tell us where you read about it. Have fun with that and with reply posting to classmates:
A. In the Progressive Era (roughly 1890–1920), multiple groups advocated for reforms in various aspects of government, society, and the economy. Using specifics, describe what you think was one of the great reform causes of that day and what happened with it. Identify a similar issue or cause that exists today and how it might be addressed.
B. Explain why Wilson did not maintain his own campaign slogan (“He kept us out of war”). Describe your own feelings on that issue when you look back at it, and whether he was right to change. Briefly, identify a similar international consideration today—or of the last 20 years, and what lesson might be drawn from the example in Wilson’s time.