President Wilson greeted alongside other Allied leaders in Paris procession, 1919. Source: History.com.
Background: see Google Slides
President Woodrow Wilson's war message to joint session of Congress, 2 April 1917. The New York Times.
Background on Wilson:
Today we will spend some time with primary and secondary sources aimed at examining the outbreak of the war and the U.S. decision to participate in the war.
How did WWI begin?
Read the selection below from this article in The Week (external link).
As you read the passage, consider:
Wilson: For and Against Entry
As you read each passage, consider:
Document A: President Woodrow Wilson, in a speech before Congress, August 19, 1914.
The people of the United States are drawn from many nations, and chiefly from the nations now at war. It is natural and inevitable that some will wish one nation, others another, to succeed in the momentous struggle.
Such divisions among us would be fatal to our peace of mind and might seriously stand in the way of our duty as the one great nation at peace, the one nation ready to play a part of mediator and counselor of peace.
The United States must be neutral in fact, as well as in name, during these days that are to try men's souls. We must be impartial in thought, as well as action.
Document B: President Woodrow Wilson, in a speech before Congress, April 2, 1917.
Property can be paid for; the lives of peaceful and innocent people cannot be. The present German submarine warfare against commerce is a warfare against mankind.
The German policy has swept every restriction aside. Ships of every kind, whatever their flag, their character, their cargo, their destination, their errand, have been ruthlessly sent to the bottom of the ocean without warning. American ships have been sunk, American lives taken.
I advise that the Congress declare the recent actions of the Imperial German Government to be, in fact, nothing less than war against the Government and people of the United States.
Neutrality is no longer feasible or desirable where the peace of the world is involved.
The world must be made safe for democracy. We have no selfish ends to serve. We desire no conquest, no dominion. We seek not material compensation for the sacrifices we shall freely make. We are but one of the champions of the rights of mankind.
It is a fearful, but right thing to lead this great peaceful people to war. We shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts – for democracy, for the right of [people] to have a voice in their own government, for the rights and liberties of small nations.
Homework: Assignment #605
Women's suffrage activists picketing the White House, 1918.
Evaluating The Jungle discussion
“The Women’s Era” (1890-1920)
Homework: Assignment #604
Left: Cutting up hogs in Swift & Co.'s Packing House, c. 1905, Library of Congress. Right: Original edition of Upton Sinclair, The Jungle. New York: The Jungle Publishing Co., 1906.
On the board, use the following chart to brainstorm the causes that progressives supported, disagreed upon, and opposed.
The Jungle, today: a clip from Food, Inc. (2008)
(For reference, you can watch the entire documentary on Netflix here or find it at the library: 338.4766 F73)
Discussion on Upton Sinclair, The Jungle (1905)
In the following discussion, my primary role will be to chart your discussion. I will ask the first question and intervene only rarely after that. The discussion will be graded 6 points for the quality of your individual contributions and another 6 points for the quality of the class's discussion as a whole. For the individual components, I will be recording instances where students . . .
Questions to guide your discussion:
Homework: Assignment #603
Connecticut suffrage activists. Connecticut State Library.
Your inferences: "What is progressivism?"
Homework: Assignment #602
Filipino prisoners of war, 1899. Library of Congress.
Homework: Assignment #508
"The British John Bull and the American Uncle Sam bear The White Man's Burden (Apologies to Rudyard Kipling), taking the coloured peoples of the world to civilisation" in Judge magazine, 1 April 1899. Wikimedia.
Background on Spanish-American War:
Poetry analysis: “White Man’s Burden”:
Homework: Assignment #507
Brainstorm: In what ways might industrialization have contributed to U.S. empire-building abroad?
The U.S. State Department published record of U.S. involvement abroad showing 103 interventions between the years 1798 and 1895. Consider the follow sampling of record from 1852-1894 and identify any patterns you see.
Next, consider the following two quotes from the period immediately afterward. Answer the discussion questions that follow.
Selection A: Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge (Republican, Massachusetts), “The Business World vs. the Politicians” (1895):
In the interests of our commerce . . . we should build the Nicaragua canal, and for the protection of that canal and for the sake of our commercial supremacy in the Pacific we should control the Hawaiian islands and maintain our influence in Samoa . . . and when the Nicaraguan canal is built, the island of Cuba . . . will become a necessity. . . . The great nations are rapidly absorbing for their future expansion and their present defense all the waste places of the earth. It is a movement which makes for civilization and the advancement of the race. As one of the great nations of the world the United States must not fall out of the line of march.
Selection B: The Washington Post editorial on the eve of the Spanish-American War (1898):
A new consciousness seems to have come upon us--the consciousness of strength--and with it a new appetite, the yearning to show our strength. . . . Ambition, interest, land hunger, pride, the mere joy of fighting, whatever it may be, we are animated by a new sensation. We are face to face with a strange destiny. The taste of Empire is in the mouth of the people even as the taste of blood in the jungle. . . .
Homework: Assignment #506.
Strikes in the news:
Early U.S. labor activism:
Homework: Assignment #505