In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson declared that neutrality in the Great War was "no longer feasible" and that the U.S. had to intervene to make the world "safe for democracy." What changed between 1914 and 1917 that caused the U.S. to enter WWI? In this lesson, students address this question as they corroborate a textbook account with two documents: a speech by President Wilson and an excerpt from Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States.
[Lesson Plan updated on 5/13/16.]

Image: A 1917 Political poster depicting U.S. industry as a mule kicking "Kaiserism," "Pacificism," and "Hard Times" by Morris. From the Library of Congress.


Hi tkireta - Glad to hear our resources are useful to you! You can find a copy of the Zinn document in the lesson plan PDF. We haven't included it in the Original Documents file since we didn't modify it in the lesson.
I'm really loving your resources! These are skills that are really necessary in helping students develop into college ready students. A copy of the Zinn document would be helpful!
Hi abrzavala - Thank you for the feedback! We'll keep this in mind when revising the lesson.
A PowerPoint for the mini lecture would be very helpful!
Hi MIovino - We're working to provide textbook excerpts to each of our lessons that call for one. We're a small group, though, with many other things on our plate, so it will be some time before we're able to complete this task.
I haven't used a textbook in close to a decade, and our school abandoned using them in history classes a couple of years ago. I think it would be a good idea to include one just for those instances. You can always put "we recommend using an excerpt from your own, but in case you don't have access to one, you may use the one provided." Thanks!
Hi Quickskill! Thank you for your comment. We're thrilled to hear you find our materials useful. We don't include a textbook excerpt in this lesson and intend for users to read from their classroom textbook. We're sorry if this isn't clear in the lesson plan instructions.
Great lesson plan. The materials are perfect. However, I was unable to locate the textbook excerpt. I used the textbook my students are given in class. It worked as a sufficient substitute.
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