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FIRST PART: WW1 was the deadliest war in human history, with 21 million people

by | Nov 24, 2021 | History | 0 comments

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FIRST PART: WW1 was the deadliest war in human history, with 21 million people worldwide killed through violence, disease, and displacement. I shared the exact death counts from each major country involved during the lecture, and we need to keep them front and center in our minds throughout this topic. We will never understand the true level of human suffering that the Great War inflicted upon the world.
1) Consider the following poems and what WW1 meant to the soldiers who fought in it. Wilfred Owen was a British soldier who died in action at the age of 25 one week before the war ended. How does he describe his experience? In the poem, he explores the famous Latin saying, “dulce et decorum est pro patria mori” or “it is sweet and good to die for one’s country.” Allegedly, Roman soldiers would scream this as they rushed into battle. This poem gives me the chills, and I think you will see why. John McRae was a Canadian Lieutenant-Physician during the war. The poppy has become the international symbol of death in war as the red petals beautifully represent the blood and the flower’s black center, the bullet. If you drive through Europe in the Summer, you will see fields of poppies, representing graveyards from WW1 and WW2. It is both a stunning and eerie sight to behold. Flanders is an old-fashioned name for The Netherlands and Belgium, where many of these graveyards are located.
https://poets.org/poem/flanders-fields
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46560/dulce-et-decorum-est
Now Read the letter from Progressive Era Civil Rights leader W.E.B DuBois and consider the experiences of African-American soldiers during WW1. How were they treated? And did WWI mark the beginnings of any major race reform? Again how progressive was this era? Jim Crow extended even to the military, where black men served in segregated units, which shocked European soldiers. DuBois, at first, encouraged black men to register for military service as a means to demonstrate their equality and as a platform for civil rights. Why did his mind change?

Returning Soldiers


SECOND PART: Read chapter 14, “War is the Health of the State” in Zinn’s A People’s History of The United States.
https://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/zinnwarhea14.html
For this part, you will be mainly expressing your thoughts about this chapter and bringing in new ideas that you may think are interesting. Please do not summarize the chapter, use one or two of the questions I will post below to guide you in what the paragraph should be about, and include some of your own personal thoughts when writing and reading the chapter. 4) Why was WWI unfair to the American working class?
5) Why did the Socialist party oppose US Entry into WW1?
6) How did the Wilson administration create support for the war? Was this progressive?
7) How does Zinn interpret the Espionage Act?
8) How does Zinn interpret Schenck v. United States?

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