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Allow your students to discover more about the WORLD WAR I and GENERAL PERSHING using this Primary Source activity.
Examining primary sources gives students a powerful sense of history and the complexity of the past. Helping students analyze primary sources can also guide them toward higher-order thinking and better critical thinking and analysis skills.
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General John J. Pershing led the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) that would join the fight in Europe. Pershing was well known as the general with the most recent experience of leading U.S. troops into battle, having commanded the military expedition into Mexico in 1916 to pursue Mexican guerrilla leader Pancho Villa, whose troops had attacked Columbus, New Mexico. In this hand-drawn cartoon by a Pershing admirer, the general is depicted as Uncle Sam's axe against German autocracy. Secretary of War Newton Baker sent an accompanying note to Pershing: "I have no doubt that you will use the axe [labeled "Pershing"] in accordance with what is evidently the artist's intention."
This cross curricular, differentiated activity is designed to reach the varying learning levels of all students by allowing them to respond to the primary source and choose the questions they would like to answer.