President Woodrow Wilson entered America into World War 1 by announcing: “The world must be made safe for democracy. . . We are . . . the champions of the rights of mankind.” For many, America was a nation enjoying freedom and rights. However, why might specific groups of Americans have disagreed with President Wilson’s statement about America? Why might they have questioned whether America was truly a “champion” of democracy and equal rights?
Students analyze 5 documents and complete an organizer and writing prompt determining why groups such as African Americans, women, immigrants and the poor might have chafed at being told to support a war for freedom, democracy, and equal rights overseas, given how they were denied these same principles at home.
This is a great activity to generate thought, conversation and link to current events. I also set it up so that you can skip the essay writing if you'd like, and still have a good product to grade by using the chart.